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Tag Archives: amsterdam

Guest Blogger: Jaz Hartfield

One-Night-in-Amsterdam‘One Night in Amsterdam’ follows a stag and a hen party as the different individuals explore the city’s Red-Light District. The characters experience the hedonism full on, with most of them embracing the madness offered by the tolerant laws. They get increasingly drunk on both the lager they are consuming, and on the extremes of pleasure offered round every corner. I have visited Amsterdam on a stag weekend, and tried to make the setting an integral part of the story. Many visitors feel out of their comfort zone here and react in bizarre ways. Walking around the streets filled with prostitutes and sex shows forces you to consider your own values and priorities. Dean and Chloe, in particular, have their past, ‘safe’ lives thrown into turmoil.

Amsterdam is a weird and wonderful city, most famous for its Red-Light District (Rosseburt) and the 200 cannabis coffee shops scattered through it. But it is also the home of Philosopher Baruch Spinozer, Holocaust victim Anne Frank, and footballer Johan Cruyff.

In the 17th century, the Dutch capital (it is still constitutionally the capital of the Netherlands, although the government resides in The Hague) was an important world trading post, and the leading centre for finance and diamonds. The canals of Amsterdam are a world heritage site, whilst the Rijksmuseum and the Van Gogh Museum are two of the finest art galleries in the world. The city also boasts some of the best examples of Renaissance and baroque architecture.

Amsterdam is one of the most popular European destinations for tourists, mostly because of the 16 million day trippers who visit every year. De Wallen is the most famous part of the Red-Light District, where prostitution has been legalised. The network of alleys contains hundreds of cabins where sex-workers ply their trade, by standing behind glass doors in their underwear. The area also contains sex shops, theatres and peep shows.

There are three significant locations in ‘One Night in Amsterdam’. Firstly, The Bananenbar, or Banana Bar, is a place where naked women dance on the bars, doing surprising things with bananas and other objects. Secondly, the Cassa Rosso, is a 180 seat theatre running non-stop ‘live erotic entertainment’ with shows involving single dancers and couples – sometimes with audience interaction! And thirdly, the Sex Museum Venustempel, which is a hilarious journey through erotic art and inventions through the centuries, including a Marquis de Sade room filled with the sound of a steam engine hissing over the screams of a never-ending female orgasm.

When you’re sick of seeing naked bodies, and of puffing on spliffs or drinking frothy lager, you can seek culture in the museums mentioned earlier, or be inspired by walking through Anne Frank’s House. Doing so is a sobering experience.

Amsterdam is a city of bewildering contrasts, intriguing culture and challenging experiences. It was certainly a weekend I will never forget.

*****

Excerpt:

The three lads spent the first morning in Amsterdam laughing. The Sex Museum proved to be the most hilarious place they’d ever visited. Victorian photographs of gentlemen spanking their maids’ red-raw buttocks, and cartoons of plump Edwardian women enjoying various contraptions of self-pleasure had them gripping their stomachs; their mirth aided by an excessive intake of Dutch lager.

The museum had a Marquis de Sade room full of images from the Frenchman’s extreme writing, detailing every fetish and perversion under the sun. It became a bit much for Dean, turning his stomach slightly. He could see Conrad grimacing and Jamie’s startled eyes signalled the beginning of a bad trip.

“I wonder if this place has a restaurant,” Jamie said.

“Oh, God, no. They’ll have phallic pizzas or Marquis de Sade turd burgers or some such. No, I need to go somewhere very normal after this.”

The three lads laughed and returned to the city centre.

Dean felt happier tucking into his normal shaped pizza and glass of frothy lager.

“Plan of attack this afternoon, boys?” Dean asked.

“Coffee shops,” Jamie answered instantly.

“Right. Jamie has a planned rendezvous with his true love, Señorita Marie-Juana,” Conrad said, in a ridiculous Spanish accent. He and Conrad had happily shared a few draws and inhalations, but didn’t share Jamie’s immense appetite for being stoned.

“Right, that’s Jamie sorted out for the rest of the weekend,” Dean said with a chuckle.

“The only other thing to do round here is to ogle naked ladies. It seems churlish not to oblige them.” Conrad downed his beer and smacked his lips together dramatically.

Dean stood up. “Bloody genius.”

