Sunday, September 25th, 2016

Guest Post: That Time Christine Ate a Spacecake in Amsterdam

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This guest post was written by Christine Amorose of C’est Christine.

Unlike many young travelers, I was more interested in the colors of the tulip fields than the green of marijuana. I’m not a big partier, so Amsterdam’s red-light district, late-night partying and freedom to smoke marijuana weren’t why I wanted to visit.

But Rex and I thrive on compromise. We had a culturally-enriching morning to appease me, with stops at the Van Gogh Museum and Rembrandt House. Then we agreed on a chill afternoon: relax at a coffee shop before biking over to a tour of a local brewery. I don’t like smoking much, but heck, I was in Amsterdam — so I took a few hits of his blunt and decided to try a space cake for the first time.

We happily biked through the streets of Amsterdam to the brewery, where we sipped on beers and I waited for the space cake to kick in. With our munchies satiated with bar snacks, we joined the group for a free tour in the back room of the brewery. I started to feel a bit hazy and wobbly, so as the tour moved downstairs, I whispered to Rex that I’d rather wait outside until the tour was done. However, the door that we had entered through was locked—so I unsteadily tried to follow the tour down the stairs.

And then, apparently, I blacked out and passed out, hitting my head on the stairs. When I came to, I wasn’t sure where I was, what I was doing, or why I was there. I quickly became that girl: the wasted one who is ruining everyone else’s day. All I can remember is feeling super guilty about holding up the tour–and that everyone wouldn’t stop looking at me (cue weed-induced anxiety).

While I’m not exactly proud of the experience, it was an eye-opener about making responsible decisions on the road.

Just because it’s legal doesn’t mean it’s safe. I fully believe that marijuana is a drug like alcohol: one that can be used responsibly. However, there’s also an inherent risk in using it: you don’t always know what’s in it (particularly in countries where it’s illegal and unregulated) or how your body is going to react. Just because something is legal in another country doesn’t mean it’s safe there: it just means they’re going to let you make your own mistakes.

Make sure you’re with people you trust. If Rex hadn’t been as awesome as he was, I don’t know what I would have done. He sat with me on a park bench outside for a good two hours, holding my hand while I went in and out of lucidity. He listened to me ramble about how at least I had better makeup than a heroin addict. He bought me water to sip. He walked me and my bike a few miles back to our hostel–in the dark and pouring rain, no less–and made sure I was safely in bed before walking all the way back to get his bike. And he never made me feel bad or guilty about what happened, even though I felt awful. He won best friend of the year award, hands down.

If you wouldn’t do it at home, don’t do it on the road. I had never had an edible before, and was totally unprepared for how intensely it hit me. And believe me, space cakes in Amsterdam are darn-near industrial strength. Trying it in a new city where I didn’t speak the language, didn’t have health insurance and wouldn’t have had any idea what to do if it went wrong? Not the best decision.

Learn from your mistakes. I admit that I made a mistake–and I realize that it could have been a lot worse. A bruised nose and hurt pride are a small price to pay. If I had hit my head harder, if the brewery hadn’t been cool about it, if I had been alone: the what-if list is long and a bit terrifying.

While she clearly can’t handle her weed, Christine spent six months in the French Riviera drinking plenty of wine and is looking forward to a cold beer while living in Australia. Follow her adventures at C’est Christine or on Twitter at @camorose.

Comments

31 Responses to “Guest Post: That Time Christine Ate a Spacecake in Amsterdam”
  1. Great story! I had a space cake too and luckily I headed straight to my hostel afterwards. But I agree it could have ended badly. Your point is obvious: always be safer abroad than you would be at home, even if it’s part of the “tradition” to try weed in Amsterdam.

  2. Alouise says:

    You bring up some really good points. Especially the “If you wouldn’t do it at home, don’t do it on the road.” I think a lot of people see Amsterdam (and other places where drugs are legal, or more tolerable) as a free pass. But it’s still important to be safe. I’ve read other stories about the intensity of the spacecakes in Amsterdam. As someone who doesn’t do drugs, I’m glad I stuck to something less intense when I was there.

    • Christine says:

      If only I had done some research on the intensity of space cakes before I arrive! I definitely think people see Amsterdam as a free pass, and I’m sure there are much worse stories than mine.

