(**SPACE CAKE STORY AHEAD!!!**)
Greetings, again. 🙂
If you haven’t read Part One of my recent visit to Amsterdam, check it out here: Destination: Amsterdam, Netherlands (Part One). Otherwise, moving forward!
After my first day in the beautiful Dutch capital, I started off my second day by visiting the Rijksmuseum, the Dutch national museum. Now I’ve forgotten to add in the previous post that I had visited the van Gogh museum the afternoon before. I am a fan of the famous painter’s works and enjoyed the large collection in the galleries (including his multiple self-portraits and paintings of different flowers, including the well-known sunflowers), but found the 17-euro admission fee overly excessive. Considering that the museum itself isn’t that big, the price was, as I hate to admit it, not worth it. 😦
Also paid a hefty sum for the Rijksmuseum (around 17 euros, too) and went over first thing in the morning. Spent about two hours wandering the massive museum, which contained collections of Dutch artwork dating all the way from the Middle Ages up to those of the great Dutch painters such as Vermeer and Rembrandt, the latter whose famous piece The Night Watch is displayed. Overall, the Rijksmuseum was, while bigger than the van Gogh museum, also overpriced.
Decided to check out the de Grooyer windmill afterwards, the only one that is in Amsterdam. Many of the famous Dutch windmills are located outside of the city, requiring a day trip to see them. I wished that I could’ve gone, but I didn’t have time. Perhaps another time…
Any case, the de Grooyer windmill was about a thirty-minute walk outside of the city center; from the Rijksmuseum, it was about an hour. At noon, I set off for the windmill.
Along the way, I decided to be *adventurous* and visit a coffeeshop. If you know anything, Amsterdam is not only known for its beautiful canals and Red Light District, but also for its lax policies when it comes to marijuana. Funny enough, it’s illegal in the rest of the Netherlands, but the city itself is a hot spot for pot-lovers to come and, well, do pot. Hence, there are many designated “coffeeshops” which aren’t for serving coffee, but rather pot, weed, Mary Jane, whatever you call it. One should be careful, though, when one wants to get actual coffee: don’t enter a coffeeshop by mistake (if you want coffee, go to a café)!
Now, I don’t smoke- no cigarettes, no marijuana. But I was interested in experiencing that same high, and didn’t mind doing so with edibles (might as well give it a try while in Amsterdam, eh?). I found a small coffeeshop in the busy Leidseplein square, went inside, and asked for a “space cake,” which is a small chocolate cake that contains cannabis. Bought one for 6,50 euros (quite pricey for its small size) and saved it to try for later.
Walked over to the de Grooyer windmill, passing by the Rembrandt house (didn’t go in). Arrived at the windmill, and took several photos including this one. Quite lovely, isn’t it? ❤
Returned to the city center, and decided to try my space cake outside of my hostel; on the package, it advised that “inexperienced users” (meaning, me) should take half of the cake and wait 45 to 90 minutes before feeling the effects. I did so, taking about five bites (about a third of it). I smelled the weed as soon as I had opened the package- after all, it was 0.5 grams! I did taste a bit of the cannabis, but it was subtle- otherwise, it tasted like a normal chocolate cake. I didn’t feel anything in the minutes that followed, but stopped myself from eating the rest of the cake (it was a good thing that I did!).
Any case, I headed into town while waiting for the space cake in my stomach to kick in. I wanted some Dutch pancakes, and found a small café (not coffeeshop!) near the Dam Square, where I ordered an apple-bacon pancake. Was a little burnt, and tasted very similar to the French crêpe, but it wasn’t bad. Was pricey, though, as it was almost 15 euros.
…and here’s when shit happened.
As soon as I had finished my meal, exactly forty-five minutes after I had taken the space cake…it happened. It felt as though something in my brain had switched on, and my head was buzzing. It was VIBRATING. I started feeling woozy, but also started to panic at the same time, as I was definitely not expecting this. I thought that I was getting high- not hallucinating! I immediately regretted eating the space cake in the first place. Regardless, the effects were kicking in fast, and I knew that I had to get out of the café and back to my hostel, before it got worse and before I made a fool of myself in public.
It was a ten, fifteen-minute walk back to the hostel, but it felt longer. I’m sure that I appeared normal, but inside, I was hardcore tripping. For example: I had a sip of water, and I felt it bounce up-and-down in my stomach like a ball- so weird. And the conversations that I heard from passerby not only sounded distant, but also started looping at the end of each sentence, like a recorder. And my thoughts were going a million miles, most of which were centered on paranoia. I kept telling myself not to go crazy, but at the same time drove myself crazy for thinking that. I kept observing people looking at me strangely, as if they knew that I was under the effects of the space cake. Perhaps they weren’t even looking at me, and it was just me being paranoid. And just as I was nearing the hostel, my body went numb; I felt like my lower mouth was drooping, stretching and falling to the floor like pizza dough. Looking back, it sounds comical, but back then it was awful.
Returned to my hostel without freaking out, went into my dorm room, and crashed on my bed in hopes of sleeping off this nightmarish episode. Alas, it was a struggle, as I kept hearing noises. Whether or not they were from external sources or just in my head (perhaps both), it was extremely unsettling.
My space cake episode was predominantly auditory: although the hostel was located in a quiet neighborhood of Amsterdam, I kept hearing jackhammers and ambulances and looping voices. My brain was on overdrive, as I had to wake myself up several times when the sounds got too overwhelming, as well as to make sure that I was still alive. Seriously, I thought that all of the noises and stimulation in my head would inundate me, and that I would not wake up at all. That especially freaked me out, considering that I was traveling alone, with no one to contact if I got into trouble. At one point during my psychedelic trip, I woke myself up to let the hostel-goer sleeping above me (we were on a bunk bed) that I was tripping and whether she could wake me up in a few hours. Funny enough, she was tripping out, too, but was doing better than I was: she told me that she would wake me up in an hour and a half, and said to relax, that I was going to be okay. I found her words assuring, and went back to bed to try to sleep it off some more.
I am not sure how the trip ended, but at a point I woke up- shaken, but better. The noises were nearly gone, and I was able to stand up and focus. It was around 17h30, about two to three hours after the effects had begun. But I was still not completely off the trip, as I continued to experience auditory looping and buzzing in my brain. I decided to sleep a bit more for extra measure. Woke up two hours later at 19h30, feeling even better and decided to head out to explore the city (still bright out!).
Visited the Prostitution Museum in the Red Lights District, which is about the history of prostitution in the Netherlands, and delves into personal stories of prostitutes and their day-to-day lives. While interesting, I felt that it was, again, catered to tourists. It was about 8 euros for a mere 45-minute visit, and without a lot of displays that piqued my interest. Left the museum, and got some fries for dinner again. Funny enough, although I was off my psychedelic trip, the drug still affected my body, including what are called the “munchies.” Now, getting the munchies doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re hungry; on the contrary, I wasn’t hungry when I ate- rather, the my stomach was…numbed, and I was able to eat all of the heavy fries without feeling like I was full! My mouth was numbed, too, as it barely registered the piping-hot fries (and I burned my tongue as a consequence).
Went back to the hostel once more, showered, and decided to turn in for the night. Never again would I try another space cake or marijuana edible. NEVER! Still had two-thirds of the space cake in my room, and didn’t know what to do with it! That said, it was a crazy, mind-fuck of a journey that afternoon. 😛
Will have to squeeze in the last part of my Amsterdam visit in the next post! Look out for it soon! 🙂
— The Finicky Cynic
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