My Amsterdam, Part I: When Pigs Can Fly

smartshop in amsterdam

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I’ve been back from my travels to the motherland for a couple of weeks now. I wanted to blog while I was there. And then when I got back. But I couldn’t find anything to write! What’s that old adage? “What do you say about something you love?” Well, it applies here. Amsterdam is one of the most wonderful places I have ever been.

Flying Pig Uptown

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This photo was taken in the bar of the first hostel that I stayed at, the Flying Pig Uptown. This is the true live Neverland. The people that work here show up from some random country and just end up staying. They work at the hostel and live for free. I don’t think I met a single person inside of this hostel over the age of 25. Their lives amaze me.

The Real Cheshire Cat

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This was the house cat of the Piggies. It’s difficult to tell from the photo, but this cat is the largest cat I’ve ever seen. Though I’m not a cat person, I’d also say it’s the coolest cat. Ever. All he did was sit on a bar stool sipping drinks when no one was looking, or laying on one of these huge pillows stoned from all of the smoke fumes waiting for someone to come give him a rubdown. This cat seriously has the life.

flying pig uptown bar

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The people living and staying in this hostel were some of the most interesting people I’ve ever met. Even those who didn’t work there seemed to lead a transient life. The bar downstairs was the central location and I spent many hours sitting here very high and drunk. On this particular night I had eaten a space cake for dinner followed by many beers and joints. Needless to say, the bar always looked this blurry.

flying pig uptown

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I cannot for the life of me remember this dude’s name, so we’ll just call him California. We both arrived on the same day traveling alone. He was so comfortable here that he would walk around the hostel without shoes on — not very hygienic, buddy. He wrote a lot so that he wouldn’t forget all of the crazy stuff that happened. I preferred the “Let’s get shitfaced and NOT remember” route.

flying pig uptown

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This is Shauna from Scotland. She has been at the Pig for a year. Out of everyone I met and talked to, I probably had the best conversation with her. Though I couldn’t tell you a damn thing that we talked about, I walked (stumbled?) away with a very intellectually satisfied feeling. People definitely like to conversate in Amsterdam.

flying pig uptown

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Rule #5 is from Australia. I really like to make friends with bartenders. Mainly because they will chat with you and then leave you alone for awhile. Perfect company. He also knew how to roll a sick inside out joint with a finale of burning off the extra paper. My kinda guy.

flying pig uptown

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This one of my favorite photos from the trip. It captures the rapid conversations (from the motion blur) and intensity in which people listen (when they want to). This image is what it really felt like sitting in this bar. Everyone was there to make friends and have a good time. I think it’s a very unique thing to have so many laid-back and open-minded people in one room.

If ever you are in Amsterdam, I highly suggest staying at the Piggy. At least for a couple of days.  As much as I loved it there, after 4 days it felt like I might turn into a pile of goopy mush that you’d have to spoon off the floor.

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