Friday, July 2, 2010

Hup, Holland Hup!

Holland beat BRAZIL in the quarter-finals?!????

As you can imagine, all the Dutch were ecstatic! Our office has been playing the World Cup on the telly in our kitchen every single day a game is on. And because it's such an international company (something like 100 out of 120 people working here are foreigners)... every single country playing in the game is practically represented by someone in the office (except N.Korea of course).

The big quarter-final game of Netherlands vs. Brazil was on today and the kitchen was awash in orange. Sorry, that should be "oranje".

We beat Brazil?! (Yes, I am honorary Dutch now).

The party vibe continued after the match (Oranje Fest! aka Orange Party. I think), with people planning to go to various pubs and bars. A workmate and I were one of the last to leave the office, with no clue which party to head to. As we stepped out the front door, we saw some familiar faces on a boat passing by the canal in front of our office. We practically screamed down the whole canal "STOP THE BOAT!!!!" (kinda like how people wolf-whistle taxis down in NYC in the movies. HAHAHA.)

There were probably 15 people on the boat, they stopped off for us and we hopped on.

(Sorry, the touristy "canal bus" boat ride I took doesn't count. This was a real, proper Amsterdam boat.)

It was freaking AWESOME!! Completely spur-of-the-moment, good vibes and meeting new people. There were some familiar faces from work, some new faces, and some people visiting Amsterdam on holiday.

It is simply GLORIOUS here in the summer. The whole city comes alive, and the best place to be is *really* on a boat.

The workmate who owns this boat did a great job of steering. We went through a NO ENTRY zone because of construction, but somehow managed to squeeze through. With teamwork and lots of ducking, we managed to raise the bar that was blocking the entrance through the cordoned off area. (Look how close the edges of our boat was!)

We made it down the Amstel river.

(Check out the lone canoeist!)

We passed by LOADS of other boats along the way. Every single one of them was also party zone, with people dressed in the national orange colour. We waved and shouted at them and they waved and shouted back.

We even passed a boat of Brazilians who daringly put their country flag in front of their boat. Of course there was lots of fronting between boats, with the Brazilian contingent bowing and kow-towing to us!

Did I forget to mention we had a sound system on our boat? Yeah, we were the noise pollutants of the canal today! This little baby pumps out big phat beats!

We passed by people who put out tables and chairs, enjoying the beautiful day. They waved and shouted at us, we waved and shouted back at them. (Yeah, someone on our boat had a loudhailer).

Every time we passed under a bridge, where sound echoes underneath, the boys of course had to start howling and creating a ruckus that echoed back.

We passed by lots of nice boats berthed along the canals too.

And our editor pointed out his new purchase of a little boat berthed next to the grey tank in the above picture. I didn't get a good shot. Haha.

It seemed like everyone who had a boat was out on the canals today.

Jiving on the boat.

We stopped off to pick up supplies and gas. Here are more shots of what the boat looks like.

And check it out. This boat even had a Weber barbeque on board!! Hamburgers for all! (and veggie sausages for me)

We spotted other party people diving into the canal and splashing around. HOW FRICKING GROSS?! The Americans on board were really grossed out and kept saying how filthy this water is. Even though they flush through fresh sea water 3 times a week from the North Sea through a series of locks/ dams, someone kept saying they read somewhere that if you fell into an Amsterdam canal, you need to go to the ER immediately for a tetanus shot. HAHAHA. (I dunno how true this is. And from observation, the Americans tend to be more germ-phobic. Just an observation!)

See those 2 guys on top of the bridge? They were dive-bombing into the canal from way up there. This is the Brouwersgracht - an extremely busy canal, with LOTS of boats passing through. Imagine the filthy petrol-filled water...? It looked like good fun though, and provided us with entertainment coz they kept doing it over and over again.

Barbequed hamburgers on board!

And with any good party, there had to be a speech. This guy made sure EVERYONE on the canal could hear his Thank You speech for the hosts and owners of the boat.

Today was a very good day. :)


  1. Dear Skippetty
    The Dutch are fab. Horray for their win. I was close friends with a Dutch couple who lived in Mexico 30 years. They said that the Dutch are tolerant of everyone because historically they have been invaded by everyone, given their country has few natural borders to isolate them.

  2. They say the same thing about the river Cam: if you fall into it, straight into the ER! And yet I once watched my boss happily jump in and he was fine :)

  3. ...I suppose it all depends on whether your mouth is open squealing when you go in.

    What fun though Jaime!!! You are a proper Amsterdammer now!

  4. Hey Arturo, you're right! Plus, it's a socialistic outlook on life, so everyone's treated as an equal (y'know the term "going Dutch"? My Dutch girlfriend was complaining the other day that Dutch guys dunno how to wine & dine a lady because everyone's treated as equals. And she ends up "going Dutch" all the time on dates. HAHAHA.) I suppose this high tolerance level has led to legalizing pot, and Amsterdam being the gay capital of Europe? ;p

    Hey V! I don't think those boys will catch anything more than maybe having the runs today. HAHAHA. The water's full of big tour boats that pass through. There's really a lot of petrol in there I'm sure.

    Hey Mel! Umm... Even with your mouth closed, think of all the other orifices on the body! (before you go further, I'm thinking of the ears especially). Hehe.

  5. hmmm yea. i didn't want to elaborate, but the Dutch couple i referred to consisted of two men. but "couple" was the appropriate term since they have been together 54 years. they are very interesting people. one used to be the photographer of the original Barbie doll. another was an accountant and artist who could paint in the style of many masters. the brother of the photographer is a very well known Dutch ceramicist, whose work includes the statue that is given yearly as the prize for the Dutch equivalent of the Oscars. and i'm talking too much. haha.

    word verif "evatoffa" should i evade tofu today?

  6. wow ... looks like a totally awesome boat party!!! (Or deadly as some here might say!) I've always though it'd be wonderful to spend time working in Amsterday ... lucky you!! :)

  7. Arturo - you sure have interesting friends! :)

    Susie - deadly awesome party! :) :) :)


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