Amsterdam, The Netherlands. A city that houses some 800,000 residents who are invaded by over 18 million tourists per year. In this week’s Travel Man, our man Richard Ayoade is one of them.
Apart from the odd visit to a museum or animal farm, “debauched” Amsterdam doesn’t seem like the type of city Ayoade would normally add to his holiday itinerary. Luckily, he’s joined by the far more willing comedian Joe Lycett, and the clash in their experiences is priceless.
Paranoia #1: weed
As Ayoade and Lycett board one of the city’s famed canoes and travel down one of its 17 billion canals (I’ll have to fact check that one, but it’s close), the former is noticeably concerned.
No, it's not the slight current of the canal’s water (although that isn’t to Ayoade’s liking), but the persistent proximity to canal-perched coffee shops. You know, those places where tourists smoke weed that’s way stronger than what they claim to be able to handle.
For Ayoade, what should be a pleasant ride along one of the city’s most famous waterways ends up making him worry he’ll somehow contract a contact high.
Paranoia #2: elevator from hell
Compared to Ayoade, Joe Lycett is far more fascinated by the unknown. When the pair enter an elevator and something doesn’t quite seem right, Ayoade is taken aback by the fact that... something isn’t quite right.
As the elevator began its ascent, music blares as flickering lights of every colour turn the little box into a futuristic space capsule. While Lycett dances around, likening it to a gay club, Ayoade dubs the lift as “the elevator from hell”.
Paranoia #3: over the edge
Swings are fun, especially for kids. And especially if the swing is low to the ground and the kid can slow to a stop when they want. Something tells us Richard Ayoade would have enjoyed this kind of swing.
Unfortunately, he and Lycett are forced to brave Europe’s highest swing called A’DAM Lookout – an attraction that comes with the nightmarish slogan “Over the Edge”. Sure, enjoying panoramic views of Amsterdam while you're a free-fall away from a watery death is an experience, we’re just not so sure it’s the experience Ayoade needs.
Man, he’s even freaked out by bikes…
Thankfully, Ayoade gets the chance to eat, drink and come face-to-face with the works of Rembrandt, so it all balances out in the end.
Watch Travel Man on Tuesday 28 November at 8:00pm on SBS VICELAND. Missed the previous episode? Watch it at SBS On Demand: