Anne Frank Made Me Throw Up | Dani Alpert

Posted By on June 16, 2015

I looked forward to Amsterdam; meeting up with my friend Laura, and attending to unfinished business.

We met at Schiphol Airport, or shit pool, as she called it. It was a relief to see Laura. The last five weeks of traveling, had been a challenging, and I longed for familiarity, and people who spoke English.

Before I left for Amsterdam, I got an email from my mother. "Dani, have fun and don't smoke too much dope." Where do I begin with that?

I first visited Amsterdam when I spent a semester abroad studying in Paris, when I was in college. School was a breeze, and it didn't require a great deal of studying, so I was able to travel every weekend. For six months I took full advantage of my time in Europe. One weekend I decided to go to Amsterdam.

I arrived at the architecturally impressive train station in the city of legal drugs, legal prostitution and cheese. I stayed at Bob's Youth Hostel, which at the time was a popular backpacker hangout. By coincidence, I ran into a couple of girls from my program back in Paris. They invited me to hang out with them, or I invited myself, I can't remember. They were partiers. I was not. They wanted to lounge in coffee shops, and smoke dope. I did not. I wanted to go to the Van Gogh Museum and to The Anne Frank House--they did not.

Actually, I didn't either but my father sent me off to Europe with a list of recommended places to see, and I didn't want to disappoint him, so I made sure that I ticked each and every one the list before I returned home. Taking the list literally dispels any mystery as to why I spent a good part of my entire adult life in therapy.

I went out to dinner with the girls, and ate a space cake. The details are foggy at best, but suffice it to say that the girls continued on to other coffee shops, and I went back to Bob's to throw up. I hurled all through the night, which must have been a real treat for the forty other fellow travelers sharing the room with me.

I felt better in the morning so I went to the Van Gogh museum. When one acts for the sole purpose of checking off a list, chances are, one is not going to remember much, as it was in my case. I have zero recollection of what was in the museum; I assume some Van Gogh pieces.

I was still feeling okay, so I walked over to the Anne Frank house. I waited in line, bought my ticket and went inside. Just as I was midway up the attic staircase, a sudden wave of nausea washed over me. Please, no. Any place but the attic! I quickly did an about face, and bolted down the one-way staircase the wrong way. It was too late. There wasn't time to find the actual exit.

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Anne Frank Made Me Throw Up | Dani Alpert

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