The moment I stepped out of the Amsterdam Airport, it could have been the end. Euro trip over. Tragic.
Wooo!! It was the day I’d been anticipating for nearly a year. Coming in on separate flights, I was thrilled to find my best friend Brandie in the airport upon arriving in Amsterdam. This was the beginning of our Euro trip where I’d ‘werk werk twerk’ and begin filming season 2 of my travel show. This was Day 1, and for those who really know me, it was April 4th.. my most favorite day of the year. What could possibly go wrong?
Our immediate concern was how do we get from the airport to where we’re staying in the city center. The airport is about 20 minutes away from our first destination, and while unfamiliar with the Netherlands train and busing, we decided it’d be best to catch a cab until we figure out how to use the Dutch public transportation.
A young man approached us, out of nowhere. “Do you need a cab?” He’d ask. Like an angel falling from the sky, we jumped up, delighted and quickly said yes. Wow, that was so easy, we thought. Like a gentleman, he quickly grabbed my bag and begin wheeling it away from the airport, across the cobbled streets walking fast with intent. Keeping up with him, we thought it was strange that we were walking so far away from the airport but he assured us that this was normal. We hesitantly followed as we walked at least 5 minutes away. Passing a few cargo vans, and trucks, Brandie and I now knew this was strange as he mumbled on the phone something in a different language.
“The cab will be here soon,” he announced.
Weird. We thought he was the cab driver. We waited on the side of the road for about 10 minutes, still confused now our guard completely raised as this nice Mercedes car pulls up and literally stops on the side of the road. He didn’t pull over to where we were, just stopped in the middle of the street. No cab hat attached to the top, no writings on the side of his car, and then out pops a man dressed to the tee in what looked like an Armani suit with very nice shoes.
Hmmmmm… I’ve never seen a cab driver dressed so well before and driving such a nice luxury car.
Red flag! Red flag!
Quickly, I turn to Brandie and we exchange the same look of concern.
“Hmmm…How much?” we asked.
“$75 dollars,” the driver says.
“Oooh. That’s a lot more than we expected. No worries, we’ll take the train.”
The well-dressed man speaks again.
“$45! He shouts”
You know, we’re just going to take the train.
“$40!” he repeats.
“Nahhhh.. we’re good.”
Both men quickly got pissed and aggravated and we decided it was time to abort the mission. Quicky. We retreat, grabbed our bags and got out of there as fast as we could.
While there’s so much hype around Amsterdams’ Red Light District, according to statistics, 10 to 90 percent of those women are being sex trafficked. Amsterdam is one of, if not has the highest percentage of trafficking in the world and today was not the day!
We could only imagine the things that could have happened soon after. Maybe he’d roll down the back window, release gas and out we’d go. Our journey was not about to end the day we got there.
Thankfully, we got out of there and found an actual taxi stand where there were writings on the car. So happy we trusted our intuition because who knows what would’ve taken place if we got into that car.
If it seems shady and suspicious, it probably is. Trust your gut.