Guest Post: That Time Christine Ate a Spacecake in Amsterdam
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.