On a road called Oudezijds Voorburgwal, they found a number of bars. The third one they visited had a light airy ground floor cafe area, but Conrad led them downstairs to a dingy smaller room, dominated by a catwalk and semi-circular bar. There were only half a dozen black leather seats either side of the catwalk.

“Welcome, gentlemen,” said the cheerful barman. “Three beers?”

Conrad handed him a fifty Euro note. “Keep ‘em coming, my good man, and, um, something extra for my friend on his stag party. You know what I’m saying?”

The barman nodded and looked pleased with the money. He brought over a jug and three glasses, disappeared behind some curtains, before returning with his smile back in place.

“Enjoy the show.”

Dean high-fived Conrad and nudged Jamie who was drifting in and out of consciousness. Dean had lost count of how many spliffs Jamie had smoked already.

The barman pressed a button on the wall behind the bar, triggering music over a hissing announcement.

“Ladies and gentlemen,” said the disembodied voice, “prepare to be titillated by the terrific, tantalising Tatiana.”

The three boys clapped dutifully. Dean leaned back into his chair; Conrad sipped nonchalantly on his drink and Jamie stared unblinkingly at the flashing, coloured lights.

Tatiana had short blue hair, perfectly shaped breasts and a Brazilian. Dean clapped instinctively to show his appreciation.

“God, she’s nice,” Conrad whispered.

“Perfect,” Dean said out the side of his mouth as she cavorted and writhed in front of them. “Do you reckon they’re natural?”

“Who cares?” Conrad said, watching them bounce six inches from his face.

Tatiana seemed to realise they were enjoying her performance and she began to finger herself and writhe around, shuddering in ecstasy. She sat a few feet in front of them with her legs out in the splits, stroking her pierced labia. Dean nodded approvingly. All three carefully inspected her most private regions. The barman threw her a gigantic vibrator, which she pushed straight into her vagina and continued writhing melodramatically until Dean looked at Conrad with a confused expression.

“Do you think she’s okay?” he whispered.

“She might like a bit of help,” Conrad replied.

Tatiana was beckoning him to come onto the stage. At first, Dean shook his head and stayed put. Conrad gave him a nudge.

“It’s my present to you. Your final bit of fun before being bogged down with domestic drudgery. Get up there, you twat. It bloody cost enough.”

It was too late for Dean to back out now. Tatiana pulled him up on the catwalk with surprising strength and pressed his face firmly into her cleavage. His nose squashed uncomfortably against her chest bone.

He felt stupid standing there and hoped the bulge in his trousers wasn’t too obvious. Tatiana pushed him down onto his knees, which squashed his testicles painfully in his tight jeans. He wondered what humiliation was in store for him. The barman threw her something else, which she expertly caught: an aerosol can. She sprayed white foam over her nipples, and then wobbled her boobs right in his face. Before he could react, she grabbed his cheeks and stuffed a nipple in his mouth.

Whipped cream. Nice.

She then put a foot on his shoulder and forced him to lie back. Tatiana straddled him and started bouncing on his groin with some force. It hurt a great deal. She continued grinding and causing him pain within his tight jeans and mangled boxer shorts.

The stripper put more cream on her breasts and held his hands down firmly as she slapped his cheeks with her heavy bosoms. He felt like a clown with a white greasepaint face. The cream stung his eyes.

Then she let go of his arms and cupped his groin in one hand. Looking up, she nodded and squeezed it in a powerful grip. He gasped out his pain and heard shrieks of laughter. Tatiana was definitely in control here.

*****

Blurb:

Chloe organizes Jo’s hen weekend in Amsterdam, glad to get away from the usual boring or married men that she sleeps with. Perhaps she’ll meet some cool guys up for a bit of fun. If not, at least she’ll make sure her best friend gets very drunk while they all party in style.

Dean is getting married to Tamsin, but having serious doubts. His mates take him to Amsterdam for one last weekend of debauchery before settling down for the rest of his life. But is Tamsin the right woman for him?

When Chloe and Dean meet in Amsterdam’s red-light district, they are immediately attracted to each other. Dean tries to justify one last fling before marrying Tamsin. Chloe feels bad about having sex with someone else’s intended. Yet, a night of amazing sex is exactly what both of them want. So, why shouldn’t they just enjoy one night of fantastic, guilt-free sex?

