Margarida, this one is for you.
She is my best friend for 10 years now. Shit, we’re old! We met on the first day of high school because it was meant to be. As we got to know each other we realized we lived in the same street while growing up, our families moved around the same time and we ended up living in the same street again. We never stumbled upon each other before and we were living less than a mile away from each other. This is how my life goes. Each day something happens to prove that it’s all meant to be.
She and I share crazy stories. I chose to tell you this one about our short trip to Amsterdam first.
First time we visited Amsterdam together we were 18. Actually, I was 18 and she was 17. We were little rebels. We visited Amsterdam again for the second time this past December. It all started on a Summer afternoon and I was, as usual, procrastinating. Dear Easyjet sent me an email: “Winter Discounts”. I took a look at it and there it was, Lisbon – Amsterdam – Lisbon for 60€. I only had 20 minutes until I had to leave for work so I ran to my phone and called her letting her know that we were going to Amsterdam. In fact, that’s pretty much how we make all the important decisions in our lives.
Fast forward a couple of months and December was here. My college semester was almost over but still had a ton of tests and papers to deliver. But I didn’t give a damn for 3 days and packed my stuff. I was ready for Amsterdam. Or at least I thought I was.
One of my favorite things about traveling is to get to know all the people I’m sharing my hostel room with. I always pray for Australians. So far that never happened. But still, hope dies last and we spent a 3 hour flight imagining all different scenarios but always with a common element: Australian roomies. First thing we noticed as we walked into the room is that it smells like men! Oh my God, was it happening? Were we going to spend 2 nights sleeping in the same confined space as Aussies? As we were starving at that moment we decided to wait for the Aussies later and we went exploring the streets of the Red Light District. That’s were the hostel was btw. Location location location. I don’t know if you have ever been in Amsterdam but that’s a confusing city. The map is all in Dutch and there are as many canals as streets so after 10 minutes of looking at the map, we gave up.
By that time we were two lost girls in the middle of the Red Light District starving at 8 pm. Don’t judge us for our next decision. A random Scottish guy appears out of nowhere. “Hey, are you lost?” he asks. “YES! And starving, do you know any place we can grab something to eat?” “Sure, I know this Italian place and I can take you there.” Every other person would refuse to follow the strange man but Débora, Margarida and Scottish guy were on their way to the restaurant. (I’m starting to realize I follow a pattern of trusting guys I’ve just met. I don’t think I have a bright future ahead of me.) Even though I made the decision of following a strange man, I was still trying to pay attention to where we were going just in case he was kidnapping us but Margarida was more interested in getting to know this guy. He was Scottish and apparently from a wealthy family but one day he decided he didn’t want to have that comfortable life anymore and left it all behind and moved to Amsterdam. Why Amsterdam? Just because. He then told her he was on some kind of spiritual journey a.k.a. acids and was also homeless. Red flag enough? We didn’t think so, we still were following this guy. I’d say we spent an hour until we were finally able to ditch him and by that I mean the owner of the restaurant he was taking us kicked him out. I prefer to remain oblivious to why that happened.
We had fun during the next couple of days doing all the Amsterdamish things. All of them.
By this time I think you’re able to realize that Margarida and I don’t usually make the smartest decisions and we couldn’t leave Amsterdam without proving that one more time. Our flight was at 9 pm which means we had to be at the airport around 7/7.30 pm. At 5 pm we had another brilliant idea that came to us out of boredom. We still had some leftovers from our Amsterdamish experiences. It’s obvious we should go to our favorite coffeshop and take care of that.
Best stupidest decision of my life. I couldn’t keep track of time so I set an alarm for every 15 minutes, I’m not sure how we got to the airport because the train ride from the city center to there was something worthy of a Californication episode. I was Moody and she was Runkle. I don’t know how we passed through security. I just don’t know.
I only started to feel better when I was on the plane and it was already up in the air.
The roomies weren’t Australian. Maybe next time.