Four weeks ago the Italian and I were sipping tea and coffee in the lobby of the mod-inspired NL Hotel, nestled on one of the many canals lining the streets of Amsterdam. It was cold, a little drizzly, but it was beautiful. I insisted our first stop be one of its renowned coffee shops. I picked one that sounded appealing from my guidebook and off we went.
Desperate for my first smoke of the entire trip we stopped at Rokerij, an Indian-themed chain of local coffee shops. Dimly lit, but inviting and comfortable we grabbed a couple of seats at the bar and ordered a few hot chocolates. I headed up to the bar to pick out my first of many baggies. "I'll take a gram of the cheese," I say to the budtender. Wham. Bam. Thank you ma'am. He hands me a little unmarked bag with my marijuana and I'm back with the Italian in seconds, breaking up my bud, and rolling my joint. I intended to write about the weed itself, but stoner me forgot. And now so much weed has been smoked that it's all a blur.
That coffee shop remained my favorite for the rest of our trip. Each day we'd stop at one or two different coffee shops and grab a gram or two of something new to try. Our hotel room had a terrace so even though our hotel was non-smoking, I was able to enjoy my treats on our patio. Despite the liberalism surrounding marijuana in Amsterdam, I still felt unnecessarily strange smoking out in the relative public of our patio. I don't know if I'll ever shake it...