When Stephie Grob Plante visited Amsterdam and tried psychedelic mushrooms for the first (and only) time, her first instinct was to call her father—one of the country’s leading clinical researchers of psychedelic-assisted therapy. The story of a strange trip.
Stephie Grob Plante’s Pacific Standard essay is available to subscribers—in print or digital formats—now, and will be posted online in full on Thursday, November 06. Until then, an excerpt:
I never dreamed I’d get “experienced.”
Then, in the fall of 2006, my best friend and I went to Amsterdam with some classmates from a study abroad program in Dublin. “Shrooming in Amsterdam is like visiting the Eiffel Tower in Paris,” my friend announced. “It’s our responsibility as tourists.” I watched as he divvied up what looked like long-stemmed porcinis, determined not to participate.
“You’re skinny—you don’t need a lot,” I told him, dispensing my third-hand expertise. I broke his mushroom stalk in half, gave him the larger piece and, in a sudden burst of resolve, popped the other in my mouth. Mushrooms were legal in Amsterdam in 2006. I felt safe; I went for it.
From all my reading, I recognized the signs of encroaching euphoria—the light flutter around my heart, the heightened senses. We left our hostel and walked toward Vondelpark. Soon nothing sounded like a better idea than calling my dad.
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