Even though I was well aware of the fact I was heading to Amsterdam, the worlds prostitute capital, I was still slightly taken aback when I saw my first red lights. Heading out of our hotel, we strolled past burger joints and plenty of wok and walks – after a short amble, we took a left to explore further off the beaten track. At least we thought that’s what we were doing, instead I was about to have an eye opening experience in Amsterdam.
As we walked further down the tight backstreet, a crimson glow grew stronger until I cam face to face with it. A naked woman wearing next to nothing in a shop window. Now you may be thinking that I am over reacting here, but you have to remember that until this point I thought Babestation was as weird as it got. Look. I am from a fairly ‘normal’ family. I don’t think I am above this kind of thing but while Amsterdam never felt ‘seedy‘, I just couldn’t warm to the RLD. The first girl we saw was a pretty blonde, eastern european with a well toned body and very large breasts – she was certainly not the kind of girl I was expecting to see, but then what kind of girl was I expecting?
Continuing on we soon realised we were making our way to the main parts of the RLD, complete with live sex shows, strip clubs and peep shows (2 euro for 2 minutes – nice). At this point, it was around 5PM and while the streets were not completely empty they did feel quiet and not quite how I had envisaged the place to be. After passing by the Banana Bar and Casa Rosso, we came to would appeared to be the end of the line. I noticed an elderly gent enjoying the view, so I whispered to Scott “that guy is absolutely loving it” – to my surprise he turned to me and agreed in broken English! The awkward part was that his wife and her friend seemed to be following right behind him, although they seemed to find it just as funny as we did. We escaped the RLD to tuck in to some steak and grilled chicken; Amsterdam is packed with top notch Argentinian steak houses. It reminded me of the top notch Uruguayan steak I had in the Canary Islands at Christmas!
Me and Scott decided to stay out a little later than our travel comrades and headed to a nearby bar to enjoy some local beer. The bar scene in ‘Dam is pretty good. From La Chouffe to Affligem, there are plenty of 8%+ ‘knock-out’ beers available for you to try before they send you to sleep. On our way home, we once again stumbled passed the RLD, this time the crowds were 5 deep. There were plenty of sellers and buyers deep in conversation and the majority of these bartering episodes ended in both parties agreeing on prices and services. The curtains are then pulled (thank god), the ‘transaction’ takes place, then the successful buyer carries out what I like to call the ‘walk of shame’. That was the end of our first night in the City and the RLD had well and truly made an impression on me, just not necessarily a good one.
The last couple of days were wash outs, so we didn’t spend too much time outside. The odd sprint between bars was as close as we got to the RLD, but we did stumble across a row of 5 doors each with its own lady in. We stood there in the pouring rain as these girls looked back, not quite laughing but almost. I asked myself who was the bigger fool, me for standing in the pissing rain or these folks for selling themselves on the street. On reflection, I’m pretty sure it was us – at least they got paid for getting wet.
That is my experience in Amsterdam. Got an interesting story about a RLD? Please comment below we’d love to hear it!