Sometimes exciting things in life are unplanned; and the lesser the expectation the greater the thrill.
One such thing happened to me on my recent trip to Amsterdam. Usually I am a planning person; but this trip was rather unplanned. Out of the three days there; we had only one day of sightseeing in Amsterdam. But as I mentioned earlier, nothing was planned. It was kind of a ‘take in stride’ trip.
Amsterdam is famous for a lot of infamous things. But, nothing of that sort was on my to-do-list. Firstly because I was not very keen and secondly my younger brother was also accompanying us on the trip.
As fate had planned it for us we unknowingly landed up booking a hotel room in the ‘Red Light District’. Yes, the famously infamous Red Light District of Amsterdam. A hub for anything and everything related to sex. Initially the knowledge was a bit awkward for me, but it was an awesome experience of a lifetime.
Protective environment and my personal inhibitions had never made me realise the expanse of the erotic industry. It was after coming here I realised the magnitude of it. Back in India, I had never been to any place like this before. You see, people from good families are not supposed to be going to such places….
The Red Light District is not only restricted to prostitution. There are a lot of other things which can make your eyes pop out; especially if like me you had been living in a cocoon. Sex shops, live sex shows, erotic museums, sex museums, a plethora of ladies to choose from, official weed smoking coffee shops, the lingering smell of marijuana in the air and what not.
But the lure for me was something else. I like observing my surroundings and the place had many amusing things to offer. Call me boring if you will, but that is how I am programmed. Mind you…. my hubby dear and bro dear were given a free hand… but only to look at the surroundings that is.
The place actually looked very beautiful in the night . The red lights of the area enhance the beauty of the canal in their own way. I am not a night person. So I could not explore the place very late into the night. But whatever I saw till about 11 O’ Clock in the night was contrary to my expectations. The place looked much civilized and very much under control.
The place flocks with tourists, especially on weekends. It is always full of emotional turmoil. And surprisingly the most prominent emotion that the tourists adorned was Awe. Lust followed of course. I could see awe, lust, shyness, sensuousness,shame, disgust, fun and playfulness in the streets. Many families had also come for a visit. Many misters were seen gawking at the ladies in the booths. Many missus were seen giving angry looks to their partners in return. Another interesting observation – the prostitution industry has a demand for all sizes. I could see petit as well as chubby ladies behind the booths.
I am no moral judge and hnce, cannot comment on this profession. The only thing that i can see is, that it’s based of the concept of demand and supply. From the little information I gathered, I found out that many ladies were there by choice. It’s not always possible to say no to good money. As prostitution is legal; the well-being and health of these ladies in the government’s responsibility.
One thing I liked was, that no one was allowed to photograph the ladies behind the booth. Their profession does not entitle them to be a public property/ monument which can be photographed at will. Many extra smart people were trying to click pictures, but the ladies rightfully showed them their places. I should not be saying this but the fights and arguments were kind of fun to watch.
As I was living in that area only, I got the opportunity to observe the ladies outside their working hours. I could see them buying groceries, cleaning their booths, chatting away with friends, busy doing something on their mobiles, getting ready for work. In short anything a normal lady would do.
Except for their profession they are just like common people. I call them ladies because they are also entitled to be respected as human beings.
This encounter broadened my horizon of thinking and changed my opinion on many things. It was a unique and unforgettable experience.