Visiting The House And Furniture Of Anne Frank – While Her Living Look Alikes Are Still Standing Like Furniture Between The Red Curtains Some Streets Further Away

After my appointment in Amsterdam I walked through the Red Light District towards Central Station. I saw ladies from Bulgaria, Romania and Latin America. Standing behind the windows. Clothed only in their underwear. Winking and beckoning me to come and to enter their small rooms behind the red curtains. I smiled friendly and walked further.

A pale face and black hair

Suddenly I saw her while I looked over my left shoulder. There she was. A very young girl. Having a pale face and black hair. She was the opposite of the other, older ladies who were standing with brown powdered skins behind the glass. I felt shocked, because she looked like Anne Frank.

She was standing in a corner of the house. Just some streets away from the Anne Frank Museum, which is every year visited by more than one million humans from all over the world.

She was very young. Radiating fragility.

A harlot in Holland

I wondered how she came to the Netherlands. I asked myself where her family is? Who her father is? And is he knowing that his daughter is living as a harlot in Holland?

One million persons are walking every year through the neighbourhood to the Museum of Anne Frank. Probably they will visit the same day the so called ‘famous’ Red Light District.
And while they are one moment solemnly climbing the staircase to the attic where Anne Frank was hiding, next moments they are probably laughing, pointing and making pictures of the striking ladies behind the windows.
Anne Frank had some privacy, her equals are standing at high heels in the spotlights. Nearly naked. Without dignity.

What will happen when their (unwritten) diaries are found? Will there be a publisher who is interested in the stories of these girls from abroad? To read about the betrayals, the lost trust and honour, the abuses, the abductions, the violences and the rapes?

Who are the men who are paying prostitutes?

Every time when a man goes in and pays the money there is again a woman to be raped. And after this she is again raped. And again. Many times a day.
And I am asking myself: ‘Who are the men who dare to go in? Are their wifes knowing? Are their daughters aware that their fathers are having sex with some peers from Eastern Europe?’

Are that the men who are lying about the money they paid? Are they saying that they bought some petrol for their cars? And that they paid cash? And are their friends and relatives believing them?

Are they having double standards or double lives?

Or are that the men who don’t have a relation and who are ‘starving’, due to  their longing for sex, attention and maybe a hug or a touch? Or are it the men whose relations / marriages are bleeding to death, because of a shortage of intercourse? Are they having ‘blue balls’? Watching pornography? Masturbating? And …

Sexless relations and marriages?

One man told me that he was – during more than thirty years of marriage – just for five moments intimate with his wife. Just five times. That means only one moment in six years. Crazy! Shocking to hear.  And I thought that I had endured ‘drought’ – sexless periods – in my marriage!

In my ‘old’ neighbourhood lives a gigolo. He was a house painter, but left his job to earn more money by having sex with (lonely) wealthy (business-) women. My neighbour is going frequently to the gym to maintain his strong muscular body, while his girlfriend is knowing how he earns his ‘new’ money. Their little boy is still unaware.

The fate of many girls and women is not known

Every year more than 1300 vulnerable, under aged, Dutch girls are blackmailed via shared photos of their nudity. After that they are transported – again it looks like Anne Frank – to places abroad. For instance in Belgium where they have to ‘serve’ as prostitutes. The fate of many others is not known by the (watchful) authorities or the (successful) organisations which are trying to help these girls and women to escape the brothels and whorehouses.

And while these teenagers are ‘working’ long houres a day their earnings are seized away by pimps. Weekly they are robbed of thousands of euros. And their pimps walk with many banknotes in their pockets and are driving around in expensive and fast cars.

How to reduce the number of girls and women which are raped daily?

So how can we reduce the number of girls and women which are raped daily in our country? Not to speak about the other countries world wide.

Is it by focussing on the prostitutes? By trying to motivate them to leave their legalised ‘jobs’? To give them training for other work possibilities? To liberate them from the pimps? Sure!

To help them get rid of their debts? Yes, of course!

But the problem is that we are than focussing on the supply, while there is still a big demand!

Criminal networks will whatever produce or deliver as long as there is a demand. And for so long the revenues are kept high.

So to rescue some ‘drops’ is great, but new drops are already coming, while the river steadily is continuing its flow towards the sea and the expansive oceans.

The solution will be to reduce the demand. Have we ever fully investigated what the reasons are why richer men and women are raping their poorer fellows after paying money?

Of course we can focus on the criminals and we can revulse and protest against their cruel behaviours and the bloodshed of humans. Like what is happening at a daily base during many drugs wars in Latin America.

But let me be clear: All those users of drugs and paid sex are equal responsible for the horror from pimps and criminals. It is too easy to disconnect them from the ‘supply’.

