Amsterdam – Sin City Of Europe?

What a weekend .. again!!

I enjoyed my trip to Amsterdam, it’s not as cultured as London, Paris or Rome but a great fun city, particularly when you are with close friends and family.

But can it live up to it’s title as being the Sin City of Europe?

Possibly, I can’t really vouch for anywhere else, but there was all the decadence and seedinness you could want and all readily available for a small fee.

Not my cup of tea, but it is fascinating to watch how the other half live.

We were in the red light district on Saturday evening, like most tourists, we wandered around the windows, looking at the girls on display. Girls being a fairly loose word in some cases. There were women from 16 to 60 of all shapes and sizes, the young and beautiful to the old and well not-so-beautiful.

That is if you consider beauty as skn-deep. Who knows how deep these women are, what their circumstances are? Who are we to judge?

As an average working person, it is curious to witness this human circus. Our group of mixed company sat there in a bar across the road, laughing and joking, looking at the 3 young women in the windows across the road, watching the punters come and go and counting the frequency between the curtains opening and closing as business came then came again.

Why did one young women receive more business than the other 2 put together, for a laugh and some small bets, we timed the punters. In less than an hour th more popular woman had 5 punters and not one was there longer than 10 minutes. Additionally, when the punter was finished, she was barely opening her curtain before she was closing it again.

In that same duration, one of the other women had 2 punters and the other 1 .. so what made the first girl so popular?

Does that make the other girls feel inadequate? Are there any consequences?

I have no idea. I don’t have any answers.

But sitting there with my friends, joking about the situation, it made me feel sad for them.

I wondered, Are these women empowered? Are they controlling their own destiny?

If so, is this really their choice on how to live their life’s and maximise their earning potential?

I don’t think so. What wee girl who is brought up in a loving home wants to live like that?

It really is quite a sad indictment of the society we live in.

It’s also kind of sad that the surrounding area is full of tourists who condone this circus with their presence, including me.

In conclusion, Amsterdam really doesn’t have that much to offer to the tourist in terms of culture. The popular sites such as Anne Frank’s and The Van Gogh museum can be seen in a day. So the Red Light District is a huge draw for those looking to see how the other half live.

With hindsight, although I had a great time with my friends, apart from that few hours overlooking the red light zone, we could have been anywhere.

I can’t see myself going back anytime soon.

5 thoughts on “Amsterdam – Sin City Of Europe?

  1. Amsterdam has so much to offer! It’s got great architecture, fantastic canals, hide-away courtyard gardens, great markets all over town. There’s parts outside the city center that are so lively! You’ll have to come back 😉
    As for the girls; while some work their way through school, some are there out of free will, and there are some that have had their passport being taken away from them and are forced. There’s a great foundation that can give you more insight on what actually goes on and gives people just a bit more info than you would assume on the streets. There is so much history there actually 🙂

    1. Hi there,

      thanks for your comment and I appreciate your insight.

      We didn’t make it outside the city centre, but you are correct, there is lots of great architecture and I enjoyed walking around the canals.

      As for the girls, it’s hard to imagine any of them are forced with the amount of controls and legalities put in place.

      I’d be interested to read more if you can point me to the website of the foundation that you mention.


  2. There’s definitely a lot more laws and regulations than there used to be, and one of the things this group fights for is legality and better working conditions. There are still seedy areas and backrooms, especially outside of Amsterdam as well, though more scarce. (To their credit as well as the government’s)
    They are called Rode Draad (Red Thread) and while googling I noticed their website is offline and Wiki tells me they have gone bankrupt last year. The English version is far less elaborate than the Dutch one, but I’m sure Google will help you out if you’d like to know more 🙂

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