Top Line

Monday, 7 December 2015

Encounter with a sex worker at Red Light District , Amsterdam by Wale Ojo lanre ,

Finally at Redlight District , Amsterdam
By Wale Ojo Lanre
Nigerian Tribune 
Wednesday 9 October 2013 

MY Geography teacher, in Ansar -ud -deen Grammar School, Ikare-Akoko Ondo State, in those days, Mr A Aboagye, A Ghanaian, stimulated my interest in Amsterdam.” This is one of the most wonderful cities in the world, it is a city planted below the sea level and has become a cynosure of all eyes. It has a robust maritime trade, where car are sold like sweets in the kiosks and a well patronized Red Light District.”
 Inquisitively, I raised up my hand and I asked with excited  interest: “Sir, can you expatiate on what you mean by Red light district?” Mr Aboagye offered a   wiry smile.  “A Red Light Zone or District can be likened to a place, for instance, the Central Hotel, where there are commercial sex workers. In Amsterdam though, it is better organized, The scarlet ladies dressed in eye-popping and sexually arousing apparels for quickies offer themselves for hire in the cubicle, “I was not so much interested in the geographical configuration of Amsterdam as stated by Mr Aboagye , Rather , cars and Red Light District endeared the place to me. I love cars like the Lincoln Continental used  by the late Bobby Benson and I had seen some ladies too displaying themselves at the Central Hotel, Ikare , whenever we were  hanging out of school in those days. 
.After that excitingly expository lesson and reference to Amsterdam, I pray to God to provide the opportunity and capacity of visiting Amsterdam of Red Light District one day.
 And to God be the glory, as the Royal Jordanian plane was descending smoothly from the air aiming to land at the Schipol International Airport’s tarmac, I had a panoramic aerial view of Amsterdam and my mind riveted to the words of our  geography teacher in form three, 1979:” Amsterdam is a wonderful city planted below the sea level. And it was so, I saw a beautiful, well planned city and land sequestered for farm purposes, bordered by water . At last, this is Amsterdam. The immigration  officials were people of few words. Your purpose here is Amsterdam, sir?  I am one of the recipients of the Oodua Progressive Union Award here in Amsterdam I responded “Congratulations” The official stamped our passports. Schiphol Airport is more beautiful and grand masterpiece than Murtala Muhammed International Airport. It is bigger and grander in traffic and configurations. The Arrival Hall is made more busy, lively and entertaining with shops, restaurants, coffee kiosk and the network providers offering you free SIM cards and all of that. At the Airport, English seems to be major communication medium but that was where the beauty stopped. In the city, only few Dutch engaged you in English, so we had so difficulty in communicating in other nationals pending the arrival of the welcoming party of the Oodua progressive union at the Airport. As the Oodua of Akogun Banji Ojo and Otunba Larry Banbo alighted from their car to pick us, I made it clear to them that I must visit the red light zone or district or whatever.As a planned myself behind the driver’s seat, one member of the group noticed that I had not used the car belt, which he promptly urged me to do. “My brother, kindly fasten your belt at the back here, all of you must fasten the belt or else you will be fined. Having fasted my belt, Akogun Banji Ojo responded that “Yes, you will visit the district but Amsterdam is beyond the Red light district. “My brother, Holland is a small country which has turned itself into an economic determinant of Europe in maritime, agriculture and oil. “You will not believe that it is not  a crude oil producer, but strategically designed itself to control it circulation of crude oil over the world. It produces Heineken Beer, Hollandia Milk, medical,  boat, Phillips, it own shell, AB Ambo and several others. You will be surprise at the kind of political system in operation here. Instead of the winner takes all which we operate in Nigeria here. It is an all-inclusive formation where no winner of any election can be sworn in without a tact agreement with his opponent on what program to be implemented” Akogun Ojo continued. At this, I chuckled: “what, are you kidding me? I Asked explained.
The winner and loser must agree on project to be implemented, and unless the loser append his signature in agreement, no dice for the winner, Akogun pointed out . No wonder, Holland enjoys a blissful political climate which paves the way for all round development of the country, mutual understanding civility in governance, all which cultivate respect and regard to it at the comity of nations “I responded, “you have  not seen or heard nothing yet’ Akogun informed.  “You know too that this city is built on reclaimed land as everywhere is sand-filled to pave way for all you are seeing now, yet there has not been any history of erosion or sea surge, “Akogun continued, as we passed beside a big mosque at the kranenest Area, while heading for Tulip Inn, Riverside South East. He explained further: “Holland has a liberal approach to religion. That mosque was built by government for the Muslims, while churches are donated to those desire congregation and the Surinamese practice their traditional belief. Can you see that statue planted at the  back of that building? That is the shrine of Yemoja here. Everyone to his belief. 