Available from: Amazon UK | Amazon US | Smashwords

Facebook pagehttps://www.facebook.com/citynightsamsterdam

*****

JazH005Author Bio:

Jaz Hartfield is a writer and actor who loves travelling. He’s always looking for his next thrill, having tried bungee-jumping, parachuting, white-water rafting, pot-holing and deep sea diving. Jaz has lived in many different places; his favourite parts of the world include New Zealand, Kenya, Ireland and the Lake District in England. Having been on a stag weekend in Amsterdam, Jaz is unwilling to admit whether this story has elements of the truth in it or not.

Jaz on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100005224159430&fref=ts

Adventures in Amsterdam

053

Wonky buildings – the city is full of them

I’m baaaack! Well, if you don’t follow me on Facebook and/or Twitter (and if not, why not? 🙂 ) you probably didn’t even know I was gone. But I was – I was in Amsterdam. Part holiday, part research trip, I spent a few days exploring the city. A city, it seems, with two parts. A smutty part, and a vanilla part. Here’s a brief run down of what I’ve been up to…

Rijksmuseum

The Rijksmuseum has recently been re-opened after a huge refurbishment. I hadn’t seen it previously, of course, so I don’t know if it’s any better, but I certainly liked it. I’m not the sort of person that will stand and look and read about every single piece, but I still had a good look round. The absolute highlight for me, being the library. I was under the impression from reading about it that you could only look at it through some glass – not true. You can go right in (on two floors) and look around. It’s huge, gorgeous, old-fashioned and even has free WiFi, which is why I was able to Tweet and Facebook from the very room! Recommended.

House of Bols

Recommended to us by our rep on the campsite (who was very helpful – if you’re reading this, Dan, thanks again!), we headed there after the Rijksmuseum as it’s just a few minutes’ walk away. Neither myself or my other half are big drinkers, but our rep said it was fun. I don’t want to ruin it for anyone who goes, so let’s just say it’s more than just a bar – it’s an interactive, fun museum. Then at the end you get a free cocktail and two free shots – though of course they’re not really free as you’ve paid for them as part of your entrance fee. It’s something a little different, and fun, and made us a tad giggly…

Van Gogh Museum

We were still giggly after crossing the road to the Van Gogh Museum so we managed to go right through the place without seeing the famous Sunflowers, so we had to go back down and find it. If you’re really into art and paintings, this place is recommended. It also has works by other artists that Van Gogh knew, I believe.

Hard Rock Cafe

We try and visit this place in every city we go to (though somehow we missed the one in Paris – another excuse to go again next year 😉 ) and Amsterdam was no exception. They’re  not cheap places, by any means, but they do good food and nice big portions, which was nice after a busy few hours. And the staff are always lovely!

Homomonument

We passed this on the way to Anne Frank’s House. It’s a monument for gay and lesbians who’ve been persecuted. It’s simple and pretty, jutting out into the canal. We couldn’t see the whole thing at the time as it was covered in flowers, which I suspect is something to do with a GLBTQ festival that was on recently. An interesting monument, well worth checking out.

Anne Frank House

It’s very difficult to describe this place. You can’t call it fun, nice, good, or exciting. It’s just not appropriate, given the story behind it. It is though, very interesting, poignant, and quite emotional. Despite the fact you go around most of it in a line and kind of have to go at everyone else’s pace, I still found it quite tearjerking. If you’re interested in history at all, this is a very educational and fascinating place, and will probably make you go and buy Anne Frank’s Diary – I certainly did. I’m not saying any more as I don’t want to give it away, but it’s worth visiting. Though make sure you pre-order tickets online before you go, otherwise the queue is huge. We pre-ordered and got given a time, which made it much faster.

Westerkirk

We popped in for a few minutes, intending to climb the tower, but the tours were full as due to the narrow nature, there are limited numbers on tours. We didn’t want to stand around waiting when we could be out exploring other things, so we had to give it a miss this time. I suspect it’s brilliant up in the tower as it’s the highest point in Amsterdam, which isn’t saying much as the place is flat, seriously flat. The church itself is fairly plain compared to some I’ve seen, but is pretty much next door to Anne Frank’s House, so worth seeing if you’re in the area.

The House Boat Museum

We hadn’t really intended to go here, but we literally walked past it on our way somewhere else, so we popped in. Naturally, as it’s a canal boat, it’s not that big, but it’s very interesting to see how everything’s been designed to make it fit. It’s very very cute and interesting, and the man running it seems full of knowledge about house boats in general and how it’s a very expensive undertaking to have one!

