Savoring the sweet in Amsterdam

“Come by and see me at my coffee shop,” the note on my Facebook wall said from one Jonathan (my Travel Love from Zagreb) who was now residing in Amsterdam.

As soon as I received that message, a little glimmer of what I felt in Zagreb shot through me. I had sent Jonathan a message earlier in the week, keeping it real casual because I didn’t want to come off as that crazy girl he shared one night with way back in September in a foreign country.

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White widow. Northern Lights. Casey Jones. Joints. Spliffs. Pipes. Hash, hash … more hash.

My eyes were wide. I had seen it all before, in the pretty glass case displays, but had forgotten. For anyone who enjoys a occassional puff of the wacky tobacky, being in Amsterdam is like being a kid in a candy shop.

“Oh my goodness,” I said, as we sat down in the dimly lit coffee shop, teaming with smokers of all ages, most of whom spoke immaculate English.

“Love it.”

“I know!” N said, grinning ear-to-ear.

An hour later we emerged from Smokey’s, taking in the fresh night air, headed to dinner.

Over a bottle of delicious Chianti and some amazing Italian food, we toasted N’s 30th and made plans for the next day — a canal tour of the city.

We awoke, refreshed the following morning, headed to Smokey’s for a pre-brekkie pow wow, to breakfast, and then the canal tour.

After the hour-long tour (side note: while the boat ride is pretty, it is expensive for what you get, and most of the time you are already passed the topic of conversation since the same stories are in four different languages), we checked out another coffee shop (B had wanted to find the Dampkring, made famous by “Ocean’s 12,” but was unsuccessful), and then I introduced B and N to the magnificent and delicious kebab (a staple of my backpacker diet for the past month). Naturally, they loved it.

Harmless, yes?

It was the next day I felt the “get the hell out of Amsterdam” vibe kick into full gear.

We had just finished lunch, following the discovering of Dampkring, and my leg was hurting. Innocently, I reached down to rub it as we were walking along.

Oh my god. My leg. It had become indented. Concave.

“Holy crap,” I announced, fear ripping through my body, “My shin collapsed. It is concave.”

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