6 July 2009...........................................................................At the "hotel" 5:30 in the freaking morning
I hate Amsterdam so far. We are in a fight. It's not entirely Amsterdam's fault so I know I am being a bit unfair, but I can't help but hold him (DEFINITELY a him) at least partially responsible.
So last night my train got in at 11:30 PM. I was pretty tired but otherwise feeling OK, until I took out my map and realized I had NO IDEA where I was. I tried to figure it out using the map, and I could see where I needed to go, but because I couldn't figure out where I was starting from that didn't do me any good. I tried to buy some time on the computer but their cash register was broken (How do they stay in business?) and because it's the middle of the night it's not like I can just start walking. So I do the only thing I can think of besides sleeping in the airport. I take a cab.
Taking a cab in Europe is now on my list of top ten things I hate most in the world. Although it's 5:30 AM and I'm SUPER grumpy so I may not be thinking straight. Oh, don't worry, it could have been worse. The cab was clean, the driver wasn't lecherous and he knew how to get to my "hotel" (more on THAT debacle in a minute). However, there is nothing more frustrating and few feelings so powerless as watching that meter rack up two weeks of Parisian groceries, and there is NOTHING you can do about it. It's not like I could tell him to let me off here and walk the rest of the way. So I paid upwards of sixty American dollars for a five minute cab ride. Infuriating. But my time here gets better.
My mom had, as a gift, used her "points" from some travel organization she belongs to, to book me at a place known as the "Inner Amsterdam Hotel." Word to the wise: avoid at all costs staying somewhere with the word "inner" in the title. Anyway, I knew I would have to get up pretty early to make it to the conference on time, but since I'd be in a room by myself, no problem. Also, I don't have an alarm clock and I knew my phone wouldn't work in Europe, but I figured I would just ask the hotel folks for a wake-up call. Oh, had I but known.
[INTERJECTION FROM NOW ELISA: When my mom booked my room in Amsterdam through RCI, she was told that I would be staying in a hotel and have a private room. Because I was so cracked out when I wrote this piece, I neglected to drive home that rather crucial detail. Back to your lives, citizens.]
This is not a hotel, it's a hostel. Which is fine by me, but I wish I had known this, because then I would have brought 1. a lock for my luggage and 2. a stupid alarm clock. I share a room with three other bunk beds, and there's no phone. So I had to say a substantial prayer that God wouldn't let me oversleep (Oh, He's a funny one) and went to sleep trusting my circadian rhythm to wake me up at seven.
It woke me up at five. Which I didn't find out until I was already showered, dressed, and downstairs. So now I have nothing to do but wait and curse my fate. Bad combination.
On the plus side, the hot cocoa here is good even though it's only from a machine.
I could really use a drink, but I'm probably only thinking this because I'm sitting in a bar.
6 July 2009..............................................................................................................................8:30 AM
I must resume bitching now: as if things couldn't get any worse, I just fell down the stairs. My ankle is twisted, but not broken, so I guess that's something.