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Amsterdam Day Two – Drinking

What To Do After Inspecting Dissected Humans?

Toy Shop Statuary
Toy Shop Statuary

After looking at the human body spread for inspection I wandered around, trying to find a specific pub. Still in my head was the disturbing (yet uplifting) imagery of Body Worlds. I found some toy shops to pootle around, but found Lego to be maybe 15% more expensive than back home. Disappointing, but good – I don’t have space for Lego in my luggage.

Pubs Glorious Pubs

In De Wildeman In De Wildeman is one of those pubs reputed to have hundreds of beers available. It’s a mindblowing hoptophile experience. It’s only tiny as well. The sheer choice nearly gave me brain disease. Eventually I narrowed my focus to the chalkboards and was able to make some decisions. First up the remarkable Schneider Porter-Weisse which is a chocolate malt dream. It’s a nice pub to sit quietly in a corner and scribble a few illegible postcards. For a second drink, bearing it mind that it was now about 4.30 and I hadn’t eaten since breakfast I had a half of Hoptimist which was light and snappy on the tongue. To assuage my stomach (I am terrible at remembering to eat when I’m on holiday) I had a dinky little Guinness and steak pie which certainly filled a void.

Porter Schneider Weisse Hoptimist

I’ve been deliberating whether to get utterly fucked up while in Amsterdam, and although it is tempting I’ve concluded that I just don’t want to. That’s vaguely disappointing – surely what I want most is to get gruesomely hammered and blunder around foreign streets giggling at the barbar jabber of the natives. Apparently not. My intent this week is to do what I want to do, and I’m learning that this is harder to do than I expected. What I really want is to sit in absolute quiet with a beer and enjoy my book. Either I am 70 or somehow broken.

I Must Eat

Heading back home I had every intention of stopping in at a restaurant and reading over a meal. But looking in, every restaurant had a coterie of stereotypical tourists and I felt I wanted no part of it. I’d passed a Chinese takeaway on the way through and idly looked it up while in In De Wildeman’s. Turns out Shanghai Noodle gets some pretty good ratings. It’s a tiny place, with narrow cramped tables… and take away service. I ordered black bean beef and assorted dim sum. And then waited. And waited. That’s almost complaining, which is unjust as I had no haste whatsoever in my mind.

While waiting (but not waiting) I was accosted by a lady who spotted my “MissImp Improvised Comedy” badge and asked if I was a comedian. I get asked this occasionally and have not yet perfected my answer, but I gave what’s closest to my heart – “only by accident and on occasion”. She is also a comedian, of an improvised background and next time I’m here I can probably get a gig. That was nice. I also enjoyed making faces at the young girl who was there with her mum.

The order came, and with it two free cans of Heineken! Apparently I had been waiting too long. I did not care. On the way back to my apartment I was stopped by (I think) the tenth person who has asked me for directions. Rarely, I was able to give them. I feel (briefly) like I live here.

The food is exceptional, even from plastic boxes, and goes down very well with Weistephaner Dunkel. That pretty much sets the course for my evening, which is to be dominated by a lengthy bath (plus beer and book), more smoking on the balcony, a spot of the Highlander TV series and a relatively early night.

Shanghai Noodle

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