Double Dutch: Q&A with a Pair of Flying Dutchmen

Much more on this trip coming soon – for now, enjoy a few fun facts about Amsterdam with this Q&A. On our last night, Nora and I met two local pilots who enthusiastically answered many questions we had come up with during our time in their beloved hometown.

Scene of the Q&A: Café 't Smalle
Scene of the Q&A: Café ‘t Smalle

Q: What typical Dutch food do you recommend?
A1: Pancakes!
A2: Oh, and this place over here on the corner has the best apple pie in all of Amsterdam. [Pointing to a café called Winkel]

Q: Dutch is spoken in many areas of Belgium, too. Is the culture there more Dutch like in the Netherlands or more similar to the French-speaking Belgian culture?
A2: They only share a common language with people from Holland. The Dutch-speaking people in Belgium are Flemish, which is similar to Dutch culture but not the same.

Q: Sorry, do you only call it Holland then? Not the Netherlands?
A1: Yes. Our country is Holland.

Q: So about the Red Light District… What services exactly can people buy?
A1: There are different levels. At the first level, you can put coins in a machine to see a peep show. At the second level, you can watch a live sex show. At the third level, you can watch a banana show – that’s like a sex show, but just women with bananas. And at the fourth level you can, well, you know… have sex with a prostitute. [disclaimer: I have no idea how accurate this is.]

Q: We only saw women of the night. Are there male prostitutes too?
A1: Ah, not really.
A2: Hey ladies, you found them!

Q: Haha. Isn’t it uncomfortable being there with other guys?
A1: Yes, it’s weird.
A2: No, it’s not a problem.

Q: In addition to legalized prostitution, the Netherlands – sorry – Holland has a lot of liberal drug policies. How do you feel about that?
A1: The laws are too lenient. I think too many things are allowed.

Red Light District at night
Red Light District at night
One of many canals - an Amsterdam highlight according to these locals
One of many canals – an Amsterdam highlight according to these locals

(I only regret that I somehow forgot to ask them my most pressing question:
Q: Why are the stairs in Dutch houses so steep?!?! Wouldn’t it be safer to go up a ladder?!

I doubt any explanation of this would satisfy me. We had to climb four flights of these treacherous steps to get to our hotel room. And when I say “climb” I mean more like sneak on tiptoe, because they were not only steep but unbelievably narrow.)

Hard to tell here, but these steps are as close to perpendicular as stairs can be
Hard to tell here, but these steps are close to perpendicular
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2 thoughts on “Double Dutch: Q&A with a Pair of Flying Dutchmen

  1. Maybe the angle uses less space ( the stairs). Who did those pilots fly for? Those little shops in old Elliott city homes have very narrow stairs with a turn at the top or bottom.

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