A guide to Amsterdam

Posted: 07/31/2009 | By: 420tour | Under: Uncategorized | 0 Comments

Cannabis Cup draws people from around the world to celebrate the spiritual, medical and industrial uses of cannabis. The arguments for legalization become stronger when the participants conduct themselves in a responsible manner. Here are a few guidelines to remember.
Be polite! Europeans are more formal than Americans. Remember to say “please” and “thank you.” Almost everyone in Holland speaks English, so if you need directions or help, don’t hesitate to ask.
Public cannabis use is not acceptable to many Dutch. While pot is tolerated by the government, smokers restrict their consumption to private homes and designated coffeeshops out of consideration for nonsmokers. Judges must realize they should be discreet. Do not smoke cannabis in your hotel lobby or corridors. Unless you’re in the Judges’ Lounge at the Pax Party House, the Melkweg, a coffeeshop or your own hotel room, always ask permission before lighting up. Please remember there is no cannabis or tobacco smoking on the ground floor at the Pax Party House.
At smoking coffeeshops, cannabis is sold either behind the bar or at a separate window. Most shops have a written menu and will show you samples. Many also provide free rolling papers and little strips of cardboard that are used to make filter tips. A few provide pipes and/or bongs for customer use.

Amsterdam canal
photo:Andre Grossmann
It’s considered polite to eat or drink something while at the coffeeshop. In the tourist district (the “red light”/Dam Square area) some shops require that you purchase something to sit down. Most coffeeshops don’t sell alcohol.
Coffeeshops are places to hang out: reading, writing, playing games, talking to friends, meeting strangers. It’s a living-room-away-from-home feeling. So even as you hurry from shop to shop for the Cup, be patient. Dutch service is unhurried and personal. Many Americans talk loud and are overly impatient by Dutch standards.
If you don’t pay as you’re served, you automatically run a tab. During the busy Cannabis Cup, it’s easier to pay as you go.
A final word of warning: Space cake used to be more prevalent in Holland, but the Dutch government got tired of tourists getting too high and now views eatable cannabis as a hard drug. If you want to eat it, be careful. It can take an hour to feel the effects on an empty stomach, while if you’ve already eaten a meal, it can take two hours. The effects last much longer and are more intense. Panic reactions are common, even with regular users.

Dutch words you’ll need to know~
hello/good-bye: dag
thank you: dank je wel or bedankt
you’re welcome/please: alsjeblieft (owls-do-bleet)
how much does that cost?: hoe veel kost dat?
see ya: tot ziens
Emergency phone numbers~
police/fire/ambulance: 112
police (non-emergency): 559-9111
free legal advice: 548-2611 or 626-4477
doctor services: 664-2111
dental emergencies: 686-1109

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