I made the cognizant decision to take hallucinogens in one of the scariest cities in the world. Difficult streets lined with cobblestone in ornate designs that made it difficult to distinguish depth. The canals that went along the streets were filled with leaves and you couldn’t see beyond the pitch black. For some reason, I had a strong feeling that people have died in these canals. Later on, I learned that my suspicions were true and this was why magic mushrooms were now banned in Amsterdam. After a public outcry due to a drowning of a French teen on a magic mushroom trip, the government banned the sale of Psilocybin mushrooms.
By definition, mushrooms are not the same thing as truffles. They have the same effect but did not classify as a mushroom because they weren’t mushrooms. Truffles continued to be sold in most Amsterdam Smart Shops because they weren’t affected by the ban. In the past, I’ve probably tried mushrooms on several occasions which I really enjoyed aside from my first time. That was a disaster. It was with my friends in the art department of San Jose State University. At night with nobody else but us and the terrifying art projects that came to life. I remember spending most of my time repeating the fact that we were all poisoned to some degree. My friends didn’t like that at all. The subsequent attempts went a lot smoother with a lot of reflection and quiet time.
A couple guys I met from the hostel expressed interest in truffles as well so we went searching together. We found a Smart Shop around the eastern part of Amsterdam by some Chinese food restaurants. The shop had a guide to show strengths of the mental and body highs. The Atlantis was rated as the 2nd strongest dose that was available. It didn’t taste that bad and it kicked in at about 15 minutes after consumption. Three guys just standing by a canal slowly chewing on small amounts of truffles. People probably could see the familiar logo on our boxes as they rode by on their bicycles.
When my visuals started becoming a bit wavy, the other two decided that they wanted to head back to an area with more nature and foliage. Vondel park was located on the other end of town and we had to make our way through the maze of Amsterdam while my eyes were refusing the send the correct information to my brain. We walked in a single file line with our eyes forward. The Russian prostitutes standing in the windows would try to gain our attention by calling out to us. They looked like monsters and demons in my eyes with their fingers changing length when they tapped on their glass doors. I thought for sure that everyone could see my dilated pupils because I was aware of my eyes being were wider than normal. To a point where they would dry quickly while making me blink often.
The rest of the experience was spent at Vondel park with my body sprawled out on the grass. We smoked cigarettes and joints to slowly readjust. I remember finally being able to function as the sun was setting. On a scale of one to ten, I’d rate the intensity at a 8. I was able to function but I really didn’t want to. The best park was just laying at the park. Didn’t see much visual hallucinations except for the beginning in the red light district. Would take these truffles again if I could.
Amongst the backpackers I met in Amsterdam, there was a general consensus that the Heineken served in Amsterdam is of a different formula and taste to the imported Heineken in other countries. Investigation into Heineken’s website claims that this would be false except in Ireland and Sweden(due to special alcohol regulations).
However, trying it for myself, I was able to notice a slight difference. In the States, I never really liked Heineken due to a somewhat metallic, tinny taste that just didn’t sit right with me. The Heineken in Amsterdam was missing these unpleasant attributes that caused me to hate it in the first place. It was clean and refreshing.
The reason for the difference can be due to several reasons. During the importation process, it could be exposed to certain levels of UV light that can change the taste. Constant movement could be another factor. Temperature changes depending on the region. There isn’t any solid reason that stands out compared to the others but if you’re ever in Amsterdam, you should try a Heineken for yourself and see the difference.