Going Dutch



The British tax system got really hostile to free-lance computer dudes, like myself, so I went contracting in Amsterdam doing disaster recovery. We made sure that people’s computer systems didn’t go down, or if they did, it didn’t lose too much information or money, and sink the company. There’s a bit more to it than than but suffice to say, in crossing the North Sea, I also crossed the line between very well paid, and stupidly well paid. After about a month my Manager decided that I’d made the apparently impossible happen a couple of times, and my shit didn’t stink. He offered me a 12 month contract and I, metaphorically speaking, bit his hand off at the shoulder.

There were four of us contractors who had the knowledge and experience to do the job; one Australian; one Yank; another Brit; and me. We were travelling about Europe doing the annual visits to ensure as far as we could that nothing would go wrong for one week in four. We were on call for one week in four. This required the bags be packed and waiting at the door, and as nominated recipient of the midnight phone call, one would catch the taxi waiting outside the flat, pick up the ticket at Schipol Airport, and supervisor the recovery from disaster. This was usually in a very nice city somewhere in Western Europe (flights, acomodation, and living expenses all covered). It was expected that we hang around and make outselves seen for a couple of days when bedding in a newly recovered system. It’s a tough job,but someone has to do it.

People get tired and emotional when their business looks like its going to go “Tits Up”, so you are the man they call 24 hours a day for status reports until its all running smoothly again. Like a lot of technical support jobs, it’s mostly emotional support. I’d get double-time 24 hours a day, and then time off to recover after a job. The better we got, the fewer of these system crashes we had to deal with. It was probably the best job I’d ever had. I was treated with great respect at work, and the technical part was easy once you knew how. We spent the other two weeks on light duties, training ourselves, training other staff, and doing as much advanced work and contingency planning as possible. They even got us a couple of interrns each year, who were newly graduated Dutch Computer Scientists. We would generally get the brightest kids we could, and show them the ways of the Force – there were a lot of Star Wars reference in the department, including naming servers Obi-Wan, Obi-Two, and Obi-Three.

I was accused of being a waste of space by my friends from home because I didn’t take advantage of the local facilities in Amsterdam. I have only ever paid for sex emotionally, and I have never smoked anything. I made very good money from having reasonably stable brain chemistry, a quick mind, and high motivation. I’ve never taken anything I couldn’t buy over a bar or Pharmacist’s counter, and at 33, I didn’t think it was worth torpedoing a record I’m quite proud of. Besides, it was theoretically possible that I be used as backup if a second site crashed and the on call dude went to the first. One’s rates would be astronomical, but one’s contract would be terminated if one were stoned.

I notice that my mates didn’t heckle too loudly, became they all started coming out to visit for long weekends, or in a few cases a whole week on a cheap flights. They would all get the standard “Here’s the spare keys. Here’s the fridge. Me Casa, you Jane” speech, the spare “pay as you go” guest’s mobile phone on the Dutch mobil phone network, be asked not to make too much noise coming in late on a school night, and if bringing whores back to the flat, please launder their own bed-linen. I had a small covered balcony overlooking the canal, and guests were asked to smoke outside on it. I take my air quality seriously.

Time spent in reconnaisance is never wasted, so one finds one’s way around the Oudekirk Red Light district because it’s the sort of tourist attraction my friends would express an interested in seeing, and knowing the various attractions like the Banana Bar (use your imagination), etc. allowed one to save one’s visitors valuable time, and just show them the edited highlights.

I got a little two bedroom flat on one of the smaller cross canals close to one of the faster tram routes to Schipol Airport, and a very pleasant three quarters of a mile walk to work. It was bijou, or as the Dutch say, hezelig, but it was very tastefully decorated, and just what I needed. For the Dutch, living on a canal in Amsterdam is as good as it gets, because it’s a very nice place to live. Unfortunately for the Dutch, everyone else wants to live on a canal in Amsterdam, especially all of the well paid foreigners, for the same reasons. The prices have gone up out of their price range, causing resentment from the locals. This meant that it was very cosmopolitan, and everyone in the area is quite prosperous. There was an Albert Heijn supermarket round the corner, matadorbet and the KLM stewardesses had their hotel and watering hole about 300 yards from my front door. I was blindingly lucky to find a garage for my Vintage maroon 1960s MGA through my boss. One of his mates was living away from the ‘Dam for a year, and had a parking space in a private multi-storey car park which was guarded 24-hours a day. It was cheaper than paying for a parking meter – just – but it was close by, and it’s only worth trying to go round the Amsterdam one way system in a car if it’s a nice day, you have lots of time, and plenty of spare coins for parking meters.

