Tuesday 25 Aug
I got up yesterday morning early to ggo for a run, I haven't done any exercise in nearly a week and I feel disgusting, the food's not the healthiest either which isn't helping. The run was really good, it started off along the river we're camping on and then went through the neighbouring forrest and finished at the golf course that is next to the capsite. Its all so green up here, not a thing to remind me of the drought back home.
After the run we ate, packed up and got on the bus. It was a pretty long bus day and we didn't get into Amsterdam until the late afternoon. Kay helped pass the time by playing fluffy bunnies, a game where you force as many marshmellows in your mouth and say "X fluffy bunnies, ha, ha, ha". The first group put in a poor effort so I had a crack in the second. Just looking at jacks face full of marshmellows was extremely offputting and I almost lost it. But I held my stuff together to force 28 marshmellows into my mouth, winning the comp.
Befor we went to the campsite in Amsterdam we went to a Clog making and cheese tasting place. These guys were a crack up. First they showed us how they make there cheese and next they showed us the machine they use to make the clogs, it was pretty impressive, It just reminded me of a massive egg beater that he forced into the wood to carve out the foot holes.
We had about 30 minutes at camp to get changed and get everything ready for the night. Us blokes were ready in about 15 while the girls were still running around like headless chooks right upto the time when we were leaving.
The bus took us into town and Letty took us down the main drag and pointed out the basic sights. We were then given 20 minutes to grab something to eat before heading off for the nights amsterdam styled "entertainment".
Wednesday 26 Aug
First up on yesterday's schedule was a bike tour of Amsterdam. But first I went and sat in a cafe, a coffee one, and wrote my diary. I really enjoy doing this, sitting in a random cafe in a random city and typing for an hour.
The bike tour went all over Amsterdam, he showed us some of the interesting buildings and where the good drinking holes and coffee shops are. The whole place is flat and there is Bicycles everywhere. The city population in 750,000 and there are over a million bikes in the city. This isn't including the 25,000 bikes that are estimated to be in the canals. The only downer of the tour was that as I was tall i'd been nominated to stay at the back so that our guide knew when every1 was there. Oh that and I've done something to my foot. I really hurt it jumping down from the I Amsterdam sign. Half way along the bike ride we did bump into some pretty funny people. In the park were three guys who'd had a bit too much to drink and I think a little too much to smoke singing "what shall we do with a drunken soldier" at the top of there voice, they were pretty funny.
The bike tour set off at 1130 and finished at 1. I spent the next 3 hours wandering around trying to find a bank that would sell cash to my credit card. I wasn't having much luck. It seems the dutch are very cautionary about these things. I'd find somewhere that would take my credit card and then they'de insist on using the pin. My card doesn't have a pin and i've been using it all over Europe but the dutch wont let me use it because it doesn't have a pin. Hopefully it works in London tomorrow. Because otherwith i've got 10 EU in cash until I get to Austria next monday. Its a pain in the ass. I can buy anything except cash.
At one particular exchange there was a guy there asking the same question. He had the idea to go to the casino and buy chips and then cash them out straight away. He couldn't come as he didn't have his passport which is what you need to get into the place. I got him to take me to the front door. He stopped and asked me if I could get some cash out for him aswell and handed me his credit card.
I was pretty hesitant at first but figured if he was cool with it i'd give it a crack. George and I signed in and went up stairs to buy some chips with a strangers black credit card that doesn't require a pin or a signature. I tried with my credit card first and hit the same needing a pin problem. I then tried his card they swiped it and then I asked me for ID. I sort of froze up. I said, "ah its not my card" she asked whose it was. I said "its ah, my friends, he's waiting outside." she just looked at me. I ended up leaving and walking outside. I was worried that I was going to get grabbed by some bouncers on the way out. I told the guy what happened and he started peaking, and set off for his hostel to grab his passport so he could go get his credit card.
Feeling pretty disheartened about the cash flow situation I went back to camp and lay down. I had a bit of a reality check. It could be a heap worse I still have my passport and my health. In got up and got changed and went back into town rather then moping around the camp.
I hung out in the city for a bit and then went and sat at the nemo waiting for everyone else. The nemo is a massive bar on top of a Museum. The whole building is shaped like a giant sinking ship and has a pretty cool view of the city.
We had a drink and then started walking to where we were having tea. We ate at a floating restaurant a giant 3 story joint called the sea palace. There was so much food and the chinese was great, we ate maybe a third of what was put infront of us.