So April 2016 i was lucky enough to go to a Eurocamp in Amsterdam as my work experience shadowing a rep, making arrival and departure visits etc. While there i had a lot of free time, one of my free days i visited dam square and that is what i’m going to tell you all about now. Amsterdam is one of the most beautiful places i have ever seen with the most friendly locals.
The day i went to dam square was the 420 parade, for those of you who are children of god and don’t know what 420 is, it’s ‘cannabis culture’ basically a day dedicated to smoking weed, it happens every year on the 20th of April and as you can imagine this is treated as a religious festival in Amsterdam. i know a lot of people who have been to Amsterdam before so i knew what to expect but i didn’t think it would be anything like how it was. It was a completely different world. We all know about the coffee shops and the sex shops but the first thing that made me realise how different it really is was walking past a corner shop and being hit with the over powering smell of weed, i poked my head in the door and the man managing the shop was sitting behind the till smoking a joint. Second there was people just walking round the streets smoking and rolling weed like they were having a cigarette, and obviously all the women wearing next to nothing sitting in windows.
The man in the picture above played that drum all day, the only time he stopped was to roll and smoke a spliff. ‘420 blaze it faggot’ a poetic statement on one of Amsterdam’s love lock bridges.
If you’re planning to travel to Amsterdam i would recommend pre-booking things such as the Ann Frank and Van Gogh museums etc because i thought i’d just wing it and be able to get in but no, the queue was out the door for both places. So instead of wasting my time on culture and educating myself i had a walk over to the red light district, i went to the red light museum of prostitution and watched a peep show. Watching people have sex in front of you for 2 euros is life changing.
The museum of prostitution gave me a completely different outlook on the women i had seen in the windows prior to going in. At first it was quite shocking seeing people just walking past doing their shopping not even giving them a second glance but then i learnt that prostitution is a career for some of these ladies.
- Did you know that the prostitutes in Amsterdam are classed as self employed and have to pay taxes?
- Did you know that there is also a purple light district and the ‘ladies’ in those windows are transgender?
- Did you know they actually rent the windows and they aren’t part of brothels?
- Did you know the only time it is illegal to engage in sexual relations with a prostitute is without wearing a condom?
- Did you know they have red lights to make the women look more attractive and to disguise any sexually transmitted diseases they have?
To summarise, Amsterdam is the best place I’ve ever been to and i can not wait to go back. my advise if you are thinking of booking to go is to just do it you will NOT regret it plus i wont mind if you want to take me with you, you know… as a tour guide. And if what i just told you isn’t enough to convince you to go, well… Schipol airport has a Sephora and a Victoria Secret shop.