Friday, March 28, 2008

Amsterdam Trip Part Zes: In case you were wondering...

I didn't enter any tea or coffee houses, to get any tea or coffee. And as for the coffeeshops, where visitors go not for a pot of coffee, but, well, pot? Nope, not my scene. Going to one of those was truly never on my agenda. But it was the modus operandi for a whole bunch of tourists, many from the US, most from the UK:

  • the granola girls from many countries,
  • the middle class white boys with dreadlocks,
  • the occasional hippie dude playing guitar or violin (!) on the street to get enough money for pot and his hostel room,
  • the chavs yelling at dealers selling harder stuff on the street (Amsterdam's coffeeshops are VERY adamant about stopping the hard stuff),
  • and pretty much any other American or Brit tourist that specifically came for the mary jane.
The smarter dope tourists will have gotten high in moderation, so I'm not talking about them. The funny ones were the ones who just went to excess! One group of kids we ran into in our hotel as we were taking the elevator to the room. They were very stoned, and studying a sign with great difficulty, or maybe it was their room number. I'm not sure. At least they didn't throw up on us. They probably did that outside of the coffeeshop they went to last. Blobs of puke in front of coffeeshops were not uncommon.

It's interesting that so many of them chose to openly smoke it on the streets, because that actually is illegal. Some of them probably got arrested.

As for Amsterdam's other famous vice, the "working girls" of the Red Light District: I did see them. If you've been paying attention, y'all have figured out I wasn't there to visit them. But lots of male tourists were. And the women who work in the prostitution booths? Protected by the law and by a very large man, and with health benefits from their employers! Still, one guy must have overstepped his boundaries. One day when I was walking back from a long day of sightseeing and, of course, more walking, I would up walking through the RLD and heard "OUT!" yelled in the distance. I turned around and saw some guy being thrown out of one of the prostitution businesses. The guy just cursed and muttered. I don't know exactly what he did, but I can only wonder.