How to Turn an Amsterdam Work Trip into a Mini Getaway

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Better late than never, I guess. This is not a humble brag but I honestly have been all over the place and busy, but I wanted to relive my time spent in Amsterdam in mid-October. I was sent to Amsterdam for work to oversee and execute an event we were throwing with an artist who is based there. I’ve been one before on my first Euro trip and I loved it. I went exactly 11 months prior so I’ve only seen the Fall, but it’s beautiful and charming.

My coworker and I stayed in an Air B&B on Ijburg, which is a sort of suburban Island connected to the city center with a bridge. This was really convenient for the event we were throwing because it was walking distance, but it was not exactly the hippest part of town, but the place was a steal.

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The docks in Ijburg on a rainy afternoon

The first night, my coworker and I walked around the centre, and went to eat at Kantjil & Tijer, an Indonesian restaurant a bus away from the centre. Indonesian is a popular food in the Netherlands, and tbqh, their native food sucks, so their appropriation of other cultures was quite convenient for me. Also, my coworker is vegan so this place worked for that.

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A spread of food and the outside of Kantijl & Tijger

I was really excited to get suggestions from my friend Julie, who I met LAST time I was Amsterdam through a spontaneous turn of events where I ended up at a r&b party alone onstage chatting with the coordinator, her. (You can read more about that in my blog for Thump, here)

I met my friend Sindhu from Twitter at Waterkant, a cute waterfront cafe on a canal that was apparently ~all the rage~ over the Summer (I’m late, excuse me.) This place had a bit confused about what exactly Dutch food was (trust me, I found out later… sadly.) It had bits of an almost island and exotic touch with a chutney served with my chicken and roti dishes, but I think it had to do with the colonies that the Dutch have had and taking influence.

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The inside of Waterkant

So after we threw a successful work event, I wanted to make the most out of my trip, and I met up with Julie. Who confused me when she said she would “pick me up.” She shows up on a bicycle, that has two small metal rods in the back made for sitting on? Or maybe to hold things? Either way, my ass sitting on them bumping around gripping for dear life as she spun me around the city taking awesome scenic routes (Go Julie! You are so strong). She planned an awesome night for us which began at a members only invite to a Subbacultcha event.

Subbacultcha is a culture based zine and sort of members only club that for 8 euro you get admission to their weekly events. It was a Lemontrip show in a really cool part warehouse part venue space behind a residential area with a courtyard you have to be silent in as to not piss off the neighbors. The vibe was very future/bass/trippy/experimental/vibey which was awesome and it got PACKED. I’m bummed I had never heard of Subbacultcha and grabbed that month’s zine, but it’s an Amsterdam based group so I guess how would I know.

Then we rode her bike to Cannibale Royale, a sort of American-esq meat restaurant with good cocktails and an amazing burger. One thing I will NEVER forget happened here. I ordered their signature burger, and was so excited. It came with what appeared to be a sort of fried olive or some garnish on a toothpick on the top of it. You can see here.

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OK, so you see it. So I’m eating my burger after putting it aside and I then get curious and want to try it. I bite it and immediately hate it, but as to not totally gross out my still new friend Julie and be polite, I swallow. I figure it is some weird Dutch thing and move on with my life. Then as we’re finishing our meal, I upload the above photo to Instagram and look at the Cannibale Royale geo-tag to see someone discussing the same mysterious object I just ate. Except they know what it is… A FRIED CHICKEN HEART. I ate a fucking fried chicken heart. kajshdkjashdkashdkasdha Seriously I feel so gross even typing that. Well yah, that’ll keep this trip memorable.

At this point in the night, Julie has to go to work, which is being a party photographer at a usually gay club NYX. That night the party is Harrie Hossel, a party hosted by an old pervy guy who lives in the redlight district and finds girls who attend the party on Facebook. Except later I learn that identity is totally made up and just part of the marketing for the club. Genius.

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Me at da club like~

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This club was INSANE. And I’ve been to a SAD amount of clubs. There was a DJ djing the sink area of the uni-sex bathroom. The toilet stalls are all modeled to look like port-o-potties. The sink is a trough sink shaped like a PENIS. In another room where there is another DJ, there is a Chuck-E-Cheese esq BALL PIT. At one point in the night the ball pit became a disaster and balls were all over the club and that floor had to be shut off, causing the rest to be crazy crowded and that was my time to get home and sleep before I fly to Dublin the next day.

So yeah, I can definitely make traveling for work even for 3 days worth it.

  • http://www.moonshinebeauty.com/ Tawni @ MoonshineBeauty

    I totally want to visit Amsterdam for club NYX now…

    • Lina Abascal

      Hahah it was freaking insane. The ball pit ended up bursting and going everywhere and part of the club was closed. Stuff that def wouldnt be allowed in America but made it way more fun.