When I was twenty-five years old, I went to Amsterdam with a friend. It was 1999. My ambition in life at the time was to become an illegal alien, live in a small, but lovely flat on Prinsengracht, and roll joints for a living at a coffee shop. I had been training for that coffee shop position for years, and was so proficient, I could roll a smokable joint while sitting in an Alfa Romeo going seventy-five m.p.h. with the top down. I felt ready for the job.
I learned very quickly though that such jobs were only available to actual, documented citizens. If I wanted to work in Amsterdam without papers I could scrub toilets or perhaps pick tulip bulbs when the season came around again. My hopes were dashed, but the trip was awesome, and I spent two very happy months in the city.
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