I had gone through the “eyes out on stalks” phase – if you like tall, elegant, classically beautiful women, with a sense of humour, an animated face, a warm friendly sociable disposition, and a potty mouth, then Amsterdam has a lot to offer over, say for instance, London. I’m not saying British women are short, undignified, plain, humourless, fail to make eye contact, have a shitty attitude, and prudish. I’m just saying that when I went back for a weekend in Britain after about two months, and asked when all the girls had gotten so short, fat, and ugly I was greeted with blank stares of incomprehension. I suppose it’s all just what you’re used to.

I’d done partner dancing when I was working in London, and had enjoyed taking Tango classes. Some say it’s “the vertical expression of horizontal desire”. Some say it’s “date-rape set to music by a Latin American dictator”. In my opinion, it’s a little from collum A, and a little from collum B. I found a dance school teaching Tango classes. My Dutch was fairly primitive, and I only caught a small part of what was probably a very funny class, but I progressed fairly well. One Friday night, I decided to go to one of the social dances having nothing else on.

I am 5’6”, broad, fair, a little over-weight, quite a kinetic personality, but a little intense. After the class, came the social dance. I asked myself who I would look most ridiculous dancing with. There was a tall slim girl with freckles, and ginger hair pinned up and back. She was in her early 20s, about 5’10” or so, standing in a corner hiding behind what were evidently rather unfashionable, very strong prescription glasses. She was really pretty in an understated “I’m trying to blend into the background” sort of way.

The worst she could do was to tell me to fuck off, and besides, I had seen some fairly mismatched couples – frankly marginal looking men walking down the streets of Amsterdam with a Goddesses on their arm. I went up to her and said in my best Amsterdamse-accented Dutch “Guud me t’dag”.

She turned to me, shyly, smiled, and came back with a flow of chatty Dutch, ending, by the sound of it and the timing, in a joke. I chuckled, nodded my head sagely, made as if to reply, paused, shook my head sorrowfully, and said “I’m sorry. I didn’t get a word of that. I’m afraid I’ve only been in Amsterdam three months. All I know is ‘Guud met’dag’. Would you care to dance?”

She started at me in surprise, then laughed, and said “Sure”. We started dancing, which was completely painless from my point of view. I needed to look round her to steer, but her nipples were at eye-level, and she looked straight over my head. She was goofing around and laughing for the first track, when I stopped her, and lead her to the side of the room.

“Look, Ginge, you’ve probably noticed that there is a fairly entertaining difference in our heights. I make you look like a Giraffe, and you make me look like an Orangutan. Now you evidently have a sense of humour, or you wouldn’t be dancing with me in the first place, but I think we want to look smart memorable and ironic, not absurd and ridiculous. The only way I know to make this a world class sight-gag is to play it totally straight. No goofing around. Make it look almost like you’re taking it seriously, and think Latin American intensity. Groucho Marx and Margaret Dumont. What do you say?”

She looked at me as if for the first time, considered for a moment, and said in an imperious voice “This is a Gala Day for you.”

“Well a gal a day is enough for me. I don’t think I could handle any more.” Her face lit up with delight, and we spent the next hour and a half swapping Groucho Marx one liners, and basically making love with our clothes on. Tango is one of the most intellectually demanding forms of dance I’ve come across. You have to completely tune into the other person, and the sort of attention and energy flowing between two people is very flattering. The man is in control, and makes the woman move to his will. She was a really good dancer, did exactly what I wanted, and was an absolute pleasure to dance with. There were not enough men to go around, and the women around the edge of the class were not sure what to make of us. Any time a man is with a woman, other women automatically assume that he is acceptable company, matadorbet giriş and that they are together. When you are in your own little world of just the two of you, it is very intimate, and people looking in on it feel like voyeurs. They are usually far less ready to make jokes at your expense, and from sniggering about the mismatched couple, they began to want to dance with me, and envied my partner.

