One fine day in Utrecht…

May 15th, 2004  
Mark Conley

Topic: One fine day in Utrecht…

Editors Note to the younger readers: The events that occurred in this story happened when I was a young, un-married and incredibly, incredibly rash airman in the United States Air Force. I do not advocate to this day drinking alcohol to extremes, and I especially don’t endorse visiting ladies of the evening for casual sex, due to the dangers of AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases. However, since both of these events play heavily into this story, I beseech you to read it for what it is, and not emulate the actions described with-in. To the older readers…you are on your own.

Some days in don’t pay to get out of bed…or pay to get into one.

Deployments to Europe, especially the Netherlands, bring back many fond memories…and several lessons in life as well. One of my major life decisions occurred while on liberty in the quaint town of Utrecht, The Netherlands.

Back in the 1980’s, three items were actually legal in the Netherlands. One was teen age drinking of alcohol. Another was the purchase of certain illegal substances over the counter in most coffee shops in the major cities. The last available vice was women of the evening or prostitution, if you prefer. Now not only had the Dutch legalized prostitution, they had the ladies register as practitioners, set the minimum prices, and ensured that the practitioners made quarterly visits to Medicare agencies to provide a reasonably safe activity for its patrons. Now, prostitution was allowed by law in only two areas available to the common folk. One was usually a block of buildings, with large glass windows to display the young ladies in. The other was along a certain stretch of canals, in barge type-floating homes called, unimaginably the boats. Any military man out for the evening only had to say “The Windows” or “the Boats” to a taxi driver to be taken to these two spots. In short, to most young military enlisted, the Netherlands was a visitor’s paradise.

Now, as a young airman, I actually looked forward to my first visit to this country. Of course, drugs were strictly out. Not only were they illegal but the people that sold them to you often turned around and sold you to the local US Army Criminal Investigation Division (CID) or the USAF Office of Special Investigations (OSI), which usually resulted in you getting a long term in Leavenworth. But you could have all the wine, women and song you wanted. As long as you paid attention to your pre-country health briefing and stayed out of the non-recommended areas, the country was yours.

One fine Saturday afternoon, a group of us had invaded one of the classiest pizza restaurants in Utrecht. Along with the pizzas, we had ordered several bottles of Italian Rose, in order to quench our thirst as we ate. Now European wines are much higher in alcohol content than American ones. Soon we all were revved up with nowhere to go at 2:30 in the afternoon.

One of the guys made the suggestion that we all adjourn to the boats for an afternoon’s romp. Now if I hadn’t had a half bottle of rose in me, I would have quashed the ideal right then., as common sense said to save the money. But somehow, that pleasant, law abiding life I had lived in the states was swept aside; not only was I going to go along with this, but in my mind had already decided I wanted to try a nice Asiatic type lady, as most of the guys had said they were the best. So much for common sense; the little brain was doing the thinking for the larger brain, of that there was no doubt.

Within 10 minutes, the cab deposited all six of us on the canal wharf, and the shopping began in earnest. I desperately looked for what I wanted, but the first 10-11 boats showed only the young European ladies, which my friends all went to, leaving me alone on the dock to look further. Finally, about 15 boats from the start, I found the object of my affection. She was a small stature, dark skinned Asiatic beauty with a pair of come get me eyes; She actually was very stunning. What really went in her favor was that she called out to me in very good English her name, and her availability, in a laughing almost musical way that appealed to my inner senses. So without further ado, I went forth like the lamb to the slaughter. Not that I was a virgin or anything…but this was the first time I had ever actually paid some one for it.

Lets skip a few unimportant details and cut to the chase. I had been engaged with my chosen lady for about 10 minutes (the wine helped) when the interior door opened and a man walked in. Well, he was Asiatic. He was big. And for some reason I got that feeling that I was in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Well…he did absolutely nothing but said ‘Hi “to me in accented English, and fired off a round of very quick language to the woman I was with. She replied in a few sentences, gave him a smile and an air kiss, and the man left.

Well she looked at me and smiled; I looked at her, and asked, in a shaken voice “Who was that”? “That was my husband” she replied. “Our two children in the next room have a slight cold, and he was asking about the medication dosage to get them back to sleep."

Husband? Kids? This was so unfair. I hadn’t been with my first legally paid lover any more than 10 minutes, and already in my mind I was a home wrecker and an adulterer. She saw the look on my face, laughed and assured me that her and her husband of 10 years had already worked most of the kinks out of this arrangement, and wouldn’t be waiting with a knife to slice off the more sensitive parts of my body like I thought. After a few minutes of soothing talk, she actually convinced me to continue what I was doing as if nothing had happened.

As I was dressing, I thought about the whole situation. Somehow, this was some kind of wake up call, no mind from whom or what. That the rose was wearing off was evident. What was more evident was that I could see the husband through an internal window that she drew back to let him know we were done. He sat there and gave her a high sign while holding one of the babies in his arm, gently rocking her.

I had already paid her the fee for the service rendered. What happened next was more astounding to the people that found out later: I tipped her twice the price of the service. She didn’t blink an eye, but asked why so much. I told her to take a few minutes off, and be with her kids. She immediately asked if I needed a guide downtown that evening or any other evening, I politely declined and walked back up the gang plank after saying good bye.

Yes, she was my first…she was also going to be my last. No matter what the guys said, I didn’t go back into Utrecht again for that kind of companionship. Later, I found a young, single Dutch girl that could drink, dance and talk very passable English. Meeting her parents went ok, and I felt much better about the arrangement.

I mentioned that the tip was truly astounding to certain people. Oh yes, it became legendary. On the next to the last day of the deployment, The Commander and the First Sergeant came to me at the going away bash, and asked me to meet with them in private. Seems that some young lady had called the caserne looking for an American soldier. Giving my description to a tee, she said for them to thank me for my generosity. A little talking with her revealed the story of the tip, and they came to me to ask me if it was true. I told them the truth. The commander just looked at me, shook his head, and walked away. The first sergeant was also my hospital first shirt back in the states: soon that little story made the rounds at my squadron as well. He asked me why I had tipped her. I replied “ Well she was my first, and after the experience, she was going to be my last. I felt I had to do something to mark the occasion.”

And so she was.
May 22nd, 2004  

Great wake up call there!
Kids, don't try this at home (or any other places for that sake)
May 22nd, 2004  
June 2nd, 2004  
Very interesting expiriance
June 6th, 2004  
Originally Posted by Redleg

Great wake up call there!
Kids, don't try this at home (or any other places for that sake)
Well it would be about home for me there, I was born in Utrecht! (Don't worry Mark, I was born before the 80s started! )
July 27th, 2004  
Well I was born there the day Mark made that visit! Daddddddddddd!!!!!!!!!!! Just kidding. That was a really sweet sweet story Mark. You did good.
February 10th, 2007  
To be young and again.
February 10th, 2007  
Team Infidel
ah to be old and stupid
February 11th, 2007  
major liability
Sounds like fun. That country just about tops my list of vacation spots that I absolutely must visit before I die.
March 27th, 2009  

Originally Posted by Redleg
Kids, don't try this at home (or any other places for that sake)
Great advice today with all that's going around.