This week, the city of Amsterdam announced that it's going to start fining tourists for being dickheads. Urinating in a canal will land you an on-the-spot charge of €140 (£123), while public drunkenness could set you back €95 (£83) – fines introduced in an effort to curb the kind of rowdy behaviour Amsterdam seems to bring out in some people.
The Enjoy and Respect campaign is specifically targeting British and Dutch men aged between 18 and 34 – apparently the worst behaved tourists of all – with online and physical adverts, and by sending them mobile alerts when they enter the Red Light District, central train station and popular nightlife areas, warning them not to be awful people.
To get an idea of the kind of stuff Amsterdam is hoping to stamp out, we asked people to send us their stories about all the times they've been horrible human beings in the Dutch capital.
I was inter-railing with some friends after we finished school, and our last stop was Amsterdam. We all took a bunch of mushrooms, and each smoked a joint to ourselves of the strongest weed we could find, because we were all fucking idiots, and ended up blundering around the city centre causing havoc – stepping in front of trams, throwing up into canals, walking directly into oncoming cyclists. We were the epitome of those idiots you think of when you think of Amsterdam drug tourists, all the way down to the New Era caps, Nike joggers and misplaced optimism in their own weed-smoking limits.
I walked through the Red Light District, pissed out of my mind, screaming, "I GOTTA FUCK! I NEED TO FUCK! I GOTTA FUCK!" Atrocious behaviour.
A few of us went out for the King's Day celebrations this year, started drinking at midday, started doing coke at 2PM, and by 4PM were all dancing and jumping around in some poor guy's canal boat. He came out and was quite chilled about it, bizarrely. He didn't ask us to get out, or anything, just told us to be careful. In retrospect, it's probably because he was worried about how six incredibly drunk men would react. Poor guy.
I got really high and went to the supermarket with my mates for some snacks and a drink before we went back to the hotel. When we were looking for juice in the fridges my friend started singing "super juicer" to the tune of Abba's "Super Trooper". I got the giggles and laughed all the way over to the crisp aisle. Then I pissed myself. Actually pissed myself. Luckily I was wearing a dress, so you couldn't tell, but I had to get the tram home during rush hour with wet knickers.
One stag weekend, I was on lots of eccies, feeling very friendly, so I rubbed a bald man's head. Him and his friends turned out to be Ajax hooligans. They were very upset. One of them pulled up his top, exposing a gun. Was all a bit peak, but I was strangely positive about things. I even stayed in the bar for another half hour as they amassed more friends. Eventually my friends convinced me it was time to go elsewhere.
I got run over in Amsterdam three times in the same holiday – the worst was when I walked straight into the moped lane, looking the wrong way. In fairness, considering there are three lanes of traffic and a ton of fucked tourists, I'm sure it happens quite a lot.
Fifteen of us went when we were 16 and all had the worst trips of our lives. My mate Eddie ate a spliff inside a head shop and we abandoned him because he was freaking everyone out. He then tried to board someone's barge, screaming in what he assumed was Dutch, but obviously was just some made up magic mushroom bullshit language because no one in their right mind speaks Dutch. Anyway, the whole day was a fucking nightmare and I haven't listened to The Dark Side of the Moon since because it gives me flashbacks. Fuck Amsterdam.