I’ve definitely had some pretty unique NYEs, but I don’t think many people will have had too much Heineken and ended up in the Red Light District of Amsterdam hanging out with a random family from Seattle.
Well, random encounters is 100% my favourite part of doing anything to do with travel, so maybe we can start another support group where we all gather round a fire with wine/bourbon and recount tales like this? I’m serious. We could have sleepovers and you can tell me the funny story about the American guy in the hostel bar who hit on your friend with the opening line “You have amazing boobs” but she was okay with it because he bought her a drink. (And like I said it was really funny because it happened to a friend…)
Anyway, it was a pretty wild night for me. I mean in 2013 it was just me and my friend in my bedroom drinking rose/eating ice cream and in 2014 I literally went home at like 00:15 because I’d been on a 3 day bender already and I was tired (student life).
So after some research, my friend and I realised that every club was charging €30 to get in and not being about that life, we investigated some free (student friendly) things to do. Luckily, in Amsterdam, the abundance of squares means an abundance of street parties.
We did a quick google, and it seemed that Chinatown/Nieuwmarkt was going to be the most wild and dangerous, Dam Square was basically going to be packed with rowdy tourists (read: pricks), Oosterdok was where the official fireworks were and Rembrantplein was where the food was. (Guess where we went)
You guessed it, we decided to start the night at Rembrandtplein, which promised us hot food and cold beer. (This is actually a lie. We started the night sneaking €5 prosecco into my Christian hostel and drinking it in my dorm, I just felt the need to come across cool). We walked into the first place that didn’t sell weed and had a bathroom with toilet paper (why is this such an issue? get it together Europe), a bar called *insert name when I remember it* (drunk), when a huge family from Seattle sat down next to us.
They were all super cool, much cooler than my family. I don’t think I would ever have managed to get my parents and extended family to Amsterdam for a night out, let alone New Years Eve. (I’m not sure I would have wanted to either…) Apart from maybe my mum. Who is a legend. (Hi mum)
(I’ve literally just checked my inside coat pocket this second, and I’ve found some toilet paper drunk Liz took from the bar incase of emergency, so practical)
We ended up walking to Oosterdok and on to the Red Light District with them to watch the main fireworks where it was Packed (capital P for emphasis) with people. Like, sardines packed. Also freezing. (Almost like it was mid-winter Liz, well done).
So I called in the new year on a random street somewhere in Amsterdam with some random strangers and without so much as a countdown. But I had a beer in my hand a smile on my face… which is what was most important (beer). (Oh my gosh that was SO corny I’m not even sorry)
P.S I’m really sorry but I was drunk and I couldn’t get my camera to focus for 70% of my photos so let’s just pretend the blur is intentional and that they are postmodern and arty.