Monday, 23 March 2015

Sex, sex and more sex - Amsterdam of course.

We left London Victoria at 9:30pm, got on to the ferry for about 1am, curled up underneath a staircase with my sleeping bag liner (very uncomfortable but better than the bus) and took a sleeping tablet for the rest of the journey. It wasn't very powerful though so continually woke up, not a good journey but didn't feel too awful when we arrived at 10am in Amsterdam. Walked to the end of the coach station and there was a tram - get on board and pay €2.90 for an hour pass. We got off at Central Station and switched trams to Dam Square, although turns out you could easily walk it - since we had the hour pass anyway and our bags, thought we may as well.

We dropped our bags off at the hostel and set out for lunch at Starbucks and McDonalds (so cultural). Then took a trip around the Red Light District. I was really surprised to see that even during the day there were prostitutes at the window. It was so unexpected just turning around and seeing women wearing thongs and a small bandeau to cover their nipples slightly. Imagine taking your kids to Amsterdam! I went when I was little and can't believe this doesn't stick in my mind... How provocative.

We went to the Red Lights Museum and learnt about the trade. A few factors for you:
- The average length of time with a prostitute is between 6 to 15 minutes. 
- On average prostitutes with a full-time job use 1,970 condoms a year. 
- Successful prostitutes entertain up to 16 customers per 8-hour shift.
- Women can visit female prostitutes and its not uncommon for a man and women visit together, its up to decide whether she wants to co-operate.

You could sit in front of the window and pretend to be one too, it was extremely uncomfortable having everybody staring at me even though I was fully clothed. Being a prostitute takes a lot of confidence - it's sad though as I read that most of them are trafficked into it, up to 90%. You think because it's legal they'll be more protected - they are from STD's - but not from pimps who take most of their money. Also, it costs €150 to rent the window for 8 hours because there are limited number available, how expensive. During the day I definitely noticed the prostitutes were a lot... er... uglier than the evening ones, very... 'sizeable'. I can't imagine they make much as I never saw anybody go in, whereas at night the doors was constantly open! 

After a stroll we went to the Cannabis College (www.cannabiscollege.com) to learn a little about it:
- Cannabis is NOT legal in the Netherlands, but they are tolerant. 
- Only licensed coffeeshops can sell it to people above 18 - it cannot be smoked on the streets. 
- The Netherlands actually have one of the lowest consumption rates in Europe with only around 5% of the population using Cannabis regularly. 
- Smoking a join only uses 10% of the weed whereas vaporises use 90% (and is far healthier) - Vaporises are also known as Get High Without Fire.  
- AVOID buying pre-rolled joints as these are mainly meant for tourists and of low quality. 



Red Light Secrets Museum 

Practising sitting in the window.

Oh I definitely had a few confessions I could have submitted! I did write one though.
Update: My sister found it when she went! See if you can spot mine... haha!

The Dutch love their weed.

Beautiful canals.

Beautiful canals ft. Lizzie's excitement. 

After walking around for a bit we decided to go to the Erotic museum (www.erotisch-museum.nl) for €7 - definitely wasn't worth the money. Also note opening hours are 11am-1pm Sunday-Thursday and then 11am-2pm on Friday - Saturday. It was all very boring a part from one room. It had a TV screen with a sexual animated cartoon on repeat. It was quite possibly the oddest thing I've seen. A guy was on top of a wardrobe with his wife lying legs wide open on the bed, and when he dropped off the wardrobe onto her, his penis was so big it went through her, came out of her mouth, where he then ejaculated over them both.... Because that's normal! Not... We only spent 20 minutes there before leaving.

We wanted to do the free Amsterdam walking tour and arrived for it, however the man was very rude and unfriendly so we decided against spending 3 hours with him before obviously having to inevitably pay him quite a bit.

In case you wanted to see a horny Snow White and ejaculating castle.

After checking into our hostel and freshening up, we went in search of Anne Franks house. There was a huge queue so we decided to leave it to another day. We ended up having dinner nearby our hostel, it was alright, but Lizzie's was much tastier! I regret my choice.

In the evening we decided upon the Amsterdam bar crawl (https://www.joinultimateparty.com/en/). We met two lovely English girls in our hostel who had just got to the end of their Inter-railing trip, and so they came with. There is a choice to do the more relaxed chill out and talk bar crawl of the red light district (€16) including a t-shirt for females. There is an alternative one Dance, Drink and Party like a Rockstar in the Leidseplein district which is mostly all clubs instead (€20) including t-shirt for females. We did the former, but with hindsight, I'd have rather done the partying one. 

Both of them include free shots when entering the bar and a free drinks in each bar you go into (6 locations). I had a great night but the main problem was that we should have pre-drank as the drinks were expensive and we weren't drunk enough until the penultimate bar where they did 10 shots for €20. Also there weren't enough people on it, only like 30 of us, and none of them interacted with us and there wasn't many interesting people if I'm honest! There was even a 60-year old granddad with his family on the crawl... Weird. On the weekends though they have around 150 people, but the hostel was far more expensive then. 

Open wide and let me pour lots of alcohol down your throat.

Free Jager shot in first bar.

10 test-tube shots for €20.

Clearly far more drunk here, got the scraped back hair look.

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