Mistaking Tourists For Dutch Prostitutes

Mistaking Tourists For Dutch Prostitutes

In the long and well documented history of human beings ‘putting their foot in it’ there have been many amazing examples of things going very wrong. Simple misunderstandings have been known to escalate into blunders of epic embarrassing proportions.

I myself have been responsible for a few minor examples of this. However, the mix-up that I was a part of this weekend might be the next winner of the annual ‘putting your foot in it’ awards ceremony.

It all started on a day like any other as I was walking through the streets of Amsterdam on my way to the train station. As I made my way through one of the smaller streets I was stopped by two very attractive girls who appeared to be waiting on a street corner.

They both smiled at me happily. I smiled back with out a clue of what was about to happen.

One of the two attractive girls asked me something that I did not quite understand. Using my powers of deduction I was quickly able to deduce that English was not her first language and that she was possibly East European. My main clue in working this out was the way she spoke broken English with an East European accent. Being the polite Englishman that I am I made it clear that I had not understood and she should try repeating herself. I did this by using the universal confused look and the phrase, “Sorry. I don’t understand. Could you please repeat that?”

“Dutch prostitutes? Er… Female prostitute?” She repeated with a happy smile in her Eastern European accent while standing on the street corner where she had stopped me.

I suddenly had a realization. She was asking me if I was looking for a female prostitute. This resulted in me doing an involuntary impression of an embarrassed Hugh Grant as I shook my head, stuttered, “No thank you,” and walked away.

I have lived in Amsterdam for a few years now and seen a lot of strange things but until that very moment I had never been approached by Dutch Prostitutes.

I had only taken a few paces when I suddenly heard the girl running after me. It seemed like I was being pursued by the most persistent lady of the night ever.

“Not me, not me,” she insisted nervously. “Please, where is prostitutes?”

I suddenly had another realization. This time it was the correct one. I felt my face reach a new, much brighter shade of red as my embarrassment increased. She was trying to ask me where Amsterdam’s famous red light district was. I had just accidentally accused an innocent tourist of being a lady of questionable morals who likes to entertain gentleman with out any clothes on as her primary source of income. This coursed me to do another impression of Hugh Grant, this time stuttering out an embarrassed apology. We both laughed awkwardly about the confusion as I gave them the directions they sought. They seemed to understand why I thought what I had and were just as embarrassed as me but I still walked away with my head in my hands.

However embarrassing the blunder was for the both of us I can’t help but wonder how much more embarrassing it could have become if as a reply to the first misunderstood question I had been so inclined to ask, “How much?”

18 responses to “Mistaking Tourists For Dutch Prostitutes”

  1. Keith says:

    Now, if you had played your cards right ……….

    Well, there’s worst ways of spending a cold night on your own.

  2. sophie says:

    haha! your twist was really sign of a master… how embarrassing, poor girls, you should have invite them to take something… :-)

  3. Invader Stu says:

    Keith – Spending a night in a cell for trying to buy tourists?

    Wen – Thanks.

    Sophie – Maybe my mind is too dirty but I have to ask: Offer them to what to take? :p

  4. Blue says:

    Your stories are priceless!!

  5. sophie says:

    HAHAHA!!! God, what a dirty mind hahaha :p noooo, come on… I meant something like ‘oh sorry, didn’t want to offend you, I would be very pleased to show you the red light district, we can take something to drink…’ -‘eeeeh we don’t know…’ ‘please, seriously, I would like to compensate for this misunderstanding’ and then you blink with your eyelids and go that irresistible face of gentleman…

    that would have been very Hugh Grant! ; )

  6. zed says:

    ….weekend might be the next winner of the annual ‘putting your foot in it’ awards ceremony.

    No, Stu, there are still 11 1/2 more months to go this year ….

  7. Invader Stu says:

    Sophie – I’ll try that on you when you visit Amsterdam :p

    Zed – In that case I’ll be winning 1st, 2nd and 3rd place.

  8. Tess says:

    *no comment* :p

  9. Anneke says:

    Haha! You should have exploited the situation and asked them out, like Sophie said. :D In any case, you found another story for your blog… Where would you be if it weren’t for all these embarrassing moments.

  10. Invader Stu says:

    Tess – I know you too well… that must means something :p

    Anneke – I could have asked them out but with the very large language barrier it could have lead to a bigger mix-up and the start of an international incident.

  11. Bemused says:

    Brilliant! And I love the comic with the red faces :).

    Can’t help wondering if she misunderstood you for a pimp… :P

  12. Invader Stu says:

    Bemused – Maybe you are right. Maybe she has a blog somewhere with a story about how she mistook a red head Englishman for a pimp.

  13. VallyP says:

    Stu, your’e answer to bemused would be really funny indeed! Would love to see that! By the way, I think you can be readily forgiven – I mean what is a young man supposed to think when approached by two smiling ladies saying ‘prostitute’ in a hopeful voice? – other than do you want one of course! Still, I can well imagine your blushes…hope they weren’t the same colour as your hair…LOL ;-))

  14. Ana Luisa says:

    Still laughing…

  15. sophie says:

    haha! ok, I will distrust then if you blink your eyelids… it will be the unmistakable sign you are going to confuse me with ‘I don’t know what’? hahaha just joking :p
    by the way, ‘smiling girls saying prostitute, prostitute’? in A’dam?? haha I would have thought they were teasing me and trying to ask me out… Stu, you must trust more in your sex-appeal :p hahahaha!!

  16. Manictastic says:

    A bit prejudiced, ay :P

    Damn, I would have loved to see you getting in a mess by asking “How much?”. That would have me rolling over the floor, even more.

  17. meghnak says:

    Hey Stu,
    ROFL! :D
    This was so funny. I can’t stop feeling sorry for u but I’m sorry, I can’t help laughing at your embarrasment! :D
    Keep writing…

  18. Invader Stu says:

    VallyP – Everyone I have told the story too so far has said they would have thought the same thing :)

    Ana Luisa – Even now? :p

    sophie – I’ll try blinking this Friday ;)

    Manictastic – Who knows what might have happened.

    meghnak – I laugh about it as well :)

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