Friday, May 3, 2013

My German friends took me to this village called Roden, close to the city of Saarlouis. We would often go to a guesthouse named after the owner, Agnes. At first appearance it looked like any other guesthouse that we were used to visiting, except the young women waiting the tables were in their late twenties and early thirties. They were older than the other young women that worked in other guesthouses.

Normally, guesthouse seating had tables with four chairs and nothing else. Agnes’s guesthouse also had that type of seating in the daytime. The place was rearranged differently at night and especially on weekends. Two sliding walls were opened up to reveal what looked like living rooms. They had nice, soft couches and chairs with low tables in front. Candlelit lamps sat on end tables, and beautiful maroon drapes hung in front of the windows.

We went to Agnes’s place during the day most of the time, when beer cost less. At night the beer and other drinks would double in price.

Agnes, the owner, looked to be in her middle fifties, was about five feet six inches tall with dark, short hair, and was a little on the heavy side but not fat. When she spoke with you, her voice sounded confident and clear; even though she displayed a motherly type personality toward everyone, you knew that she was the boss.

Her husband Nickolaus was a small man about the same height as Agnes, and his hair was beginning to turn a little gray on the sides, which made him look older than his wife.

                Their daughter, young Agnes, was five feet seven inches tall and in her late twenties. Her skin looked as if it was naturally tan all the time. She had a beautiful face with shoulder-length black hair, which complemented her slender figure. You would never guess that she had two children. Her husband Josef was a handsome man who looked about thirty. He was six feet tall with brown hair and a muscular build. He was very friendly and very jealous.     When we went to Agnes’s guesthouse, I would speak German with her, and she would help me by correcting my German. Everyone working in the guesthouse helped me. They treated me like a family member.

                 Their home was in the same building as the guesthouse, with a kitchen on the first floor and their bedrooms on the second floor. I was invited to their home one Sunday morning to have breakfast with the whole family. I noticed that the young women who were waitresses also lived with Agnes. They joined us for breakfast. As we sat and had breakfast, Agnes asked me if I could bring them some liquor from the base. Nickolaus said that they would pay me ten times more than it cost me to purchase on base. I happily agreed to their terms.

             I brought them liquor every time we visited their guesthouse. Liquor was rationed to servicemen monthly. My allocation was four bottles per month. This turned out to be quite a little profit-making enterprise for me.

            On Friday nights, Saturday nights, and Sunday afternoons, the guesthouse was always packed. The living room sections would be opened up to provide additional space for the mostly male customers. The waitresses would remain in the living room with their customers. The men bought expensive bottles of champagne, wine, and shots of liquor for the tables in the rooms. About every hour a male customer would leave the living room with his waitress and go upstairs. She would give him a tour of the bedrooms, and she wasn’t even a real-estate agent.

            Agnes and family were the owners of a guesthouse that turned into a brothel at night and on weekends. At the same time, the young women waitresses would turn into prostitutes. You could make arrangements to have sex with them for a price. Prostitution was a legal business activity in Germany.

            On Saturday and Sunday, it was very difficult to find a parking spot close to Agnes. Their backyard was used for VIP parking. The yard would be filled with expensive German vehicles. Several waitresses would be sitting in the living rooms next to their customers. Young Agnes would also be sitting with the executives. Her section was filled with the wealthiest executives; they bought the most expensive drinks.

                 On Sundays when we visited the guesthouse, young Agnes would ask me to take Josef (her husband) away for a while to Luxemburg because he was extremely jealous. He could not watch his wife sitting on the coach drinking with other men without saying something to the men. So Agnes paid me in US dollars many times to take him anyplace for several hours.

             I almost never had to buy drinks in Agnes’s place, because usually the young waitresses and the owners would just bring drinks and leave them on my table. Drinks that had been purchased by the customer seated in their section

              About every six months a new group of young women would come from other parts of Europe to work at Agnes’s place. Each one of them had a unique appearance or distinctive personality. While in Germany, I never though very much about Agnes’s guesthouse being a brothel. Now when I reflect back on the situation, it was an incredible experience I had as a nineteen year old, selling liquor to the owners of a whorehouse.

              Are you wondering if I was ever paid in trade? I will never tell.