Scourge and Transparency

The Rise and Fall of Advanced Social Journalism during the Early Twenty-First Century

Posts Tagged ‘weed

Fucking Amsterdam…

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Reclining on a mattress flat on the floor in a skid row bedroom. There is a dreary – almost balmy – weather breezing through the window. Syd Barret purposely plays in the background. I would never have tolerated this place if it were not for living off the shirt off my back in Western Europe for over a month.

Amsterdam seems like I good place to start: if Vegas ever fucked me, this Dutch city raped me ten times over like a slender shaved young kid serving an almost suspended sentence. After literally pissing sour Belgium beer for several days I walked around the so-called “weed capital of the world” looking for a pint under 5 euros.  On the streets of Amsterdam it is very easy to get talked into buying hard drugs. One of the many black gentlemen hustling got me to purchase a gram for 40 euros (a price I soon realized was popular).

Now – I was high and wondering through the Red Light district. I’d say I exchanged two words with some dude before we decided to binge together. I said, “what’s up?” and he says “I’m waiting for my buddy to fuck a hooker.” His friend walks out of a room right after our conversation shouting “God damn, I couldn’t cum! Do you wanta do some molly?” I say “yes” and mention the cocaine.

Long story short: it’s 7 am and I’m in a cutthroat hotel out of drugs and out of my mind. I tell these dudes I’m gonna make my way back to the hostel I’ve yet slept in to get some much-needed snooze hours. But they incessantly harass me to hang with them. Mind you I don’t even know these guy’s names. When push comes to shove they convince me by explaining that we’ll grab some beer for the time being and all will be right with the world.

So after being high as fuck till the sun rises over the canal you’ve got two anglophones with blue-ish snot dripping down their noses from ecstasy looking for a place that’s open to sell us a 2-4 so we can keep the buzz going. We eventually get some pilsner and keep drinking…and we get more Charlie….and more Charlie…or maybe it was M???  You can never be too sure with these European drug pushers. 

Well the next thing I know we’re snorting in my new best friends’ hotel room and they begin to pass out. And I can’t hold this against them considering we’ve been awake for about 36 hours and had nothing but drugs and alcohol in our systems.  But since they’re falling asleep I’m left with very little entertainment. When I look at these sleepyheads I realize I’m pretty sure I’ve paid for the better half of the coke we’ve got left. So I snort a couple lines, grab a beer for the road and steal two smokes out of their side pocket. Immediately I go downstairs and ask directions for a market I vaguely remember that is supposedly near my accommodations. When I arrive I wolf down some delicious French fries with mayo or something-or-ever and somehow make it back to the hostel.

When I awake I have no coherent memory of whether I arrived at my residence during either daylight or during night. Nor I am quite sure what day of the week and/or month it is. From the window view it is apparently dark outside. I go to the restroom to brush my teeth. The first man in the sink next to me I ask, “excuse me, do you what time it is?” and he bluntly answers, “I have not a fucking clue, man!” The next guy I ask the same question and he replies in a muffled accent, while examining his watch, “I don’t know because…I haven’t changed since my country….so sorry.” Fucking Amsterdam…and I spent five more days there…


Written by shanedantimo

January 15, 2014 at 12:28 am

The Way Of The Road

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Today we’re going to talk about last weekend…that’s right, last weekend. Victoria Day or “May 2-4” to the laypeople. It’s a holiday in Canada that falls on the third Monday of May. I believe Americans (according to a bi-national calendar sitting next to me from Parsons Welding Services LTD) celebrate Memorial Day the following weekend. Say what you want about our neighbours to the south but they know how to consume horrible and enjoyable items. US citizens get a statutory holiday every month. They can spend those long weekends drinking cheap beer, eating pre-made PB & J sandwiches; getting fat on the American Dream. While the USA is an easy target for critiques of social arrogance and ignorance alike, Canadians especially are particularly jealous of the American consumerist way of life and the span & availability of their market place.

I digress…I was speaking of the weekend previously. Most of us spend this holiday at the cottage getting loaded, wondering why it doesn’t always fall on the 24th or who in the hell this “Victoria” is, at the same time cursing the almost guaranteed horribly rainy weather that compliments the weekend yearly (although in certain parts of Ontario it was mostly dry Friday through Monday – almost even too hot for my liking). I myself did not make a trip to a family cottage or a nearby campground. I did, however, embark on a voyage and weekend of questionable certainty, debatable excitement, controversial ingestion and excessive sloth.

