Wednesday, November 20, 2013

European City #2 - Amsterdam

EDITOR'S NOTE THE LG REPORT is normally a family-friendly blog.  We know that many of you read it aloud to your children as a bedtime story.  And while this is certainly encouraged and wholly appropriate in most instances, today's post contains some adult material from another culture (The Netherlands), so we ask that you exercise appropriate parental discretion (e.g. tell your rugrats to go play X-Box Call of Duty: Kill Everyone in Sight and eat a box of  chocolate Pop Tarts while you relax and get your European culture on.  Our nation thanks you.  
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Today The LG Report takes you to Amsterdam, the second stop on LG's and Mrs. LG's recent European vacation.

Amsterdam, the Netherlands' largest city, is a very liberal enclave. It's legal to smoke pot and hash in "coffee shops," which are actually low-level drug dens (most don't serve any coffee at all).  But customers are surprisingly well-behaved from what LG hears; of course he didn't go into one...as far as you know.

Prostitution is also legal in Amsterdam.  In the city's Red Light District girls stand in small, neon-lit storefronts visually advertising their wares to potential customers.  However, it's considered rude for tourists, or anyone else for that matter, to snap photos of these women, so LG complied with decorum -- even though certain readers of The LG Report (yes, you...) probably would've preferred a glimpse or two.

Here for your viewing pleasure is a sampling of LG's photos from Amsterdam:

This is the luxury motorcoach that carried LG and Mrs. LG through five countries (of course, it was only the equivalent of going from Washington D.C. to Cleveland or thereabouts).  There was a bathroom on board but, as Mareka our tour guide said, "Only to be used in emergencies."  Some of the male riders (not LG) had post-lunch beer emergencies along the way. None of the people pictured had any idea that they'd be featured on an internationally-prominent blog.  The empty seats represent people who were still getting stoned in the coffee shops at breakfast.   

This, believe it or not, is a food vendor at a rest area on the highway between Brussels and Amsterdam.  Note the wide variety of fresh ingredients and the distinctive lack of pre-made fried meals.  Not a Happy Meal in sight.   And you couldn't supersize your lunch here even if you wanted to. Disturbing, no?

The Dutch, like most Europeans, favor the eco-friendly and efficient transportation provided by bicycles. This is just one of many bike parking areas in Amsterdam.  What you might not realize is that the owners of these bikes got too high in the coffee shops and couldn't remember where they parked their bikes.  Amsterdam locals generally just buy a new bike each week.  LG would like to own the Schwinn and Fritos distributorships in Amsterdam.

This is a building in the Amsterdam's harbor (LG didn't bother learning the actual name of the body of water so let's just go with Amsterdam Harbor and if anyone Googles it to correct him, so be it) .  It was built to look like a ship.  Contrast this with boats on Amsterdam's canals built to look like houses.  LG guesses that the architects and design professionals visit the coffee shops a lot while working.


This is a famous bridge in Amsterdam.  Again, LG didn't bother learning the actual name (there's an art to being an Ugly Amerian Tourist) so let's just call it the George Washington Bridge.  That's probably close to accurate.  

This is another building in Amsterdam Harbor.  It was designed to look like a cross between a flying saucer, a can opener and a seagull.  It might house an art museum but LG isn't certain.  Hey, what do you expect from a free travelogue on The LG Report, accuracy?!

Here you see a canal-side street in Amsterdam.  The Anne Frank House is along one of these streets but LG did not take a tour (you apparently have to purchase tickets months in advance unless you're Justin Bieber).  People sometimes drive their bikes or cars into the canal after a long night at the coffee shop, hence the mostly-decorative protective railing.  US insurance companies would insist on higher and stronger railings.  Just an observation. 

That's Jim in the foreground.  He's a very nice guy from Upstate New York which, coincidentally, has a town named Amsterdam.  It must be karma.  Jim was hoping to be featured on The LG Report, it's a dream come true for him, although he's playing it very cool.  You can't see it, but the guy on the right is reading a brochure for Rogaine Foam.  These are typical canal tour boats but not typical canal tourguide comments.
  
This is a ship that looks suspiciously like Old Ironsides in Charlestown, Massachusetts.  Since LG didn't bother learning the ship's real name (continuing theme), let's just call it Old Ironsides.  See, U.S. culture does have a big impact around the world!






This is another city street.  The people on those benches are probably high out of their minds. They most likely just finished shoplifting some Yodels.  But the houses are nice in the background.  Those people will probably break into them later in search of drug money.



This is a tower in Amsterdam. The blue ball on top was a gift from the people of Elkhart, Indiana to symbolize the importance of the Indiana state high school basketball tournament and how parents like to get high and drink Crown Royal in the parking lot before big games.  No, wait, LG just made that up, you're busted!.  But the tower is, in fact, located in Amsterdam.  You can figure out the rest of its significance on your own.  That's what Google is for people.  Leave LG alone. 


This is Amsterdam's version of the London Eye.  It's erected twice a year as part of some fair that LG couldn't hear the tour guide describe because LG was too far in back of the tour group busily looking around for the Red Light District.  For cultural reasons, of course.

 You probably haven't seen or referred to a "headshop" since you were 17.  Amsterdam may bring back some memories (or lack thereof) for you. 

Amsterdam is a polite city.  Bar owners would like to gently remind you not to grope women's breasts in their bars. Or, possibly, this sign is reminding people not to wave hello to breasts in the bar.  Or maybe it's asking patrons to refrain from high-fiving breasts. Better safe than sorry; just avoid doing any of the three.        

 

This is a condom shop.  The picture pretty much speaks for itself, you didn't need this explanation, did you?  What are you doing still reading down here, you should be examining the hanging condoms and thinking how disgusting (or amusing) they are.  Hey, it's all part of the culture, open your mind!  

 
Same condom shop but with an artsy-looking (and therefor respectable) mannequin.  And we do mean MANnequin.  Ah, and look in the lower left, everyone's favorite comic book superhero, Condoman, providing protection for everyone! We hear that Charlie Sheen is starring in the movie version. 

This was the view from the third row of the bus on the way out of Amsterdam at 6:30 am.  Roads were already jammed.  Next stop Heidelberg, Germany.  Check back soon for pictures from that fine city!

PS And if you're not a follower of The LG Report, please consider becoming one.  The LG Report is trying to pass the 200 follower mark and is tantalizingly close.  You could be the one to push us over the line...

Thanks for stopping by!





4 comments:

  1. Cool pics :) I have some inappropriate comments to make.

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  2. This was, without a doubt, the most interesting (& at the same time, the least informative) tour I have ever taken!!

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  3. Naked men and condoms! Yeah! That's all you got? That's like my regular Saturday night.

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  4. And now I can both add Amsterdam and then cross off Amsterdam from my bucket list. I feel a second hand high coming on and need to go root around in the kitchen for some chips.

    Cool pics, and for the record, I prolly would have had a name for every one of those condoms!

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