The comments on Angela’s guest post about The Spacecake Incident caused me to revisit my own experience. Although I’m fairly certain I lost some subscribers because of that guest post. Anyway, I blogged about it briefly here, but it’s time I shared the whole story about how I bravely fought through the spacecake trauma to make it to the Anne Frank Huis…with disastrous results. Also, Ben Boudreau over at No Ordinary Rollercoaster is hosting a sexy giveaway, and I feel this qualifies for its prize.
Reserves your judgments, please. This was a mistake and it will never be repeated.
The gang and I had no idea it was Gay Pride Weekend in Amsterdam when we landed there in August, 2007. It was pure luck. I spied a colourful poster on a bulletin in our hostel, and we all agreed to check out the festivities.
The next day was brilliant. Sunny, hot, the city buzzing. We participated in a free walking tour with some amazing guides, which eventually lead us right out to one of the canals where the parade was about to take place. We bought Coronas for the street and ambled up to the scene.
I can’t even tell you how much fun this was, the whole city turned out. Floats adorned with giant penises drifted by shooting glitter into the sky, while beautiful, chiseled gay men danced on-board. Techno music filled the air, people of all ages danced on their houseboats. I can still see the drag queens with their neon boas.
We were whirling when the whole thing was over. In an effort to keep the natural buzz going, we thought some drug-induced buzz might work. The night before, we had tried a bunch of brownies and other desserts, all without any negative effect. But the spacecakes at Dampkring? Those were the devil.
We sat on the edge of the canal, our feet dangling over the bridge. Amy lost her shoe. We hollered to boater after boater to pick it up, but nobody understood. Finally, an elderly man fished it out while a crowd of onlookers gathered around.
That should have been Warning Sign #1.
At this point, the group decided to separate. I don’t know why, as I generally stuck to Amy and Ange for the whole trip, and we were the only ones staying in our hostel. But the other two girls and I wanted to check out some famous fries. We agreed to meet at the Anne Frank Huis.
We got to the fry place, I ordered curry fries.
While stuffing my face with fries, a peculiar sensation began to take over. It wasn’t highness. It felt like my body slowly turning to cement, starting with my fingertips. Sounds became distant, my eyes lost focus. We moved forward.
The girls took out a map. By then, I had lost all reasonable consciousness and could only stand aside staring blankly into space as they mulled over our location. We trudged past canal after canal, each one looking exactly the same. We wandered aimlessly, pausing every five minutes to check our progress. My brain was screaming, my head was on fire. WHY WAS THIS TAKING FOREVER?
In reality, it took about 20 minutes. In my world, it was 20 years.
The line-up outside the museum was insane. The sun was beating down onto my poor uncovered, ginger head. I stood there in line-up, drool dripping from the corners of my mouth, eyes squinted, staring at the guy in front of me whom I thought to be my friend.
“Is that Pearson? It really looks like Pearson. Should I talk to him? Why isn’t he looking at me? Is that Pearson?” My mind raced.
If that dude had turned around, he would have seen me boring holes into his face with my bloodshot, paranoid eyeballs. The line moved on, Ange and Amy never surfaced.
Once inside, I had to sit down in the lobby. The other girls weren’t suffering like I was, I simply couldn’t move. I got up, and sat back down repeatedly. My legs were lead. I was beginning to panic about not finding my hostel again, ever. I would be stuck in this gawd-forsaken weed town having disco dance parties for the rest of my life.
And then the nausea hit me.
I bolted to the public restroom, eyeing the line-up in front of me. I must have looked seriously ill, because the old lady ahead of me started chattering to me in Dutch. I was losing my mind.
Finally, a teenage girl popped out of the stall.
I literally lunged at her, shoved her aside roughly, all while the Dutch lady screamed at me in gibberish, and slammed the door shut.
And then I spewed curry fries all over the restroom. Curry-freaking-fries. You know what burns just as much coming up as it does going down? Curry-freaking-fries. I haven’t emptied my stomach like that since my high school graduation party.
I sobered up remarkably after that, dashed through the museum and got the hell out of there. Clarity began seeping its way through my hazy brain, and I managed to get home safely. I crashed, at 9 p.m., snoring like a buffalo, while a huge gay dance party took place outside.
(As a side note, I had absolutely NO IDEA there was a HUGE GAY DANCE PARTY taking place right outside our hostel until I read Ange’s guest post. It was probably the saddest moment of my life. )
I returned the next day, and thoroughly paid my respects. The experience was beyond moving.
Well, there it is. My secret travel shame. Do you feel differently about me now? Have you wiped me from your Internet life? If I ever go back to Amsterdam, it’ll be sans THC.