A Magical Dessert in Amsterdam
I was already wide awake when my alarm went off at 4:00 am, the ability to wake up early was the only upside to this bloody jet lag. The reason why I was jumping on a red-eye flight to Amsterdam only days after I arrived in London was to see my best friend, Miss R who was holidaying in the Netherlands with her secret Spanish lover. She too had recently packed up her life in Australia to move abroad. In fact, a lot of my friends had decided to take off to different parts of the world. It’s like we’ve all reached a point in our twenties where we’re brave enough to consider leaving behind everything we’ve ever known, yet still stupid enough to actually go through with it.
After an emotional first week living in London, I was more than excited for a little taste of European sunshine. I arrived in Amsterdam in the same time it would take to get a cut and colour. The shuttle bus stopped at an airport motel and a red light district hostel before it finally reached the Ambassade Hotel in the city centre. I might not be able to afford to eat for the next month but at least the thread count will be higher than the locals!
I followed a delightful concierge down the corridor and up the elevator to the very top floor. He led me through the charming suite fully equipped with delicious treats.
Okay, so I might have told the hotel that it was my anniversary and that I’d travelled all the way from Australia to celebrate it in Amsterdam. What are a few white lies in return for a bunch of bright blooms and a cute bottle of bubbles?
The most exciting moment was when I pushed back the curtains to reveal a gorgeous view of the canal. It was the first completely blue sky I had seen since arriving in the UK and boy was I glad to see it. While I could have sat on the windowsill all afternoon I had to grab my map and wander out to meet Miss R!
After almost getting run over by a bike and crushed by a crowd of young tourists I made it across the waterway. I immediately spotted Miss R sitting outside a bohemian style cafe with her jet black hair and bright red pout. I ran up and hugged her it was that sense of familiarity that I had been craving.
We ordered a round of refreshments with the rule of thumb being, when in Amsterdam, order a cocktail the size of your head!
And a plate of freshly shucked oysters because although they taste like a prostitute’s punani they wrap up the whole European afternoon in the sun setting just nicely.
One thing I discovered fairly quickly about Amsterdam is that it’s an incredibly beautiful city with it’s own unique aroma.
Are you rolling a doobie behind your gin martini darling?
And cue selfie diversion.
As the sun went down we wandered along the canal. The sound of laughter and clinking glasses filled the air and the light from the street lamps danced on the surface of the water. Everyone was enjoying the last days of Summer, in particular, Miss R who was now searching for something in her handbag.
“What is that?” I said looking at a suspicious package of baked goods.
“It’s dessert, eat it.”
When in Amsterdam…
The rest of the night was a blur. From what I can remember there were fluorescent windows, a pool table, absinthe and an apple. Guys from Argentina and a prostitute from Naples and the next thing I know I’m waking up on my hotel floor which has a thread count of zero.
Many of the moves I’ve made in the past five years have been calculated, live here, work there, finish this course and accomplish that. Recently I feel like I’ve been free diving, which entails not knowing what you’re doing or where you’re going.
A fact of life is that sometimes you wake up in the bed and sometimes you wake up on the floor, what matters is that you pick yourself up and keep moving forward.
After all, figuring out what the heck is going on is exactly what your twenties are for!