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Dutch customs

Rob Oudkerk



Theemsweg tippelzone closed, Amsterdam


16 December 2003

The Theemsweg tippelzone in Amsterdam closed yesterday. There had been too many problems, and the solutions that the police tried had made the place unpopular.

"P & N"

"P & N kost 25 euro." —from de Volkskrant, considered by some to be the most authoritative Dutch newspaper. "P & N" is an abbreviation for "pijpen en neuken" — oral and vaginal sex.

A tippelzone, in Holland, is a place outside of town where some illegal activities are tolerated. The main intention, I think, is to allow "streetwalkers." Prostitution is allowed in town, but streetwalking is not. The use of hard drugs, I believe, is somewhat "more tolerated" in a tippelzone than in a city. Tippelzones are mostly (I think) intended to keep addicted prostitutes out of the city center.

At the Theemsweg, the activities that occured were unacceptable. Many of the prostitutes were illegals. This illegality led to their exploitation, and not all were working voluntarily.

There were other problems, according to the newspaper de Volkskrant. There was some buying-and-selling of weapons. (The paper also mentioned the sale of drugs, but was not specific.) And, every day, there was a altercation of some kind.

In an attempt to bring the situation into hand, police made all the illegal hookers leave, and they placed an officer on duty each evening. Well, the clients stopped visiting. Then, of course, the rest of the prostitutes began to stay away. The cops were left "standing there chewing on a toothpick."

A new bike path overlooks the Nijmegen tippelzone.... — early 2004

So they closed The Theemsweg tippelzone.

A similar fate is approaching on New Year's Eve for a tippelzone outside of Rotterdam. After that, says the Volkskrant, clients of prostitutes there may take "flowers and a box of condoms home with them," because the Keileweg tippelzone is going to be closed.

— December 2003, in Nijmegen The Netherlands