Expat Magazine

AMSTERDAM: Of Expat Love and Red Lights

By Miss Footloose @missfootloose


Amsterdam, Red Light District

Have you heard the stories about Amsterdam, city of decadence and debauchery?  The city sports a Hash Museum, an Erotic Museum, cannabis-selling “coffee shops,” a yearly Gay Pride Parade and the  infamous Red Light District.

And now, dear reader, imagine this: I, Miss Footloose, lived in Amsterdam in my tender youth and again in my less-tender college days and came away morally unscathed.  Well, more or less.  I did come away with an American expat vriend (later to become my husband), who had come to live in the Netherlands (aka Holland) for study and travel.  Not to study Amsterdam and its wicked ways, but international business, also full of wickedness.

So we met in Amsterdam, Dutch girl and American boy. How romantic! I hear you say. Well, actually we met in a  large, modern office where I was typing boring contracts and he was an intern learning about buying and selling futures on the stock market.  How romantic a setting is that?  Not so much. But never mind.


Floating Flower Market on the Singel Canal

We explored Amsterdam, and each other, and romance bloomed.  You know how that goes.  Amsterdam is a good place for blooming and exploring, so google it if you’re interested.  One evening we were out with  friends, an American couple, and it was decided that they could not count themselves as being educated European style if they had not visited Amsterdam’s Rosse Buurt, or Red Light District.  So off we went.

It was a dark and balmy night, but all was festively aglow in the Red Light District, a place I had never visited before.  What can I say?  It was fascinating!  There was so much to buy and see!  Girls in windows and doorways, porn, sex toys, flirty lingerie, cannibis, ice cream!

Girls in windows and doorways.  I must admit, I was impressed by the fancy outfits, the creative hairdos and the glamorous makeup.  I felt like a little unsophisticated milkmaid from the country!  The three Americans were all a-goggle as well by all that splendor.


Statue of a prostitute, the only one in the world. The church in the background is the 14th century Oude Kerk, still not giving up on lost souls

The girls in windows and doorways did not like us looking at them.  We could tell.  They glared at us and made rude gestures and comments.  Well, I could understand why.  It must have been obvious to them we were not potential clients, being two couples walking hand in hand and clearly not shopping for the more kinky services they might have on offer.

We passed by one working girl artfully draped in the doorway of her place of business, all her wares on display: long legs, lots of hair, fortified mammary glands peeking out of her red lace bodice.  You get the picture.

“You!” she snarled, pointing her blood red fingernail at my American Romeo. “Now you don’t know me, do you?  Last week, oh, you knew me then, didn’t you?”

Rendered in perfect English.

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