I thought I would write an interesting story about the "coffeeshops" of Amsterdam, where they legally sell pot. As it happened, the very first licensed coffeeshop in the city -- Rusland -- was across the street from my hotel. I figured, being a historic kind of place in a tourist area, claiming that they had a friendly staff on the interwebs so it must be true, that it would be a good place to start the article.
I went in the late afternoon and right away, I felt like I had walked into the wrong dorm room in college. I let the few people who came in go ahead of me and place their orders. I took out my wallet to get a cup of cocoa or something, as the smoking thing is not my thing. After I told the bartender that I was from the States and asked if I could ask him a couple of questions, he snapped at me and got intimidating. I grabbed my coat and ran out, snapping a pic of his stoned cat in the process. Not mellow at all.
After talking to a cabdriver, he said that Rusland has no truck with tourists and there were friendlier places. He also warned that "girls" frequently ordered above their tolerance -- odd hashes from around the world -- and would end up f'd up, passed out in the street. Charming.
I may not have enough of the investigative gonzo journalism bug in me, as I kinda got over the concept and didn't enter any more coffeeshops.
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