Tag Archives: teabags

Amsterdam – part 2

Amsterdam – Day 2

This morning we got up, had our Weetabix and Jordan’s Fruit and Nut cereal mixture in our hotel room/tent, and went in search of central Amsterdam.
We caught a tram, after asking a helpful pensioner where to buy tickets. (I’m not being ageist by the way. She told us a few times about her age, and showed us what is presumably the Dutch equivalent of a pensioner bus/rail/tram pass.)
She also complained about how expensive it was. It was €2.80 for a single into town, or €7.50 to use the entire tram network as much you want for 24 hours. It seems quite reasonable to me.

After a fairly pleasant journey into the centre, we spent the day wandering.
We shunned Madame Tussaud’s immediately. I think I’d be rubbish in there. I don’t even know who the (presumably well-known) waxworks are on the outside of the building.

It has to be said that there’s not a lot of what I’d call interesting architecture. One building looks a lot like another, really. A lot of buildings are grey/dark, which makes them all look a bit drab. It didn’t help that a light drizzle turned into more of a constant heavy-drizzle, that got heavier (and windier) as the day went on, getting greyer and greyer by the minute.
Fans of Blockbusters will like the pavements at least.


More tea oddness

We stopped in a cafe called something like Le Caffier. We ordered two sandwiches and two cups of tea. So we ask for this at the till, then get ushered towards the teabag selection to make our choice. English Breakfast tea it is.
Upon choosing them though, I notice that this tea is laughable. It claims to be Devonshire tea.

This must be made for American tourists. I’ve never heard of Devonshire tea? It’s also made in the USA, so I don’t have the highest of hopes for this.

(No offence to the USA, but decent black tea comes from places like India or China. It just does. Even very British companies like Twinings make blends from tea they get from India/China/other places renowned for tea expertise.)
After a short wait, the girl in the cafe brings us…two tumbler-style glasses of boiling water (no handles!), and a metal jug of hot steamed milk.

Slightly odd, but we dunk our drawstring teabags. She asks if she can pour the milk in, but we’ve not dunked or squeezed enough yet. I ask if I can keep the milk jug til it has brewed. She reluctantly lets me.
Later on, she says that she’s always just poured the milk straight, but another (British) customer recently asked if she would wait a bit (while the tea brewed) first.
The tea was…ok. I wouldn’t say nice. It’s not quite as weak as the ones in our hotel though. Note to self: we must buy some decent teabags later.

Familiar brands

A bit more wandering. I’ve spotted loads of brands I recognise here. Obviously clothes brands are international, along with places like Vodafone and Tmobile, but I saw a Waterstone’s bookshop earlier. And a branch of M&S.
These are all large well-known brands. But then, when we were a bit lost, looking for a supermarket, we found a branch of Pieminister. What are the odds? Bristol’s finest pie shop, in the middle of Amsterdam?
And it’s open til 9.30pm every night. I’ve never got to eat-in at the one in Bristol on an evening because it shuts about 7pm and I’m too crap at organising myself to get there in time, but I’m sure I can manage this.

We had a look around some smaller shops. Who knew there was a Fifty Shades of Grey board game? For “3+ players”. Kinky.

And Hello Panda biscuits come in Strawberry flavour? Who knew?

(Probably a lot of Chinese people do.)

The sex museum

We were looking for something to do inside as it was pissing it down, so we went to the sex museum. It’s an odd experience. In some ways, a lot of it is quite bawdy. There’s a (cheap) animatronic lifesize model of a man getting pulled off by a prostitute, complete with moaning, in the doorway on the way in. But it’s not all as bad as that. Although some is.
If you like statues, pill boxes, walking sticks, or really MOST other things shaped like penises, you’re in luck. There are a lot of that sort of thing.
There are also a lot of pictures of naked people. When I say pictures, that includes paintings, drawings, and photographs. Some solo, most having sex. Some are good, some aren’t. The most interesting thing for me was just how long people have been taking photos of each other having sex. There was pictures of people from the 1920s, looking just as bored as some of the people you see in porn today (so I hear, from my friends who look at that sort of thing).
I also found it weird that the photographs are separated into professional studio shots, amateur photographs, and private photos. Whose private photos are these? Did they donate them, or is this like an early version of sexting, where someone shows a photo of his girlfriend, to his mates, and before they know it – it’s in a sex museum?
As well as some quite impressively detailed statues and mannequins, there are also a few rubbish/weird animatronics in the building. As well as the guy by the door, there’s a few of men flashing, and a guy who pisses against the other side of a piece of glass. Some of them seem to be done in the same sort of style as that shooting gallery thing at Weston Pier.
There are also a few exhibits that fall into the same trap as many museums of thinking that any old shit in a glass cabinet makes an interesting exhibit.
They allow photos to be taken, interestingly. I didn’t, because I thought it a little odd, really..taking photos of other people’s naked photos. However, the place was full of Asian people keeping the stereotype alive by snapping away continually.
And if anyone is wondering the same thing I was, no – the sex museum does not sell sex toys in the gift shop. It doesn’t have a gift shop.
(Admission €4 each, and I’d have to say it was worth it for the sheer volume of stuff in there. Also, use the toilets. Apparently the mirror in front of the sinks shows a film (I didn’t see this, but my girlfriend apparently did.))


