Female perspective · non-fiction

The Would-be Amsterdam Voyeurs

My cousin H and I went to Amsterdam for our “joint” birthday celebration—I only emphasise the word “joint” for the double-entendre, but I’ve only tried smoking weed once in my entire life and I can tell you I failed miserably at it. Didn’t even inhale the stuff properly.

We have half-Dutch cousins on my dad and her mum’s side of the family, so we thought—fuck it let’s get an AirBnB, mooch around Amsterdam like a couple of loons and then have a family reunion! Of course, Amsterdam is practically synonymous with those three words that everybody loves: ‘Red Light District’. We had already planned to visit a hard rock and metal bar called Excalibur (an excellent name), which just so happened to be located bang in the middle of the Red Light District. When we were trying to find the place, we were both so hesitant to ask anyone for directions, it was really silly. In my naivety, I hadn’t realised that the sex workers actually roam the windows during the day and I swear one of the women was feeling me up with her eyes. Well, it doesn’t exactly surprise me. I’m sure anyone would be make fine customer, men and women alike. As H and I (huh, those are in alphabetical order..) walked along the side of the river where the shows were, a man stopped us with a spirited: “Hey ladies, there’s something for you here too, you know!” We both waved our hands around dismissively, interspersed with hushed debates between ourselves—should we? It would be hilarious…right? 

In the end, we had already walked too far. In our minds, it was already too late to retrace our steps. Although we had a fun time exploring the city, it feels like we passed by the opportunity to go to a peep show or something equally as tantalising. At first, I suggested it as a kind of joke, but now…I would absolutely go. A friend once told us about the time he went for a weekend to Amsterdam with his, now, ex-girlfriend and how they went to the Bananenbar, a place that featured midgets eating bananas out of vaginas—or at least that’s how I seem to remember the story going. It’s just a ferry journey or flight away and yet the chance doesn’t come by all that often to get away on holiday with my best friend. We got soaked in the rain, we shopped for random breakfast bits at Albert Heijn (practically the only not-so-supermarket chain available in central Amsterdam) and spend quality time with our Dutch cousins, who—for sibling rivalry reasons between my dad and his brother which are completely unfathomable to everyone else—we rarely see.

Uh…so the point of this post was that the peep shows and all the other sex stuff that goes down in Amsterdam would be so much fun to actually do properly sometime. Also, the city is architecturally and aesthetically a comforting place to be so…Laten we gaan!



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