Never been a pawn or a fool, I was way too proud. -Roger Clyne
Okay, cheap way to get another RCPM lyric in there, but hey… The new header photo, for as long as it lasts, is a shot of my view on Koninginnedag or Queen’s Day. It’s the Netherlands’ way of wishing the queen a happy birthday. Actually, the current queen’s birthday is in January, but since April 30th is nicer weather they decided to keep the date from the previous queen. Thanks Nederland! In any case, Queen’s Day is a huge party. The city is closed off to cars, busses, trains, and trams and fills with people. Wall to wall people. Everywhere you turn. And when the streets fill up, the people get on boats and start cruising the canals. In orange. Everyone wearing orange. Everything orange. As far as the eye can see.
What struck me about Queen’s Day was what I didn’t see. I didn’t see cops everywhere. I didn’t see fights. I didn’t see many of the things an American (maybe I’m generalizing) would expect when you have over a million people drinking and partying for an entire day. It seems that people know how to be responsible or at least control themselves when intoxicated. So because of what I didn’t see, I completely enjoyed what I did see: people everywhere having a great time and being very friendly. To top it all off, the weather was amazing!
So, I survived my first Queen’s Day also known as the biggest party in Holland and now I’m ready for the next Dutch experience – the tulip fields. My mom is on her way here at this very moment, traveling to spend the next couple of weeks in Amsterdam. I’m really looking forward to showing her around town, meeting my new friends, and doing all of the really touristy spring things I haven’t done yet like Keukenhof. I’ve got a good list started of things for her to do while I’m off at work and for us to do together. In between all the work and travel, it will be nice to spend time with Mom. And just in time for Mother’s Day.