Before I came here, I knew little of Amsterdam. All I knew was the stereotypical features of the city – the Red Light District broadcasting prostitutes in public as if it was the norm, the acceptance and legalisation of all sorts of drugs, the passion with their cheese, and the immense clubbing and partying scene. From this description alone, you would think that Amsterdam would be “the” Sin City of the world. Yet, something about normalising and framing drug substances and prostitution as something ordinary makes them less of a vice. When the rest of the world declares such things as evil and anyone who consumes it is evil, Amsterdam manages to give off the vibe that it is about moderation that’s the key to enjoying these vices in life, or at least the acceptance of it and that it isn’t all pure evil. Perhaps Amsterdam is on to something… as humans we tend to want something we cannot have, so this may be the perfect example of reverse psychology.
Anyway, this post isn’t about debating the merits of accepting drugs and prostitution as a society, it’s about describing Amsterdam in general and tips and strategies to have you plan your trip well the next time you do come here. Also, please note that the main purpose I came here was for Amsterdam Dance Event, so most of my time was actually spent at ADE, but I did manage to squeeze some time to do some of the touristy things. I will have another post specifically on Amsterdam Dance Event right after this post.