Sunday, May 02, 2010
Queen's Day in Amsterdam
The thing about Queens Day, is that it is a massive carnival, complete with rides; it is also a massive flea market and yard sale (city wide. Literally--the entire sidewalks over the entire city. Entire), as well as a sort of mix between New Years Eve and Seafair in Seattle. Tons and tons of booze (but everyone is behaving responsibly, and there are families and kids everywhere), music booming out of boats on the canals, bars on the streets, and massive stages set up in all the open squares. Utterly overwhelming. There was one point, while trying to pass a bar blaring music in a narrow street, where Ethan and I were totally squashed. I couldn't move at all--forward or back. I ended up losing my lens cap, because it popped off my camera (I know, what idiot has their camera out in this situation--but in my defense, this was the first we had seen where the crowd was utterly packed like this), and there was no way I was going to bend down to try to pick it back up. I would have been totally crushed.
Anyway...mostly we were in awe of all the celebrations. The police here are called Politie. And they are polite. Very polite. The let people do what they wish, just make sure they are being safe. With all the massive drunkenness here, you would think there would be arrests galore and lots of boorish behavior, but I saw none of that. Definitely couldn't do this in the US!!
There was a massive mess after all of this, but when we got up Saturday morning to walk to the train station, most of it was already cleaned up. The city was back to normal