Adding to my excitement about Amsterdam was the fact that some of the cars running on the roads are powered by electrical means! I was intrigued seeing several people taking turn at a particular point in krannest to plug a cable to their cars every day, when that  particular spot is not a filling station. “That is charging point for of cars,” Otunba Bambo revealed.   “Is it the new way of charging car batteries? I inquired “No, those brands of car are powered by electric", he informed. My lips dropped,  "powered by electric? “I asked again; My brother, that is the in – thing here. I then moved closer and took two shot photographs of the cars on the queue at the charging point. But this is a signal to those countries who rely solely on crude oil as revenue earner that the market for their product is shrinking slowly. Amsterdam is a weird, highly cosmopolitan city thronged by tourists, mariners, businessmen, investors, researchers and particularly a rendezvous for men of the stick who take delight in smoking marijuana and frolicking with ladies of the Red Light District, as the country has legalised, regulated and promoted prostitution, as well as declaring Holland as marijuana –compliant country.Hence, the tourism and hospitality industry is elegantly robust, fully developed, highly patronised and expensive. Hotel reservation has to be made days ahead as the demands for bed spaces exceed supply. Touring Amsterdam was an exciting and an evergreen experience as the city has much to offer in terms of historical edifice, culinary centres, museums and monuments, transportation relics, sex shops, gay bars, pewee shops, malls, plaza and smoking cafe. It is a city which wakes up but never sleeps, and the Red Light District offers a delightful sight and experience of a nation making the best out of a somewhat filthy and dirty social menace.With Otunba Bambo, we crossed the Dam Square at the centre of Amsterdam to The Wallen, also known as the Rosse burst to Amsterdammers and the Red Light District . At The Wallen, the first thing I noticed was the way the iron bars, which was used to demarcate the place from the canal, were fixed. The bars were penis-shaped, painted in red, just to tell whoever is observant that “here there is sexual business and nothing more”. And indeed it was. The government of Holland understands that two things are very essential to its citizens after the basic amenities and facilities which are in place: smoke and sex. And it aligns with the wishes of the people by legalizing smoking and weeds or marijuana or Indian hemp and making sex business very alluring and attractive. At the Red Light District, there was no hiding behind the veil, which vividly showcased that sex business was a serious business there. The ladies there were half- naked and inside a glass cubicle, waiting for you to come in and do the business of the flesh, with a price tag of 50 Euros, which, to a few of us, outrageous. Lovely beauties with good skin, shapes and curves. All of them were very tempting, seductive, delectable and alluring, making the son of man to drool endlessly.
An attempt to have a dialogue with one of the ladies, a Dutch, behind the Bulldog cafe, was rebuffed strongly.According to Otunba Bambo, “some of these ladies detest having Nigerians and Ghanaians as patrons because they claimed that our people are always under the influence of local gins before coming here and they cannot withstand their sex agility. Hence, her stiff hostility,” Moving further down the corner, we saw some pleasant ones gazing at us seductively and a dialogue ensued between one of the ladies.
                “Babe, what is the fare”
                “Just 50 Euros,”
                That’s on the high side. Can’t pay 50, I give 40?
                “Right, I love your physique.
                “Got only 30 euro babe”
                “Phew, ok, come in it is just a shot of a round.”
                “But, can you bear 15 euro?”
                 “Bull shit, go home and f**k your mama.”
                She slammed the door in my face.
I paced to the place where Otunba Bambo had taken a refuge to watch my adventure. ‘It was no deal.” I told him. He shrugged his shoulders and said; “At last, you have seen it all. You have fulfilled your dream. This is the place called Amsterdam. This is the Red Light District which many dreamt of and scrambled to get to either to fulfil their curiosity or satisfy their passion.” And for me, I satisfied my curiosity, fulfilled my dream but couldn't oil my passion. As we boarded the Metro en route my hotel, I cast a look back at the Red Light District, Amsterdam, Holland, and I promised to certainly come back again.