Amsterdam – stag reflections

Amsterdam is a much nicer place than I’d settled on visualising based on the somewhat mixed reviews is heard it given. There are some unconventional aspects which are well known, the widely available lower category (UK) drugs, the legalised prostitution and the utter preoccupation with related fields of entertainment that appears to have had. The first of these ensures the wide spread nasal affliction of a not to pleasant smell but seems answerable for little more. The second really rather just lays some things out there in a stark way which presents matters just as they are, people in shop windows. Personally I dislike each. I see no merit beyond pain relief in drugs while with the other I am unsure exactly which party the whole thing debases more. Personal judgements aside however they are both things people seem to find a way to do, here and at home, so I wonder what the merit is of driving them underground, putting them in the hands of criminals and out of the hands of any sensible controls. A point of conversation was the clear gender divide, no men were in the windows, which may have come across as odder but objectively why should it. I suspect if left to guess what this says about the two genders the conclusion would not be a hugely divers one. Amsterdam was really very nice, older unconventional buildings, trams in Zurich familiar white and blue, the mesh of canals with their dubious Thames quality water, manic cyclists with unfashionable clumpy old bikes. It had much to recommend and little to nothing that revealed itself over a long weekend to act as cause for reservations. The stag do was not enjoyable. The end was it finest hour for me – though somewhat more importantly I think Oscar seemed largely to enjoy it. If I feared for a 10 on horrorometer and hoped for a 2 it was probably a 6. It could have been a whole lot worse, but I couldn’t quite wait for it to end none the less. The group were not a very familiar one and a few of them were really about as palatable as cucumbers with an olive dip, cucumbers that were becoming bacterial food as the weekend proceeded. The funniest part was Oscar in an inflatable costume of the males genitals wondering into a condom shop to request something suitable, they didn’t take it in particularly good humour and he left, to be stopped unbelievable frequently in the street with requests for photos. It was not long before scare reticence turned to enthusiastic solicitation at this celebrity status, that came as quite a surprise to all. His royal wave impressions, especially when passing through the city on open canal boat lacked motion and became more lofty, far more akin to a returning fuehrer penis than the British monarch on tour. It was a joke that worked brilliantly, better surely than anyone could have of had right to expect. So well received by passers by and so also by Oscar himself. But not a joke that could keep giving, some wouldn’t have it and insisted that all time be dedicated to wearing the suit, they were gratingly tedious, purial and socially bizarre people, I spent ever more time wishing they wouldn’t, generally. The one thing we never got round to doing was hiring one those booth for an hour and getting Oscar and his suit to stand with full elimination within. That maybe have been the finest moment of all but it never was – it was no more advanced but it had that element of originality and interesting, what would the passers by do. For my part I had been swiftly ruined by the first night, too long with its 5:30am end and too drink heavy-I am no longer accustomed or capable of processing that impact & was even more knackered than the drained shuffling in the weeks leading up to it. This did not help with the stride into which one might attempt to take things. One thing I could not fathom, tradition of not (I don’t know) surely you decide things for yourself and those set on victimisation and general humiliation are not the diligent upholders of traditional, pureists but rather small people in pursuit of an excuse to legitimise their own perculiars.. Judgemental-perhaps..  Everything I had to just get on with it was nowhere near enough, consciously overextending my willingness to compromise by a long long way, this after all is all about someone else, I belonged here about as well as a puffer fish would upon the moon.. Meanwhile the ridiculous simpletons never did ‘just wouldn’t’ anything but.. By the time Monday arrived I felt compelled to head off, my ability to absorb any more of this in the name of ‘oscars stag’ quite eroded. I packed up, milled about briefly and took my opportunity to head off, it was not polite or properly done it was as much as I had left in the tank. I wanted to see Amsterdam and no one had moved more than a couple of hundred meters from the hostel, I wasn’t going to wait and see, I couldn’t bring myself to it, petulant perhaps but having listened to the verbal equivalent of ‘I know a song that will get on you nerves, get on your nerves’ for 60 hours, it had. In none news it’s quite flat and relatively easy to explore by foot. My sense it was a nice place to be seemed further confirmed by the unplanned zig zag meander about which followed. In summary – learning from the weekend: Amsterdam very good, confirmations: stag does not desirable to attend There are great wits out there, their attendance is basically welcome their absence leaves to much opportunity for entirely other sorts

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