Amsterdam travel through my eyes

Justin Marquart

Sorry if I get a little lost here, it was 3 a.m. when I wrote this and I had been awake for more than 15 hours.

A group of friends and I traveled to Amsterdam by an overnight bus. This bus is your normal, long-travel bus, with a smelly bathroom and reclining seats. These seats are hard as boards and within minutes, my butt was numb.

On our way to Amsterdam, we got on a ferry — a big ferry, with restaurants and snack bars — but we were too tired to stop for a snack. We were dead set on finding a “comfortable” place to sleep.

Due to how late it was, people were asleep everywhere, including those in my group. Three of them were asleep on the floor while I wrote this. The other girl was laying across two chairs with a sun hat covering her face, while I was sitting on a hard, wooden chair with watering eyes because of how tired I was. I wish I’d snapped a picture of everyone asleep, though.

When we got on the bus after the ferry ride, we still had five more hours on this damn bus, but I finally fell asleep.

I was asleep for what seemed like five minutes, when the baby right next to me started crying, which caused another baby on the other side of the bus to start crying. To make it even worse, another passenger opened the bathroom door (which of course is right by me), and a smell that would knock a grown man on his ass hit me right in my nostrils. Great.

I was sleeping in 10-minute increments when the bus stopped in Brussels and the person next to me gets off. I was thinking, “Yes, now I have the whole row to myself.”

Well, having the whole row to myself barely helped. The only good thing was that I was able to lay against the window instead of getting a crick in my neck from trying to figure out how my head was going to lay with no pillow and nothing to support my head.

At 9:50 a.m. we finally stopped in Amsterdam, 11 hours after we left, which was longer than the plane ride from DFW to London Heathrow. My group and I stepped into Starbucks in the metro station we were dropped off at — and when we get into Starbucks it started to down pour. Of course.

I decided to buy a small drink to see if my card would work, and luckily it did. After Starbucks we figured out how to get metro cards so we could travel around Amsterdam and not pay ridiculous fares for Uber rides or taxis.

When we get to the station by the hostel, we attempt to try and find our way, and between five of us, only two have international phone plans but only one of those would load a GPS so we could wander our way to the hostel.

We made our way to the hostel and let me tell you something — the names of those streets all looked alike and don’t ask me to pronounce them either. Dutch is a hard language. But luckily, our room was ready early, so we got to head up.

They put the five of us in a six bedroom room, but when we entered, there were already two people there. They had to change our rooms and when they did, they assured us that this one was ready. It was not.

We go to it and the maid service told us, “We are not done, come back in 10 minutes.” We were all so tired, we sat our tired asses in the middle of the hallway and waited.

We were finally in the room and it was surprisingly nice. The beds were more comfortable than the ones at the university, and someone was playing “Sweet Home Alabama” right outside our window. Certainly feels like home to me.

Justin Marquart is a printmaking sophomore.