One item off my bucket list …

Reached Amsterdam. Changed some USD for EUROs. USD depreciated against EURO significantly. What’s happening to the USD? It’s approximately 0.75USD for 1 EURO.

Coffeeshop Central. First coffeeshop that I encountered. Asked the cashier which is good for beginners. He pointed at the leftmost flowers. And he said that minimum order is 10 EURO. The leftmost xxxx is about 4.50 EURO per gram. I read that one gram is crazy for first-timers and for short transit time like mine. I did the maths. Hmmm. I should take something that is expensive so that I finish up the one gram. I pointed at the rightmost xxxx. The cashier shook his head and said that they are very strong. I deliberated and chose something in the middle – White Russian. The cashier weight it up, packed it in a small transparent envelope and took my money.

I walked away from the counter and wondered how do I smoke this exactly? I approached a guy and asked and he needed to be going. So I saw these 2 guys at this table and explained that it’s my first time and could they show me how to do it? One of them said wait and then proceeded to roll up a jxxxx for me. I smoked it. Didn’t feel anything at all. During this time, I chatted with the 2 guys. They are from Paris. 18 and 19 years old. Cousins. They took a 7 hour bus ride to Amsterdam for fun – weed and sex (the French referred to it as “happy at night”) and ?. One of them is a chocolate maker and the other works the equipment in his parent’s cinema / theatre.

I was done with the first jxxxx. I made a clumsy attempt to make my second, after my learning by observation stint. My effort was pathetic. The 2 guys laughed and took a photo of it and helped me to roll my second one. Again, it was done expertly (what do these guys do man? Anyhow, I’m grateful to them for their expertise, otherwise, I wouldn’t have been able to enjoy the stuff). Anyhow, they saw that I was smoking in the wrong way and taught me the correct technique. Oh boy. After 2 smokes, the effect of White Russian kicked in, almost immediately. After the third, I was gone or stoned (did I use this word appropriately?).

Words to describe this experience: everything slowed down (It’s like this scene in Matrix where bullets from guns flew towards the good guys. As the bullets approached them, it crawled and they deftly avoided the bullets). I zoned in and out. It was like in Bermuda, when I was horribly pissed after red wine, white wine, beer, 2 hand genrades, etc – it was like that multiplied by 10 times (totally arbitrary) the intensity.  When I talk, I sounded weird. Things look differently. They seemed clearer. I seemed trapped in time. My mind was fucked up. I wanted to lie down and zzz. I couldn’t think properly. I was also thinking “Fuck. This is how I feel when I cross off a bucket list item; should I attempt another bucket list item?” and “Thank God for Lee Kwan Yew when he banned drugs in the country; we can’t have stoners or potheads in the country – no one will be working anymore!”

The 2 French, I noticed, kinda behaved differently when I was (higher than) high. Perhaps, they wised up and saw that I was stoned and the stoned Joseph was so different than when he was sober. Anyhow, they left shortly. I gave them my remnants of the jxxxx and xxxx – no thanks.

Anyhow, I kept thinking about how fucked up I was and I don’t want to miss the bloody flight to Chicago because of my stupidity. I got up from the high chair, picked up my backpack and left. Crossing the roads is kinda tricky. I picked someone ahead of me to be my “guide”. I followed them for safety. Finally, I reached the Centraal Station. I got lost and couldn’t locate the train to the airport. I had to ask this guy wearing a blue jacket with a big ‘I” in a circle embossed/printed on it. He said 13a. I rushed towards 13a. Once in the carriage, I didn’t trust myself and asked another person whether this train goes to the airport. After she recovered from her fright (she was startled when I tapped her shoulder/arm), she said “Yes”. There was this Asian looking guy who sat 2-3 rows ahead of me and he was staring at me. Kwa simi kwa? (singlish for “see what see?” or “What the hell are you staring at?”). I was shortly in my infant position throughout the ride. I heard announcements that the next stop is the airport. The monitor in front showed the airport as well. I got off. Not trusting myself, I asked another person whether this is the station for the airport. He said yes. Another thing, people sound very funny/weird when they talk.

