So, finding somewhere to stay in Amsterdam when you’re as disorganised as me is great fun!
My head really hurts. I’ve successfully arranged to couchsurf for a week in Rotterdam (I wonder if you can train to do this in the Olympics?), and in Utrecht for a couple of days – I think. In between those, however, is the Amsterdam Homelessness Experience. Turns out that Amsterdam is actually quite a popular place for backpackers, wouldye believe, and there is no room at the inn. Or at an apartment, a house, or anything of the sort. Onwards I went, using my now expert Google skills to combine words such as “hostels”, “cheap” and “Amsterdam”, and have now successfully spent a large whack of the money I’ve spent the last week earning, just for the joy of sharing a room with a dozen smelly drunk people and a couple of mice. Still. I’m sure the weed will help – apparently they make you smoke a joint as you check in, so that you’ll be sufficiently stoned for them to take all your belongings without you even caring. [Note: Mum, I am JOKING. I hope.]
I found what seemed like a really good deal, and had the booking form all filled in when, as an afterthought, I deided to check the TripAdvisor reviews. I hastily closed the booking window when words like “faeces”, “mice”, “bed bugs” and “possible rapist” began leaping off the screen at me. I mean, come on. Prison sounds more safe and comfortable.
Lesson learned and lucky escape duly noted, I set about checking room availability in hostels with rooms under €20, weeding out the select few with internet access, and then cross referencing with the Real Reviews on TripAdvisor. It was seriously depressing. No sooner do you finally find somewhere that looks affordable and clean, than you find out that a guy sits at the end of your bed, watching you intently as you (don’t) fall asleep.
Happily, after about three hours of searching and several stomach-churning reviews, I have booked myself into a cheap but apparently clean, quiet, friendly and Eddie-free city centre hostel for a few days, and the famous Flying Pig Beach Hostel for the weekend! I was just curious, and its weekend rates were cheaper than anywhere else, so, y’know, party time, dudes! I kinda wish I still had my guitar and long hair. Bring on my first real backpacker experience…