Travel Update 13 - Rotterdam

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aussiepoida's avatar

Hello Everyone,

I have made it safely to Rotterdam :-) .... or should I say :-|

Firstly, let me just say that I quite like the city - it reminds me a lot of Perth. Everything is newish and clean, there are lots of nice buildings with nice architecture and the streets are very easy to navigate due to all the memorable buildings, statues and bridges.

Secondly - There are NO Australian, New Zealand, English, American or Canadian people in the hostel I'm staying in.

The people here seem to be from only 4 nations

:bulletred: The French - all of which are constantly stoned and not a lot of fun at all.
:bulletred: The Italians - all of which are traveling as couples and speak virtually no english
:bulletred: The Japanese - There are 7 or 8 Japanese guys traveling together, all of which have come freshly from the Gay Pride Parade in Amsterdam. I came to this realisation after trying to chat to them for a few minutes (they speak vertually no English).... one of them was perticularly keen in me. I'm not happy... I'm trying to avoid them now :-|
:bulletred: The Chinese whom speak no English.

I guess what I'm saying is as follows - there is no one to chat to here!!! Which is a stark contrast to the fun times I had chatting to other Hostelers in 'Den Haag', 'Amsterdam', and perticularly 'Haarlem'.

I'm staying here for 3 nights (which I paid for in advance) and truth be told, I will probably spend most of that time just lazing in the hostel (avoiding the Japanese guys) reading.

There are a few things in my agenda though, which are as follows -

:bulletgreen: The Rotterdam Photography museum - I love photography, but have never been to a photography museum I actually enjoyed. I'll try my luck here - I might be lucky.

:bulletgreen: The Euro-Tower - this is Rotterdams talest structure at 185m. You can go up there and see the city from above. It should be fun :-)

:bulletgreen: Kinderdijk Windmills - This will be a daytrip (probably on Sunday) to the Netherlands most famous strip of windmills. There are 19 windmills in a row along a canal. Its a very tourist place, but should be nice to see.

:bulletgreen: Buy Deodorant - I ran out of deodorant last night. Luckily I am not a stinky guy (usually) but I will still have to venture into one of the stores around here to pick up some.

I found out this morning that there is a 'Dance Parade' happening in the City tomorrow. This is said to be similar to the 'Love Parade' in Berlin and the 'Street Parade' in Zurich... but not as big. Last year 350,000 people turned up even though it was raining... that being said, rain is forcast for tomorrow as well :-)
I'm hopeful that the parade will make my stay in Rotterdam a little more interesting.

Changes are I will write another Journal entry while I am here... there is little else to do, especially since it is raining constantly.

Traveling alone can be fun - it really is great to meet new people from around the world - this is not happening here however... not yet anyway.

The most fun I've had here so far was a conversation I had with a School Principle from Amsterdam whom was staying at the hostel to visit his daughter that works in the Bar there. We had a couple of beers and discussed politics and such. He was a nice fella, around the age of 60.

Anyway, I've said about enough :-) I hope you are all well, and I will keep you informed of any developments. I'm quite curious about this dance parade tomorrow.

Cheers :wave:


Previous Journal Entries
:bulletred: The Stage is Set on Apr 16, 2004
:bulletred: Just a little notice on Apr 30, 2004
:bulletred: Travel Update 01 - Singapore/Switzerland on May 7, 2004
:bulletred: Travel Update 02 - Switzerland on May 11, 2004
:bulletred: Travel Update 03 - Switzerland on May 18, 2004
:bulletred: Travel Update 04 - Switzerland on Jun 2, 2004
:bulletred: Travel Update 05 - Switzerland/Germany on Jul 5, 2004
:bulletred: Travel Update 06 - Switzerland on Jul 6, 2004
:bulletred: Travel Update 07 - Switzerland on Jul 22, 2004
:bulletred: Travel Update 08 - Switzerland (Plus Plans) on Jul 31, 2004
:bulletred: Travel Update 09 - Belgium - Antwerp on Aug 6, 2004
:bulletred: Travel Update 10 - Den Haag/Amsterdam on Aug 7, 2004
:bulletred: Travel Update 11 - Amsterdam on Aug 9, 2004
:bulletred: Travel Update 12 - Haarlem on Aug 12, 2004


