It was so anti-inspiring when I really need to be inspired and I already live in such an anti-inspiring place. Throwing away the chance at small amounts of inspiration for the sake of participating in socially acceptable oppression just felt terribly self-destructive, like so many things I have done in life because they were correct and were expected but that have done me so much harm.
Amsterdam reminds me of Maringouin. It is a tourist simulacrum you are made to feel guilty for not loving, while in fact its colonial operations continue, the slaves are beaten, the master of your house rapes you, and the masses gamble in venues corresponding to their class and station. This is the very strong impression I had of the place.
Yes, I have been there before and been to the museums, and yes, I realize that this place produces a great deal of culture. (I understand, I promise, I am sorry, I really am, but just please, please don’t hit me any more.)
UPDATE: There are apparently a lot of drug tourists there, and this would be a good reason why I was so claustrophobic. AND it turns out that I am not the only person who does not understand the Amsterdam fetish.
HOWEVER: What I’d like to do is get a good grasp on the history of the place and its place in world history.