Thursday, April 3, 2014

C is for Canal

"Another day in Amsterdam," I sang over my breakfast croissant.
"I want to take you to a coffeeshop!" Benny said downing another cup of coffee. 
"You've already had six cups and it's not even 9 AM."
"Dutch coffeeshops sell coffee, food and pot."
"I don't need anymore food."
"Maybe you want some pot?"


Dutch society is famous for being tolerant. The coffeeshops in Amsterdam, as in all of The Netherlands, sell coffee, sandwiches and cannabis, the sale of which is tolerated by the Dutch authorities. The cops wouldn't tolerate huge sales of marijuana but they will small amounts for personal consumption. Across the table Benny was dressed in his jeans, walking shoes and a tank top. He was ready to show me Amsterdam.

"What do you say?" Benny said bouncing in his chair. The bouncing was either due to his excitement or the liters of caffeine now coursing through his veins. "Want to see a coffeehop?"
"No, thanks," I shrugged.
"What?!"
"In California pot is legal. I'd rather see something I can't see in my hometown."
Benny scratched his head. "Want so see the Red-Light Disrict--" I looked at him. "My guy friends love seeing it."
"Is there anything else to see here?"
"There's so much--!"
"Let's start with one thing."
"The... canals?" I nodded.

We boarded on a canal tour boat, ordered two glasses of wine and from the deck of of the boat passed through the canals of Amsterdam. The sunshine, the watery canals the wine, laughing with my friend  the day was beautiful, unique and very un-California. I toasted to Benny's city, its relaxed way of life and its fabulous canals.

"To another day in Amsterdam!"