A Weekend In Amsterdam (Part Two)

A coffee shop and a sex museum...

As this post is about an Amsterdam coffee shop, and a sex museum, it should go without saying that the content is not suitable for work (NSFW). However, the museum photographs are of works of art, and are not pornographic. Additionally, I do not condone the use of illegal drugs of any kind for any reason. This is simply a narrative of my experience in this beautiful city.

After checking in at our hotel, Anneka and I decided to explore the city in the daytime a little bit for ourselves. One of the great things about Amsterdam is that everyone speaks brilliant English, so we didn't have to worry about speaking in broken Dutch! This meant our day would be very easy! We didn't have much time, so naturally there was only one place that, as Brits, we could go to... A coffee shop! Now for those of you who know absolutely nothing about the city, I'm not talking about a place like Central Perk here. Certain coffee shops in Amsterdam are known more for what you can smoke, than what you can drink!

We had a look around an area populated with them, found one we liked the look of, and went inside. Here's a travel tip for you: If you ever want to confuse a 'coffee shop' owner, ask them for a cup of coffee! The look of shock on the man's face was brilliant! I had to explain that wouldn't be the only thing we'd be ordering, but that we were thirsty too! He seemed relieved, and a lot less confused, after that! We each had a product called a 'White Widow'. I chose this because it sounded kind of threatening, and it was in the middle of the range of the options available.

We sat there drinking our coffee and opened the wrapper. Yes, this isn't like college - it's wrapped in cellophane, presumably to keep it fresh, dry and to prevent tampering. It wasn't until we had it our our mouths that we realised we didn't have one crucial element - a lighter. Fortunately there were a couple of kind young Dutch men who lent us theirs. The smoke kept going out, and after we'd asked the guys twice more to borrow their lighter, they just said "You're welcome to keep it, we've got plenty." Unfortunately, the only thing scary about the 'White Widow' was what a complete waste of money it was. Nothing. Not a damn thing. Not even for Anneka - who'd never even done this before!

When we had finished, we left and went for a wander around. It's a bustling city, full of interesting people and places. We saw a shop with a window display full of various absinthes, whiskies (my two favourite tipples) and whiskeys, but we didn't have time to go in - and we only had hand luggage on the plane sound wouldn't be able to return home with anything. We went into a pastry shop to have a look, and saw some Smurf ice-cream! Ok, it was actually just blue raspberry with a Smurf toy placed on top, but still! However, we didn't have much time to do anything, so we returned to the hotel to change. Later that evening, we went to Sex Museum Amsterdam.

The museum, which first opened in 1985, is a collection a various works of erotic art. The museum has photographs, paintings, literature, sculptures and various other kinds of art. According to the owners, while they were renovating and extending the building for the first time (after the museum had opened!), they found two items buried in the foundations. One was a tile showing a man with an erection, the other was a figurine with a large penis. It is almost as though the building was destined to become what it is today!

This is the front of the ticket that the museum issues:

Inside, there is a waxwork of noted sex symbol, Marilyn Monroe:

There are some sculptures, two of which I photographed:

There were some animatronic statues:

This one turns around and, ahem, does it's thing...

This one flashes you!

And this one will give you nightmares
for the rest of your life!
There were some cakes!

On the way out, Anneka conveniently managed to find a huge penis to sit on!

Outside, there was a display of unusual condoms in the window. One can't help but wonder what on Earth these are all supposed to do - besides the obvious protection of course!

I'm sure there were lots of other interesting, and probably bizarre, exhibits to explore, but we were with Anneka's father and his friend. Neither of them do staying put for two minutes, so we were being rushed around and didn't get to see much at all here. Perhaps when Anneka and I visit Amsterdam by ourselves we'll go back to this museum and have a chance to see the exhibits properly.

After here we went for a meal. Now when I'm in a different country I quite like to soak up the culture, meet the local people and try the local (vegetarian) cuisine... Anneka's father isn't really one for trying new food or anything unusal, so we ended up in an Italian restaurant where we had cheese pizza. It wasn't very good, and I voiced my displeasure about it. He responded by stating, rather confidently (and very incorrectly), that there was no such thing as Dutch cuisine. Dear readers, I give you this link... Also, has he never heard of Gouda?!

After we'd done eating, we had a brief wander through the red-light district. We'd expected it to be seedy and kinda gross, but it was actually not too bad. It still a bit strange though, walking by all these windows while a women wearing very little tries to entice you in. And fails, just in case you were wondering! After this, we went back to the hotel for a beer and then to sleep. Sunday was the day of the marathon and would be a very early start...

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