If the Hague is the legal capital of the world, Amsterdam is the gay capital of the world. And this fact alone is one important part of the city’s charm. Because trust me, Amsterdam is charming. It’s classy, elegant, trendy, packed with all sorts of museums and shops, restaurants and events, not to mention the famous Red District we all know about.
Unfortunately, I’ve only had time to visit the Diamond Museum and the Boat museum. Hopefully, next time, I’ll get to see the Cannabis museum, the Beer Museum and the Movie Museum. So many choices. isn’t it?
The Diamond Museum was an excellent choice. Entertaining and packed with information, you could spend there one hour or a day.
For now, a few interesting facts that I would like to share with you.
You might know that diamond is the hardest mineral known, but do you know that its name comes from Adamos which in Greek means hard? Because of its hardness, when it was discovered, it could not be processed and it was used in decorations. Even nowadays, only 20% out of the total world production of diamonds is processed into jewelry diamonds, the rest is still used for industrial purposes.
Diamonds were first discovered in India and up to now, the only continents where they are not found are Europe and Antarctica. But finding them is not easy. For each diamond found, 250000 kg of rocks need to be extracted. Now that’s a lot of rocks to sift through…
The value of a diamond is determined by four quality factors, known as the 4C factors: Carat, Colour, Cut and Clarity.
The word Carat derives from the Greek Keration. Kerations are the seeds of the carob tree which, because of their constant weight of 0.2 grams, were used to determine the weight of gemstones.
Apart from diamonds, the museum also has on display a large collection of crowns: religious, ceremonials and coronation crowns. If you’ve always dreamed of being a princess or a prince you can take your picture with one on your head and send it to yourself, your friends, or the whole world. It’s not free but hey, is the quickest path to royalty. Not to mention the only one.
Amsterdam is also famous for the legal use of cannabis and others alike. Stores sell relaxing herbs or energetic pills, as your mood dictates.
I pick up one that says: “If you never want to get off the sofa, this is for you.”
I cannot figure it out why someone will never want to get off the sofa. I wonder, does the pill promotes a slow, yet painless and blissful death?
Of course I want to get off the sofa, at least once, at some point during the day…
There’s another one, with my zodiac sign written all over it: Aquarius, the cosmic experience.
If you say so… Who am I to contradict you?
Charged enough, I move on to the Red District. Curiosity abounds. Before that, I stop at a shop selling condoms. Obviously, I’m not in need of one, but the marketing slogans catch my attention.
“Protect the knight for the night!”
And the condoms’ enviable looks. One mirrors a black cactus with spines all over for intense pleasure. Another depicts a tiny mouse. Not sure why the appeal. If you make it to Christmas, there is also a Christmas tree with an elk. Or, the romantic heart condom in case you decide to propose in the heat of the moment.
There is one with a clock, if you’re married to your business and you need a constant reminder of that.
If interested in more of those designs, their website is condomerie.com.
Once in the Red District, my mind could not make sense of the punch line found at the entrance of a strip club:
“Here, you find writing shows.”
What a quirky combination. Mental stimulation and … You pick!