For the business, this trip to Amsterdam has been an unprecedented success. The target we followed here was intercepted and as per his wife's suspicions, we were able to document the affair he was having with a colleague, providing her with the information she needs to make an educated decision about where to take her life now.
But as I stand here on the fifth floor of my hotel watching a line of aeroplanes bring tourists in, I can't help but feel sad for the people that live here, and more importantly, the people responsible forgiving Amsterdam the deserved reputation it has.
Maybe I'm just getting old, or maybe I have watched the movie Taken too many times but as I walked through the red light district last night watching the thousands of people enjoying the spectacle of the working girls plying their trade behind their red lit windows, I couldn't help but wonder how many of those girls truly chose to be there. Of course, there will be some who enjoy the money they make doing what they do but I am quite sure that these few will make up the very small minority as I am also quite sure that they don't get to keep all of the money they make.
I come to this conclusion not by looking at the girls, nor by looking at the tourists they attract but by looking at the groups of men standing on the corners watching how the girls work, how many men they talk to and how many men they go on to entertain. After each visit, One of these corner dWelling men will call on the girls, stay for just a few moments and leave returning to the corner from whence they came. As they are not punters and nor do they seem to be security or police, one can only assume that they are pimps, and thus I wonder how much control these girls actually have over their own destinies. Are they there through choice or are they paying off the debt to finance the dream they had when they left their home cities?
Of course, this is all conjecture but still, as I stand watching the planes coming in I can't wait to head to the airport and get on one to get out.