27 August 2006

Angels & Amsterdam

Bus arrives early at 4:30am.  We hop off, look around and decide to try and find a hostel! As we start to wander down the main street, the rain starts to fall.  We begin to notice that nothing at all is open, not even a 24hr internet cafe we can hang out in.  We get to a big intersection... we notice quite a few lights to the left, so decide to go that way.  Little did we know that we were heading straight for the red light part of town.  No sooner had we got a little way down the road, when a guy asks us if we are looking for a place to stay.  We answer yes, and he says he can show us one.  I look at Jon thinking we would ask him to move on, but instead we decided to say yes.  As he leads us down the road, some other guys walk past us and try to sell us drugs.  We refuse, but then the feeling of oppression of the area starts to hit us and we realize where we are!  Sex shows and other stuff was everywhere.  Every place we go to is either shut or has no room. We wander around for about an hour, and find out that this guy is from Iran, and is unable to work in Amsterdam.  He is a nice guy and  quite gentlemanly. Another guy tries to help us, and he was pushy, and looked shifty, and our 'angel' told him where to go.  In the end he found us a place to sit down out of the rain waiting until the central train station opened where we would get a hot chocolate and hopefully find some internet. We give him 10 Euro for his efforts, of which he was very thankful.  The day started very early, and it still wasn't until 12:30 that we managed to get a room in a Christian hostel in the heart of the red light district.  So although it was a great place to stay, we had to walk through all the filth to get to our place.  I found it very disturbing and sad.  Although we had seen prisons at Auschwitz that people now realize is wrong, I found it hard to comprehend the legality of the very small prison rooms that the prostitutes are placed in.  It was amazingly close to how Proverbs describes the prostitute.  Amsterdam or is it suppose to be Amsterdamn.  The 'tolerance' for drugs and other disrespect for the body I'm sure can bring nothing more than God's judgment.  A huge eye-opener for me. 


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