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donniebrasco's avatar
travell update 13 on friday the 13th ooooooooooo scary
aussiepoida's avatar
I didnt even notice :-)

....and yes it is.... Scary.... :paranoid:
donniebrasco's avatar
so, as said I'l be seeing you at 2.20pm? on friday, we'll be hanging out around ieper, not that big, but hey, we can spend few hours here :p then I'll take you to the beach which isn't that far, is there a coasttown up here you'd like to see? name few if you have some, we can see which one will be best for us to go to still, on saturday we'll be doingthe salient tour if you're still up to that of course, and for sure we'll figure out some more things to do, we'll also browse trough some tarantino movies ;) and on sunday we're going to a brewery ;)
yes on sunday I have to go to work again so I would ask you kindly to leave then and if you don't listen I'll kick you out hehe :D I release my wild evil dog on you :p
no seriously, if it's a problem for you I can keep you hanging around here another night, but I won't be around the evening and the morning since I will be sleeping.
so I'll see you the 20th
take care and enjoy the parade in rotterdam you sexy man you :D

aussiepoida's avatar
You are a man of many questions and much sexyness :giggle:

Seriously though, I have not got my Belgian travel guide here with me at the internet cafe, so I cannot tell you specifics. There will be a few things that will interest me in your area, dont worry :-) As long as it ends in us going to a brewery I'm happy :D

I'm ok to leave on Sunday - the guy I'm supposed to be staying with does not mind if I arrive then :-)

Cheers mate :-)

iagen's avatar
* :laughing: about the Japanese guys *

You sexy man, you. :ohmygod:

aussiepoida's avatar
I've been known to turn a gay head or two.... and to get men to loose control of their damn pinching fingers from time to time :D if only I had the same effect on women :no:

Cheers :wave:

Piolvan's avatar
I'm happy to see not everyone in the world speak english !! :)

So the French are constantly stoned ? :D Some people you've thought they were French were probably Belgian too...

Yeah, in Netherlands, it's true they're a lot of stoned french people, no doubt about it, you're absolutely right ; a few days ago I've seem a documentary about french people in Holland... I was ashamed... All of this because of the drugs in fact. The whole country is polluted by the narcotraffic ; you already know in Holland "soft" drugs (marijuana, cannabis...etc) are allowed by the law (you can buy it BUT you can sell it too) so it's a major "reserve" for all the other european countries... What - in my opinion - is worst is that in Holland a new law authorizes the transport of 3 kilograms (not more) of soft AND hard drugs (cocaine, heroine and others) without being judged in a court. The Dutch jails were too full of dealers so they had to "soften" the laws and authorize in fact the traffic. It's a shame, it has been a scandal all over euoprean countries, then french president Chirac (although I really don't always agree with him) declared that Netherlands were a "narco-state" for allowing the drug circulation... So french people go to Holland to load tons of drugs and redistrubute it all over the country. France is the country in Europe where people smokes more marijuana than in other country for example ; so Holland is a paradise not too far... and for the hardest narcotrafficants it is like a wonderful supermarket of cocaine, heroine, lsd... and so on... In addition, Rotterdam is the biggest harbour in the world with lots of "goods" of all sorts, so it's the source of all... such a shame that a government authorizes such laws... don't we blind our eyes, there's a major problem of drug in that country which affects mine and let a poor image of my compatriots... :D

You imagine that if you were in France, they're will be less stoned people because all kind of drugs are prohibited. Trafficants and dealers (when caught) keep on going to jail with 0,2 g or with 3 kg of cocaine... So the reality in Netherlands isn't the reality of the whole globe I think. Because you're not living in Europe, you may not know that Netherlands is considered as a particular country with lot of innovations, some are very good some aren't at all... it's like a "test country"... I'm not saying that Holland is total crap, no. They're some beautiful places and the people are nice and especially open-minded in general (they're a lot to go to France in summer, so I did talk with them many times).

I'm not an anti-all but hard drugs traffic is a crime in my opinion, not only an "public health issue" like dutch government try to explain to justify the recent laws.

Ok, I'm not sure I have been totally clear so if you want me to make precisions, no problem.

Keep on writng, I'm reading (here is a proof !!)

aussiepoida's avatar

This is quite amusing, and I certainly respect what you are saying. Whenever I talk to a Dutch person, the topic of the French coming to the Netherlands to get drugs always comes up :-) Its quite intersting to see your opinion on this topic.

