Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Amsterdam: The Saga Ends

I really only have one more quick story to share with y'all. It's about my coffee shop experience in A-Town. You should be aware that in Amsterdam coffee shops are where you can buy and smoke marijuana legally and cafes are where you actually buy the coffee. You see both everywhere and each time it's difficult to wrap your head around the fact that pot is just not a big deal here.

So, I am in Amsterdam, so of course I have to check out what all the hub-bub is about. We have lunch at The Grasshopper in the center of town, right next to one of the canals. It is gorgeous outside. We grab a couple chairs out on the patio, order some beers and burgers and sit back to enjoy the people watching. Now you should know there is one of these famous coffee shops in the basement of this restaurant. So, everyone besides us is also enjoying the weather but, instead of having a burger, they are rolling up joints and smoking them. Thank goodness for sunglasses 'cause I was a checkin' everyone out.

We finish up lunch and decide to head downstairs. I have way too many questions about how this all works to just get up from lunch and walk away. We definitely had a bright red, blinking sign across our foreheads screaming "Tourist!". With my eyes ready to bulge out of their sockets, I realize I don't even know what to say to the...I guess you would call him...the bartender...Um, yeah. What do I say? Hi, I grew up in South Dakota and this whole pot being legal thing just blows my mind. Tell me how this works?

Thankfully he helped us out and asked us if we wanted to see the menu. HA. THE MENU! I love it. Well, of course I would like to see THE MENU.

The bartender tells us to go over to the wall and push the big, red button. Huh? Push the button? What happens? The walls part and a secret pot room appears?

So, here I am...a little nervous to push the red button...but, I do. The wall above the button all of a sudden lights up and the menu appears. You let go of the button and the menu disappears. How cool is that? The menu is comprised of two sections, "weed and hash" and a small subsection for "space cakes".

Josh and I both look at each other and ask..."What the hell is the difference?"

Josh asks the bartender, "I have a stupid question. What is the difference between hash and weed?"

And the best part of this experience is the answer we got from the bartender.

Picture a guy who's eyes are completely glazed over and has a perma-grin from ear to ear. He starts giggling and tells us...

"So, weed gets you high, but it also can make you tired. And, hash doesn't make you as tired. Don't get me wrong. I mean, you still get high, but you just don't get so tired. Both will get you high."

We still have questions whether all of this is really legal. What is with the button then? Why do they have to hide THE MENU? It still felt a little secretive and naughty. So, with that I end our coffee shop education post. Who wants a space cake?

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