  3. Nicolas says:

    I think the most important lesson is to make sure that you’re safe before you start doing crazy stuff. whatever else could have happened, constant giggling, paranoia, throwing up,… none of this would have been in the brewery

  4. Amanda says:

    You’re really lucky you were with someone you could trust! I’m glad the situation wasn’t worse for you. But, at least you learned from it, right?

    Your tips are all great. A lot of people end up doing things abroad that they would never think of doing back at home. I think part of it is because you get such an adrenaline rush from doing new (and sometimes dangerous) things while traveling, that it becomes kind of like a drug itself.

    But, as your story proves, you still need to be careful, and be aware of what you can and can’t handle.

    • Christine says:

      I think the adrenaline rush is key. That’s why I’ve done paragliding and canyoning and all sorts of other adventure sports abroad that I would never try at home! There were some people who tried canyoning who couldn’t even swim! SO important to know what you can and can’t handle, and not just do things abroad because they seem like fun and you’ll never be able to do them at home!

  5. Rease says:

    I tried special brownies for the first time a few months ago. I was with friends, we baked them in my apartment. As a baker, I was more concerned about having to use boxed brownies than the amount of weed being put into the batter. I didn’t have a traumatic experience like you did but I absolutely hated it. I found it annoying and just wanted it to stop. Of course, since it was baked in, that didn’t happen for awhile.

    I’m glad you were with someone who kept you safe and you learned your lesson. Girls like you and me, we should stick to wine!

  6. Scott says:

    Very good advice! I know a guy who who never smoked it before, but tried a joint in a coffee shop in September and was then told by his traveling partner he was not inhaling it and then just promptly put it out after realizing inhaling kinda hurt your lungs. I wonder what happened to that guy.

  7. Candice says:

    Had the same experience, but with lots of vomit and in a public place. Not proud of that moment, at all. Lessons learned, girl!

  8. One of my few friends who has ever had this experience also wasn’t much of a smoker. Amsterdam’s like going from 0 to 1,897 if you don’t really smoke.

  9. Annie says:

    Great story Christine. Although it’s normal to indulge in the pleasures of Amsterdam it’s very true what you say. You need to first of all know what you are getting yourself into and second of all know how it might affect you.

    When we were in Amsterdam we had an episode with my friend as well because we had a more veteran smoking friend choose our weed and it was way to strong for the rest of us. You have to know when it’s best to be in a controlled environment and when to skip it all together! Good advice!

    • Christine says:

      Thanks! I feel like there’s always someone in the group who has THAT Amsterdam experience–unfortunately, this time, it was me! I’ll know better next time and just stick to the bike riding and tulip smelling–and maybe go back for the brewery tour!

  10. Oh gosh, I’m so glad you’re okay! We all learn from our experiences and it seems like you learned from this one. 🙂

  11. Verity says:

    Thanks for sharing your story Christine! I had the same experience when I was in Amsterdam from a space cake. I passed out on the floor of a pub (I didn’t hurt myself like you… that sounded really painful). I was with some of the other people on my tour who were very nice bout it (and found the whole thing pretty hilarious… they were stoned too). The bartender in the pub was very good too… though he must be so sick of silly tourists like me. He gave me a glass of warm water with lots of sugar mixed in which helped right away. But man, before that I felt so bad I really though I would die.

    Still, as you said, things could have been so incredibly bad if I had been by myself. I will never be so silly again. And everyone should be careful of those spacecakes! They take a long time to hit so be careful how much you eat.

    • Christine says:

      I’m sure the bartenders/owners/etc in Amsterdam are used to it but sick of it–I hated being THAT tourist! Hoping that my story will help someone from making the same silly mistake!

  12. Carlo says:

    Cool story. You should have waited to see what the few puffs of the joint had done (which would have probably knocked you sideways on it’s own.) Also find out the type of weed you smoking, indoor, ourdoor ect and its grading.

  13. Ayden says:

    space cake? hahah gotta try me one of those!

  14. Bernie says:

    Oh God. At which coffeeshop did you buy it???

  15. Angela says:

    Hahah, having lived in Amsterdam for a few years I can tell you that you are definitely not the only one who this has happened to. Especially in the city center, it’s normal to see tourist spaced out of their minds. I hope they all learn from it like you did!

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