Are we alone in being driven crazy by the sound of little suitcase trolleys being wheeled across the pavement by groups of tourists in search of their Airbnb location somewhere down our very ordinary street? Here are some of the other things which annoy us about tourists in Amsterdam – and yes, we know they bring in big bucks and we do like them really, but just sometimes we want to shout ‘go home’.
1. They spend money on really crap souvenirs which means more and more Amsterdam shops are being taken over by fake Delft blue, smoking accessories and those stupid hats with hash leaves on them.
2. They rent bikes when they can’t cycle properly and wobble all over the road.
3. They cycle in groups the wrong way down the cycle path when you are speeding to get to work on time. Bike traffic jams bad, bike traffic jams when stuck behind a parade of yellow or green or whatever coloured bike tours – very bad.
4. Then there are all the other weird forms of transport they use. Like the beer bike – what is that all about? And the Segway – what bright spark thought Segway tours were a smart move in Amsterdam? There is the horse and cart… which fills the entire road and is impossible to overtake. And, of course, we should not forget the coach tour. Very odd considering you can’t drive a coach round the best bits of the city.
5. They believe the Amsterdam floating flower market really sells flowers, even though only two stalls do. For some reason, the city council continues to promote this collection of shops full of tourist tat and dead bits of bamboo and weird roots as an attraction. And you can’t even really call it floating… the stalls are all on concrete pontoons not romantic barges.
6. They like clichés. These means as well as the ‘floating flower market’, we have the Amsterdam cheese museum and the Amsterdam tulip museum which are just excuses to open shops on the Prinsengracht selling more cheese and tulip bulbs. Then there is the hash museum, the sex museum, the erotic museum… and doubtless soon we’ll get the clog museum – but then, perhaps we should open it.
7. They think it is cool and exciting to smoke Dutch weed and hashish. And they make a huge show out of it, while looking furtive at the same time.
8. They need somewhere to stay – so we have more and more apartments being taken over as ‘short stay’ or ‘bed and breakfast’ or whatever other fancy term they come up with to describe making a quick buck on your flat when you’ve moved in with your girlfriend. And that means more and more processions of little suitcases on wheels outside our window and groups of weed smoking stag-nighters on the balcony next to our bedroom at 3am.
9. They walk all over the road when they are wandering around looking at the canals with their nose in the guidebook. We were once told by a bunch of lovely tourists that ‘you can’t cycle here. It’s a tourist area’.
10. They all take pictures of each other posing in front of the I Amsterdam letters, where ever they may be. Doubtless all brilliant for city marketing which only means even more tourists will come here next year. Grrrr