18 May 2011
Yesterday was a successful attempt at escaping tourist crowds, but nothing really interesting happened. Seeing the real Amsterdam was also successful; it’s just like any other Dutch town. It’s very nice; the canals guide you around the place and give a very authentic feel to the areas as they haven’t changed in hundreds of years. People still don’t use any cars.
Today is just the same, except I walked through the infamous Red Light District, which is surprisingly, but cleverly, right outside Central Station. It’s kind of funny here. The Chinese and Japanese walk around in large groups with two cameras per person, and the small groups of young-ish men looking like they’re doing something very naughty as they all walk pas the souvenir shops. There’s a church surrounded by prostitutes in windows. You also get a laugh in rejecting the women in pink bikinis tapping on their window at you. Maybe I find it funny, for I smile and shake my head dismissively, like in a Middle Eastern market place.
I’m heading out tomorrow, and it’s funny how my expectations, set low, were more or less spot on for me. Unlucky or self-fulfilling prophecy? No matter which way you look at it, this place is generally too tacky for its own good.