Peaches Prattlings

{June 27, 2017}   Lessons Learned in Amsterdam

It was a great trip. Great to be with family, exploring a new country, learning a lot.

I believe I mentioned that our apartment was in the Red Light District of Amsterdam. That part of Amsterdam, it’s difficult not to be in the red light district comma but there are areas that are a little more intense than others.

‘A red-light district is a part of an urban area where a concentration of prostitution and sex-oriented businesses, such as sex shops, strip clubs, adult theaters, etc. are found. Areas in many big cities around the world have acquired an international reputation as red-light districts.’ When you mention Amsterdam, that’s what a lot of people think of.  Well, that and weed.

The term red-light district originates from the red lights that were used as signs of brothels.

Author Paul Wellman suggests that this and other terms associated with the American Old West originated in Dodge City, Kansas, home to a well-known prostitution district during the 19th century, which included the Red Light House saloon. This theory has never been proven.

The other thing very popular and prevalent in Amsterdam is the freedom to smoke marijuana just about anywhere. And they do. Every time you walk by a coffee house, undoubtedly there are people smoking weed, or if you just walk by a stoop, a park, it doesn’t matter somebody is smoking. And living in the US you forget how many people outside the US smoke cigarettes.

All that being said, now how do you explain things like this two kids, who don’t exactly understand the fact that it’s legal and it’s common practice.

GES explained to EJS on the first day that it was legal to smoke marijuana and that it was a choice, like drinking is a choice. 

EJS really didn’t like the smell of either cigarette or marajuana and she was covering her nose with her shirt we told her that was rude, and she shouldn’t cover her face like that all the time. So I came up with a way to do it a little more politely, and it’s something I do now, which is to crook my finger and put it under my nose on my upper lip as if I’m thinking, “we’re thinking we’re thinking”, if you could see us looks pretty funny but, she did it she didn’t it was not as obvious. And if we were walking together I would tell her when the smoke was gone.

The next concept to explain, I’m sure you figured out, is the red light district. Not an easy thing to explain to a 10 year old who is full of questions. But after a few days I think I came with up with something and she agreed. I said to her “EJS, you know when you walk by a toy start in a mall, and you look in the window and you see something that you want?” She said yes, I said well then it’s the same concept it’s just a different type of toy store for adults. She said oh, with a bit of recognition and I said ‘is that a good of good enough explanation? Yup. I said are we done?  yes.

I hope the lessons learned have helped!


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