Locals and visitors both complained about the behaviour of some tourists in the city of Amsterdam. Especially in the city centre and the Red Light District area. Amsterdam Marketing started a campaign targetting the worst behaving people who visit Amsterdam: men between 18 and 34 and letting them know they should ‘Enjoy & Respect’. What are the locals’ opinions about the Amsterdam Marketing campaign?
Karel lives across the street and I am convinced he visits my shop solely to get away from his wife. Around 75, grey haired, well dressed, not affraid to say what he thinks and always walking straight up. I never see him coming, he somehow appears out of nowhere which catches me off guard every single time. He sometimes also eats something (when it has been a big fight), but mostly he drinks cappuccino’s.
“Zo, zo” (That is a typical way of starting a conversation in Dutch). “That’s quite a mess“, he mumbles as he takes a giant step to enter the door without stepping on me trying to clean the biggest pile of digested food from last night. “I see that IAmsterdam’s campaign is allready working. One cappuccino”.
Visit Amsterdam! But not everyone
I empty the bucket of hot water and follow Karel inside wondering if he will ever add a please to the order. “A little too late, if you ask me.” Honestly I didn’t ask…
“First they lour everyone here. ‘Come to the place where you can drink and do drugs as much as you want’, to later tell everyone who does: ‘nice you’re here, but behave’. Like you can get drunk and behave at the same time! Have you ever seen a drunk behave?”
“They say they don’t want to point any fingers, but they should just put each drunk misbehaving person back on the train they come from right away. Instead of spending money on photo’s with squares around what is and isn’t allowed. Like this is Seseme Street.”
His complection swells a shade deeper red with each word and combined with the cappuccino foam on his lip he looks like mad dog. “Throwing away our tax money!”
A customer walks in looking a bit worried my way as she notices Karel’s bourgondy red face and foaming mouth. He quickly takes another sip of his cappuccino and stares onto the street.
“I’m sorry to disturb, but I just see my bike is thrown into the canal last night and my phone is dead, so could I make a call here so I can let my work know I’ll be late?” She sits on the opposite side of the store while calling, safe from mad dog Karel.
“See!” He decides to continue. “And where are the police who look through those camera’s all night when they threw her bike in the water?” He hands me € 2,50 and storms out more agitated then he came in.
Drunken, drugged or disrespectful
A bunch of guys dressed in pink tutu’s enter and have a look at the menu. “This isn’t a coffeeshop?” One asks with a can of beer in his hand. As I try to keep a straight face I let them know I do have coffee but don’t sell weed. Plus that it is 8 o’clock in the morning and weed selling coffeeshops won’t be open yet.
That answer only confuses the clearly intoxicated group. I decide to point them into any other direction than my shop and be done with it. They obediently follow my directions, but three take a break and decide to empty their blatters on the wall of the church across the street.
While we’re both looking at the three male, English-white, butt-cheeks, the bikeless lady hands me back the phone “Amsterdam Marketing tries to teach these fellows how they should behave in Amsterdam, they still have a long way to go.”