I found her aroma just incredible. It made me simultaneously horny, interested, light-headed, protective, and feel like taking risks. When the dance finished at 12:30am, and the dancers began filing out. I couldn’t let the night to end there, so I turned to my partner and said, “We haven’t been introduced. My name is Richard. You are a delight to dance with.”

“Thank you very much. You are a good dancer as well. My name is Ailsa. I am please to meet you.”

“Ailsa, I’m hungry, and I was going to go and get something to eat. Would you care to join me?”

“Oh. I’m a student, and I haven’t got the money for eating out.”

“Ah. Sorry. Cultural misunderstanding. Allow me put it a different way; I’m hungry; I prefer not to eat alone; I enjoy your company; and in Britain if I ask you to come and eat with me, it means I’m buying. Easy misunderstanding to make. I know a nice little spot round the corner that’s quite good.”

“Oh. Err… thank you. Yes, I will.”

I had done my reading. The Dutch invented “going Dutch”, because the men are NOT tight, just very very good at both getting and keeping money. Spontaneous financial generousity is so unusual in the culture that it would be met with suspicion, though being a foreigner, you can get away with it. Women are, of course, evolved to be attracted to men who have resources, are generous with them, and are prepared to commit them. So the theory goes.

The rule is; Netherlands for Money, Cannabis and Prostitution; Belgium for Food and Wine. Most restaurant food in the Netherlands is irredeemably awful, but I’d found, and eaten at what the guide books described as a the only passably good restaurant in Central Amsterdam. The service was pretty good, and I’d tipped the waiter quite generously when I went there before. It was the only place within striking distance of the Leidseplein that I could think of to take her, which would create the tone I wanted to create. Fortunately the same waiter was on duty. He smiled and greeted me by name, saw that I was with a lady, and steered us to a quiet table for two. We ordered drinks, and the waiter left us looking at the menu.

I thought she might well respond to candour, rather than my English indirectness, so I bit the bullet and said, “Ailsa. How can I tackle this delicately? Please don’t feel the need to order the cheapest thing on the menu, or I shall feel like the cheapest thing on the menu. Money is a secondary concern to your enjoying the meal. I’d rather any choice of food you make was based on what you’d like to eat. Completely independant of any decision about sleeping with me. OK?”

She looked up sharply, and saw me smiling back mischeviously “Well obviously I take all factors into account, but I’ll certainly bare that in mind. Thank you” she replied completely flatly, as if she was answering a normal question. Her body language, however, shouted approval as I felt her rub her bare foot gently up my leg, coming to rest in my lap under the table. She spent the meal emphasising her point in the conversation by rubbing her foot against my cock, trying to make me lose concentration. I massaged her foot as I listened, trying to do likewise. Mmmm. Brain games. I like it.

As she began to feel a little more comfortable with me, and came out of her shell, I found Ailsa was rather more direct than I was used to. There was, however an unsettlingly strong chemistry at the table. It turned out that she was 21, studying English and Business Studies at the University of Amsterdam, and living in the suburbs with her parents. Her father was a Professor of Physics, and her mother was a Professor of Botany, also both at the University of Amsterdam.

I asked her about herself, the first time she fell in love, and what was good about her last relationship. She answered intimately and animatedly, rubbing her foot in my lap for emphasis, giving me the basic roadmap of how she had been successfully seduced in the past. I gathered from what she said that she had only had three boyfriends. With one, she found his intelligence highly attractive. The second young man had a sense of humour that frankly aroused her – she used the phrase “Whisper intelligent nothings in my ear” twice. The third man was wealthy with a very strong and dominating personality, but it had all come unstuck because he felt inadequate about her intellect, and became abusive. She had a jealous streak, a high sex drive, and her family had been very poor when she was young, so she was acutely aware of money, and male generousity.

