Hangovers are a bitch, but you have to push through them when on vacation. We got up early with the intent to catch the train into Amsterdam to play tourist. We got ready and I suggested we drive into the city and park instead of taking the train. We were going to be heading back to Germany at the end of the day and I didn’t think it made sense to head in and then waste 45 minutes getting back to the hotel, get the car and then drive back toward the city. So the girls reluctantly agreed with me and we started our drive.
It took some time, but we managed to find the Anne Frank House. It was the only thing we could agree that we all wanted to see. I wanted to see the Van Gogh Museum, but the other two didn’t. We all wanted to do the Heineken Experience, but couldn’t agree on who would stay sober. So the Anne Frank House it was. It was a very sobering experience, but one that is more than worth it. I firmly believe that The Diary of Anne Frank is one that every person should read.
After that, we drove to the Central Train Station to park the car and walk around. We saw the palace, had some falafel, did some shopping—overall, a very nice day. We headed back to the car, ready to head back to Germany. Theresa and I were flying back the next day. We were glad we had ended on a high note.
Or so we thought.
Now a little bit about our car. It was Peugot, with German tags. It had tinted windows and a cover that went across the back. In other words, no way to physically see that there was luggage in the car. So imagine our surprise when we unlock the door and discover that 2 out of 3 of our bags were missing. There was no physical sign of a break in, so we were a bit perplexed as to how our bags were gone. We got the security guard and brought him over to the car. We told him someone had broken in and stolen our bags. The first words out his mouth: “Well, you’re Americans, that’s why.”
Woah, hold on a moment, we’ve just been robbed and you want to blame the victims? There has to be some international humanitarian law against that. He also didn’t want to believe us since the only evidence were the missing bags. We mentioned our theory that we thought someone with the same make of car was able to use their keys to get in. Just as he was adamantly stating that that was not possible, someone with the same make and model pulled into a parking space not far from ours. As they exited the vehicle, he locked his car with his key chain. Low and behold, our doors locked as well. Eat that Mr. Security Guard.
Now I was without every single roll of film I had taken on the trip, minus the roll in my camera, all of my postcards, written and addressed, just in need of some stamps, clothes, my wallet and my new boots. L I was also a bag shy of what I came with, meaning I had to cram everything into one for my trip home.
So we headed to a police station. It was only a few blocks away, but took forever to get to because I couldn’t read the map. I’m sorry, Dutch is as foreign a language as I’ll ever see. I tried hard to pronounce basic words, but I failed miserably. All the street names looked the same. Nowhere should “J” and “K” be next to each other any where other than the alphabet. I kept waiting for my turn on Wheel of Fortune just so I could buy a vowel.
Upon our arrival to the station, we talked to someone through a barred window outside. He told us to wait outside until an officer could see us. Megan went off to find a phone to call the lady that we were staying with, since our civilian passes for the military base we were staying at had been stolen. Not long later, Theresa and I headed into the station to fill out a police report. The only reason we decided to do this was for insurance purposes only. The officer they had meet with us, had to be one of the hottest guys ever. Which sucked, because I looked like shit. I was wearing my glasses, had been crying and was somewhat scrubbed out. Could it get any worse?
The officer couldn’t do any paperwork without Megan, since she was the one who had rented the car. Theresa went off to find her, leaving me with the hot policeman. We talked some politics and about our trip and how it was like National Lampoons, only in hell. Theresa and Megan came back, which was good, b/c I was worried that Theresa would get lost trying to find her, turning our stolen property report into a missing persons report.
We ended up getting a copy of our 12-page police report (completely typed in Dutch). We were off on our “merry” way, but not before taking a picture with the hot policeman before we left.
I was ready for a really big brownie. I was just a day late and more than a dollar short on that one.
Moral of the Story: Don’t listen to me. In theory, my advice is sound, but lacks in execution.
I’ll pull from the great Homer Simpson to wrap this trip up: “I agree with you Marge…in theory. In theory, Communism works, in theory.”