Saturday, April 29, 2006


Been at work in Amsterdam for two months now and gently moving into the third. Such a short time, but enough to watch the city change from wintry cold to springtime orange. Today, it's Queen's Day, since 1980 an official national holiday. It is always celebrated on 30 April - that is, when it's not on a Sunday.

It is the one day everybody in the Netherlands is allowed to sell their stuff on the street. It is what most Americans and British would call " garage sale or car booty". In Holland, such a sale is known as the vrijmarkt (free market).

Flea markets are scattered all over the city, folklore performances. Lots of people dressed in orange in honour of the House of Orange. Mmmm, all that is missing is a piece of orange in the sky.