On today's gay history tour of Amsterdam, our small tour group was graced by two men from Santa Cruz - a man in his early 20s studying CS at UCSC, and an, ahem, older man in his late 40s with an absolutely God-awful didn't-that-go-out-of-style-yet? walrus moustache. They epitomized all that's wrong with The City and with 'gay culture'. When the tour guide spoke of the COC, the Dutch gay rights organization, the old one noted that "yeah, but we had a secret organization with HUNDREDS of members in the early 1900s". Uh... RIGHT. Sure you did. San Francisco had EVERYTHING first. Magnus Hirschfeld? A Johnny-come-lately. The Mattachine Society? Just some East Coast losers who didn't know that The City is WHERE IT'S AT. Aaaaaaaargh.
Worse yet, any actual, intersting historical things we saw on the tour they glossed right on over ("Brutus who? Never heard of him. His own son? Whatever. When can we talk about COCK?!?!?"). Instead, the things that amused them most was a street called 'Dubbeleworststeeg' ('double sausage alley') and something else that was, I'm sure, even lamer, but which I've already blocked from my memory of the day. ENOUGH!!!
If anything, it wasn't a complete was. I finally saw the inside of the royal palace on Dam Square, and it was a beautiful day for a walk. However, on the whole, it wasn't anything special.
It's now nearing what appears to be Amsterdam going-out-time, but I'm still unsure as to what to do. The problem with this town is that the emphasis is always on sex: it's no problem to find a sauna or a darkroom, but there doesn't appear to be a comfortable, well-lit gay bar where I can just go have a beer or two and relax. So, I guess it's another evening of walking around the canals. Not bad - not at all bad - but I haven't actually had a chance to relax yet on this trip, what with all the noise, the crowds, and the lack of quiet places to sit (that don't require you to be smoking a blunt or tripping on magic mushrooms).
Tomorrow, I should finally make it to the Hoge Veluwe national park, and its museum. This is of course if I sleep enough and if I can make the 9 AM train. :)