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Things to do in Amsterdam, The Pig Newsletter
issue#25 May 2009

Pig Amsterdam News

Flying Pig Uptown Bar open again!!

Big Pig News: the new Flying Pig Uptown bar is open!!! And yes…it’s better, much better! Bigger, brighter and shinier, but of course still as Pig as always!

There’s a well ventilated indoor smoking area plus a new loungy hang-out to relax… We are more than ready to serve all our thirsty guests again, so everyone is invited to come and test the beer flow with us. We can’t wait to have you all back!! Let it flow, let it flow, let it flow…

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The Uptown Hostel gets upgraded

Book now for the Cannabis Cup 2009

22nd CANNABIS CUP 2009

For the ones who don’t know: the Cannabis Cup is one of the most famous events amongst cannabis smokers and cannabis-oriented businesses.

The public helps judging loads of different types of marijuana. They decide which is the best new product, best booth, best glass, best hash and best Nederhash. A team of VIP judges decide which seed company brought the best marijuana. Many tourists go to Amsterdam to attend the festival.

If you think your THC tolerance can handle this event, then be smart and book an Early Bird judge’s pass and a cheap bed at the Flying Pig now, now it’s still available. The Cup is each year held during the week of Thanksgiving, this year from November 22nd – 26th 2009.

Cannabis CupThe early bird price of $199 is good until June 1, 2009, after which the price goes up to $250. Judge's passes cost €(!)250 at the door (no credit cards).
The judge’s pass includes admission to all ceremonies, concerts, seminars and the expo for five days, an event t-shirt and program guide, free bus tours to and from the expo, and the right to vote.

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Europe's Famous Hostels

Check out the best bits of the Europe's most famous hostels with one click!

You might know the Flying Pig Backpacker hostels are (proud) members of the ‘EFH’ – Europe’s Famous Hostels.

Hitch hike to   AmsterdamThis association is often recognized as ‘the best hostels in the European travel world’. If you book any of these hostels, you will be guaranteed with a memorable stay, while still keeping yourself on a cheap and reasonable budget! Each of Europe’s Famous Hostels is independently & locally owned, assuring a local traGet to know our friends in Europevel experience. They all must adhere to the highest level of safety, & quality while preserving a local flair.

The hostels are located in Amsterdam, Bad Gastein, Barcelona, Berlin, Bruges, Cardiff, Corfu, Dublin, Edinburgh, Interlaken, Lisbon, Loch Ness, London, Munich, Nice, Prague, Riga, Rome, Salzburg,Valencia, Vienna, and in the future, more hostels more hostels will join.

Now, they have a great new feature: each hostel has made new videos showcasing the best bits about their locations so that you guys can see where you’re heading to. All you have to do is pick out the hostel you’re interested in from and drop the name & 'famous hostels' into a YouTube search bar!

Check here the one from the Saint Christopher's Inn in Paris. Voted as the Best Hostel in France for 2008 at Hostelworld.

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Column: The life of a Piggy

How to survive as a whapper??

Last ezine's article, with our employee Aly telling you about the life at the Flying Pig was so popular, we decided we (and you too we hope) want to know more about the life as a 'willing helper at the Pig'. Since Linda wrote her last Column in the last ezine (unfortunately) we had some free space! So enjoy the next episode about the life of a 'whapper'!

How about the social life of the willing helpers at the Pig'??
Aly (a 'whapper' herself) tells you all about it:

The Social Life of a Pig

by Aly Coy

Aly CoyAt a place like The Flying Pig, time seems to stand still. As soon as you walk through the doors, you absorb the warm atmosphere and are welcomed with friendly faces. Any sort of regular, mundane tasks of everyday life is lost with a single chime of the bar’s bell.

By working there you interact with travelers, who are living in their own little bubble of no responsibilities other than to stay breathing and on budget. In return, you feel no real obligation to the daily grind, but remain stuck in this limbo of international pleasure.

It’s always someone’s ‘last night’ in Amsterdam, so there are always ready and willing drinkers at the bar in The Pig. It’s somewhat sad to say, but for some the majority of the time spent outside of work, is still in the walls of the establishment.

There’s always a guarantee of having friends around, at least two behind the conjoined bar and reception. All the cleaning staff are definitely there for at least a couple hours after work, and the hostel is the whapper’s home, so they have to be somewhere close by.

For some reason, always hanging out there doesn’t seem to get boring. It’s never the same exact party because of the mix of people from all over the world to interact with.

Yes, as a whole the staff have elaborate plans of escaping The Pig for one night, to a party far, far away. But, as the time passes we become comfortable, and enjoy the party right where we are. Even when we do manage to go out, we still eventually ask, “I wonder what’s going on at The Pig?”

It’s a safe haven for the staff. A second home to have cheap drinks with your friends and smoke joints on comfy pillows.

It’s hard to believe while you’re in there, but life does go on beyond the doors of The Pig.

The daily life of the piggies also depends on whether it’s sunny.

Feeling the sun on your face through the third floor windows, makes cleaning a tad more difficult, but the crew works faster to get outside. Luckily, our day ends at 3:30 pm, and since it stays sunny until 9 nowadays, it gives plenty of time at a nice, free, park.

Westerpark is a favourite amongst the staff. It’s close, (8 min bike ride or a 20 min walk), pretty, and not as strict as Oosterpark on drinking alcohol in public.

A disposable bbq, couple burgers, a six-pack, and some pre rolls and you’re set for the evening.

You won’t be alone either. Many Amsterdammers are littered across the field, taking in the longed for sun. If you’re feeling very liberated by the Amsterdam air, head to Gaasperplas park. It’s one of the bigger parks in the city, and there’s a nudist section!

If you’re still on the naturalhigh of doing what the piggies do, another favourite pastime is going to a squat party.

Squats are buildings that have been abandoned for over a year. People live in these buildings, usually warehouses, legally.

Every week at least one of the bigger squats holds a trance party, and it’s a good one. A long one- but a good one. These gigantic industrial sites are transformed on the inside by art installations that look like they are made forpeople on acid, by people on acid. In a good way.

The parties are a donation of five Euros at the door, and that mixed with 1.50 beer feels good on the budget. The party starts around 11 pm and ends… well- it’s hard to know exactly when it ends. To give you an idea, last week my friend/coworker came to the party around 8 am after his night reception shift - just as I was leaving…

It’s hard to catch up on sleep working at The Pig. Working on night bar keeps you up and partying -er I mean restocking, until very early in the morning. The latest I’ve stayed was after a huge going away party for long-time staff. Last call was around 6:30 am and I was still washing glasses when morning reception came in at 8.

Working in such a party hostel, it’s easy to get caught up in the atmosphere and push yourself for “just one more beer,” whether you’re working the next day or not. The one beer turns into another beer, which turns into Jagerbombs, which turns into puking into the toilet you just cleaned while on bathrooms shift.

Time passes quickly at the hostel but doesn’t feel like it. I caught myself telling people I’ve been here for four months when really, it’s been six. I now just say, “since November.” Piggies plan to work for weeks and stay for years. Guests constantly extend their stay.

After weeks of working, partying, and very little sleep, your body starts to shut down a bit if you push it too hard. You can’t even complain to anyone of your miserable state, no one will have compassion towards someone who has had too much fun and paying for it now.

You just have to accept it as your life. Sunny days in parks, dancing all night in squats, biking until you can’t feel your legs anymore, and spending way, way too much time at The Pig.

I think I can accept that life.

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