Shambling – The Red Light District

Bench View, ChurchWe sat on that bench in Amsterdam, across from a beautiful Church, for HOURS having a self-inflicted horror show experience I do not wish to ever repeat.

It was a long, long time and very late at night before we were able to gather ourselves enough to try and see some sites.

And when we did finally ‘gather’, we still were not ok – unable to focus, follow our own directions, communicate – I couldn’t even figure out how to work my camera for more than half the night.

Don’t get me wrong, I am all for adventure. Open-minded and willing to experience almost anything if it looks like I might laugh or learn from it.

But we were not laughing, we certainly weren’t learning (learning what not to do, perhaps), and this new ‘mind state’ completely prevented us from enjoying our adventure – or even being fully aware of it!

We started shambling through the streets. It must have been after 11pm – almost FOUR HOURS into our bad trip by the time we made it off the bench.

I know we passed Anne Frank and Rembrandt’s homes – but pointlessly so as they were closed, we didn’t take photos, and don’t even remember seeing them!

As a matter of fact, we aimlessly walked nearly every street within the highway ring around the city (while I tried to figure out how to work my camera). At one point we accidentally happened upon the red light district.

I wouldn’t have known if I didn’t see a ‘no photos’ sign, though I like to think I would have figured it out eventually!
Entering the Red Light District

The first ‘display’ we happened upon was ‘Tranny Row’ (admittedly it took us a bit to figure this out!). The Red Light District in Amsterdam is very well organized.

The homes are the same as elsewhere in Amsterdam, generally three or four stories high, attached in succession. Each window has a ‘performer’ bathed in red light, doing their best to entice passers by.

The houses are grouped by ‘like kinds’ – a house filled with older robust women, one with younger ‘girls’ in pig tails and uniforms (with legalization, you can be assured they are ‘of age’), Coloured women, Asian women, a house full of leather clad Dominas – whatever you can think of, it’s there.

…Just remember not to use your camera. If you dare to do so you, are almost literally guaranteeing yourself camera loss and likely a face punch – though I did find a link of one person willing to take that risk – I do NOT recommend it.

On a previous visit, I witnessed a male tourist pull his camera out to be swarmed in seconds by what I assume were local males.

Though I don’t think he was actually hit, he was tackled to the ground by four men while ten others watched. One held each arm, one on the legs and the other yelling in a thick accent;

No camera, no photograph, now you go! Go NOW! 

And go he did, without his camera. I didn’t see if he was with friends – if he was – they were no where to be seen!

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You can follow this trip by heading to the ‘8 Country EU Tour‘ section, or you can enjoy many more photos of Holland by heading to the Habitual Runaway on Facebook.

2 responses to “Shambling – The Red Light District

    • Thank you…I think? LOL! Better to laugh about it, right? 😛 It is an interesting experience though – Amsterdam in general, especially if you are from somewhere like Canada (for example). Though I would suggest avoiding the first half of our adventure!


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