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AirBnb allows users to search for accommodations via postings from locals of their particular destination. You can find people renting out rooms in their apartments or renting out whole studios, apartments and condos as well as listings for dorm rooms and bed and breakfasts. You request the room and the owner of the property confirms or denies your request. User-friendly, convenient and offers another option to hostels and hotels with a local flair.
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Amsterdam. The city just brings delight the instance the name is uttered. Why? No, it’s not the contraband or the beautiful residents or even the plastic women gyrating among the red lights. This city is the people and these people were my favorite. This city excited me. It inspired me and most importantly, it welcomed me. I had a bit of trouble when I flew in from London to Central Station, Amsterdam. I didn’t write down the address or how to get to the Flying Pig Hostel. So I was unequivocally, assed out. I shlepped around the train station for awhile then I looked up and saw a sign for the Hard Rock Cafe located at Leidseplein. YAS! they MUST have an internet cafe at this so-called Leidseplein! Thank you globalization and modern day American imperialism. I hopped on one of the trams listed on the sign to get to Leidseplein. Hopped off, into the rainy evening and there was an internet cafe…conveniently located in a coffee shop/bar. Oh joy! Ironically, my hostel was a three minute walk from Leidseplein so I lucked out. As I was exiting the bar, a bouncer playfully moved my suitcase to the side. I gave him an unenthused look, he tried to save face by recommending a place for me to eat. He excitedly suggested next door because they had “great burgers” this was met by another unenthused look. I yelled, “You think I came all the way to Amsterdam to eat burgers???” He apologized profusely (this is fun!) he pointed me in the direction of an “authentic” Dutch restaurant and bid me good luck and to not be a stranger (yea, ok, too late) I couldn’t find his fake recommendation and none of the other “pizza” “Italian” “Indian” and “Asian” neon signs appealed to me. I walked around a bit and peered into a quiet restaurant that said “Dutch food” I looked inside and there were attractive blond patrons. Jackpot! This is the real deal! This is what I ate:
After gorging myself, I rolled out onto the street and hopped on the tram and practiced my clumsy Dutch when I attempted to say the street the hostel was on. I then got a clue, pulled out my paper to show the street I was seeking,”Vossiusstraat.” “Ah it’s next stop”, the driver said. I hhaphazardly looked for a euro, he said “no, no, no, it’s next stop.” I looked at him graciously (that euro is a bottle of hard liquor water) I fell off the tram into the cold, rainy, damp, dark night and of course, didn’t know where to go. I asked a lady if she knew where the street was, she pointed me in the right direction. Finally I reached the hostel and I was ready to mingle! Red light district bound! I changed clothes, tied and buttoned up my coat and plopped on my scarves and gloves and hopped on the back of the tram and tried to blend in. I took an educated guess about where to get off. I walked into a casino and asked the doorman where the famous district was. He laughed and said “Red light district is for men” I scowled and said “Why not for women? It’s equal opportunity fun!” He laughed and showed me where to go. I stopped in a bar and started chatting with the bartenders and ended up staying there the whole entire night. These are my new buds:
Continue Reading Faces Abroad: Amsterdam…