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This is a question Expensive Weekends

Chthonic says he's still reeling from a trip to a wedding that cost him nearly £600; while a friend of ours hazily presented his credit card to the bar staff in a shady club in the Baltic states. You know how that one ended.

(, Thu 13 May 2010, 13:03)
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Technically speaking, it wasn't a weekend, but I think it fits the spirit of the question quite nicely.

Last summer my good friend George and I went to see a japanese jazz band (Soil and "Pimp" Sessions, if you're interested, they're amazing) at the koko club in Camden. Naturally, for such an occasion, we dressed as pimps. We met an old friend of ours there, and his new girlfriend, one of those strange sorts of people who 'don't like jazz' and spent the whole evening not enjoying herself.

In sharp contrast, George and I did very much enjoy ourselves, and proceeded to get all the way down with the help of no small quantity of beer. It was a long set, but it still ended too soon, and elated, we made our way to a nearby sainsbury's to buy some cheap wine and see if we could make a night of it. We got chatting to a bloke in the queue, and by happy coincidence, he happened to be the band's tour manager.

We confessed our hearty appreciation, and he said that they were playing the North Sea Jazz festival in Rotterdam the next day, mentioning some other big jazz names that would make it worth our while.

George looked at me. I looked at George. I should mention at this point we had both been lucky enough to receive quite substantial inheritances at the beginning of the summer, and, while we were in agreement that we should be more or less sensible with how we spent them, the look we exchanged was not a sensible one.

'Do you wanna go to Rotterdam?'
'D'you know what? I think I might!'

And so, buzzing from the alcohol with hot jazz riffs bouncing off the possibilities in our heads, we went back to the girl who didn't like jazz's house and set about booking ourself an adventure.

Neither of us drive, so we both carry our passports with us for ID. We looked at lastminute.com; there were flights from London Stansted to Amsterdam at seven am the next morning. We had the means. We had the money. The stars aligned and spelled travel and excitement for my dear friend and I. The girl's brother was even kind enough to offer us a lift to Stansted there and then, although in hindsight maybe he just wanted to get these two pissed weirdos the fuck out of his house. Either way, fortune was smiling on us.

So it came to pass, with hangovers starting to kick in, that at seven o'clock in the morning, still dressed as by now slightly dishevelled pimps, the plane to jazzy goodness was sat on the runway with us sat in it. I hadn't slept. I felt rough as a saloon in a spaghetti western, but by goodness, was I excited!

In so far as we'd thought about it at all, we assumed that we'd have some breakfast in Amsterdam before seeing if we could get a train to Rotterdam and then try and blag our way into the festival. Not the best of plans, but we were too caught up with the wanderlust to really consider it rationally.

We did, as it turns out, manage to get some breakfast, but we still were hanging out of our arses. Being as were in Amsterdam, though, and no strangers to a nice little morning smoke to set up the day, we thought we could see a very pleasant solution to our hangover-based woes.

The pretty lady behind the counter in the Grasshopper asked us what we'd like in perfect english. What a wondrous place, we though, miles away from having some sketchy dude meet you in a public toilets telling you he's got 'the boomting, mate' and then giving you a little bag of leaves. This was definitely a good idea.

'Err, I guess we'll just have a few spliffs of white widow, then, we can always have the one now then smoke the rest later'.

I didn't really know what white widow was, but it sounded like something I wanted.

With casual arrogance befitting out age, we failed to take into account that something called 'white widow' might actually be quite a lot stronger than we were used to, and sure enough by the time we'd smoked most of one joint we had no choice to put it out. My god! I don't think I've ever been more stoned. I wasn't bothered by my hangover any more, but then I was pretty much not bothered by anything except how pretty the floral pattern on the chairs was. George, even more blase about it than I had been, was transfixed on the tv.

An hour later, it became clear to us there was no way we were going to Rotterdam. Mustering the huge energy it took to stand up, we thanked the kind pretty lady and left to do some gentle sightseeing.

Amsterdam is a beautiful city. Obviously, we checked out the red light district, and I can report that few things are odder than hundreds of beautiful women (and some less so. And some men in wigs) standing in windows wearing... well, not much and making sexy gestures at you when you're tripping balls. Later on, we'd have the whole 'well, I mean we could. Should we? We are in Amsterdam after all' conversation, deciding eventually against it, but at first I was pretty much lost for words. Outside of that, there are some lovely buildings and fascinating streets, tranquil canals, etc. There are also few cities where two incredibly baked teenagers dressed as pimps carrying a 'celebrate marijuana' unbrella we'd purchased can pass by almost completely unnoticed. I love that.

This has already become very self-indulgent, for which I apologise, so I will skip through the rest of a wonderful day to the part where we ended up on a pub crawl for tourists. I still hadn't slept. People were pouring shots down my throat. The other two spliffs we'd bought were still very much lingering in the system. in short, it was an utterly fantastic night. Probably the best thirty six hours I've ever had, before we caught the plane home at midday the nexy day, still drunk.

Money well spent.
(, Fri 14 May 2010, 20:45, 6 replies)
Nice story
love Amsterdam. Like an adult's playground.
(, Sat 15 May 2010, 0:17, closed)
Nicely written,
brings back lots of memories! I miss the Grasshopper.
(, Sat 15 May 2010, 9:33, closed)
I like this...
You're young, You're supposed to have adventures.. I hope there's no upper age limit on this..
(, Sat 15 May 2010, 13:45, closed)
I don't miss the 6 euro pints in the Grasshopper

(, Sun 16 May 2010, 14:26, closed)
The Grasshopper
is cool. The downstairs weed bit is fun but confusing when you try and leave. I remember walking in to the glass a couple of times.
(, Sun 16 May 2010, 16:39, closed)
The Grasshopper.
The gypsy toilet attendant in The Grasshopper gave me the fear after spending the afternoon in 'lost in amsterdam'.
(, Mon 17 May 2010, 16:57, closed)

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