We’ve found a supermarket. There doesn’t seem to be that many really, but this is definitely one.
It seems very reasonably priced.
1 litre of milk for 85 cents.
We’re making sandwiches for a day out tomorrow, and we needed some sandwich bags. They were 20 cents, for 100. Ludicrously cheap.
Teabags? I don’t recognise any of the brands of black tea. We were trying to decide between a box of 50 and a box of 80 (given they might be as bland as the hotel teabags/the American ones), when I spotted a box of 20. 20 drawstring teabags (from India). For 31 cents. Unbelievably cheap. (And if you’re wondering, it didn’t taste bad.)


I’ve been working in an office since April.
Shortly after I started, I was commenting to somebody about how I didn’t think much to the Fairtrade teabags that our office buys.
What an evil and ungrateful bastard I must sound.
They’re just a bit bland. I’m not anti-Fairtrade obviously, but Sainsbury’s English Breakfast Fairtrade teabags are so much nicer in my opinion.

Aforementioned person told me that they don’t like the Fairtrade teabags either.
“So that’s why I drink these ones”, and with that, he opened a cupboard, reached in, and pulled out a PG Tips Pyramid bag.

I assumed from that point on, that the teabags in that cupboard were for the use of anybody. Right up until the point when this happened:

The empty box

It turns out I’ve been drinking someone else’s tea. Worse, the message was signed off by my boss. Oops.
In my defence, I had noticed we were running low, and so hadn’t used the last 2-3 teabags, assuming somebody had forgotten to replenish them.

I tweeted the above picture and admitted it was me.
Then my friend @coffeebucks suggested that as my boss had used a closed question, I might like to just add “yes” to the end. This seemed like an excellent idea at the time.

The empty box, much improved

As the day went on, I started to feel marginally guilty.
At least one person thought I was responsible. This was most likely caused by the fact that I had been quite obviously taking teabags from the cupboard. In front of them. For months.
I overheard conversations in our open-plan office along the lines of:
Colleague 1: “I can’t believe some robbing bastard has been taking his teabags.”
Colleague 2: “They’re even put away in the cupboard. Everybody knows that stuff in the cupboard are people’s own things.”
Colleague 1: “Well if I catch anyone nicking my teabags…. <list of violent acts>”
I thought it would be funny to interrupt this conversation, and ask colleague 1 which teabags are his. Partly for fun, and partly so I don’t end up using anything else that belongs to somebody. He described the clearly communal ones as his, and several people laughed.

Throughout the day, I came up with an idea that was quite brilliant. On reflection, it’s not nearly as funny as I thought it was at the time. It’s pretty stupid really.

I left work at the end of the day, and rather than go home, I went to the supermarket round the corner. I bought a replacement box of teabags of the same brand, and exactly the same shape and size as the box that was now empty. How nice of me?

For my own amusement, I then emptied all but about five of the teabags from the box, into a carrier bag, and returned to the office via a backstreet method, parking in another company’s car park. Colleague 1 and colleague 2 were leaving at that point, and they took ages doing so.

Like a bad actor playing the part of a cop in a bad TV movie, I sat in my car on my mock stakeout, and chose my moment until they were both out of sight of me and our office, then snuck back into the office, into the kitchen, and put the nearly-empty new box back in the cupboard.

My hope was that in the morning, my boss (who had left already before I did) would arrive in the office, open the cupboard and be delighted that someone had replaced his teabags. Then, imagine his disappointment as he opened the box and discovered this:

New box - still practically empty

What a bastard I am.

But it doesn’t stop there. The following day, I would take in two sets of additional teabags, one of which would be hidden about my person.
Every time I go to make a cup of tea, instead of taking any out, I put 4-5 back in. He’ll know someone is doing it, but won’t know who. Which might be fun?

The flaw in this plan is that IF he knows there are no teabags then WHY would he open the cupboard, see the box, open it, and discover it nearly empty? I would just have to take a punt that for some reason, he would.

The next morning, I went in to continue this plan, to find he had replaced the box of teabags himself. However, he hadn’t opened them, having seen that some kind soul had replaced the box they used, with a nearly empty box.

Over the course of the next few days, I kept this up. Adding teabags instead of taking any away.
By Friday, I was a bit bored of this game. I had no idea whether he had even registered how many teabags were in there, or was amused, bemused, angry or what. So I returned all the teabags to the box from whence they came.

This was a bit of a problem, because although 160 teabags came out of the box, 160 would not go back in (even allowing for the ones he had drank during the week). See:

OK - too many teabags now

First day the following week, I happened to go into the kitchen to make a cup of tea (from my own stash of teabags), at the same time my boss was in there, just about to make himself one.
He opens the cupboard, looks, laughs.

Him: “I think someone’s making a point – do you know anything about that?”
Me: “No?”
Him: “When I was away, someone was using my teabags. I wrote a message on a box asking if anyone knew anything about that….” (you know the rest)
Him: “Now it’s got to this point. There’s more and more in there each day.”
Me: “Well I think they’ll struggle – there’s no more room left in there!”
(and I also put all the rest I had back in on Friday..though now I know he’s noticed I’m tempted to buy another box and carry on.)
No, I didn’t.