Travel restrictions? Not all ‘trips’ require a plane ticket
Spending the winter in Amsterdam is not exactly the most appealing thing ever, especially during Corona time. With bars and restaurants closed, no parties allowed, and social distancing, living in Amsterdam can become quite boring. In years past it was possible to book a nice Christmas holiday somewhere warm and tropical. In 2020 that is not possible.
But a trip is a trip! And in the Netherlands, you can visit unknown places and locations, from the comfort of your own sofa. The ticket for such a first-class trip can be purchased in any smart shop in Amsterdam. Your boarding pass is a plastic container full of 15 grams of magic truffles.Watch out though, these are not candies, and if you are not well prepared you risk a bad experience. Before taking them, always ask the person behind the counter for advice, and be sure to be in a position where you cannot harm yourself or others.
Let’s talk about legality because the story of how truffles became legal is quite surprising. In 2008, the Dutch government was busy making magic mushrooms illegal, and while they were banning more than 100 species of hallucinogenic plants, they forgot to include “sclerotia”. Sclerotia is the scientific name for magic truffles. Technically they are not mushrooms; they are the part of the mushroom organism which grows underground. The government didn’t realize that the wording of the left open the sale of psychedelic sclerotia.
‘Shrooms’, and the ‘truffles’ which sustain them from underground contain the chemical psilocybin, the substance responsible for psychedelic trips. Magic truffles do not harm humans and by themselves don’t cause any kind of physical damage. But they are still considered a drug, so it’s best to be careful with them.
If you live in Amsterdam, you’ve likely developed a “stoner radar”. You are probably capable of detecting the dozens of super high tourists that roam around the canals and risk their lives on the crowded bike paths. Of course, this scenario might not be the most reassuring about the benefit of psychedelics. But there is a way to simply and quietly enjoy your trip, and we are here to help show you how.
First step: information and supply
One of the main mistakes those who engage in drug-tourism in Amsterdam make is not informing themselves about the effects of the edible and snortable substances they plan to take. Gathering information does not simply mean succumbing to the temptation of colorful posters outside smart shops and reading all the exaggerated info on the varieties and strength of magic truffles. You simply need to do some quick online research to understand what is the best choice for a newby or an experienced psychonaut.
It is essential to have a little chat with the cashier of the smart shop. They are really helpful and can explain how long the trip will last, what is the best quantity to eat, how to enhance or stop the trip, and so on. Usually, you can choose between a box of 10 grams (15-18 euro) or a box of 15 grams (18-25 euro), depending on what you want to experience. Of course, a smaller dose will correspond to a lighter trip, and vice versa.
Second step: set, setting, and trip sitter.
Nice! You bought you little magic truffles box and you just cannot wait to eat ‘em all, together with your friend, while you sit on the couch tripping balls. But are you sure you’re in the right place? It’s critical to take your trip in the right place. We’re talking about physical as well as mental space. If you are just starting to experience psychedelics for the first time or if you are experiencing great stress and anxiety, then maybe is better to eat a small quantity or a weaker variety of truffle. This can make the difference between a good and a bad trip.
For physical space, there is not much to say. It’s always good to be in a quiet space: at home, in a park, or the woods. It’s not a brilliant idea to go walk in the middle of the street or go dance in a club on psychedelics. Make sure you feel comfortable in your clothes and your position, try to sit or lay down, in an area where you can be with your friends, without too many intruders.
But the real key to the perfect trip is music. From classical music to electronic (Ambient, trip-hop, chillout, dub) choose something you like to enhance your experience.
It’s normal to feel stressed and anxious about a trip. It’s a new experience which will take you to mental place unlike any you have ever inhabited. That can be scary to think about it. That’s why you should consider asking a friend to be your trip sitter. They will be your babysitter during the trip, helping to control the situation and offering reassurance should you need it. Don’t feel too sorry for them: next time you can switch places!
Third step: enjoy your trip
The trip has started, sit down, fasten your seat belt, and get ready to travel into the depths of your mind. You see the tree branches change color, and for some reasons you want to laugh and cry at the same time. You hear sounds differently and more profoundly. Don’t worry, it’s all normal. Always remember to take in some deep breaths and not to fight the trip. Most of all, remember that the trip is not eternal. No matter how you may feel in the middle of it, it will end.
These three simple steps drastically reduce the chance you’ll have a bad trip. But that begs the question: what even is a bad trip? A mixture of anxiety, paranoia, and annoying visuals. This rarely happens with small doses, but it can happen if it’s your first time, especially if you take a large quantity of a strong variety of truffle.
Psilocybin is a useful substance in medicine, especially in therapy. It can be used to fight addictions and heal trauma. Truffles contain the right amount to make you feel introspective, enough to open up with your friends, laugh and cry. They should never be abused and must be taken with attention and respect.
My dear future psychonaut, after this guide, you might be considering a psychedelic trip. Always remember to inform yourself correctly and do this with those that you trust. You will be surprised to discover the bond that such an experience creates between you and your friends.
Disclaimer: we do not encourage the use of drugs and we strongly condemn their abuse. We advise adults who have decided to try the experience, to do it in a conscious way. The article is also published in a newspaper in the Netherlands and refers to a legal product in the Netherlands.