Friday, October 22, 2010

Wandering around Amsterdam on the First Night

Welcome to Amsterdam.

One of my first sights in Amsterdam.

There are bikes everywhere.

Another early view of Amsterdam.

After checking in the hostel and talking to one of the workers for a bit I decided to explore what I could of Amsterdam. It was around 7 pm I think when I left so there wasn't much daylight out.

I walked by some coffee shops, places to smoke marijuana, and went in a general weed store to check out what they had. There were marijuana lollipops, a marijuana red bull type of drink, hemp shirts, hemp hats, joint holders and more. It was interesting for like 5-10 minutes and then I left, without buying anything of course.
A "coffee shop".

Hemp Store

The Dutch people don't seem to work late. Pretty much everything was already closed so I decided to visit the red light district. I figure that will for sure be open late. I had heard that the reality was that the red light district is a really sad sad scene. I had heard that the old perception was that these girls that worked there because they wanted to, not because they needed no longer applies. Maybe, I'm really not sure. Of course they are all smiles when people walk by but I'm like 100% that being a prostitute really sucks and that they probably have crappy lives.

There are supposed to be girls of all shapes, sizes and colors, but I only saw black, white and one thai girl (could have been a lady boy). Most of the black women I assume are from africa and many of them were really fat. There were lots of pretty white girls. I was surprised, I figured hookers would look pretty nasty in real life. Nope... at least in Amsterdam they look like barbie dolls wearing bikinis / lingerie. I believe most of these girls are eastern european, very few are Dutch, or so I was told. The hostel worker said you can tell the difference by their eyes, I could not. Anyway I believe most of these girls are eastern european because when I took pictures (you're not supposed to take pictures) they would yell at me “fucking idiot” and stuff like that with an accent that I assumed was some type of eastern european.

So anyway there are these little windows and the girls stand inside them with lingerie and try to look as inviting as possible. They tap on the window as you walk by to get your attention. They actually rent these windows. I'm not sure how much they are but I believe it's not cheap. They make up for it by charging a high price for 15 minutes. I'm not sure exactly how much because I did not want to catch any venereal diseases from them and I'm just not into whoring.

The street where the red light district begins has been renamed Sunset Blvd for obvious reasons.

Hard to see but there's a sex worker sitting in a chair.

Several sex workers

An empty booth

Another booth with the curtains drawn back so you can see where the 'love' happens.

I did actually ask one if she would let me ask her a few questions so I could post it on youtube. She said it would cost me. I said, ok, how much. She said 50 euros for 15 minutes. I was like, I don't have that many questions for you lady, how about just a 5 minute interview. She said no so I left without an interview for you guys.

Now then, I had been try to get a picture of the hookers discretely but it wasn't working. The pictures came out too dark and you can't see anything. I decided then to just try and walk by and video tape it real fast. I got caught and the girl quickly closed the curtain and banged the window really loudly to warn the other girls to close theirs. As I kept walked she opened the door and called me a “fucking idiot”. Nice.

This quick video shows what the hookers look like in Amsterdam, I got yelled at for this.

On the way back to my hostel I got lost and was wandering around for quite a while in the cold miserable rain. I should emphasize miserable cuz it really, really was. I couldn't find any damn street signs so my map was useless. I learned later that the street signs are on the buildings. How annoying, but once I found that out I could get around better.

Anyway so that was my first day in Amsterdam. I came all the way here where marijuana and prostitution is legal and didn't engage in any of these activities for my whole trip. Instead I did things like try some raw herring dish... more on that later.

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