It's Saturday so I am taking a break from the Cook the Books Contest rollout to share Bailey Alexander 10 Do's and Don'ts on Amsterdam.
Bailey is a recent transplant to the city so her impressions are still fresh. She is well read and traveled and lands wherever her tech work takes her.
Her previous city was Paris.
Here come Bailey's 10 Do's and Don'ts of Amsterdam.
1) Do rent a bike, they're relatively cheap and rental shops are easy enough to locate
Don't walk in the bike lanes, the cyclists own this town and know it. Also, the English like to drink and they choose to drink here. Hen night is popular and their mode of transport is bicycles; be aware.
2) Do enjoy the tolerance and buy a joint or two
Don't buy drugs from off the street, you may be sorry.
3) Do enjoy walking through the Red Light district, the windows, the sex shops, anything goes, its crazy insane.
Don't take pictures of the prostitutes in the windows, if you do, like I did, you'll get an angry knock from another window along the street or worse yet, a pimp will have 'a word'.
4) Do enjoy the beer culture
Don't expect good food and wine, they're here but hard to find.
5) Do walk along the canals, there are more here than Venice, per kilometer. And they're just lovely.
Don't expect a boat canal trip to provide the same perspective, you can't see much, but they can be almost as much fun.
6) Do go into the coffee shops and explore your options, with a sensible approach of course.
Don't confuse coffee shops with cafe's, the former offers pot, the latter offers only a pot of coffee.
7) Do enjoy the environs, it's a sweet and relatively safe place to tour, live and work.
Don't take your mind off your wallet and possessions, especially as trams to the station and airport are packed with vandals exploiting tired tourists.
8) Don't expect the fashion and style that exists in the culture capitals that are Paris and Rome, I've lived in both and the Dutch appear to gravitate more towards German and Nordic dress sense.
Do expect English to be spoken everywhere, Amsterdam is a very international town; most residents, bi-lingual, speaking Dutch and a particular brand known as Dunglish.
9) Do enjoy the pea soup and pancakes, both are exceptional and available on just about every other street.
Don't expect much beyond those two Dutch specialties, far better to explore the excellent selection of otherly fare like Indonesian and Thai for your gastronomic.
10) Do ask your Dutch friends for their favorite do's and don'ts
Don't expect them to assist with your list.
Keep up with her musings via Bailey Alexander: The Europhile, mostly culture and travel.
(Photos, All rights reserved by Bailey Alexander/The Europhile)