Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Good Girls Go to Heaven, Bad Girls Go to Amsterdam

Hey all,

Well, I'm back again and we are still in Amsterdam.

When last we parted, I'd just discovered the riverside flower market. A beautiful way to indulge your senses. But now I was heading for something not so light and pretty. But you sure as hell can indulge all right! LOL

It's Red Light District time.

Now, for those of you who don't know, Amsterdam is a pretty open to anything town. Prostitution is not only legal, but regulated and taxed. While I was told you can buy someone all over town, this is the area where most of those slightly frowned upon things hang out.

I went for the space cakes and to see the sex shops. And found myself in awe of the women who have the guts to stand in a window and toss "come hither" looks at passing strangers.

The picture to the right and below is just a taste of what you might see. There are girls of every shape and size and all ages. I saw grannies! I kid you not. I saw oversize women, girls dressed up as baby dolls and then the more normal costumes ranging from barely there underwear to sailor suits with split crotches and one even dressed up as a fireman(woman).

The place is like a rabbit warren with alley after alley of narrow windows that show off the prostitutes "room". They are decorated in character for the girl and a door leads to the outside where the "client" knocks for entrance. There are strict rules about NOT taking photos of the women so the photos here are ones I got off the internet. If you'd like to see more, just google-- amsterdam red light district. There are a plethora of pics.

Now, I don't have a problem with the whole seeing yourself for sex thing. I've often thought it should be legalized and regulated like it is in parts of Nevada. But I found myself having difficulty as to where I should look when I walked by these working women. Maybe in part was the fact they were crooking their fingers my way, and I totally don't swing that way, but mostly, I realized that even though I say I don't have a problem with it, my narrow American world view had trouble digesting what I saw.

Does that make sense?

I'd fight for their right to do it, but seeing it made me very uncomfortable. That's something I'll have to chew on a bit more to understand.

And let me tell you about the sex shops. Every other store has things I'd never seen and in my line of work, I've seen a LOT. I was at first embarrassed, but after the first few, it's no big deal to walk on in and discuss the goods with the clerks.

I picked up a couple of interesting toys, (are you reading this Jonathon?) and then sprinted over to do some window gawking at the sex musuem on the corner. Wow! I have never seen some of those positions.

Now it's handy that one of the best known coffeehouses (places to purchase pot) is also in the red light district. I searched out and found Hunter's Cafe which is just off one of the alleys or rabbit warrens. I went in and was pleased to find they did have in stock, space cakes.

I purchased one and sat down amidst the reefer smoke and nibbled my way to nirvana. It wasn't the best brownie I'd ever had, but it made me remember the old days when I was in college. LOL

I had a great time people watching as tourists came in to ask about the type of pot that could be bought and what could they do with it after they paid for it.

Watching them light up the first time was a hoot!

I was a little disappointed. I ate my brownie, had a coffee and enjoyed the view, but I didn't get a buzz. Oh well, at least I'd done the deed!

I headed back out of the red light district and went and picked up my souvenirs, including a shirt that said--you guessed it-- Good Girls Go to Heaven, Bad Girls Go to Amsterdam! LOL Then I bid a fond farewell to the beautiful canal city and took the train back to the airport.

Got there in plenty of time and set about repacking my luggage when the oddest thing happened. I suddenly realized that my mouth was really, really dry. I'd drink some water, but nothing seemed to help. Then, as I was packing, it dawned on me that I was grinning like an idiot and staring off into space for unknown periods of time.

Oh, oh. The damn space cakes finally kicked in.

That thought had me laughing like a loon and I have to tell you, packing my suitcase when high isn't the easiest thing to do. I think a ten minute job took me over an hour. Luckily I had plenty of time. And it was so much fun. I love getting mello.

Note to all: Eat pot filled brownies when you are NOT on a time sensitive schedule or do as I did and give yourself a LOT of extra time. *snort*

But I made it on the plane (which was packed--no laying down on this flight) and headed off to Singapore. Amsterdam was a great layover and I hope to take Jonathon there one day. I want to see his eyes bug out when he sees the ladies! LOL

Anyway, I'll be back tomorrow with my first day in Singapore. Take care and I hope you are enjoying this travel log!

