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After 48 hours roaming the streets of Amsterdam, smelling like BO and looking like an actual hobo (oh, the irony), I’ve headed east via a 14 hour overnight train to Prague. I essentially slept the entire way, with occasional and bizarre wake-ups to the realization I’m in Frankfurt or Berlin. The only conversation I had with anyone on the train was a middle aged couple from Arkansas who were sleeping in the compartment next door. The female half of the couple asked me if I was a photographer because of “that real big camera I had,” and then after I turned down their invitation to have a beer in their compartment, I overheard her loudly tell her husband or boyfriend, “I don’t like him. I think he’s anti-social or something.”

Anyway, so now I’m here, dreary eyed from the indescribably weird experience that is two days alone in Amsterdam: Wandering from cafe to cafe and trying to my daily indieWIREing in the midst of clouds of pot that inadvertently seemed to get me pretty high; Sleeping on the houseboat of a friend of a friend of a friend – who, as it turned out, was not only incredibly hospitable – but shared BOTH of my Dutch middle names, Marinus and Johannes, but in the reverse order; Wondering how I could possibly be of 100% Dutch descent when everyone is literally a foot taller than me; Walking the night streets to many random encounters with strange, drunk Dutch people – the most interesting example in a one gay man/straight girl pair that came up to me on the street and said “they must show me the real Amsterdam,” which resulted in a unsettling two hour walking tour, with her blackout hammered and telling me in broken English about how she once “fucked a Canadian man and it was the best sex she ever had”; and him, a good twenty years my senior, getting more and more touchy until eventually I said I was going to the bathroom but took off down the street. But at least I got to the see the real Amsterdam…

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