Its quite interesting that only 5% of the Dutch population actually smoke weed, yet close to 15% of the French population do so in France, even though its illegal. The Dutch seem to look at the French (tourists) as people that simply cant control themselfs when it comes to drugs.... they do not seem to be able to use stuff sensibly.

When it comes down to it, the French and the Dutch are very different people, and it would be impossible to create laws that accommodate them both.... The Dutch know how to have a good, and usually safe time, with drugs... the real problem are the tourists that dont, and you cant really ask them to change their laws, simply because of the people that visit their country.

Anyway, enough drug talk - I certainly see your point :-)


Piolvan's avatar
Hello !

In my opinion, there're no accomodations to do with the drugs problems, whenever you're French, Dutch, Chinese or Senegalese... I'm talking about a law that authorizes the transport of 3 kg of drugs (hard or soft, it's not only weed) without being judged in a court ! You only get an amend and that's all. Can you imagine 3 kgs : it counts in million of dollars ; with 3 kg you can supply a whole city ! That law authorizes the traffic. We're not talking about candies here... I find very "hypocrite" (I know that these are not your own words) to say that "oh, let me tell you, we're only 5% of the population to use drugs in Holland whereas in France they're 15 %... we're good people, we have no problem with that, we know how tu use drugs"... etc. The only fact that's real is that this same good people make money, pollute all Europe with their shit and dare to tell "well, the Frenchs, the Germans (and so on) don't control themselves". So what, to punish the consummer or the seller ? If they were no sellers, no possibility of traffic (and beleive : what a juicy traffic !) in this country, they won't be bad french people not controlling themselves with "good old Dutch products" made and sold by orange angels full of peace... I want to insist : these laws don't apply only with weed but had drugs, it's not like in a fairy tale... Another thing : the porcentages are facticious. 'Cause in France, I'm talking about what I know I'm not sure in other countries, they're much more than 15% that smokes weed for example (40% would be the right proportion). I'm pretty sure that not only 5% of the dutch population uses drugs too.

I don't like the idea that the country which is selling drugs and fully profit of that special trade comes to say "You are bad people ! You don't know how... etc". It's not fair. It reverses the problem. That's my opinion. I'm a french person, and not a total idiot (I think :D ) and not ready for consumming tons of weed of cocaine just because as every french I can't control myself... We're not animals and I find "insulting" to be compared to dumbheads. I've already been to Netherlands and 5 minutes after walking on dutch ground they were already 3 guys who wanted to sell me drugs, I wore no big french flag t-shirt on me, I did not have any panel in my right hands with "I want drugs" written on it...
It's not only the famous "Coffee Shops" in Holland, it's LSD-shops, heroine-shops, cocaine-shops, crack-shops in the streets too... This is exactly what irritates me the most, when you're talking drugs with the Dutch people, they're only talking about cannabis as if they were trying to hide the real problem of the hard drugs. I'm not for example especially against laws that decriminalize cannabis, but hearing that we could eventually have a good and usually safe time with cocaine sounds very weird to my french dumb head... Ok, it seems that I don't control myself with the words too... ah the Froggies... very bad... :D
In a few words : you can't include in a same law drugs like cannabis and drugs like heroines. That's what happened in Netherlands.

I have to say that it's not you I'm attacking, so please don't take this words for you. It's only an opinion and I don't want to be juged for that. The drug problem in Holland isn't only a french matter whatever you'll be hearing in Netherlands. It's a general european problem with a country that has part of the same history and the same money of its neighbors. So I just wanted to show things are not so simple when you live in Europe and we have lots of different opinion on such sensible problem. Hope you don't take that for you again !!

A bientôt ('see you') :bye:
aussiepoida's avatar
You certainly made some very good points there mate, and I certainly cannot argue with you about most of them. I'm not offended and dont feel attacked, so dont worry :-)

The fact thqt you have put in so much effort to type up your views really shows me that you feel strongly about this subject.... I certainly wont put you in the same category as the french people I have met on this trip.

Cheers mate

Piolvan's avatar
No problem :) I enjoy reading your "travel updates". And you've got the right to critic because you're the one who see what's happening in fact so...

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