Who are Shane and Lex?
Shane, Lex and I met when we were placed in a flat together in our Shoreditch university halls back in 2014. They are the best people I will ever know and are both ridiculously talented.
Shane is the most hilarious human being you will ever meet, but also the most caring. He is a fake tan addict (but completely works it) and knows how to perfectly Facetune a selfie like no other (check out his instagram @shanegiancarlo).
Lex is my fellow plant-based foodie and go-to takeaway sharer (has been known to order twice in one day). She, like me, dances (to Taylor Swift) on the line of insanity and has a major weakness for dark, curly haired guitarists like many of us do.
They are my forever people.
So we basically just wandered round the city exploring. We went to this super cool sweet shop that I heard about that sells vegan candy. It’s called Candy Freaks, near Dam Square, and is definitely worth the visit even just to meet the guy working there. As soon as you walk in he hops out from behind the counter to come and greet you. He asks you where you are from, what you are doing in Amsterdam etc, and then precedes to hand you loads of free sweets just to try throughout the conversation…so basically just the coolest guy ever. Lex and I picked out some vegan sour cola bottles and the most delicious slabs of ginger enthused dark chocolate, and then at the till the guy wrote me a list of vegan food places and bars, clubs etc to check out. So definitely go to Candy Freaks!!
We then went to Vondelpark to eat our sweets and chill in the Sun. I think it’s my favourite park in Amsterdam although Shane isn’t one for nature (or staying still for longer than 5 minutes) so we didn’t stay too long!
The Night Life
So all three of us share a love for having a few too many drinks and getting loose goosey on the dance floor. During the trip we mostly started the night at Prik bar as I live super close. It’s just a really cheesy, small, everything pink, bar in central but everyone is welcome and everyone is super friendly. We then walked down to Reguliersdwarsstraat, Amsterdam’s famous gay street and spent the night at Pub Soho and that’s where it all began…
Shane met a boy…
So Shane went into some dodgy smoking room in the Soho bar while I was in my little ‘smash is smashed dancing on her own’ bubble, and met these two lovely students from Michigan called Ashley and Andrew. They were honestly the sweetest, most open-hearted people eveeeeeeeeer. To give a little context, Shane is a self-proclaimed man-whore, therefore I have NEVER seen him this affected by anyone before. It’s the cutest thing ever, and let’s just put it in writing now that I will be the best man at their wedding 😍.
We then met up with the entirety of the ‘Michigan crew’ for a karaoke night at Coco’s Outback in Rebrandt. Once again a very cheesy night…but aren’t they the best? The rest of Andrew’s friends are again the most friendly people ever and quite a few are veggie, and Claire is vegan, whoop whoop!! Shane had a lot to drink and of course got up on stage to do an awful rendition of Tina Turner’s Proud Mary. Unfortunately it was just the slow version so the bar didn’t get the honour of witnessing his famous dance routine.
Shane got his nipple pierced!!!
So in London, whenever we had had a few drinks, Shane always spoke about wanting his nipple pierced. However the opening times of the piercing shops, and Shane’s consumption of sufficient alcohol, never seemed to align. Quite aptly though, here in Amsterdam, Shane working up enough Dutch courage whilst the doors of Piercing Works Amsterdam were still wide open, to take the plunge…or rather the needle 🙀.
He acted as cool as a cucumber, literally didn’t flinch one bit, but after told me that it was the most painful experience of his life! He then preceded to moan about his stinging nipple for the rest of his trip but I think he’s pretty happy with the result.
I got a tattoo!!!
So obviously it was then my turn to do something a little out of the ordinary. Honestly I don’t even remember how it came about but somewhere between the first sex on the beach at Prik bar and the walk along the canal to Reguliersdwarsstraat, it was decided that I would get a tattoo, and of course it had to be vegan related! At the place Shane went to get his piercing, they had no tattoo slots available. Maybe this was a sign that it wasn’t meant to be but my disappointment made me realise that I actually did want to get it done, despite only coming up with the idea a mere 30 minutes earlier. I think there is a sort of adrenaline rush in getting something so permanent in a spur of the moment sort of way. So we retuned the following day going this time to Body Cult. I decided I wanted a ‘V’ for vegan (‘100% organic’ was also suggested but luckily rejected shortly after!) and handed the decision of placement to Lex, who suggested my right ribs. I showed the artist Brian (lovely guy from Poland) the vegan logo and he came up with the above design. I said go for it and the next thing I knew I was holding some tissue over my barely there a-cups while I stretched my arm in the air and Brian got to work!
This being my first tattoo, I had no idea what to expect when it came to the pain level. When he started I was like ‘Wow! This is nothing!’, but then he started to fill it in and the pain definitely intensified as the needle was applied directly over my ribs. It was completely bearable though and 20 minutes later I was grabbing a falafel wrap in Maoz across the street (gutted that they had ran out of hummus 😭). Another takeaway weakness of mine is Wok to Walk, seriously can’t get enough!
I had the hugest scare when I got home though. A friend messaged asking if I went to a vegan tattoo shop because some inks aren’t vegan. I literally never even thought about the fact that the ink could contain animal products and now I might have had it permanently engrained into my skin in a symbol that should represent the absence of animal cruelty in my life. Of course Shane found the whole thing absolutely hilarious as it is just typical me that something like this would happen! Lex was way more sympathetic of course and called up the shop the next day while I was in work to check if they used vegan inks…and they said yes!!! It was a huge learning curve for me though but I think I have to remember that I am reasonably new to veganism so am still learning a lot all the time. Shane has preceded to tell everyone back home the story though so there is zero chance I will forget about it!
Until next time…
So it was definitely an eventful week but that was to be expected with an unholy trinity Amsterdam reunion. Until next time…