In at the deep end

In Amsterdam.

July 3, 2008

Well, I’ve answered one half of the cliff hanger from the previous post already!
Tuesday morning I was discharged from the hospital and said a fond farewell to the doctors and nursing staff that’d helped me so much, they even went so far as to drive me to the train station, which was a mere 15 minutes hobble away!

I caught a train to Chur, which happened to be a measely half hour train ride away and disembarked with difficulty looking like a pack mule, as my 15l rucksack was woefully inadequate for the amount of stuff I had to carry and I’d resorted to strapping stuff to the outside of it with my cargo net!

After sitting down at the station’s café I dumped my bag-cum-fishing-net on the floor and had an unsettling feeling that something was missing
“Shit! My camera!”
I’d left my camera on the train!
Of course by the time I’d hobbled back up to the platform the train had dissapeared.
Sweating profusely from the summer heat and unaccustomed three-legged parambulation I stumbled into the lost and found office to find a rather self satisfied attendent who informed me with a less than well concealed smugness that he did not have my camera.
Oh well… Last I’ll see of that, time to buy a cheapo compact I guess… Money go THATAWAY!

So yes, I apologise for the lack of photographic evidence of my journey, I’d intended to get some spectacular photos as we rattled quietly through the alpine scenery in the sunshine but… T’was not meant to be!

Many hours later I arrived in Amsterdam at 11pm and hobbled into a taxi and tried in vain to explain the difference between “Hostel” and “Hotel” to somebody who really only spoke Farsi.
He dropped me off at my hotel.
“Sorry sir, we have no vacancies”
Ok, this was starting to look bad, budget splitting as my situation had been a few moments ago it looked as if I’d have to call another taxi, and another, and another until I eventually found a hotel with a room.
“Vacancies” A neon sign flickered gently across the street.
“Yeeeah! Thank god!”
I flopped thankfully into the first room I’ve had to myself for months and fell asleep watching a Dutch subbed version of “Mars attacks”, has anyone watched this film all the way through? I’ve seen the beginning about 5 times now!

The next day I was tasked with acquiring a fresh supply of Fragin, which is a class A drug new to the market tha… No seriously, it’s a blood thinner to prevent DVT (Deep Vein Thrombosis) in bedridden cripples like myself!

I hauled my recalcitrant body the 200 exhausting yards to the Apotheke.
“Ah yes, you’ll need a prescription for this”
I hadn’t been given a prescription? Had or? I searched through my “Pockets of holding”and after inspecting enough scribbles of paper to rival the library of babylon I resigned myself to a wearisome trapse to the tourist doctor to get myself a prescription.

2 hours and a full mile and a half round trip later I’d given up and gone back to the hostel, that was 10 yards round the corner from my hotel of the previous night, with a box of asprin and some calesthenics in mind.

I spent the rest of the day in a cafe across the street smoking a box of 25 cigars I’d bought for 10 euros and trying the Rosé beer they had, that even the waiter screwed up his nose in disgust over when I ordered it.
It was… alright… More like bacardi breezer than beer but, better than a 69cent carton of wine for example.

The evening I whiled away in the common room of the hostel talking to a lovely canadian couple who shared their purchases with me, which as previously elicited little obvious affect to myself… I must be doing something wrong…

Upon the morrow I sat in the common room steeling myself for another attempt to find the tourist doctor when
“You check out today yes?”
“No, I was thinking of staying a few more days”
“No room!”
Grr, I really did not want to pack up all my stuff into that ever shifting, clattering mess I’d assembled it into previously.
Still, to their credit they arranged another hostel for me, at an admittedly pricey 30 euros a night and I wandered off via tram to find my bed for the night.
No problems, found the tram, found the hostel, yay for things going smoothly!

My stuff dumped I still had to find my Fragmin, and after half an hour of arguing with the girl behind the counter over my swiss prescription I had an order placed and was told to pick it up tomorrow.
Right… One last thing, a book!
Amsterdam’s not short on English bookshops and I found one no distance at all from the chemists.
“One man and his mission to fight his evil half brother to rescue his love/dog/budgie”
“Miss Pennywhether couldn’t decide which suitor to entertain at this evenings ball and was in a terrible muddle”
Hmm, I seem to have found a bookshop specialising in literary diarrhoea.
I eventually settled on a Sharpe novel and retreated back to the hostel.

And there we are! Not much of note really, but tomorrow my mate Alex arrives and the fun begins!

  • John

    Worth trying to call the next station about the camera??
    It’s more likely to be there than at the station you left it on the train.

    Admittedly, it’s considerably more likely it’s in someones pocket :(

    Take it easy mate. No point wrecking your foot again before it’s properly healed ;)

  • toukakoukan

    Well that was the final stop of that particular train so… I’ll try and hunt it down once I’ve got a hostel sorted out here, I’m hopping around like a mad thing at the moment lol.

  • Pedge

    or “hopping mad” surely?

  • Lu-Tze

    Pete is a comedian!

    Unlucky about the camera :(

  • John

    12 Days.
    I’m taking 19:1 odds that Sam fell over and is back in hostpial. ;)