This is about my last trip to Amsterdam, in September 2002. It was also my last TRIP in the 'Dam (although I have had a few since on home turf).
I'm very lucky as my boyfriend and I always have somewhere to stay in Amsterdam - at my Auntie's flat. She moved there from London 25 years ago, and we make the effort to go see her as often as we can....and of course to sample the delights of the city!
Anyway, we headed out there and she let us have her flat for the weekend while she stayed with her boyfriend. This was really cool and nice of her, as it let us get up to whatever we wanted and meant we had a familiar homely base to come home to. Boyfriend and I bought some copelandia mushrooms one morning, and as advised by the woman who sold them to us, we only ate just over 0.5gram each....apparently, they were part of a VERY strong batch that had come in that week. We thought this was too little, but why would that woman go out of her way to advise us not to take too much? We decided to heed that advice.
We ate them folded into a croissant (bought in a shop a few minutes before) in a park that afternoon about 15mins from the flat and after 30 minutes I began to feel 'light'. It felt a little like I was walking on the moon or something.....my feet didn't feel as hard pressed to the ground as before. We sat on a bench and relaxed, and things around us began to change. The grass became almost sea like, swirling and pulsing.....there were green parakeets in the trees and I was mesmerised watching them fly in flocks around the park. I began to get rushes - one second I was hot, the next thing goosebumps were popping up on my arms. We decided to go back to the flat and get some coats..........we fancied taking a walk around the streets of central Amsterdam, but didn't want to be unprepared.
The closer we got to the flat, the more giggly I had become. I kept stopping in the street and looking around me. Where was I? Oh....yeah, I remember.. Once inside the flat, it was like I'd stepped into an underground cave. I felt closed in, like the walls were pushing in....it wasn't a scary feeling as such though. I walked through to the back door and sat on the raised porch. My auntie has the ground floor flat, therefore the garden is hers. The idea of having a cup of tea seemed very appealing therefore I made us one each, then we both sat on the porch chairs and relaxed. We started smoking a joint, with the ashtray, cups and papers etc on a glass topped table in between us, with both our chairs facing out into the garden. There are some really huge trees at the end of her garden, partially blocking the back of the next row of terraces, and these were full of birds as the sun was getting ready to set. The birds seemed to be chatting to each other, having conversations and laughing...it was as if I could sense them. It was as if they could sense US, and were telling all their mates to come join them and observe the two people on the porch.
The visions began, and they came in waves from one extreme to the next. One minute, my vision was clear and I was chatting to my boyfriend. The next, stopping me in the middle of a sentence, the garden had become a blur of pinks and greens (thanks to aunties fushia bush), everything was exaggerated in size, and my thoughts were whizzing through my head so fast I didn't have time to THINK them......My boyfriend and I at times found ourselves sitting there in silence, and we both knew the other was having the same kind of revelations about certain things, but as soon as we tried to voice our thoughts, or even just ask a question, basic vocabulary choked us. This made us laugh until the tears ran down our cheeks. We both knew what we were trying to communicate, and the knowledge of that fact made us euphoric. This is what it's all about. THIS is what it's all about. Our voices changed, came out in a different pitch and tone. It was a little unnerving at first.........were we changing? Were we becoming strangers to one another? Did we really know one another??? One of my auntie's cats made an appearance, and it was as if I was viewing it in strobe - it's movements a series of freeze frames, but graceful as the same time.
It must've been 3 hours into the experience, and reality didn't exist in my mind. The only things real to me were the feelings and thoughts I was having and the hidden shapes and meanings in my surroundings. Once we left the porch and went inside, I could find no comfort on the sofa. My boyfriend attempted to put on a cd, but the stereo refused to work...was it against us? That idea was forgotten about pretty quick. I looked up at the magnolia walls and saw mackerel-skin style rainbows shimmering. Glows from imaginary candles at the edges of my sight. Perhaps we should go outside now.......yes, good idea I thought. I made myself remember to lock the back door, and stepped on something on the kitchen floor. My auntie has 2 cats, and one of them had felt it needed to bring me a gift. I had stepped, flat footed onto a small mouse! I am SURE animals can sense when us mere humans are on another astral plane - did it intentionally want to freak me out? I was surprisingly calm about it.....which I found quite strange. Event over, on went our coats and into the mild Amsterdam evening we stepped.
We walked for miles, literally. The visions had stopped now, but a sense of paranoia had set in...for me anyway. I was glad we took the walk in the end though - upon returning, we relaxed on the sofa and watched some TV. By this time I felt quite sleepy in a heavily stoned way, and I ended up having a really good night's kip.
We hadn't planned to spend the majority of the trip on my aunties back porch, but in a way I was glad we did. It let us get into ourselves, with no worries or concerns about outside distraction. It was a personal and emotional experience, one that I very much enjoyed and will remember always.