Broke In Amsterdam – Day 3
It had been a long night. A very long night.
After wandering the streets of Amsterdam in search of a place to stay, with absolutely no success, I had all but given up on the idea of it altogether. Still, there was a chance someone on Tinder or Couchsurfing would respond, however slim it might have been.
So I needed a place to stay – and a shower – but sustenance was, as always, the number one priority.
I’d realised at some point that one street that I’d frequented over the last day or so was actually lined with hotels from one end to the other. Obviously, I didn’t have the money to stay in any of them, but rooms aren’t the only thing hotels are good for, because in each and every one of these hotels was a twenty-four hour reception. And what’s a reception without complimentary coffee?
It wasn’t food, but it was close enough.
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It didn’t take too long before I found a reception that had both a coffee machine and a relatively unobservant receptionist. In fact, after checking quite a few hotels I realised that almost every single one had a selection of coffee and tea that was free for the taking. All you had to do was walk in, sit down, make yourself a drink, then go on with your day. It was the closest I’d been to being rich since I’d been stranded here and, honestly, it felt good—after the third cup or so.
I went about my usual routine, which more or less involved walking around the city until I found something that looked interesting or tasty (and free). In the midst of all this, I wound up bumping into a couple of lovely ladies who, like me, were visiting from London, and welcomed the encounter with something familiar whole heartedly.
The two of them were on their way out, their flight back home scheduled to leave a few hours later, so there would be no supply of bed or bath from them, but good company was always welcome. On top of that, after hearing my story they’d offered me some food which, of course, was doubly welcome. They’d also seemed to figure out the secret to crossing Amsterdam’s ridiculously chaotic streetways. Such a shame that they were leaving so soon.
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The three of us spent the next few hours exploring the city, pining after smoke-boats (which are probably what you think they are), making content for my YouTube channel, eating Chinese food as our legs swung from the edge of the canal, and watching the endless parade of boats and boat houses as they made their way up and down the waterway. It was the kind of good time that made you forget you even had problems.
We said our goodbyes and went our separate ways, my spirits now revitalised anew via the power of friendship and food. But the day was still young, and the night would be cold and sleepless once more if I didn’t make a plan soon.
Lucky for me, the old adage of one door closing another opening had proved itself true, as during our little adventure I’d managed to find a couple of places that would serve me well in the way of not starving though the night. This door came in the form of an organization that provides free dinner for anyone who wants it, and a pay-as-you-feel market that would be taking place the next day!
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The free dinner was being held by our friendly and familiar Taste Before You Waste non-profit organization, whom I’d encountered on my first day. The surprising number of people who showed up to their “Wasteless Culture Wednesday” was definitely a pleasant sight, since it’s always great to see people’s efforts towards making an impact on the world supported and appreciated by others.
Not only was the establishment pleasant and homey, they also had plenty of vegan options and a puppet show scheduled for later that night. The food and the company were great, and the puppet show every bit as strange as I had expected. I left the place feeling happy and fulfilled for so many different reasons that I can’t help but recommend their events to anyone interested in supporting the cause. If you ever find yourself in the Netherlands, be sure to give them a visit.
I grabbed a couple of fruit for the road and set out into the unknown once more. The positivity in the air must’ve been strong that day because one of the people I had been chatting to on tinder actually got back to me and we agreed to make plans for the day! Nothing was set in stone, we still had to meet up and get to know each other a bit, but maybe, just maybe, I’d have a couch to sleep on for the night.
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She was wonderful. Easy-going, smart, totally fine with me filming our time together – we were a platonic match made in heaven, and somewhere between eating, playing chess, and spending some time at a bar, the heavens opened and a free couch did fall.
I know it shouldn’t at this point, but one way or another the kindness of humans always manages to blow me away. I suppose when you spend enough time exploring the many crevices life has to offer, and making an effort to connect with others, it’s only a matter of time before you find it.
A good-night’s sleep was just what I needed, the perfect end to a perfect day. In the spirit of adventure – and content creation – I’d be searching for a new place to stay when the sun rose (besides, it’s never good to overstay your welcome) but at least I’d be ending just one of my days on a high note.
Two more days to go.