Hugs,

15 comments:

Jessica Freely said...

Oh CJ, you are a bold adventurer! Reading your posts inspires me to travel more -- LOL!

Seriously, though, I'm enjoying this series. Keep it up!

J.A. Saare said...

Love the pictures. One day, I hope to venture to Amsterdam. ;-)

Jaime

starrsback said...

I want to go to Amsterdam with you... I have never even traveled out of the country at all... Do you think you will incorporate your experiences in one of your books...

kieran said...

Iv just stumbled onto your blog through chance and it turns out I'm heading to Amsterdam this Monday for my friends 18th. Is there any places you would recommend going? Or sights you recommend seeing? Oh ignore the name, I'm aware its lame LOL

Sultry Summers said...

Sounds like the place my husband told me about. LOL. He was young and in the Navy so you know what he was doing! Ha! You know the old - Old? song - 'Only The Good Die Young' Well - I should live to be rather old - damn, I think I'll join you over there and change my odds.
Sultry

sjrlive said...

Hey CJ, I've been following your blog and color me "wishing I was there" LOL. I'm glad you 'enjoyed' your brownie - when in Rome and all that...
So, your cultural 'Puritan' showed up in the Red Light District? I can relate. I like to think of myself as liberated but 'old fashioned' does crop up now and then for sure.
Thanks for taking the time to share, Sara J.

CJ England said...

Jessaca,

LOL I hope to inspire people. I adore traveling and I am always looking to do more. I just found that Bali is just an hour away and the diving is great!!!!

I can't wait!

CJ England said...

Thanks, Jaime,

I only was able to touch the surface of the city. Jonathon and I want to go back and tour the entire country. I never did see a windmill! None in Amsterdam itself. :-(

CJ

CJ England said...

Hey there Starrsback,

I have a rule that I only write about places where I've visited. So pick up any book of mine and you'll see a place I've been.

Don't Spank the Vamp - Monterey, Peacekeeper Journals Series - San Francisco and Ireland, Second Chances Series - Seattle, West Virgina and Nashville and that's just a taste.

Even my fantasy and sci fi books like Eyes of Fire and More than a Warrior may be set on other worlds, but the descriptions are taken from this one.

CJ

CJ England said...

Kieran,

Google Amsterdam on a Day and you'll find tons of ideas.

But my recommendations are the following for just touristy stuff.

1. Canal Boat Ride- A must see for the overview of the city.
2. The Flower Market- So colorful and vibrant.
3. Museums- If you're into that, they've got the Van Gogh one and is supposed to be awesome.

Now if you want to do something crazy for the 18th birthday, head to the red light district and go pub hopping. They've got guides and you can go from place to place and some offer the coffeehouse (pot) alternative.

Just heading down at night and watching the area come to life would be totally exciting. I had to leave by 6 to make my plane, but I'm told it comes to life about 11 pm.

Have fun and stop back to tell us what you did!

CJ

CJ England said...

LOL Sultry,

I'd love to put together a "Sensual and Erotic Authors Tour" and all go together.

Amsterdam won't know what hit them! We'd knock them on their butts!!!!

CJ

CJ England said...

Sara,

OMG...that's perfect. My cultural puritan. That's exactly what happened. In my heart I don't have a problem with it, but there was a part of me that just didn't know what to do.

CJ

Sultry Summers said...

Forgot one thing CJ - I wish you bring some of those baked goods home with you. God I miss those.
I DO have a good recept for them but haven't used it in years
Wonder Why?
Sultry

Phylis said...

There must be a longer time eating as opposed to smoking it. lol Makes sense to me. I undertsand the puritan thing as well. I think I'm faily open minded but I could see me having a bit of trouble while there. Sounds like you are having fun and the pics are gorgeous. Can't wait to see and hear more.

Jonathan Mack said...

Nice post!
By the way, if you have any intentions of visiting Red Light District, you should check out The Amsterdam Red Light Guide