She was intelligent to the point of nerdy, having been teased at school for being flat chested (no longer an issue), gangly, ginger, and freckle faced. She had a dry sense of humour similar to mine, though in my opinion a great deal funnier, and loved the Marx bothers with a passion. Behind the extremely pretty face, which was behind the milk bottle thick glasses, she was a shy, thoughtful, wordy, self-aware, literate young woman with integrity, stuborness, strong opinions, ambition, and high morals, which apparently crumbled under the first contact with pheramones. She had many suitors, but had only accepted, and fallen hard for men when her primal reaction to their personal musk made her hornier than a bitch in heat, at which point, she threw herself at them. She said that when they got out of bed, she would roll over to their side, and nuzzle her face into the sheets where they had been sleeping. Her sex drive turned off when she didn’t have someone in her life, and she lived unattached, lonely, and celebate. She enjoyed male company, but unless they floated her boat, they got precisely nowhere. If she had been much more homely, this still would have been my best night in Amsterdam yet. As it was, she was heart rendingly sweet, personally sympathetic, very physically appealing, shy, and had red hair, glasses, a great body, and a thing for intelligent funny dominant men. Now I wonder where we’re going to find one of those at this time of night.

We had a bottle of very good wine with dinner, and coffee at the end of the meal. The waiter passed me the bill. I passed him back my AmEx Gold Card without looking at the bill, then when he bought it back, I signed the receipt with a 20% tip. American Expres never ran an advert saying “Gold Card. It impresses the chicks.” I think this was a mistake.

We were both in a very happy mood, and as we left the restaurant I took her hand, and put her arm in mine, as we strolled along the street to the canal. “I am really enjoying your company. I would hate for this evening to end unnecessarily early. I only live a short walk away – would you like to come up and have a night-cap?”

She nuzzled my neck and whispered breathlessly “Mmmm. I’d like that.”

I had a strong suspicion that my musk was pushing her buttons, so I said “I’m afraid I’ll have to take a shower when we get in. I’m afraid you probably noticed while we were dancing that my shirt was getting a bit sweaty.”

She lowered her head to my neck again, put her arms around me, and drew in a full breath. She whispered in a husky voice “Not necessary.” Her eyes had a glazed distant look, and she brushed her breast against my chest as she pulled away. “You know you have a very strong lead when you dance.”

“Not too strong I hope?”

“ I like a man to lead me strongly when I’m dancing. Most of the Dutch men at the dance class, they are like dancing with a wet cabbage.”

“I assume that’s a Dutch phrase you just cut and pasted straight into English.” My hand slid down to her waist, and I pulled her closer. She squeezed my shoulder in return, and drew me in closer. We walked back to my building chatting quietly, and as we got to the front door I reached for the keys in my pocket. She stood behind me, and her hands stroked me shoulders.

“Nice appartment. Is it rent controlled?”


“Oh.” I could almost hear the gears whirring in her head. We stepped inside, and I closed the glass door. I walked to the stairs, turned on the first step, drew her towards me, and took her in my arms. I moved my face towards hers, and when she didn’t pull away, I kissed her lightly on the lips. I held the kiss for a few seconds, withdrew, then returned pressing more firmly. My lips parted and hers followed. Our tongues touched, and I felt what seemed like a jolt of electricity. I pushed my tongue into her mouth urgently, and she pushed hers back even more forcefully. She ran her fingers through my hair, and melted into me. Point to note; letter to my uncle Hywel thanking him for the advice about ‘Watch out for the quiet ones’.

“Forget the stairs, lets take the lift. I just needed something to stand on.”

She snorted trying to stiffle a laugh. “Are you reading my mind?”

“You were thinking very loudly.”

I put my arm back round her waist as we waited for the lift. I guided her into the lift, pressed the button, and as soon as the doors closed and it began to go up, I reached out, and kissed me hard again. She wrapped herself around me, running both hands wildly back and forth through my hair. The lift arrived, and I lead her by the hand to the door of my flat. She stood behind me, slipped her hand down the waistband of my trousers, and wrapped her fingers around my semi-hard cock.

“Ooh. That’s nice. Did you know your scrotum is nearly full.” The cheekiness, the accent, the matter of factness, and the literal turn of phrase had been turning me on all night. Now the cold hand gently squeezing my nuts made my speech falter as I gasped and swooned in pleasure. “So you’re the Scrotum Police now are you? By the way, any time you ever need a hand warmer, feel absolutely free to use me as you wish.”

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