Ethnic Origin Unknown


Hedonism, for those who dare. A master whip and a leather slave skirt on an androdgynous mannekin. Sleaze is at home here, bedfellows with its cousin excess and just along the street from amorality dressed in a freedom sign dickey bow tie. Even that is perverted to fit all this sexual liberty, in the name of the masculine. There may be enlightened women in the shop window kiosks, they look so young, but my guess is the majority aren’t there for their own sexual gratification.

I smile at one scantily dressed, dark haired young woman of unknown ethnic origin and I hope it is received as an attempt at sincere solidarity.  I am of other unknown ethnic origin and as yet have not had to sell my body to live. I wonder at her return smile, it seemed genuine, innocent even, but who knows it may have been a punter smile and in this illumined red neon light, the truth is absent and thankfully this fleeting moment will pass insignificantly into the archives of time.

Seedy, depraved, perverse on the one hand and liberated, free and progressive on the other. I can not make a finite decision between this dichotomy. As with most duality the truth lies somewhere stuck in an awkward and inconvenient middle place, between the train and the platform, for example.

The weed reeks and fills the alleys with kaleidoscopic olfactory information about somebody elses Amsterdam trip. I worry the stench will attract sniffer dogs on my flight home in a few days time. What is the radioactive half life time for marijhuana? Hard to say, as it distorts the meaning of time and place. I’ll find a washing machine before I go.

It’s a tourist trap. A rat trap. A money trap. A vacuum of unreal reality trap. A gonorroea trap. A tear filled Graacht trap. A loss of moral virginity trap. If you can’t get it here, then it isn’t worth having. Allegedly.

I do like the Dutch. I like their peaceful, liberal, tolerance and their modest, understated acceptance of…well anything, or at least almost anything. Their architecture is simple, functional and plain. Maybe this is why they have to have Amsterdam, a place to compensate for the boring status quo. My use of boring here is meant positively.

Socially orientated with the stench of human rights more potent than the weed. Cyclists are protected by some holy law, where they are never to blame if  an accident occurs. Children friendly. Environmentally friendly. Wait No! Environmentally politically correct with action not hyperbole.

Absolutely everybody I speak to speaks English. I think of Holland as an extension to Britain. A paleoithic separation mistake that may have made us drift geologically, but our hearts stay forever karmically connected.

We, us Brits, could be like this, we could be this, with a few simple steps to the left. Though, if I am honest, my British liberalism of which I was until now quite proud, seems somewhat conservative.

As I write this, technically I am lost among the canals and quaint canal buildings which hide infeasably steep stairs.  I think this design feature is a kind of silent sweet revenge for all those who take their tolerance for granted. It would be easy to kill oneself on a Dutch staircase and it would only look like a tragic tourist accident.

The Dutch death threat is like the people. Tolerant, unassuming and quite accidental. Nobody suspects a thing.

Let’s face it, if the gradient on the staircase doesn’t get you than an accidental magic mushroom overdose will. There’s a psychedlic away day trip waiting for you in an innocent patisserie.

I haven’t felt this paranoid about what I’m eating since…well since I last visited Amsterdam.

I meander into a” Lifestyle Choice” shop. All kinds of seeds and spores and substances reminiscent of tree bark are available for purchase. Books lauding the acid trip. Animated experiences of the psychedilic, available in lifestyle magazines as if it is normal to be on an acid high.

Wait, maybe it is and I haven’t found that kind of holy grail yet. To be honest I’ll pass, stick with my knitting and crochet patterns and if I really want to bend my reality I’ll order a stash of 1970’s cardigan patterns off ebay. That will be the curative dose for any psychedelic curiousity I could have had.

I walk beligerently across a packed up market place only to notice two police horses in a horse trap. I make a click click sound towards them and they flare their nostrils in response. There is a police presence here and it is reassuringly discreet. Sufficiently present and sufficiently invisible to keep the peace.

A fight spills out of a corner bar. Some altercation with a man of unknown ethnic origin. He’s swearing and posturing at somebody in the doorway. My common sense overides my curiousity and I amble away through another alley awaiting its story teller.

I love Dutchness. I do love Amsterdam even though it leaves me with an unclean unbrushed feel in my mouth and I swear I never laid a finger on anybody.

A taste of violated morality and condom latex salvaged from the dirty canal. Immunity only aquired by full exposure to the horned beast. If only Amsterdam was an honest refreshing approach to suppressed sexuality and perversions. It isn’t, it’s an illusion of indulgent hedonism, performed in a ridiculous cabaret act, substituting any authentic human interaction with a tawdry puppet show. The biggest lie of all. A lie where you believe you are free. The deception being, you can not see your ankle shackles, nor the beast to whom you are chained.

I wait at the train station, somewhere between the platform and the train, for my friend of unknown ethnic origin. Amsterdam does many unsuspecting  things to the nervous system.  I ate a glutenous chocolate waffle and feel a little sick. My drug of choice being of the weight gaining non hallucinogenic variety.

I could be lost here in the gunned rumble of the passing trains. I wait at the exit so he will recognise me, a woman of unknown ethnic origin.

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