Doing something about the demand for paid sex

To pay for drugs or to pay for sex means to pay for the total ‘production chain’ of bloodshed, rape and all the other hideous ‘’human’’ acts.

So the solution means that we have to do something about the demand for paid sex. Fines and sentences of courts can be tools – and these are effective – but behaviours won’t be changed out of fear (there is than no free choice or real will). Nor will these be changed when sex offenders are sent in groups to the prisons.

I believe that a multidimensional approach will be fruitful.

It will be found by monitoring the home situations of the offenders, by building caring and preventing networks around them and to give them the obligation to listen to the stories of ex prostitutes. To hear them tell about the daily rapes, the humilations and the physical and mental tortures.
And it will be found when all these persons are asked why they went to harlots. And why they did pay to have sex. And why they were seeming indifferent about the feelings of the girls and women they were abusing.

Finally, I guess that well functioning and well tuned (virtual) sex robots can be probably also a part of the various approach.

And let there than be a price tag for this technology of toys.

Because all these previous mentioned men and women showed us that they were willing to pay …

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While Embracing Our Differences – We Escape The Obscure Fictions of Our Ego – Ending The Erroneous And Ridicule Roles of Lords, Bosses, Clones and Puppets

Finally I am learning two life lessons. After stumbling so many times. And after falls. Laying upside down in the mud. And standing up. And trying again.
Now I am more understanding and experiencing these lessons in my life. Am I already arrived? Not yet, but I am happily on the way and enjoying the surroundings.

Conforming others to my imagination

For so long I was unaware that I was judging others and blaming them for not being and doing like me or like how I wanted them to be and to do. I was blind for the dark desire that others had to conform to my selfish imagination.

Also I was protecting and defending my prickled ego. While I was ‘good’, the others were ‘mistaken’. It was for me important to preserve my positive self image and my good feelings about myself. It got many times more priority than the ‘good looks’ and feelings of others. When I was younger I even tried to block the news flashes about poverty, famine and cruel, lethal diseases. I did that just to stay in ‘balance’. Because I was fearing that distress would rob me of my self manipulated views of being ‘happy’ and ‘stable’.

I have discerned how treacherous my ‘ego’ is. For instance: When I am feeling uncertain about a – by my ego viewed –  ‘strong’ person (‘strong’ means than for ‘’me’’ independent, verbal present and dominant) and when I am feeling in need for the grace of that person than my mind is creating very negative thoughts about him or her. Insinuating bad things. Painting a monstrous portrait of this person. And because I am not well knowing this man or woman my mind is producing negative scripts about the intentions and acts of that person. It is doing that to prevent ‘’me’’ of being overwhelmed by a ‘shocking’, strong presence of the other.

My ‘ego’ wants desperately to be in controll. To dominate the environment and to be the all providing, allmighty god in my own world. And by judging it makes divisions between me and the unknown, dangerous (?) other. Such large are the accusations and antipathies that these are sometimes difficult to bridge. Because the pride and arrogance of my ego tries to prevent any form of familiarity and friendship. And by paying a price of isolation and desolation it creates a very small prison for my own ego.

Judging makes others insignificant

For long I was not knowing that my judging was coming out of fear and that by judging I was making other people small, insignificant, less powerful and that I was even trying to bent them to my will.

The results of my judging were that these were reducing the space for others to be themselves. Unspoken was there ‘somewhere in the atmosphere’ the hidden imagination whereby the others had to act conform the scripts I had already invented and created for them. To be reduced to a not mighty and not anymore frightening position of a ‘non-adult’. To become a predictable clone or puppet. While my ego was crowning itself to be the only sovereign ‘adult’ in the room.

Luckily I am learning how to accept the differences of the persons around me. And that they may do the things they want to do. And that this means that it is going otherwise than I would like. And that I can’t prevent that. Even that they can do things which are painful or harmful for me.

And by really accepting others I am discovering that it is giving me also far more freedom and rest. Happily the only one I have to supervise is myself. And the only thing I have to do in regard to others is to let them just be themselves. Just let them be! It is okay that they are themselves!

Love needs distance

The second lesson I am recognizing is that love needs distance. Earlier in time I was thinking that love meant that two persons were becoming one unity or identity. It seemed for me the most beautiful thing to be accomplished. But instead I discovered that it is producing a dull and predictable relation. A partnership where you are doing the same things or trying to think the same is deadly for the long term.

Love originates out the awareness that the other is and may be different than me. And that that person is – even knowing my flaws and faults – still not leaving me. While he or she is also free to make one day that choice to let me alone with myself.

