Chapter 7 - Respect The Weed


I arrived in Amsterdam on our way back from Egypt in late November 1996. I was with two friends, Linda from Sweden & Joyce a stoner from Australia who we had met in Turkey. A lot of the other guys that were travelling with us had now gone their separate ways. Some had gone home and some went straight to London to find work. Amsterdam was cold, wet and we were broke after all our travelling. We had planned to meet our friend Doug there a few days later. He had to get a different flight as he was over 30 and couldn't use the dodgy student cards to get the cheap flights we got.

 

I arrived in Amsterdam on our way back from Egypt in late November 1996. I was with two friends, Linda from Sweden & Joyce a stoner from Australia who we had met in Turkey. A lot of the other guys that were travelling with us had now gone their separate ways. Some had gone home and some went straight to London to find work. Amsterdam was cold, wet and we were broke after all our travelling. We had planned to meet our friend Doug there a few days later. He had to get a different flight as he was over 30 and couldn't use the dodgy student cards to get the cheap flights we got.

We stayed in a hostel in the center of Amsterdam. It was full of young Canadians and Americans who were over for the Cannabis Cup. The hostel smelt like 20 skunks had just sprayed the place down. There were clouds of smoke bellowing around every corner. It was stoner central.

We had some breakfast (scrambled eggs and bread, not toasted) in the smoke filled communal dining area. Breakfast was included in the price of the hostel. The scrambled egg was dished out of a huge pot by some strange looking African dude with one eye and his buddy next to him was handing out two slices of dry bread to everyone in the line. It was like a scene out of a World War II movie.

We then took a stroll around Amsterdam, checked out a few museums etc...and then hit a bar for a few drinks. After that, we decided to check out the Bob Marley Cafe, after hearing some great reports about it from some of the stoners in the hostel.

I quite fancied myself as a hardcore smoker after smoking some crappy weed in Greece, Turkey, Israel & Egypt. O Boy, was I in for a rude awakening.

The three of us huddled into a corner seat in the packed out Smokey Bob Marley Cafe. I asked Joyce what was the strongest weed she had ever smoked. “Northern Lights,” she said.

So I ordered three juices and a gram of Northern Lights and some rolling papers. I rolled up a pure weed joint and gave it to Joyce to light up. She lit it up and took one toke and passed it to Linda who did the same. Then it came to me and I puffed on it like it was the last joint on earth. We continued to pass the joint around the table and I continued to smoke it like a man possessed.

When the joint was finished, we sat there talking about our plans for getting to London. We decided to make our way to Calais in France and get a ferry to Dover.

Suddenly, I felt a bead of sweat drip down the left side of my face. Then, about a minute later, a waterfall of sweat came gushing down my forehead. And then, a severe dose of paranoia came over me. To put it mildly, I was f#^@*d. I made some crappy excuse and told the girls I had to get a bit of air. “I was a bit warm,” I said. It was below zero and everyone around us was in their duffel coats and scarves.

I made my way out the front door of the cafe thinking everyone was looking at me and sat against the wall outside on the sidewalk. My head was spinning in all angles. Then, I was approached by some Algerian guys trying to sell me drugs. “O God leave me alone.” I said. They didn't know what to make of me. To say the least I was mangled. It took me a good two hours to come back to planet earth. I can safely say that I had a lot more respect for the holy herb after that experience.

I didn't smoke another joint in Holland after that. Doug arrived two days later and we hung about another few days in the bars and then made our way to France by train and took the ferry to Dover in England. We then made our way to London and stayed with some of our Aussie friends we knew from Greece.
I got a job in a kitchen of a restaurant that my good friend Butcher got a head chef job at. It was another easy, mundane job to raise a few dollars before I went back to Ireland for Xmas.

I arrived back in Ireland a week before Xmas. It was great to see my family and friends, but I gotta admit, I was a bit depressed as I didn't want my vacation to end.

Something I learned from these adventures traveling throughout is that, if you are open to the world, then the world will open doors for you. I never worried about how, I just needed to decide where. Once a goal was picked, I knew I would get there and I enjoyed the journey along the way. It’s a lesson I carry with me today.

Cheers

Gerry :)

We stayed in a hostel in the center of Amsterdam. It was full of young Canadians and Americans who were over for the Cannabis Cup. The hostel smelt like 20 skunks had just sprayed the place down. There were clouds of smoke bellowing around every corner. It was stoner central.

We had some breakfast (scrambled eggs and bread, not toasted) in the smoke filled communal dining area. Breakfast was included in the price of the hostel. The scrambled egg was dished out of a huge pot by some strange looking African dude with one eye and his buddy next to him was handing out two slices of dry bread to everyone in the line. It was like a scene out of a World War II movie.

We then took a stroll around Amsterdam, checked out a few museums etc...and then hit a bar for a few drinks. After that, we decided to check out the Bob Marley Cafe, after hearing some great reports about it from some of the stoners in the hostel.

I quite fancied myself as a hardcore smoker after smoking some crappy weed in Greece, Turkey, Israel & Egypt. O Boy, was I in for a rude awakening.

The three of us huddled into a corner seat in the packed out Smokey Bob Marley Cafe. I asked Joyce what was the strongest weed she had ever smoked. “Northern Lights,” she said.

So I ordered three juices and a gram of Northern Lights and some rolling papers. I rolled up a pure weed joint and gave it to Joyce to light up. She lit it up and took one toke and passed it to Linda who did the same. Then it came to me and I puffed on it like it was the last joint on earth. We continued to pass the joint around the table and I continued to smoke it like a man possessed.

When the joint was finished, we sat there talking about our plans for getting to London. We decided to make our way to Calais in France and get a ferry to Dover.

Suddenly, I felt a bead of sweat drip down the left side of my face. Then, about a minute later, a waterfall of sweat came gushing down my forehead. And then, a severe dose of paranoia came over me. To put it mildly, I was f#^@*d. I made some crappy excuse and told the girls I had to get a bit of air. “I was a bit warm,” I said. It was below zero and everyone around us was in their duffel coats and scarves.

I made my way out the front door of the cafe thinking everyone was looking at me and sat against the wall outside on the sidewalk. My head was spinning in all angles. Then, I was approached by some Algerian guys trying to sell me drugs. “O God leave me alone.” I said. They didn't know what to make of me. To say the least I was mangled. It took me a good two hours to come back to planet earth. I can safely say that I had a lot more respect for the holy herb after that experience.

I didn't smoke another joint in Holland after that. Doug arrived two days later and we hung about another few days in the bars and then made our way to France by train and took the ferry to Dover in England. We then made our way to London and stayed with some of our Aussie friends we knew from Greece.
I got a job in a kitchen of a restaurant that my good friend Butcher got a head chef job at. It was another easy, mundane job to raise a few dollars before I went back to Ireland for Xmas.

I arrived back in Ireland a week before Xmas. It was great to see my family and friends, but I gotta admit, I was a bit depressed as I didn't want my vacation to end.

Something I learned from these adventures traveling throughout is that, if you are open to the world, then the world will open doors for you. I never worried about how, I just needed to decide where. Once a goal was picked, I knew I would get there and I enjoyed the journey along the way. It’s a lesson I carry with me today.

Cheers

Gerry :)