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Old August 24th, 2006, 03:15 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Schell
... just avoid the coffee shops and the Red Light district.
I thought, beside the convention, this would be the reason to come to Amsterdam... :-) (...and not to forget the tulips for the wife)
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Old August 24th, 2006, 05:19 AM   #17
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As someone who lives in Holland I can tell you a couple of things on either:

- no, not everyone is doing drugs in Holland

- yes, you can go to a "coffee" shop and get / use drugs

- yes, it is legal to smoke the stuff and carry (a small amount!) with you. It's not legal to sell or grow it (it is "allowed" though in small amounts)

- no, hard drugs are not legal

- yes, the red light district is fully legal as well. I doubt you'd wanna go though ;)

- both places are perfectly safe to go to as long as it's not in a bad neighborhood. Usually better to travel in a group, especially at night

- tulips are nice, but the season for tulips has passed I'm afraid

- yes, it is custom to eat herring raw (called "haring" in Dutch) and put mayo on your fries (try it out, it's not like other foreign mayo!). If you want to try a favorite Dutch snack order (in the fries / snack shop) fries with mayo, a "kroket" and "frikandel speciaal". They probably won't have this on the IBC grounds. In the supermarkets they sell good (sometimes Belgium) chocolate and if you like cookies look for something called "stroopwafels" (I already hooked several US members of this site on that). The local supermarkets have a good selection of beers, including Belgium. Both normal as well as light & dark beers. They are excellent (no Grolsch or Heineken please).

Last year IBC had constructed a beach behind hall 7 with some beach volleybal
etc. Hopefully they'll have something similar this year and the rain that's
passing over Holland the last couple of weeks will turn into sunshine at IBC
(keep your fingers crossed).

Finally we have excellent (and safe, especially during the day and evening)
public transport. You can get everywhere in Holland through a combination of
bus, metro, tram and train. The roads are of excellent condition as well if you're
thinking of driving around. There is a bit of major road renovation and construction
going on though, so around a busy city like Amsterdam expect traffic jams.

The normal speed limits are 120 km/h on the freeway, 100 (or 80 or 70) on
city rings and motor ways, 80 outside a city (and not on the freeway) and
50 (sometimes 30) inside a city / town. Do keep check of your speed since
Holland is littered with speed traps, both stationary and mobile, including
laser guns and (undercover) police vehicles (usually on the freeways). You
are required by law to wear a seatbelt. If an undercover police vehicle will
(try to) pull you over a sign will popup (the car will usually be in front of you)
that can say "stop politie" (stop police) or "politie volgen" (police follow). They
are required to identify themselves and you can ask for that.

IBC is being held in the Amsterdam RAI convention centre. It's pretty large
with both underground and off-site parking grounds. Expect to do a lot of
walking so bring comfortable shoes. The on-site food is pretty okay, but
expensive and with long waiting lines.

Taxi's are plenty at IBC and around the end of the day gather huge lines.
They are pretty expensive and the drivers can be rude. I would not be
surprised if some might charge higher prices for foreigners, although that's
just a "feeling".

As said before the RAI hotel service is currently the best and cheapest way
to still get hotels.

If anyone has any more questions let me know :)
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Old August 24th, 2006, 08:19 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rob Lohman
The on-site food is pretty okay, but
expensive and with long waiting lines.
Wow, just like trade shows here in the States! Although it sounds like the food is much better there. Thanks for all of this useful info, Rob.
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Old August 24th, 2006, 02:27 PM   #19
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Lol, there you have it... Holland in one post ;-)

PS: Rob, is IBC far away from the Central Station in Amsterdam?
I should get a train at at least around 19h15 back to home, would that be possible?
And arriving at 09h38 is this okay?

Thanks,
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Old August 24th, 2006, 03:16 PM   #20
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the RAI, where IBC is hold, has it's own trainstation, called Amsterdam RAI. you can find publictransport times and possibilities on www.9292ov.nl. this site is in Dutch, but pretty easy; station is station, street is straat and place/city is plaats ;-)
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Old August 24th, 2006, 04:20 PM   #21
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I'll be there for the duration. You'll find me on the Sony stand.
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Old August 24th, 2006, 04:33 PM   #22
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What Djee said Mathieu, the RAI has it's own station. Just go from/to there
and the central station (Amsterdam centraal) and then it's just a 1 minute
walk to the convention floor.
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Old August 29th, 2006, 10:41 AM   #23
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Questions:

Is there a train from the airport to the RAI station?
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Last edited by Michael Struthers; August 29th, 2006 at 10:14 PM.
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Old August 29th, 2006, 11:34 AM   #24
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Yes, underneath Schiphol airport is a trainstation. It will have a direct connection
(no need to switch trains, get the right one though!) with station Amsterdam RAI.