Love is becoming exciting when the other is suprising me with an act, a thought or statement which I was totally not expecting. Even when I am in that moment discovering sides and aspects of my partner which I was not knowing and which I wish were still hidden. When the other is showing me feelings and thoughts I dislike and which I want to dispute. And when the other is making me aware of my own blind spots which I afterwards would like to pretend not to see.

Embracing the differences of the other

With this knowledge it is a daring deed to embrace the other. In his or her totality. Not embracing only the parts I am liking, but the whole person. Accepting, accepting and accepting.

It is necessary to keep distance between me and the other so that I can experience the space to be myself and that I can give the other also the space to be herself or himself.

And being in a state of healthy distance to the other means also that every physical embrace becomes a successful result of our mutual choice to become together for one moment a powerhouse of vulnerability and a rainbow of promising possibilities. It shows that our different views, changing humours and ‘strange’ universes may indeed be designed to exist peacefully side by side …

When Caught in the Cage of Stress and Fear – And Time is Flying Fast Away

I catch myself on looking so many times at my phone, just to see what the time is.

Every morning there is the stress to be on time. I can feel the stress creeping in my body when I am preparing the lunch box, cooking oatmeal in a little pan and driving the car to the school.
I see it when I am looking in the driving mirror. The agitated gestures of the woman in the auto behind me. Because she is again angry that I am stopping for the walkers at a zebra crossing.

I hate the stress and hurry. The fear to arrive too late at my destination.

Assessment 

This Tuesday I had an assessment. I spent a whole day in Eindhoven. The city of high tech, football club PSV and the multinational company of Philips.
Happily I was on time. During the journey to Eindhoven I experienced at three moments traffic jams. And I saw how the precious time was flying away. And I felt the fear that I would be delayed and that there would be no time anymore to search for a free parking place in the streets of the nearby neighbourhood.

The assessment was at the fifth floor. The people of the firm were friendly. The atmosphere was relaxt. I enjoyed the whole day. Even when some of the technical stuff was very difficult for me.

There was one big but

A day later my phone rang. They told me that they had seen that I am very eager to learn, very interested, very enthusiastic and that I have a strong drive and motivation. They even got the impression that I am intelligent 🙂 . But there was one big but. They would not take the risk to hire me, because they were fearing that I am too slow processing the brand-new technical information.

Too slow! I felt the shock. The pain, the sorrow and the rollercoaster of mixed feelings. Again!


(I saw this graffiti at the concrete wall of an overpass in Eindhoven. The translation of the Dutch words is like: ‘Feed no war, but the ducks’) 

And many questions were drifting and tumbling in my mind:

Why is it not just enough to be a very enthusiastic and committed employee? Why should there be always a ‘not enough’? Why should the work be done in a very fast tempo? Why is there a focus on quantity (how much am I doing in a specific time) instead of quality (how good, beautiful or contributing is the work I am doing)?

And again I am wondering and pondering about our society of stress, hurry and underpaid, overloaded workers. Last months and just this week I was reading in the Dutch newspapers that there is an emergency call from teachers, judges and prosecutors. And of course, not to forget the nurses! They are all experiencing that there are too less co-workers, that they are making too long working houres, that they don’t have enough time to prepare there lessons, cases or the sittings of the court. And that they have too less time to pay attention to their patients. And they are all feeling worried and many times exhausted.

And I am asking myself: ‘Why are we all coping with this crazy system in our society?’

So many people are having burn outs

It is not surprising me that so many people are having burn outs, depressions, problems with their health, wrestling with addictions, having bad food habits and also that too many people are moving too less during a day. Because they are sitting whole days behind there computer screens. It is for me no surprise that there are people who are dying of heart attacks, due to stress. Stress is a killer of us humans. Stress is our enemy.

I really would like to be the opposite of this crazy system.

So yes, how does that look?

I like reflection, I like to have plenty time, even to do nothing. Just looking, thinking, being and seeing how beautiful whole nature – including us – is. To feel amazed about the beauty of the light in the autumn, to see the different colours of the trees. To observe the high blue dome and the white clouds. To hear the birds in the garden. And to drink just a cup of coffee. These things can be just enough! And can give me a feeling of freedom, space and luxury. Even a taste of adventure. And yes, even than, there is still plenty of time to work.

Singer Douwe Bob

So yes. When I was thinking about this blog, I just remembered the beautiful song of Douwe Bob.

He was the representive of the Netherlands at the Eurovision Song Contest of 2016
(Phew, 2016 already, even time is seeming stressed and in a hurry 🙂 ).

So yes. Slow down!

My dearly beloved brothers and sisters 🙂 – Slow down!

To listen to the song of Douwe Bob: Click here