Friday, October 16, 2009

dutch speakeasies

apologies for the exam-induced time lag.

Wednesday night. after being pushed out of the bar at the containers at the ridiculously early last call of 1AM, we found ourselves drinking at the Doos, a dimly-lit little speakeasy tucked behind an unmarked bar in the side of a building on Weesperstraat. the idea of an underground unlicensed bar in a country where prostitution and marijuana is legalized and pretty much anything goes so long as you pay your taxes and treat your workers's somewhat mind-boggling. i think the thrill of being in an illegal place where you can do anything you want is somewhat dullened in Holland. still, it's a nice place to hang out in the cloudy smoke for the night, tapping your fingers to american-imported blues, nurse your one euro beer, and have a drunk Dutch boy fall asleep beside you on the grimy couch.

the bar was going to shut down forever after this night. apparently somebody had alerted the authorities about the place and so they were shutting it down. i pictured a more exciting scene maybe from a 1920s Hollywood film, where the feds swarm in with their batons and whistles and the ladies struggle to find those awesome hats they wear and the hot jazz band scrambles off the stage with their battered instrument cases. maybe the bar manager flicks a switch and all of a sudden the entire place is converted into a harmless-looking pet shop. but no such drama here; just a bureaucratic warning, dutch-style, and the only scrambling involved trying to figure out where to stash the sound equipment after the doors locked up. so we drank to the Doos, using three joker cards as coasters (we explained to the Italian that Canadian poker uses three jokers which trump all). i'm going to be sad to see the place go, i guess, even though it's not in my area at all. who knows; maybe once the man has moved on, the bartender will flick that switch and the Doos will be back up and running again sometime?

i think the word for pages in dutch may be Pagina. i think.