Trauma In Amsterdam (Part 5)

Yesterday I was telling you about when I first went to Amsterdam.

That was back in 2005.

I had a great time partying and drinking waaaaaaay to much for a few days.

Then on the final night….

I got mugged on the street.

Actually, mugged isn’t quite the right word.

We’d been in a bar — some place with a live rock band — and after everyone went off to a nightclub. I was exhausted and not feeling great, so I decided to go back to the place we were staying early (very rare for me, it must be said…).

I was walking up a small street by myself…

When suddenly a car pulled up next to me, the back door opened, and two massive guys got out. One proceeded to point a knife at me. He took my bag, jacket, and (bizarrely) the shirt I was wearing…

Then they just got back in the car and left.

I was pretty drunk and I’m built like a 12-year-old girl. So I guess they just saw me as an easy target.

It was winter and freezing cold outside….

… and I had to walk back topless.

To make it worse, I got lost and had no idea where I was. In the end some guy found me wandering around, lent me his jacket and walked with me to the place I was staying.

Then the next morning I had to go to the police station to report the theft.

Just hours before my flight home.

Luckily my passport wasn’t in my bag, otherwise, I would have had a big, big problem.

I’m happy to say that this time I didn’t get mugged…

On the contrary.

Amsterdam is listed as one of the safest cities in Europe, and I can kind of see why.

Guess it was just a random incident.



Julian Northbrook
Language Punk. Mugged.

P.S. Truth is, this sort of thing can happen anywhere.

Japan is probably one of the safest countries in the world. But bad shit does happen.

What can I say?

Be careful and aware that there are total bastards wherever you go.

P.P.S. Get the first chapter of my best-selling book, Master English FAST here.

Trauma In Amsterdam (Part 4)

Hello from cloudy Tokyo.

Over the last few days I wrote about an embarrassing situation in Amsterdam last week.

I called it…

“Trauma in Amsterdam”

… but well, it wasn’t very traumatic to be honest. Just a little embarrassing. But last night I was thinking. I actually did have a VERY traumatic experience in Amsterdam.

It was all the way back in 2005.

Five people in my university (myself included) was invited to go to Amsterdam to participate in a student-art completion.

Here’s a picture:

Yes that’s me.

And yes, I’m shamelessly standing there while my tutor hangs my artwork up for me.

None of us won anything, but we had a great 5 days partying every night (and most days, too).

Then on the final night…

Well, that is when the traumatic experience occurred.

(This time an actual traumatic experience.)

I’ll tell you about it tomorrow.

In the meantime, it’s Friday, and that means it’s time for a new lesson. This week is the first part in our three part ” EES Amsterdam Special”.

Amsterdam is quite an exciting city at the moment.

What with Brexit and the subsequent downfall of London (or it’s impending downfall, anyway) many companies are moving to Amsterdam…. which sets the city up nicely to become the “New London”.


Julian Northbrook
Language Punk. Traumatised.

P.S. If you missed Part 1 ~ 3 go here, here and here.

P.P.S. Get the first chapter of my best-selling book, Master English FAST here.

Trauma in Amsterdam (Part 3)

This is continuing from yesterday….

click here for Part 1

and here for Part 2

There I am.

Sitting in an Amsterdam hotel eating my breakfast and trying to drive the jet lag out of my head with copious amounts of coffee when a Japanese father and daughter come down.

The daughter then proceeds to talk about me.

And pester her dad to start up a conversation with me in English.


Although it started off kind of amusing it was getting really, really uncomfortable.

A couple of times I caught her eye….

What I should have done right there was just get up and go somewhere else. But there wasn’t anywhere to sit comfortably in my room, and I wanted my damn coffee.

But then, just when I thought this irritating girl had gotten bored of talking about me in Japanese, totally oblivious to the fact I could understand everything she was saying…

… she didn’t know where to put their plates after breakfast.

And she starts AGAIN with the pestering of her dad.

” Now’s your chance!”

” Plllleeease, go ask that guy!!”

By now her dad is looking tired and unamused. And I’m tired, jet lagged and feeling more and more irritated.


I should have just left.

But before I even knew what I was doing, I looked right at her, opened my mouth and asked in Japanese:

“Anything I can help you with?”

You should have seen the look on her face.

The phrase “stunned into silence” doesn’t do it justice. She would probably have looked less shocked if I’d poured a bucket of ice-water over her head.

Her dad took it much better, it must be said.

In fact, he looked quite amused.

Long story short, I asked the hotel staff where to put the finished plates, and relayed the message — his daughter wide eyed, mouth opening and closing like a dying fish all the while.

Hope she felt stupid.

And let it be a lesson to you — just because something is unlikely, doesn’t mean it’s never going to happen.

Thing is…

I really hate this kind of situation.

Things like this ruin my day — I end up thinking about it all day, and feeling stupid. Regretting that I didn’t just walk away.


Julian Northbrook
Language Punk. Embarrassed.

P.S. Click here to read the first chapter of my book for free.