This past weekend I disappeared off the face of the earth, or in other words: Went to Amsterdam. This is definitely me and my friend’s most hair brained scheme as we went out on a night out then headed to Amsterdam STRAIGHT AFTER, but surprisingly, it all went quite smoothly. Although my body officially hates me as I spent the weekend living off Grape Fanta and carbs which left me feeling ill on the train back. But this is what I learned on my weekend away:
1) Catching a Mega Bus straight after a night out is never fun.
So my friend and I left our night out at 2:00am and we were feeling pretty smug as we had plenty of time to get back to mine and have a shower before catching the Mega Bus to London at quarter to five. Fast forward two hours and I we were sat shivering at a bus stop trying desperately not to fall asleep, and the Mega Bus was also late, naturally.
We arrived in London at 8:00am so the only I got was on the Megabus and let me tell you something, being curled up on a cramped seat with your head banging against a freezing cold window is not the one if you want to wake up feeling fresh and not like the world is ending. When my friend looked at me when she woke up her actual words to me were ”Oh my God Zoe, are you alright? You look ill” and I saw her point when I went to the toilets and saw I’d gone the same colour as Marilyn Manson which is worrying since I’m mixed race and I looked like I’d been punched in the face as the bags under my eyes were that big.
2) Double checking your tickets always helps.
We had to catch two Eurostars, one was from London to Brussells where we then got off before getting a train to Amsterdam. My friend asked what time the train to Amsterdam was and I breezily said ”Twenty past three!” without bothering to check the ticket. Of course, the fact we were going to have to wait over an hour for a connecting train didn’t strike me as odd, but it was only ten minutes before our train was due to leave that we checked our tickets to discover we had a small amount of time to get to our train; the result was two girls sprinting through Brussel’s train station like Usain Bolt on crack cocaine. The moral of the story? Double check your tickets. Especially if you’re running on three hours sleep because you were dumb enough to get a Megabus to London straight after a night out.
3) Remember Stranger Danger.
So we arrived in Amsterdam with no more major dramas and later that evening we were sat in a…bar in the red light district. An Italian guy called Pierre came over and asked if he could sit with us and we were like ”Sure!” and we were all talking and he informed us that he was in Sheffield (Our hometown) the day before because he does business in the UK, and he often stops off in Amsterdam overnight before going back to Italy. Anyway, later on he asked to take a picture of us to send to his friend in Sheffield and in my mind I went ”OMG, THIS IS LIKE TAKEN WHEN THE FRENCH GUY TAKES THE PICTURE OF THOSE TWO GIRLS TO SEND TO THE SEX TRAFFICKERS WHO KIDNAP THEM”, and then when he mentioned going to a Chinese restaurant called Walk to Wok I thought ”OMG, IF WE LEAVE THIS PLACE WITH HIM THEN HE’S GOING TO TAKE US TO THOSE KIDNAPPERS!”.
So when he went to the bar to get some chocolate milk and I turned to my friend and told her my thoughts in an impressive two minutes which led to her going very quiet before telling me were going. The reality? He probably wasn’t going to sell us to sex traffickers in Amsterdam but I’d rather be suspicious of people and free than trusting and in the window of an Amsterdam brothel.
4) Hostels are not places for a good nights sleep.
Remember my blog post a few months ago where I mentioned I was going to be in a shared room with ten people? Well, it wasn’t THAT bad. The first night was fine because we were the first ones in bed and we just passed out, but we were awoken in the middle of a night by someone snoring REALLY LOUDLY but we soon fell asleep again. The next night we were the last ones to bed and oh my god, the person who was snoring sounded like a monster. He literally snored so loud that he caused himself to choke a little bit before coughing and then turning over and starting to snore again. I had more sleep on the three hour bus ride to London than in the hostel that night.
5) Customs will spot you a mile off.
Ok, this technically isn’t in Amsterdam but it is part of the trip. We arrived back in London on Sunday night and must have looked very suspicious with our wild eyes with huge bags under them, ruffled hair whilst clutching our bags as customs made a bee line straight for us and demanded to see our tickets and passports. When they asked where we had come from I actually thought ”Oh, great. This is going to go down well” as I said ”Amsterdam”, and then I was asked what we did there and I just said ”Erm…..touristy stuff?” and the woman gave me a long look before she said ”You are aware you can’t bring things back” and I swear to God I was certain she was going to get the sniffer dogs out and start frisking me, but thankfully she let me go when I just said ”Yeah, that’s fine” and slopped off/