Amsterdam is a city with some good bars and clubs. I've only been out in A'dam
(as we abbreviate it to) a couple of times. There are a couple of well known
clubs like iT, Escape, Melkweg and Paradiso. Basically you need to head to
the center of the city.

Perhaps something like this might help:

http://www.amsterdamtourist.com/

I do see that a lot of that stuff is very outdated. I checked a few things out
and no, do not tip the bouncers, pay in guilders (we have euros now) or dress
up. Most clothes are fine (don't wear jersey's and certain kind of sneakers though).

I'll ask a friend of mine in Holland who knows Amsterdam a lot better to see what
he has to say...

Amsterdam's own site seems to be a bit more up-to-date:

http://www.iamsterdam.com/visiting_e...ture/nightlife


A couple of additions to Americans / Canadians that are going to drive here in
Holland. We do not have right turn through red (just wait till hit turns green)
and we do not have the same rules for an intersection (you go in the order
that you arrived from).

If it is an intersection (or road inside a city / town) that is not a road that
always has the right of way (and doesn't have traffic lights) traffic coming
from right (including bicycles) has the right of way.

You will see what we call "shark teeth" on the road if you approach a road
that always has the right of way (you need to wait to turn onto such a road
until no traffic is in the immediate area of your intersection).
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Old August 29th, 2006, 10:13 PM   #25
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Thanks Rob! Great info start...
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Old September 1st, 2006, 02:40 AM   #26
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Okay, some other things you may need to be aware off:

We are on different cell frequencies here, so you will need something like a
tri-band phone to make calls here (or be able to use a Dutch prepaid sim)

The national emergency (like 911) number is 112. The country code for Holland
is 31 (so someone dialling Holland needs to add +31 and drop the first 0 that
all Dutch phone numbers have). If you're dialling a foreign country from a land-
line dial a double zero (00) and then the code of the country (1 for the US).
Or replace the 00 with a + on a cell phone.

Our power grid is different as well (and of course our video standard is PAL
and not NTSC), 230 volts / 50 Hertz instead of 110v/60Hz you get there.
The power plugs are quite different as well!

Currently the weather is quite bad, but the projections for late next week
are looking pretty good as in a nice post summer. Guess we'll have to see
and wait!

Do bring layers of clothing though. If it is indeed warm (and perhaps a bit
humid!) you can just wear a shirt or something. But it can easily cool down
a lot (especially by night) that you may want to wear a sweater or something.

Water is 100% good and safe to drink everywhere in the nation and Dutch
people do so themselves. There should be plenty of bottled water available
at IBC as well. Most restaurants serve decent food as well.

You are required to have identification on you at ALL times in Holland. So I
would not advice you to leave the passport in the hotel room or something.

Do NOT expect to be able to pay much (definitely not all stuff) with
your credit card. Hotels should accept most major cards and restaurants
usually (but a lot of them don't!) accept at least 1 major card. Most (smaller)
shops probably do not accept any credit cards. Gas stations do. Most people
here in Holland pay with a debit card or cash.

If you have a credit card with pin you should be able to withdraw money from
that on ATM's that you find everywhere (called a "pin automaat", "geld automaat")
here in Holland. Big banks in Holland are: ABN Amro, Postbank, Rabobank &
SNS Bank and most of their offices have ATM machines and are available
throughout the city. Amsterdam has a number of currency exchange shops
as well.

If you have a debit card that may work as well. I don't know for sure since
I don't have a foreign debit card. I do know that my own debit card works
fine in the US!

Oh yeah, gas prices are much higher here. Sorry :)
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Old September 2nd, 2006, 03:45 PM   #27
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I'll be there.

Just found out that I'm able to attend.

Just booked my flights today. I'll be there from Sat - Tues.
I still need to find a place to stay. (!)

Best place to find me will be the Tiffen/Steadicam booth.


- Mikko
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Old September 2nd, 2006, 04:52 PM   #28
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Mikko: use the IBC hotel service. Probably the only thing that should still have
some rooms available.... Good luck!
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Old September 2nd, 2006, 06:50 PM   #29
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Naw, they were out ages ago.

Gonna be a hostel I think. EDIT: yup, all booked! :)

- Mikko

Last edited by Mikko Wilson; September 3rd, 2006 at 05:18 PM.
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