One of the bazillion canals, taken from one of the bazillion bridges

One of the bazillion canals, taken from one of the bazillion bridges

Canal Cruise

It’s got to be done – Amsterdam pretty much thrives on its canals, and has more than Venice. The one we went on had headphones so you could select your language and hear the recorded tour. It was a little impersonal, but the man driving the boat was so grumpy I wouldn’t have wanted him to give a tour anyway! It’s interesting to be so physically low down and see what’s around you. I loved the fact that we went right up and around Centraal Station (which is the transport hub) and sailed between that and North Amsterdam on a great big lake. The tour was about an hour and ten minutes and really is a must, especially since it’s pretty cheap.

The Resistance Museum

We had to dash round a little as we got there with just an hour before closing. We saw everything on the ground floor – but aren’t sure what’s up the stairs! What we did see, though, was absolutely fascinating. Again, if you’re into history, this gives a real insight into World War II, mainly from the perspective of what happened in Holland/The Netherlands. I’d definitely go back there again and take it all in more slowly and check out the rest of the place. It’s definitely worth a visit.

Our Lord in the Attic

A clandestine church. In the 1660s, when it became illegal to worship certain religions, this chapel was built on the top three floors of a couple of houses. It’s intriguing, as, like Anne Frank’s House, it couldn’t be seen by the outside world. It’s much bigger than I was expecting, and very ornate, considering it was hidden. The whole idea is intriguing and it’s also slightly amusing that the place is pretty much in the middle of the Red Light District. Again, worth checking out.

Dam Square

It really is pretty much just a square, with buildings all around and a monument in the middle. Like Trafalgar Square, but not as pretty. Madame Tussauds is just off the square, too, as is the Red Light District.

Museum Van Loon

Basically a house museum. A very beautiful building, both inside and out, with lots of very interesting features and a lovely garden. If you’re interested in visiting historical properties, again, this is worth checking out.

American Book Center

For book fans, this is definitely worth visiting. It is, as the name suggests, full of books in the English language, with American versions of the covers – I assume the spelling is American, too. A lovely, higgledepiggledy shop with lots of variety (though a shockingly tiny erotic fiction section – though I found anthologies containing stories from myself and Kay Jaybee, which was very exciting!) and free WiFi. If you’re passing, head on in.

We also went into various bars and cafes (though not of the drug-selling variety – though just walking past them was enough to get you stoned), one of which overlooked an alleyway with the infamous red-lit windows. What we suspect many people didn’t know (thanks again to insider knowledge from our rep), though, was that the “ladies” in that particular establishment were in fact, transsexuals. It was a truly fascinating insight into the Red Light District to sit and watch people going in and out without them knowing. It was great for research! Look out for A Taste of Amsterdam – though of course I’ve got to write A Taste of Rome, first.

The Condomerie - where people mainly stood and giggled. Yes, I was one of them.

The Condomerie – where people mainly stood and giggled. Yes, I was one of them.

The Red Light District itself is pretty much what you’d expect – ladies in the windows in their underwear. The vast majority are not very attractive and are standing there smoking and messing around on their phones. Not sexy. There are lots of sex shops, too, many really tacky places like you’d find in London’s Soho. Thankfully, there were a couple of really nice ones, though the staff weren’t a patch on the Sh! Girlz. I found it really interesting from the perspective of research, but found it horribly seedy, but better from the perspective of the working girls. It’s heavily policed and there are CCTV cameras everywhere. If anyone misbehaves (i.e. football fans jeering and banging on the windows) the girls will whisk their curtains shut straight away. Can’t say I blame them, really.

Overall, it’s a city where you can pretty much do whatever you’re interested in. If you don’t want to see the seedy parts, then you avoid them. It is very confined to one section in the centre. There are museums galore, walking tours, a zoo (we purposely didn’t go this time as we know we’d have spent an entire day there), parks, etc, etc… I did find it much more difficult to navigate than London, Paris or Rome, despite the fact it’s smaller. I suspect the fact there’s only one Metro line (which was closed) didn’t help. Also, there are bikes literally everywhere. Crossing the road is taking your life in your hands – even more so than Paris or Rome as you can’t always hear the bikes coming!

So, that’s a snapshot of the city and what I did there. I enjoyed it and would definitely go back, but Paris still holds the crown for my favourite city in the world… so far.