Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Looking for Hookers with My Mother

Not a lot of people can say that they went out looking for hookers with their mother. I can. Shortly after college I went on a cruise with my mother, aunt, and members of my aunt’s church group. We started in England and went up the coast of Norway back down finishing up in France. Norway was beautiful, and we made several stops along the way wandering through the towns taking in the sites and learning about the area. We joked that I was becoming my mother’s body guard as I would follow a few steps behind her as she was almost hit by bicyclists several times, and generally was not too aware of her surrounding as she was looking at the sites more than the traffic patterns.

One night at dinner my mother, my aunt, her friend and I were talking about tomorrow’s activities as we were stopping in Amsterdam. My aunt and mother were discussing how they heard that the prostitutes in Amsterdam stood in glass storefronts. The three of them I thought were joking to about checking out the prostitutes only to find out the following day it was an actual part of our schedule. This coming from my mother was not that surprising, but I thought my aunt and her friend had better sense.

Anyways, that afternoon after visiting Rieks Museum, the Anne Frank House, and touring the canals, my mother, aunt, her friend, and I went out looking for hookers. The belief was that hookers wouldn’t go on duty until the afternoon, so as it got dark we started trying to find the red light district. I started to protest asking if they really thought that this was a good idea; that I didn’t think the hookers likely resided in the nice part of town; and that I doubted that even if they did stand in storefront windows it would not be similar to shopping in a department store. Fortunately, we didn’t really know where we were going and either no one understood us when we asked, or they were simply not willing direct four ladies to the red light district. So as it got darker, it started to dawn on them that this might not be the best-laid plan. My aunt and her friend went off to do something else, and my mother decided that she needed a new pair of pantyhose. She proceeded to ask anyone who would listen if they knew where a drug store was. I again protested, and tried to explain that asking for the location of a drug store may not be wise in a country where drugs are legal. Again this made no impact, however, I remained grateful for the language barrier as no one was able to help her find a ‘drug store’, ‘pot shop’, any other form of drug den, and we went back to the ship free of drugs and prostitutes.

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