I stayed with a family in Haarlem for my first two nights. It was very nice and warm! Yesterday I took the train to Amsterdam (got off at the wrong stop first) and stayed at Bob’s Youth Hostel, right near Dam Square. It is €25 a night, so tomorrow I am going to find a new couch or move to another hostel a few blocks away that is €15. My food budget is €10 a day, which is tight, and I am always hungry in the cold! It is so cold here! I tried to find another set of thermals today, but no luck. I keep getting sidetracked by people staying in the hostel. Today on my way out of a grocery I saw a girl I knew from UNO, so we got high together and it was nice. I saw the Van Gogh Museum, and if I can find somewhere free to sleep I can go to the Rijksmuseum. So I am enjoying myself here, despite the COLD and tight budget!
Dispatch from the Netherlands 2 January 2009