Pass The Dutchie On The Left Hand Side

How could I write a blog about life in Holland and not talk about drugs. Holland is well known for it’s coffee shops and semi blind eye on drug laws. It is also a popular belief that every Dutch person is constantly stoned, wears clogs, eats cheese, lives in a windmill and knows the price and proper etiquette when dealing with prostitutes in the Red Light District. However this is not true… sometimes they wear trainers (all joking aside this stereotype is not true).

The Dutch as a whole are a very friendly people but not everyone on the street who asks, “Charlie?” is inquiring about your name. This could lead to some confusion if your name actually is Charlie. You may end up being given what seems to be a very expensive and ineffective washing powder.

If you’re ever in Amsterdam and you fit with in their target market (look like a tourist or have the recognizable ‘Junkie Shuffle’) you’ll find lots of people on the street whisper names of drugs as you pass by. Its not the most affective way of advertising their goods but setting up a stall with a sign in the middle of Dam Square could lead to some trouble. You’ll find a lot of these characters hang around near the Red Light District which would explain why one once tried to offer me Viagra as I was taking a short cut through the area.

When I tell people I live in Holland most of them react by saying “I bet you must be smoking weed all the time dude.” Well to be honest… no. I know a lot of people who do smoke it but (apart from a few times) I don’t myself. I did however spend the first few months getting stoned through passive smoking from my Scottish flat mate and a few of our friends until my body got used to it.

The first time I actually tried it for myself was when my friend Neil came over to visit. We got a little carried away and tried weed that was too strong for us. At first everything was fine but when the room started to move on its own accord I began to feel ill and very paranoid. Although Neil denies the weed had an effect on him I think he was feeling paranoid too because when I opened the window for some fresh air he started shouting, “Don’t jump! Close the window!”

I have tried weed again since then and not had the same trouble. However, last time it did leave me with the very strange sensation that one eye was bigger then the other for a while.

Although I’ve only smoked weed about three times in the whole five years I have been in Holland I always find it strange whenever I’m back in England that I don’t even have the option. I hear people talk about how they are struggling to get weed and it all has to be done in secret and there is me, a non-smoker, thinking, “I can just go to the coffee shop around the corner from my house and get some if I wanted it.”

But then I never say that because the reaction of most people is to say, “Sweet. Can you bring us some over next time?”

7 responses to “Pass The Dutchie On The Left Hand Side”

  1. marycub says:

    i know this is an old post but i just have to say that i also experienced the one eye bigger than the other thing… after eating a lot of hash brownies. Went round all night with one eye squinted trying to make my eyes the same size as each other. Obviously this didn’t work i just looked like i was squinting with one eye. :/

  2. Invader_Stu says:

    I tried to do the same thing :)

  3. Nick says:

    spot on, esp. the half-joke about smuggling some back that old friends invariably deploy.

  4. Richard says:

    The Netherlands is not Amsterdam. There is a lot more besides our capital. Over where I live (the south) it isn’t all about prostitutes and weed.

  5. Alwin says:

    those dealers on the red light district (usualy niggers) drive me so damn crazy. I dont want XTC XTC or Coka Coka. Last time i where over there some dealer asked me if i wanted something when there was a cop just 5 meters away from him not normal 8o|.

  6. Klomp says:

    I’m getting a bit fed up now with people always asking me to take some weed home. I wish they would grow up or damn well come get it for themselves!

  7. Kerry says:

    @Richard I live in the south. It’s not all about prostitutes and weed…but they ARE here. :-) I found this post to be funny by Stu. The one eye bigger than other thing I’ve never experienced…but I did have a OH NO I ATE TOO MUCH CAKE evening that made me feel very paranoid.

    I’m happy that the NL is so free and open. It takes away from the underground scene and makes things safer…although…I do understand that prostitution has been a problem in some instances due to girls coming from poorer countries being essentially enslaved by loverboys.

    @Alwin…..using the ‘n’ word is very offensive.

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