BACK STAGE AT PEPPERMINT IGUANA HQ: Gigs, Festivals, Parties, CDs, Books, Protests, travels, photography and Cardiff City FC

Saturday, April 08, 2006

FINDING ANOTHER KIND OF RED: Last full day in The Dam

All my previous visits to The ‘Dam, bar one, have been with a purpose; going to gigs, to watch the Dutch football team hammer Wales 7-1. Apart from a half planned visit to the Paradiso to see Therapy?, which did not happen, there were no real plans for this trip. And on the whole we stuck to that plan.

Saturday, our last full day, started out with a wander down through the main shopping area on to Dam Square. Low and behold, we are met on the square with the sight of a rally of public service trade unionists protesting about the liberalisation (privatisation) of social (council) housing. We did not know this at first, all the manners were in Dutch, but a quick stop to chat with someone running a stall selling what looked like the Dutch equivalent of The Socialist Worker revealed all. We chatted for a few minutes, I explained that we have a similar campaign going back home and she mentioned that they had been keeping an eye on how we were getting on with our strike over pensions. Nice to know that someone is listening to our campaign!

After that we went on another wander. I could go on and describe this wander, but it was not that much different to the other wanders of the previous few days, so I shall just mention coffee shops, architecture, flea markets, head shops, coffee shops, buskers, canals, coffee shops, CD shops, photographs and coffee shops. I think it was today (although it might have been Friday) we popped into the Abraxas coffee shop, renowned for being one of the most beautiful of all the coffee shops in the city and apparently sells some of the best ganja and space cake. We did not spend too much time there because they do not sell beer, but it was certainly a pleasant little place.

In the night we went for a nice sit down Chinese meal in the red light district and went to some more coffee shops. We finished off the night by walking around the back of the railway station and sitting watching the boats in the harbour for a while.


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