Fat and Fabulous in Amsterdam
3.5 is the number of kilos I put on over four days in Europe. Sometimes it’s possible to be gloriously unaware of such apparent weight gain if you stay away from all weight measuring devices and fashionably tight pants, however, after several shots of absinthe on my first night in Amsterdam I decided to go to town on the hotel scales. Joy, delight, euphoria! After eight weeks of training in Noosa, three days being stressed out of my mind in London and one day of consuming nothing but booze and half a hash brownie I’d managed to lose 4kg!
I was blissfully happy until the next morning when I woke up with a roaring hangover. Now, I don’t know what the custom is in the Netherlands but when you’re hung over in Australia you eat bacon and plenty of it. And so in the days that followed, I ate and drank my way around dozens of canals and even shared a bagel with an off-duty Russian call girl.
It was all fabulous until I approached the scales on my very last day. I knew I had been very naughty and therefore felt the pressure of an Olympic diver approaching the platform. This could end one of two ways, I could step on and remain a champion or I could plummet into the bathtub.
I watched as the number on the scales climbed up and up and up, breaking past my record lowest weight recorded merely four days ago and stopped on the number I had been trying to change for the past five years of my life. It was official, I had gained 3.5kg in four days.
Instead of falling to my pathetic death in the lush hotel bathtub I simply wiped the croissant flakes off my face and marched across the room to my suitcase. I threw on my little red dress and took to the streets like a saucy European goddess to enjoy my final afternoon in Amsterdam.
The air was warm and there wasn’t a cloud in the sky. Boats breezed through the canal with bikini-clad passengers, throwing back pints of pale larger and enjoying the last real days of Summer.
After an inspiring and highly recommended visit to the Anne Frank Haus, I decided to treat myself to yet another meal and pulled up a chair at the lovely Lotti’s Diner on the Herengracht canal.
It looks like I wasn’t the only one wanting to escape the heat…
If you’re ever in Amsterdam and looking for a spectacular feast or a just a tasty drink you must visit this place! It was by far my favourite venue to stuff my face, with truffle fries and French Rose served all day every day.
Soon my stomach was full and I sat in a daze watching the afternoon roll by. So this is what it would be like to live in London and slowly eat my way around Europe? I paid the bill and wandered off back in the direction of the hotel where my airport transfer was scheduled to arrive in an hour.
No wonder I had piled on the kilos, Amsterdam was a feast for the eyes and the soul. On every corner, there was a mouthwatering new visual from fresh fruit stalls to golden cheese emporiums. I resisted the urge to buy a wheel of Gouda and instead picked up a delicious fig for the last leg of my journey back to the hotel.
While I might have gained a few inches on my derriere, the emotional luggage that I had carried with me all the way from Australia was slowly beginning to melt away.
I began to face the fact that I was never going to find anywhere remotely similar to home while I was living abroad and that homesickness is inevitable for any brave traveller embarking on an adventure of a lifetime.
As I arrived back at Gatwick airport in London I felt the temperature had dropped considerably and as soon as I made it through immigration I opened up my carry on luggage and scooped out a chunky sweater.
So this is how those clever Londoner disguise the extra weight they bring home with them after a fabulous European getaway.
Note to self: stay away from all weight measuring devices and fashionably tight pants and enjoy the next two years while they last.