This past weekend I took the 7 hour plus Greyhound Bus trip from my mother’s borderline circus of a home in Hamilton (where I’ve been temporarily held up for the past month) to my sparsely furnished student apartment in downtown Ottawa. There was no accurate or obvious purpose to spend three nights in my empty, small, basement residence. I was scheduled to return to work near The Hammer the following week, I did not need to pick up any items of essential importance I had left at my place, I would to have purchase hot food because my refrigerator consisted mostly of rotting apples, stale juice and processed cheese slices, furthermore it would cost me about $100 for a round trip ticket plus entertainment (which I could scarcely afford with one paycheck to my name in the past 8 months). However I felt I needed to go down that road, sit on my used fake-leather coaches and seriously vegetate. I had no desirable plans to catch up with vague acquaintances from university or get drunk in local bars. Something simply compelled me to make that voyage – the door to the life I had abruptly and unexpectedly closed weeks early had to be re-opened and let air out.

I decided to take this sabbatical with a partner in crime. Smoking dope and getting drunk can only reach a certain level when a solo attempt is made. My accomplice and I were initially horrified that we may have to experience first-hand the oppression of civil liberties that is the prohibition of cannabis in this country. Thankfully the phrase “who you know” does not only apply to employment but also to drug use.

We hit the road with a little less weed than I thought was ideal. On the other hand alcohol would likely be limitless and we carried two mickeys of hard liquor on the bus (because of a text message miscommunication each of us thought we were in charge of bus-booze). The ride was long, dark and hot. I’ve now learned the hard way that most AC units on Greyhounds don’t reach the seats at the back – I can now imagine the Freedom Rides in the Deep South being even more uncomfortable than documented.  A young idealistic graduate student sat in front of us and chimed in on our conversation every so often with useless and arbitrary remarks. He offered to kick a sesh with us at the single rest stop somewhere outside Kingston. We purposely did not mention our stash and instead offered him a swig of CC in exchange for the half a joint he toked us.

The bus driver looked like the type of person that attended WWF fights in the 1980’s. The mustached Greyhound employee entertained us with stories of riots, graphic murder and intense repetition that accompany the trade. He shot the shit with us while we were slightly high and had consumed half our travel-alcohol. We stood in the light, cool rain and kept all the passengers on the bus waiting well past the 15 minutes allotted to the rest stop. The four of us discussed the current world economic situation and the popular, although censored, tragedy of a crazed lunatic on a Greyhound through Manitoba that stabbed, killed and partially cannibalized a fellow passenger while the rest of the travelers watched horrified from the side of the highway. The bloody and unquestionably evil catastrophe had lasted over three hours and the perpetrator was not held lawfully responsible for his actions because he was deemed to be clinically insane. It’s odd that someone could be of such an unsound mind to do that to a fellow human being but still be able to withstand the clusterfuck and disorganization that is a bus terminal.

We arrived in the 6-1-3 later than scheduled but sooner than we had anticipated. Bus travel is not a good thing and this fact cannot be ignored. It’ll take you 10 hours to get somewhere that would take less than 1 if you were on a plane. And it takes the same amount of time as driving on your own except you can’t choose when to stop, you’re with mostly strangers, you’re cramped – you actually have very little control over your own environment – and you won’t end up directly at your destination. A long trip on a bus is undoubtedly an exercise in human perseverance and mental strain. It is one of the few instances when alcohol is logically helpful. Lawrence of Arabia once said, “to not mind the pain.” You’d have to be a Buddhist Monk to not mind being on a non air-conditioned bus for 8 hours with the seating at full capacity. The key is to be somewhat like Tyler Durden when you’re on a long voyage like this.  Accept your fait: this is not a comfortable situation to be in for an excessive period of time. However don’t indulge in it too much – thinking outrageously about your surroundings on a trip like this can get someone’s head cut off (too soon?). Let the liquor put you in a light trance, keep hydrated, dress comfortable, think of your destination and don’t lose control till your bags touch the floor of your suite.

When we entered my stale-smelling apartment (the windows and doors had been locked shut for weeks, there was garbage left under the sink and water still in my bong) it was 2:30 am Saturday morning. I threw a six-pack of Bavaria I had put in my oversized undercarriage bag in the freezer and packed a bowl. It was at this moment I realized my Rogers Digital Cable Box had gone on the fritz sometime in the past month. I was too tired to fuck around with it or even look for a suitable movie to watch. I simply pressed play on the DVD player and put what was left of my energy into the immediate and indefinite consumption of dope and booze. What was last viewed through the player was a ripped copy of Season 1 of if not the most sensational & outlandish sitcom in modern syndicated television history it was certainly the best thing to come out of Canada in a generation. “The Show Case Original Series: Trailer Park Boys….”