This was the possible the greatest night to happen to Amsterdam. Two Saturdays ago, starting at 6:00 PM, 42 museums are open until 2:00 in the morning followed by numerous after parties. I met up with some girls from couchsurfing and immediately made friends. I even met another aupair from Florida. We split up from our very large group and took off on our rented bikes. Although I had been the one to rent it, I opted to sit on the back while someone who was used to riding in and out among traffic steered the bike.
Anyway, we went to the Film museum and saw an exhibition of distorted nudes in the dark while wearing head lamps. It was weird because you had to wear an mp3 player and share with someone you didn’t know and then you’re standing next to this total stranger while staring at double exposures of boobs.
Then we went on to the Museum Willet Holthuysen where we bought a glass with a diamond in the bottom of some shampanya (not the Dutch translation, just the Christopher Walken one)…The point was to turn in your fake diamond after finishing your champagne and enter for a chance to win a real one, but we totally just kept our diamond and now we be blingin’ and you know y’all jealous. There was a tour going on but we didn’t join because 1. It was in Dutch and only one of us spoke enough to understand and 2. The people giving it were dressed like a Real Housewives of Orange County dinner party...The museum itself was a restored 17th century house of the rich and wonderful. There was a gold plated canopy bed, tall doorways (a symbol of wealth), a beautiful garden that was being set up for a wedding, and some really nice chairs that I don’t think you were supposed to sit in…
By this time, two people with bikes had left our group to visit other museums and we were stuck with too many people and not enough seats. It didn’t help that Lily had a one-seater mountain bike, which is completely ridiculous in a country so flat the highest mountain is 28,000 feet lower than Mt. Everest. So as a group we walked our bikes to the Jewish Historical Museum. This was my first choice because in the children’s section was a free craft – make your own tutu!! So while I stitched and sewed tulle, the others checked out the swing party and enjoyed the only completely kosher café in Amsterdam…Our next stop was the Hermitage Museum – a gigantic building that used to be a nursing home and orphanage but was then turned into a multi-winged museum…We saw rooms and rooms filled with the current exhibit – Russian royalty. We all picked out which dress we would wear and then shared our knowledge on the Anastasia story based on our culture. Surprisingly, none of them knew about Bartok…We were getting a little tired so we decided to rest on our way to our last stop. So we popped into a museum on our way, which happened to be a church. There was some weird experimental music thing going on, but we did get to see one of the most gorgeous organs ever…And we also took part in the sacrament…On our way to our last museum of the night we went through the red light district. Allow me to explain why it’s called this…because there are red lights in windows. Amazing right? Also in the windows are girls in underwear, but I wasn’t really paying attention to that. We got to the last stop, which was W139, a modern museum with a hole in wall (literally) for an entrance and a DJ spinning a huge variety (Brick House and Lady Marmalade were both in his repertoire). There we met up with other couch surfers and danced the night away. I also discovered my dancing face apparently. I think it came along when I cut my hair but I can’t be sure…Well 2:00 came and we thought we were done so we traveled back through the red light district. We stopped for fries which was when I discovered the amazingness that is curry ketchup. You do not know the wonder until you tried it! Pat…you especially. So we met up at a bar and decided to hit one of the after parties. It was in this great club called Odeon. It’s a restored old building with Grecian architecture. And in the alcoves of Greek columns, were DISCO BALLS! The one thing though is that European music is all the same thing and it’s impossible to dance too. And after some hard core dancing at W139, trying to step in time to a song with no obvious rhythm while watching a bunch of people flailing around was a little overwhelming.
But the night was finally over. Carly, one of the girls, had agreed to host me that night so we biked through Amsterdam at 6:00 in the morning where I fell asleep for four hours. I then woke up, met Lily for falafels and ended my first trip to Amsterdam in the best way possible – fresh hot chocolate.
Word of the day: fiets - bike