The Uptown Hostel


I have fallen in love with Amsterdam. It happened many years ago when I first set foot on Dutch soil as a wee lad. Ever since I cannot seem to stay away and find myself wondering her streets every year.

Well, I bike the streets these days. And I think I know her pretty well by now. I could tell you many tales about her and me but the Pig asked me to write something about her Jordaan, so I will. It is a tricky part of the city. The most beautiful, with the canals, the silly looking crooked houses and great architecture, but tricky nonetheless. Even though I have figured out the city pretty well that still does not count in the Jordaan.

Every bridge resembles another and landmarks seem to move around at night. For example; there is a coffee shop in this maze I really like. But I have come to terms with the fact I can never find it when I want to. It’s like playing a chess game. Whenever I do not expect it, it will suddenly appear in a street with a name I cannot pronounce. But then when I try to retrace my steps the next day it has moved into thin air.

Another famous characteristic of the Jordaan are the tourist boats. We were staying at a Jordaan hotel on the canal one year where these boats came by every 5 minutes. Big boats filled with camera holding tourists gazing out their little windows.

One day we had a group of us together in the kitchen when we noticed these boats stopped right in front of our hotel every time to take pictures. We thought it ridiculous that these touristy tourists thought people in a kitchen were worth showing at home. So we came up with the idea to give them something really good to photograph. We all got up and the guys mooned the boat while a girl bravely lifted up her shirt. No reaction. We all looked at each other laughing in disbelief because we thought it extremely funny.

Until one of us realized our hotel windows were made out of tinted glass! It turned out they were actually taking pictures of the skinniest building in Amsterdam which just happened to be located right next to our hotel. So once again, things are not what they seem in good old AMSTERDAMAGED…!