Well, the past few days have been quite eventful. I've now had all of my classes at least once and I think that they're all going to be very interesting, especially Intro to Sexual Studies. Yesterday our professor took us on a guided tour of the Red Light District, making sure to point out all of the good gay bars and leather stores in case we had any desire to purchase some new leather gear during our stay in Amsterdam. The tour definitely had a gay vibe to it, but nonetheless it was very interesting to walk around the area for two hours. This was my first time in the district, so I guess I wasnt really sure what to expect when I went into it, but I was struck by how blatant everything is. I guess I've been told that it is before, but I'd never actually seen it for myself. I watched a few different men just turn on their step and walk into a prostitutes room with such great intention in their stride. I was also struck by the close proximity of churches and schools to the prostitutes windows. We walked down one block that had a row of about 10 red light windows, followed by a pre school, followed by 10 more windows, and accross the street was a huge church. Obviously something like that would never fly in the US, people would be up in arms and it would be all over the news, but here it's completely acceptable.
Anyway, before I went on the Red Light District tour I met up with Yitka and some of her SIT friends at the Albert Cuyp market. We got some cheap lunch and then wandered around the market for a while. It's an outdoor market not far from my dorm that's open six days a week and sells a large variety of things. Some of the highlights that I took pictures of include fresh strobwaffle (i dont know how to spell that, sorry) which is this delicious thing they have in the Netherlands that basically consists of two pancake type cookies, with caramel in the middle, theyre fabulous.. Anyone who visits me, make sure I take you to get fresh ones when you're here. The other highlight was a chocolate stand that sold all sorts of erotic chocolates. We didnt purchase any, but I took some pictures.
Needless to say, we had a good time at the market, oh yeah, and we also were followed for a little while by this music playing vehicle with a guy asking for money.
It even followed me after I left the market and headed to the Red Light District... I also took a few pictures in the Red Light District, pictures of any of the prostitutes is strictly prohibited and there are cameras all around the district to make sure everything runs smoothly, but I just snapped a few shots of signs I found interesting or funny or ironic.
Isnt it wonderful? You can get all the things you need from the sex shop, and then rent a bike!
Today I somehow woke up at 9AM on a saturday in order to go on a bike tour of the city. We went all around, I had already been to most places, but it was nice to hear a little bit more about the history of the city. And we also went over to the Vondelpark, which I hadnt been to yet, so that was really nice, and apparently Yitka is going to be living somewhere near there, so I now know basically how to get there, which is good. So, here are a few pictures from this morning.
Okay, well that's all for now. Feel free to write me an email or call me on skype, I'd love to know how all of you are doing.