Those of you who know me will be shocked to learn that I spent one night in a Frenchman’s bed !
Yes ! Stodgy, old, Goody Two Shoes who wouldn’t even hold a cigarette while all those around her were passing joints, actually spent a night in a Frenchman’s bed.
And that too in Amsterdam, a city I’ve visited many times over in the last two decades.
How you may ask?
Well, that’s quite a story.
It happened one day when I found that Hubby Dear and I were booked on two different flights out of Amsterdam. This was because mine was an Award ticket and his wasn’t . Everything was fine till we reached Amsterdam and we realised that on our return flights, we were not only flying on different airlines but also on different days !
And that too a day prior to his departure!
There was nothing I could do except stay that one extra day in Amsterdam. And that is how the story begins.
JC was Hubby Dear’s colleague and had enjoyed our hospitality for many a day. Those were the days when our overseas colleagues actually stayed in our home rather than a hotel. They worked in a not-for-profit and I worked for FREE. So when JC offered me a day’s stay at his home rather than an extra night in a hotel, I readily agreed.
Hubby Dear left at the crack of dawn leaving me to check out on my own. JC had agreed to fetch me from the hotel and take me to his house situated in the famed red light district close to the notorious BULLDOG Coffee Shop.
“Zare eet ees , my leetle ‘ouse” he said pointing in the direction of a narrow house with the distinctive red light of a brothel shining prominently outside.
“That one ? ” I asked quite shocked . I knew his house was in the Red Light District but didn’t know it was above a whorehouse.
” Non, non,” he assured me, ” ze ‘ouse next to eet”.
He pushed open the door and right in front of me was a narrow passage with a steep, narrow staircase. Gingerly, I clambered up and came to another narrow door which he grandly opened saying “Welcome!”
Once inside, he pointed to a loft which was accessed by another steep staircase that I had to climb ” And zare,” he said ‘ ees my bed!”
To say I was dumbstruck was putting it mildly.
“Where will you sleep? ” I asked him.
“No P’oblem,” he replied. “Nora and I will sleep on the couch. By the window!”
I heaved a sigh of relief that there was going to be someone else joining us. I had met Nora during one of my earlier trips and I enjoyed her company. The evening promised to be interesting after all. After leaving my bag upstairs, I sipped on some wine watching JC cook up a genuine French Cassoulet with the fresh vegetable and chicken he had picked up from Albert Heijn , the famous provision store on his way home. As the smell of the simmering chicken filled the air, he regaled me with stories of his travels to Africa, his wine cellar back home and lobster fishing in his home in Bretagne.
A while later Nora joined us and before we knew it, the wonderful evening had come to an end and it was time for me to say goodnight.
I climbed up the stairs and immediately fell asleep in a warm and comfortable bed with fresh sheets.
So far so good I thought little knowing that my problems would start in the early hours of the morning.
A few hours before the alarm was scheduled to ring, I woke up with a strong urge to go to the loo. Now I was in a fix. JC and Nora were right below me and I couldn’t avoid them on the way to the loo. Moreover, the house was enveloped in complete darkness and I couldn’t even see my hand in front of me.
I can’t tell you how happy I was to finally hear the alarm go off so that I could finally jump off the Frenchman’s bed !
Have you ever had a strange experience while travelling? I Would love to hear all about it in the comments!