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"The light flickered like a spastic strobe giving the impression of slow motion, as I stood in front of the cracked mirror. The illusion created an alternate dimension in the recesses of my mind.."
- Nick Mistretta

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Netherlands

Down and out in Amsterdam
by Nick Mistretta, Denver, Colorado, USA
Aug 3, 2000

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Lonely Planet Europe Travel Guidebook

An Amsterdam sex show is a unique experience, but not one for the easily offended. The Dude bailed, making it just myself, three girls and a plethora of eroticism. Becky, Monica and Kelly, I later learned, were attracted to porn like moths to a flame. We arrived early and snagged some seats up front. The room looked like a mini movie theatre - uncomfortable red cushion chairs on a gradual decline for better viewing and sticky floors which obviously disgusted me more so than had it been a normal cinema house.

The show began without the usual dimming of the lights. The embarrassment-masked bemusement and gaping grins of those in the audience provided a show unto itself. Stage-fright is a concern for any actor, however the problem for one aspiring porn star revealed itself in a small way. To the girls' dismay, no farm animals were used in the show - they were from Texas. The six different adventures in smut lasted about an hour and cost around $20 - the equivalent of eight Heines, I figured.

We left the theatre red-faced and thirsty. Locating the infamous Amsterdam coffee houseboat was the next item on our hedonism scavenger-hunt. Although it was the only one of its kind, nobody was able to point us in the right direction. Milling around aimlessly in the dark had its moments.

"Ding ding, ding ding!" yelled a fair-haired maiden as she zoomed past on a haggard old Schwinn. The barrage of pedal pushers ringing their bells is common place. But with hands full of packages and unable to reach the bell, what else is a girl to do? We dug her and laughed like idiots while pressing on to find the boat.

The coffee houseboat hid in the blackness, unassuming and still. Once inside, the atmosphere quickly turned. Christmas lights and tinsel were flung about. An aromatic buzz cloud rose to the ceiling and hung there in layers. This bohemian's sanctuary vaguely resembled a boat or anything else I had seen. Unusual suspects puffed and drank in the dim light, watching cartoons and listening to loud techno music.

We sat down and looked about the place. The allure eventually wore off and we settled in nicely. Coffeehouse conversations tend to walk the line between deep and silly and ours were no exception. After returning from the bar with another round, I overheard Becky. "Joey's eyes water when he pees," she said in a drawn-out series of hysterical outbursts. We laughed so hard, two of us got the hiccups. I assumed Joey was someone they all knew.

The bathrooms on the boat were unisex and resembled a sort of converted broom closet. The light flickered like a spastic strobe giving the impression of slow motion, as I stood in front of the cracked mirror. The illusion created an alternate dimension in the recesses of my mind. I felt like a child with a new toy. It was then that I got the nomadic urge.

Lonely Planet Europe Travel Guidebook

The final escapade, and what an experience it was!

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