Two euros in hand, my friend and I entered the peep show, we shuffled into an enclosed room, trying not to touch anywhere on the walls, we popped the coin into the slot and up before us popped up two people having sex on a rotating bed.
Welcome to my Birthday in Amsterdam!
As you can guess my birthday this year was absolutely brilliant, two friends (Jade and Kirstie) and I decided to go to Amsterdam to celebrate my 28th, a hop, skip and 9 hour bus ride later we were away from Essex and welcomed into the frozen winter arms of the beautiful city by the canals. The journey, was arduous, I wouldn’t want to bore you with the ins and outs of getting to Amsterdam other than to let you know that there was an old school pimp on the bus (old man, fur coat, hat, sun glasses, fo’real) and my brother, Harry and his friend Brian, who after seven hours drinking before hand had decided that coming to Amsterdam for my birthday was the best idea they had ever had, this led to a few hilarious moments on the ferry when they realised what they were doing as the hangover from hell set in on them “Why the hell am I in Amsterdam?!”. Personally, I commend drunk them for being so utterly awesome and jumping into the deep end, even more so to Brian to had only just landed in England for a month from New York.
We got off the bus after a hella long ride across Europe, the city was freezing, absolutely beautiful but sweet mother of pearl the air cut right through my sexy long johns causing my body to tense, we decided to ward off the cold and to get our bearings we should take a walk around the city to find somewhere to eat and then decide on how our day was to be spent. The city was as lovely as ever, the houses perched along the canals, small bars and restaurants nestled between the houses, small markets upon every turn selling fruit and vegetables to the locals; it was all so wonderful.
Unfortunately, for the five of us who were beyond tired, two with hangovers the size of Holland and all with serious hanger (hungry and anger) issues we couldn’t appreciate the city the way that we would have done normally, we nmeandered our way to the central square nevertheless where we knew we would find over priced food but at least it was a place to sit. Taking front row in the restaurant we sat and had brunch as we watched some of the seriously brilliant people of Amsterdam walk past (the man who was only fat from the knees up caused particular amusement to Brian), the characters which visit Amsterdam are one of the reasons why the city is amazing, you could sit and watch scenes play out all day.
We came to realise half way through brunch that although we were in Amsterdam none of us had an idea of what we wanted to do for the day, some didn’t drink, most don’t smoke weed, some were too hungover to even realise what was going on (Harry) and all were dazed from exhaustion, so basically being the birthday boss I decided that we should do a canal cruise, an hour of floating around the city in a warm boat until we decided how we should spend the rest of the day. We luckily arrived at dock just before a boat was due to depart, we hopped on a nestled in, the heating was on, the boat was gently rocking as we pulled away from the side; I heard a few snippets of information from the captain about the wonderful aspects of Amsterdam before I fell asleep; I napped for almost the full hour, it wasn’t until I woke up I realised that Jade had also drifted off; prompting us to declare that boat naps are the best naps around (it was my birthday and I can nap if I want too, I’m so thug life).
Waking up we were buzzing to go and get under the skin of the city, we headed off to find a coffee shop, being led by my brother who took us through the red light district until we found a cosy hub on the corner of the red light district and the quiet part of town. Getting what the smokers wanted, we headed to a bar so Jade and I could get our beer on, Harry could get a coffee and the others could indulge in a little light fun. Darkness had fallen by the time that we had each enjoyed our chosen vice, we decided to head back into the depth of the red light district, as we were working our way through the alley ways that Jade and I decided that we absolutely had to see a peepshow, when in Rome and all of that.
Walking into a dark room we squeezed into a booth, closing the door behind us, trying desperately not to touch anything. We slot our 2Euros into the window, and before us two people popped up having sex on a rotating bed, we laughed at the scene playing out in front of us, between our laughter we noticed something… there was a man staring at us from the opposite window. He could clearly see us and we could see him! We were told that the windows were private, he stared at us, as we uncomfortably tried to avoid his gaze “Let’s get out of here!” I said, to Jade who hilariously pointed out that we couldn’t leave before our time was up because it was rude to the couple having sex; by the time our window turned black we pushed our way out of the booth and fell into the cold night air, laughing at cellulite, waxed balls and the man in the mirror whose eyes I can still picture today.
***There are no pictures I could input here, nor I would wish too, my poor eyes don’t need to see it again***
The vision of the sex show followed us from the red light district until we stopped for dinner, more beer was consumed as we decided that we would go to ‘Smokey’s’ Brian’s favourite bar/coffee shop up in Rembrandt Square. Upon walking up to the square we could see a warm glow ahead of us, a real, proper Christmas market came into view! Be still my beating heart, Christmas markets are one of my most favourite things in the world. Chalets adorned with fairy lights, sweet treats being cooked up, pretzels, hot toddies, and gifts for sale, everything you could imagine.
Diving into the Christmas spirit we soaked up the amazing atmosphere, walking from the market feeling full of Christmas cheer we headed out of the centre of town and onto the canals where we saw the most beautiful light displays for Amsterdam’s festival of light, my favourite being the house of cards opposite Grand Central; following the illuminations we made our way back to Grand Central, the entire city was lit up with christmas trees, fairy lights, each corner was glistening under the crisp night air. I couldn’t have felt more joyful and festive if I tried, everything about the city for the day made me feel wonderful, I had even forgotten about the cold and cough that I had hanging around the week before.
Our night ended opposite Central Station where after ten hours of Amsterdam joy we were to be picked up by the bus and carted back to Essex where we would sleep away the next day and some of us (namely me) would wake up with walking pneumonia. Even though I’m still really poorly it was the best way to spend my 28th birthday with some of my favourite people.
Where’s the best place you’ve spent your birthday? Would you go into see a peep show? Were you the man looking at myself and Jade as we awkwardly avoided your gaze? These are all questions I’d love answers to below, feel free to comment and join in on the fun. Remember I’m also over on Twitter and Instagram for daily social networking fun.