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30 april 1909

That April 30 is one reason why this country is about to go nuts.

It's the birthday of Queen Juliana. She'll be 100. However, she won't be here, though, she died in 2004; but it's become a national holiday and the current queen, Beatrix, moved her own birthday from January 31 to April 30 too... to honor her Mom. You can do that if you're the Queen, I guess. The other story is that it's much more fun to party in good weather than at the end of January.

So, national holiday. The Royals have something like an 85% national approval rating and all the Queens actually live here in den Haag, in one palace or another, so where's the big party? Not here, but in the other national capital, Amsterdam of course. About a million tourists converge there [including all kinds of queens, yes] and wear orange T-shirts [for awhile] and orange cowboy hats and drink and smoke themselves silly. Or, in fact, into the next world --- a couple of years back some of them started walking on the railroad tracks in the middle of this monstrous station, Amsterdam Centraal Station, big enough to park a couple of dirigibles in... or three or more, actually. So the city shut down the entire rail system to protect folks. Also, nobody could get home. This sparked a big riot. (Pun intended lol)

Let alone how party-like it can be to cuddle up to all that electricity in cables and rails that runs the trains. In the dark, more's the mystery. It's hard enough for me to avoid streetcars in full daylight...

The politically-improper term is "Orange Madness". Orange, of course, being important in Dutch history and a patriotic color. William of Orange? Remember?

So this year there is a big prohibition on orange-colored beer, after 7PM and all the time if you're not old enough. (Guess how many revelers pay attention to that.) At least near the tracks... lots of extry "politie" sworn in for the night, toooo...

There's also what we Americans would call a garage sale --- but it's national, people come from all over and set up booths on the Amsterdam streets and sell their treasures / junk, depending on your POV. You have to get there by 6AM if you want anything "good".

Here in den Haag there is also the country's largest free-market, put on by kids for other kids. Should be lotsa photo ops, so I think I'll pass up the wild child of Amsterdam.

Here's what one editor of a local paper says about Queen's Day / Koninginnedag [I can't pronounce it either] --

"Unless singing along to Dutch folk tunes and dancing to music in a crowded bar or watching people relieve themselves in the street are your thing, Queen's Day is nothing to write home about. There's an undeniable distance here, a dyke of disclosure that you can't breach no matter what you do..."

A Dyke of Disclosure? To breach? Hmm... yes, he actually published that. Maybe she's misspelled?

If she finds me I'll post a picture.

Icon-wise, even Ki's lightbulb has a little orange in it. A lot, in fact. Totally coincidental. She hadn't been here quite yet.

So of course April 30 is important for that other reason, too. Another birthday person, actually.

And yes, there was laughter also...

Not a national holiday, hardly. But a personal remembrance altijd.


Blessings Be.


( 3 comments — Leave a comment )
Apr. 27th, 2009 04:38 pm (UTC)
Can I come join the party? It sounds like a lot more fun than presenting a pika research proposal.
Apr. 27th, 2009 04:46 pm (UTC)
Absolutely you can, and absolutely it will be more fun, lots more!

I'll protect you from the electric cables. You won't have to hang on by your clawlets.
(Deleted comment)
May. 4th, 2009 03:18 pm (UTC)
With all the heat, does anyone need an excuse? Disorderly, my.
( 3 comments — Leave a comment )


kiota too late for the stars
Moonfire Marion Bridge / Brad

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