Hmm … there's a story in this. Hopeful it wasn’t wired with semtex – the name Sharaf suggested Pakistan – I phoned reception and a man in a suit came and took it away. No explosions were heard. Potential detonations out of the way, and noting the no-smoking sign, I went back downstairs and crossed the street to Rusland Coffee Shop, the very first legal dope smoking joint in Amsterdam..
The following day a bike was swiftly rented and off we set to Vondel Park to reconnoitre an extension to the increasingly popular Magnificent Journey That Not Many People Know About, which is the perfect way to begin and end a trip, it has to be said.
Returning to the sand is never a happy experience but I did perk up the next day when CNN aired a documentary on the Cold War and particularly peasant Kremlin leader Nikita Khrushchev, who initiated a massive construction project in the Moscow suburbs during the 1960s – copied throughout the empire - and introduced the world to panel housing and the ubiquitous Soviet projects.
Vive la revolution!