Back in time

Funny… When the church bells woke me at five this morning I went back 50 years when Ferre Grignard became famous in the European lowlands with the song ‘Ring, ring I’ve got to sing‘. As a 14 yr old I saw him performing in ‘De Muze’ in Antwerp (nowadays a famous jazz cafe.¬†Grignard was inspired by (a.o.) the American folk singer/activist Pete Seeger. Antwerp was in those days ahead of Amsterdam in terms of alternative lifestyle including the use of ‘hallucinogenic substances’ like LSD and hashish. It took a few years before Amsterdam woke up with ‘Paradiso’, ‘Fantasio’ and ‘Milky Way’ and became the European free haven (or ‘heaven’ if you like) for American wannabe ‘hippies’ arriving is 3-piece suits at the airport, changing into jeans at the Hilton, buying dried cow poo as hashish and got high between their ears in the Vondelpark. Those church bells also reminded me to Winchester (UK) in 1974 where a pub at (or near) the corner of Jewry Str and High Str. was the first known ‘coffee shop’ in Europe; the free h(e)aven for the South of England. Can you imagine tourists walking in the park next to the Winchester cathedral and inhaling the smell of “funny cigarettes”? Wonder where nowadays all the fuss is about legalising the cultivation and use of Cannabis sativa …

Church
Church

Out of South Africa 10: Cannabis

Last year we went on a 4-week journey to Europe and Canada. It was for the first time since more than 11 years that we had a holiday ‘out of (South) Africa. We mainly visited family and friends but in between we took time to travel around a bit. With my Sony Cybershot 7.2 I shot a few thousand low resolution pictures (average 100 kB each) so don’t expect much high quality. For this serie of 10 I selected about 30 pics.

Today’s image is that of a shop window in Amsterdam. Cannabis products in abundance. Thanks to the coffee shops the soft drug trade in Holland is very much under control and out of the criminal circuit.

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