Today was most definetly one of the most amazing, beautiful and beyond anything I could ever imagine I would experience. It started last night when I landed into Amsterdam, within minutes of being on the train into the city I already met an awesome rapper from a small town near Jamacia. He had a strong accent and showed me how to catch a tram, how to exit the station and just gave me some general advise on the area. This alone was a good start to amsterdam. I made my way to my hostel from the tram, which I must add was very simple to follow, nowhere near as horrible as Australia! The guy at the front counter of the hostel was actually living where I grew up as a kid, I found this amazing, and he told me to make my way up to The “Schipol Dorm”and I was bed 4. Only if I knew what was in store for me ahead.
I met Eyal lying down on his bed half asleep, and already it felt like I was just saying hello again like I would any old friend. We got talking and he was from Israel and after a few laughs decided it would be a good idea to make our way into Amsterdam the next day together and he would help me find my hostel. The next morning, I woke up and we awoke together and brushed our teeth, witnessed some disturbing brekfast TV in the Christian Hostel. We both decided it would be best to get out of there and so we trammed it into Centraal together to find my new home for the next few weeks. Thank god we had each other, after both of us almost being hit by trams, bikes, buses and god knows what, we made it unscathed to the backpackers only to have to go out for another km to find an ATM.
Throughout this process we were talking about everything from what drives someone to do what is their passion, through to funny things like the heater in our room. Now to understand this, you need to imagine how cold it is outside in Holland at the moment. Its pretty cold. Anyway, the heater in our room was on and working, however the only thing it was heating was itself. I am not even joking, it was luke warm at best, meaning the only thing the heater was keeping warm was the heater itself.
I was quite worried about the Hostel I was staying in after some sketchy reviews, but Going with Eyal made me feel much better about the whole experience. He helped me settle into my room and even gave me a padlock for free. After looking around a bit and having a quick power yack from the poor quality yogurt that morning, it was time to taste the “Dutch Goodness”at a local coffeeshop. It was an amazing coffee shop, very mellow, very few people and most of all had an amazing strain list. We decided upon Amnesia Haze, a very good choice. I felt so relaxed and my mind was clear as a bird. However, despite the awesome vibe of the shop, there was no way we were sticking around.
An obvious aftermath of any coffeeshop is munchies so we went to a noodle bar called Wok n Walk. Eyal met the guy serving us and he was talking Hebrew. I couldnt beleive it, this is what multi culutralism is all about, isn’t it? I, an Australian, was talking to a Israeli Hebrew speaking chef in a japanese restraunt in Amsterdam. Well that was a head fuck to both Eyan and I so we decided to make our way to whereever the tides of Amsterdam were to take us.
We did the usual Amsterdam Wander that most tourists would do, we looked around the shops, around the bars and of course a few headshops were we picked up some delicious cake. One thing that was different however was that we were together, two strangers drawn together by life, and then became best mates. It was so beautiful and the walking around was certainly something I will never forget, because along with it was the talking and of course the photos of the sights.
Overall we bared witness to a cheeky street performer that got €5 of me for getting out of a straight jacket and chains, very impressive. We saw a few girls in windows, a lot of weed and the amazing archiecture of Amsterdam. But I loved how I was talking about some of my deepest most intimate thoughts with someone I hadn’t even known for 24 hours.
It was slowly approaching the time I had to say good bye and the discussion was getting deep and strong. I started realising what it is to have a travel friend and how friends are everywhere and are to be cherished. The moments of time I had with Eyal where some of the best of my life, I learned more than I could ever express through just a blog post, but I just now realise how valuable time is with friends and how getting through the sadness of goodbyes makes one so strong.
Many hugs, handshakes, goodbyes and watery eyes were shed between the two of us at the platform as I said goodbye. I know I will see him again, life just tells me so. I made my slow introspective walk back to the trams and then the hostel, which brings me to now. Now time to go and repeat this cycle and meet some more people instead of sitting here blogging. That was amazing. It is a memory I will never forget. Thankyou Eyal, that was something I can only wish for in a dream trip to Amsterdam, and it came to me already on the first day.