I’ve decided to record and share a wonderful experience I had in Amsterdam last summer resulting from an innocent mushroom sandwich.
I decided to try shrooms on my second day in Amsterdam, and purchased 30 fresh grams of Psilocybe cubensis . I ate them in a meat sandwich, and they were rather tasty (compared to the nasty woodiness of Amanitas). I decided to kill some time at the hostel until they began to take effect, and read a little of Dune while listening to Pink Floyd. After about half an hour I had a hard time concentrating on the book, and just cranked up the music on my headphones. I was listening to Relics, and boy, did it sound great. Julia Dream is now my favorite song to listen to while tripping. After another half hour I left the hostel and began to wander the streets of Amsterdam. The sun was just starting to set, and as I walked across Dam Square, I couldn’t help but noticing how beautiful the clouds were. They seemed to be moving unnaturally fast across the sky. They were all lit up by the setting sun in some of the most wonderful pastel hues. It looked so great that I ran back to my hostel and grabbed my camera. The photos I took actually turned out really good, but they didn’t look anything like it did at the time. After standing in the square staring at the sky for a while, I realized how stoned I looked. I began wandering around, absorbing the sights and sounds of the city. I wandered through one of the many parks, and sat for a while listening to a guy playing a guitar on a park bench. I soon got bored, and wandered all over town. I remember how beautiful the lights looked reflecting off the water of the canals. The sun sets a lot faster in Amsterdam than where I live in Alaska, and soon the sky was dark. The cities lights were so bright and colorful, and cars headlights seemed like wil-o-the-wisps. As I walked, my thoughts were racing. I thought about my travels through Europe, my friends, and life in general. I repeatedly realized how disgusting cities were, and a few times I actually started feeling sick. I would notice how dirty everything was, all the trash and the poor beggars on the street. I saw how ugly buildings and other machinations of society could be, and realized how sad the plants living in the parks and public squares were. I realized how beautiful nature really is. I saw and completely understood how society could destroy a person, and how unforgiving life is. I also repeatedly realized how lucky I was to have had a great life, and was overwhelmed with compassion for the less fortunate. It was a very emotional and powerful train of thought, one that left me either wanting to laugh, cry, and puke all at the same time. I eventually sat down on a bench to calm my thoughts and get a grip on where I was. In front of where I had sat down was some government building, and something big had just gotten out. There were people walking around all over the place looking extremely busy, and large trucks kept pulling up and taking things away. I couldn’t figure out what the hell was going on for the longest time. Then I read the words on the trucks and realized it was a catering company. It was very strange, and at the time I thought it was something much more important and awesome. I finally got up to walk back to the hostel. All this had taken what felt like several hours, but what was probably only one. On the way back to the hostel I got lost several times, and ended up down some creepy alleyways. I got a little paranoid, and wondered what kind of people lurked down these ways. The alleyways were completely concrete, with only the backs of buildings covered in graffiti lining the sidewalks. For the most part they were deserted, and luckily well lit. I also negotiated several large crowds of people, and in doing so I remember seeing this one very strange fellow twice. He was dressed in rags of sorts, and some sort of hooded sweatshirt. He was very hairy, and had a large bushy beard. He walked hunched over, and I remember thinking how very much like a dwarf he looked. As I passed him, he asked me for spare change in Dutch. I somehow understood what he wanted (although I don’t speak a word of Dutch), and gave him a Euro, which he dropped into a money pouch hanging from his belt. The one thing I remember the most about this strange beggar was his eyes. They sparkled like a kaleidoscope, with strange patterns of a brilliant blue. I clearly recognized the fellow as I passed him a second time in a street, his eyes twinkling a thank-you to me. After this, I finally found my way back to the hostel, but I wasn’t in the least bit tired. The mushrooms were still having an effect on me, so I headed over to a bar/coffee-shop near my hostel. It was named after The Doors, and I was shocked as I walked in by the wonderfully nostalgic atmosphere. The walls were covered from floor to ceiling with memorabilia from the psychedelic rock era of the ‘60s. The music was loud and the choice of songs was excellent. The people in the bar seemed to be locals, and everyone seemed to be reminiscing over the better days. I purchased a beer and some good weed, and went to a dark corner to smoke. I remember looking in a mirror and seeing how big my pupils looked. With my green hooded sweatshirt, I looked a lot like a gnome myself. As I sat in the corner and smoked, the room seemed to shift. The wall near the door seemed to get very far away, and I noticed an eerie green glow fill the room. Thinking nothing of it, I toked away on a fat joint and drank my Heineken. The weed made my high much more trance-like. My head felt very heavy, and I had the urge to close my eyes and listen to the music forever. I don’t remember any closed eye visuals, but my head was swimming. I eventually went back to the hostel to sleep. The last thing I remember was how vivid the colors of the walls were. I fell asleep almost immediately and awoke the next morning, refreshed and ready to face another day in Amsterdam.