Amsterdam after dark

May 10th
Posted by shambo  as Culture, Sex, Wives, Women

Amsterdam window lady

Let me say this about that.

Quickly now!¬† Tell me three things you know about The Netherlands.¬† Can’t think of three?¬† OK, how about one thing?¬† Fact is, most Americans don’t know a helluva lot about The Netherlands.

¬†If you use the term ‘Holland’, we tend to revert back to our grammar school days to recall things like windmills and wooden shoes, even though ‘Holland’ makes up just a small part of the country of The Netherlands.¬† Then, there is the story of the little boy who stuck his finger in the dike, even though the mental image of that scene can be disturbing to the folks with an alternative lifestyle.

To add to the confusion, the people of The Netherlands are not called ‘Netherlanders’, they are called the ‘Dutch’.¬† So, to summarize our little geography lesson, we have people called the ‘Dutch’,¬†who live in ‘Holland’,¬†in the country of The Netherlands.¬†

As you might imagine,¬†Americans have trouble figuring out anything that happens¬†in The Netherlands.¬† The Dutch¬†play by their own rules, have an extremely liberal point of view, and have little regard for…¬†¬†¬† the rest of the civilized world’s view on how they run their country.¬† Even simple things like their libraries.¬† I offer the following evidence:

In 2005, the librarian in the town of Almelo developed an idea designed to bring better understanding to the plight of their town’s marginalized citizens.¬† She rounded-up dozens of drug addicts, prostitutes, homosexuals, handicapped, gypsies and the like,¬†and offered to “check-them-out”, along with any of the books in the library.¬† After checking-out a person, the library patron interacts with the person in any way that might foster better understanding of that person’s lifestyle.¬† Word has it that the program immediately got into trouble – perhaps for reasons like the following:

Library patron:¬† “Yes, good afternoon.¬† I wonder if you could help me.¬† I am interested in checking out one of your disadvantaged persons.”

Librarian:¬† “Of course, sir.¬† What type of a person are you interested in?”

Partron:¬† “I would like a deaf, crack-smoking, gypsy prostitute, preferably wheelchair bound with a case of swine flu.”

Librarian:¬† “I see you have a broad range of interests, sir.¬† I believe you can find a person that fits your needs at the end of the aisle for ‘Self-Help’¬†¬†books.”

Amsterdam is the capital of The Netherlands and is also the capital of ‘crazy sombitches’.¬† For example, if you go to any one¬†of hundreds of “coffee houses” in Amsterdam, don’t bother to order a double frappuccino.¬† Coffee is usually not served in these coffee houses.¬† Ask for a menu and you will find 20 or 30 kinds of marijuana.¬† Order a joint of West African Whoopee Weed and, if you beg, the waiter might bring you a packet of instant coffee.¬† Technically, it’s illegal to sell pot in Amsterdam, but as long as you smoke it before you leave, no one (the cops) will bother you.¬†

The last time I was in an Amsterdam coffee house, I ordered a beer to go with my ‘coffee’ and was told that it was illegal to sell beer in these establishments.¬† As it turns out, the $10 I gave the waiter only proved it was illegal to sell a beer that costs less than $10 in an Amsterdam coffee house.

Mrs. Shambo¬†loves flowers and asked to come along on one of my visits to Amsterdam to see the tulip harvest.¬† I flew her over a few months later and arranged a tour of the flower markets.¬† When she returned to the hotel that afternoon, I asked her how she liked the tour.¬† She was enthusiastic about seeing all the beautiful flowers but wanted to see the ‘other’ market:

Shambo:¬† “What ‘other’ market, dear?”

Mrs. Shambo:¬† “The ‘Girl’ market.”

Shambo:¬† “The ‘Girl’ market?¬† What in the hell are you talking about?”

Mrs. Shambo:¬† “Don’t be coy with me, fat boy.¬† You’ve been doing business in¬†Amsterdam for years, and you’re telling me that you have never visited the street with the hookers in the store-front windows?¬† It’s the biggest tourist attraction in the city.”

Shambo:¬† “Oh, that.¬† Yeah, I think I might have heard something about that.¬† You’re sure you want to go over there?”

There was no way this was going to end well for me, but of course, she wanted to go.¬† So that night¬†I took her to the red-light district in the old part of the city.¬† Remarkably, this part of Amsterdam is very beautiful with Gothic architecture dating back centuries.¬† Along the main street, every other building has a couple of large, department-store like windows just like Macy’s, except there are no dummies in the windows – there are hookers in VERY sexy lingerie.¬†

I’ll admit, I was a little uneasy about the whole thing.¬† Mrs. Shambo said it was because I thought we might come across one of the ‘window ladies’ that would shout out:¬† “Hey, Shambo, long time – no see.”¬† Ridiculous, of course.

We turned down a side street and walked past a single building with a single store-front window, with a single lady in a¬†white lace outfit that would cause the devil himself to blush.¬† As we walked past, the window lady looked at us, raised three fingers, and cocked her head in an invitation to¬†both of¬†us.¬† As I entered mild cardiac arrest, the window lady motioned for us to enter the adjacent door.¬† I¬†glanced at Mrs. Shambo with a look that can only be described as “hopeful”.¬† Mrs. Shambo returned my glance with a look that can only be described as “I’m-about-to-jab-you-in-the-eye-with-a-sharp-stick.”¬†¬† As we moved down the street, I silently pondered the relative attributes of a heavenly ‘menage a’ trois’ versus a stick in my eye – that is until I walked directly into a metal street sign – Thwaaang!!!

And, that’s all I have to say about that.

Shambo

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