Everything was a blur. I rested at this bench for eternity. Then I passed immigration with great trepidation. What if I was discovered and sent to a room for interrogation? Thank God, I cleared immigration. When I took the escalator up the next level, 2 police/security officials walked past me with 2 huge dogs sniffing at me. After the 2 dogs left me, I was thinking “Oh God, they do suspect me after all. So glad that I didn’t bring any back with me.”

There was a convenience store with 2 long rectangular tables (with no chairs). I rested my head there for eternity. Saw a blonde woman standing diagonally across me. She stared at me and came over asking “Are you all right?” I told her I was stoned from xxxx. She asked whether she can help. I asked her whether she can buy water for me and I reached out for my wallet. She called the cashier at the convenience stand to attend to me. I got my water. I walked away from the stand and drank half a bottle of water. And puked. Torrent of puke rushed through my throat. Gagged. I was disgusted with the puke and myself. I walked away and … puked again. (hmmm, why do people puke again? I need to read up on this. I don’t know. But I always associate puking with the cleansing of nasty substance in the body). So, puke count was 2. During each time, I stood at a spot and filthy (actually, it’s rather clear as I had hardly eaten anything) vomit just steamed down. The process seemed to take forever and I heard some people spitting “Chin” at me while doing so. Anyhow, I was terribly weaken and went to a corner just in case I need to puke some more.

A security / operations woman approached me and asked if I was all right. “No”. “What happened?” “I had too much xxxx.” “Do you want to see a doctor?” “No. I don’t want to miss my flight.” “What time is your flight?” “11.40am boarding time.” Then she did this walkie talkie conversation with presumably someone from the first aid department in the airport. She asked questions like “at what time have you last eaten?” “When did you have xxxx?” “How old are you?” After some discussion which again seemed like eternity in a my squatting position, hands hugging my legs, the woman told me “You have another 1.5 hours before boarding, let’s bring you to see a doctor.” “Okay.” She walkie talkied and a guy came shortly. He took a wheelchair (it’s really funky one, blue and does not look like one). I went up on it and he wheeled me through this path straight ahead, left and right, up and down a lift. I finally reached the First Aid department, identified it by a room with a red box with a white cross in the middle (wait. Is it the other way round?).

A woman’s upper board came out of this office/box and boomed at me “What did you do?” “The airline wouldn’t allow you to board the flight in this condition. There’s nothing we can do. You can drink orange juice, rest a bit and man up! (was that man up a figment of my imagination?) Hopefully, you will feel better to board the flight.” End of prognosis. Time to man up. My chauffeur was waiting for me. I climbed aboard and he asked “where do I want to go?” I said “somewhere which serves orange juice.” He mentioned this “bar” which is just next to the first aid department and very far away from gate F which was my departure gate. I said “No, I need to be near gate F. I don’t want to be walking from now all the way to gate F.” Anyhow, eventually, he brought me to another convenience stand, checked that they sold orange juice, informed me and I bought a bottle. I drank up and … puked again. The (horrified) patient man wheeled me to gate G as it’s just outside a toilet. The previous security / operations woman came back to me and said that she will be keeping an eye on me from time to time before boarding time. I rested / slept. Woke up twice. Each time, the woman asked how I were. Anyhow, the second time she asked me that, I kinda recovered. Most of the nasty experience left me. I felt sober. I touched her right hand and thanked her and said that I need to get moving (to my gate).

The queue for the USA security check was pretty long. I rested my head and body against the flimsy railings. Got through the security check  and finally boarded the flight. I kind of slept throughout the 9 hour flight. Another 9 hours later (after a steaming hot udon noodles with tempura at a Japanese restaurant and plenty of orange juice”), here I am, typing this anecdote.

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