Shake It, Shake It Baby

I went to Amsterdam near Christmas and I did my best to try everything, as I’m wont to do – Gouda cheese, stroopwafels, brown cafes, regional beer, Gezellig pubs and most of all the red light district.  I loved Amsterdam’s cheese shops because of their multiple, well-stocked tasting stations throughout their stores where you could taste every single flavour of cheese from pesto to champagne.  I walked into a few Brown cafes (where you can legally buy and smoke pot) but I couldn’t handle the stench (no offence, all ye stoners).

The thing that I found most fascinating was the red light district.  I’m not used to seeing women advertise themselves so overtly (other than Friday night at your average, swanky city bar).  All the women that we saw on our first night were fairly attractive and white, of athletic build, and sporting white underwear that glowed under UV-light.  It was like walking past a Barbie doll store, but each Barbie was sexy and undulating.  Their windows were clearly marked by red fluoro lights around the edge and if the curtain was closed, business was … good.  Some of the rooms had rental prices listed on them and I think a standard room costed each prostitute $80 for the night shift or $40 for the day.  The mathemtatician in me figured that if they paid $80 rent and got “worked off their feet” for 12 hours, they’d make a tidy sum.  Whenever I walked past them with my female companion in tow, the women looked straight past me like I wasn’t even there.  I felt like Mr Cellophane.

During the day shift, I noticed a big difference in the women, with more variety of colours and shapes.  I can only assume that “Barbies” are more expensive, so they can afford to rent the rooms during night shift.  I also noticed that, when I walked alone, the women were much more interested in attracting my attention.  It could be said that it was me who became attractive.

Excellent FAQ about the Red Light District –
Gezellig, defined –
Holland vs the Netherlands, explained –
Mr Cellophane, a song –


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