Monday, September 26, 2005

Amsterdam part two

When we left off, I had just found my way out of the Red Light District after wandering around for what seemed like hours, but was in fact only a few minutes, my perception of time having been altered by a pot brownie.

I was heading back to the hostel, where I felt I would be safe, despite the pun of its name. In my present state, if something happened, I may not be able to handle it. Like what? Oh, like someone talking to me and expecting me to respond.

I remember coming to a busy intersection. People, cars, trams and bikes (God, the Dutch love their bikes!) were all moving at cross purposes. I thought "Oh...I don't think I can deal with this." With the hostel as my ultimate goal, I decided to take a little break and sit on a bench for a while.

It was while on the bench that I thought I could understand and interperate babytalk. John Hanlon, The Infant Whisperer. There was a father sitting with his fussy toddler on the bench next to mine, and in the midst of her crying, I suddenly realized I understood what she was saying. Even at the time I was lucid enough to know that not only can I not understand babytalk, but this child was probably crying in Dutch. But still, I heard her cry "Independent!" and looked over to see that she was trying to squirm her way out of her father's hold.

While I was enjoying my newfound ability, I was worried about sitting on the bench with my bag, which contained my camera (thank you again, Fenway Partners) and my videocamera. As I mentioned before, I was not up for any human interaction, and that included being the victim of a crime. I could see someone grabbing my bag, leaving me to say "Hey" some twenty seconds later. So, I set off for the hostel again, where I would be safe.

My sense of time was still distorted. My spatial perception (as opposed to my special perception) was a little off. Basically, I was fine with anything, so long as it didn't exist in time and space. Anything that did was troubling. Tram (the public transporation system) bells sounded like funeral bells tolling and I wanted to get away from them. Not just out of the way of the tram, but move to a completely different street. It was around this time that I decided that perhaps getting high while alone in a foreign city was not the brightest idea.

However, I decided to stop being so negative. It wasn't a good mindset, it wasn't going to help, and it's not why I decided to travel. So, anytime I had a negative thought, I would just turn it around to its positive opposite. Thus, I decided that getting high in a foreign city was a great idea. I thought this over several times, despite the evidence to the contrary.

Incredibly, I found my way back to the hostel without any trouble. I say "incredibly" because I couldn't find the Red Light District with a map while straight, but while high, I just walked, looked at a map once, realized I had to go left at the next major street, and was home. The power of positive thinking.

To be continued...

I hope this isn't boring you all yet. I know there's nothing more boring than listening to another person's drug story. Well, experimental film is more boring...and "modern" music that's just noise...and Lutheran masses. They're more boring. But in any case, I promise to wrap all this up soon, and get onto Paris, which is a city that rules like Napoleon was still around.

8 comments:

Iva Hanlon said...

Johnny, Love,
I am pleased that you came through this experience without any major problems. I think I just discovered some more grey hairs!
Mom

Carol said...

John, the one thing you never, ever are is boring. And if you ever find yourself in another pickle, just remember WWFLD? (what would Father Lewis do?)
Then do the opposite.

Anonymous said...

Now John, we don't call them 'masses'.
-andrea

Iva said...

I was tickled by Andrea's comment because that was one of the first things that popped into my mind...I don't think that the Lutherans have "Masses." Love you,
Mom

miss stambaugh said...

I believe Lutheran's used to have masses but they have been dumbed down to services - because they're SO boring! John, I'm worried about your mom reading all of this.

colette said...

hey john--

ben/cindi told me you were traveling and gave me you blog. thought I'd check in and see how things were going. I'm sure you won't disappoint!

Enjoy!
colette

Julie said...

Man, I'm never getting high with you, you go all paranoid! I agree with Carol's comment about Father Lewis, although I'm having a hard time picturing him looking for whores while all toked up. He'd probably give them the Abortion lecture.

the hanged man said...

My apologies to all my Lutheran friends for calling their services "masses," as well as refering to said services as boring. I had been visiting some of Paris´ most beautiful cathedrals, and I guess I was feeling my Catholic Pride.

Carol - we all know what Father Lewis would do: yell at someone in the confessional so loud that everyone in the church would hear.

--john