The national Dutch football team came home today. And there was a HUUUUUGE homecoming welcome for them! Since there was going to be a celebration in Museumplein (again!), the authorities didn't want people jamming up the streets to get there.
So what did they do?
They held a boat ride through the Amsterdam canals for the National team, so that we could jam up ALL the streets in town instead to get a glimpse of them! HAHAHA.
It was a super AMAZING vibe to be out in the streets. We were fortunate that our office is along one of the canals they passed through, so all we did was step outside and we were right in the action.
2 hours before the canal parade, people were already starting to reserve spots on the canal banks.
Cops on horseback were also making their way into the canal centre.
Lots of silly orange gear in town today!
2 hours later, just before the parade was due to start, it filled up some more.
Our office got into the vibe too, decorating the windows with banners!
We got the speakers out and were playing typical Dutch (cheezy) music. Er... We blew the speakers within the first 10 minutes! I managed to shoot some video while the sound was still going.
I love this shot! Just says it all.
People-watching while waiting for the parade to come our way...
An accordian band!
People were in their boats but they weren't allowed down the canals. So they just chilled in them while parked on the side.
Check out this bewildered duck couple in the middle of the chaos!
We were fortunate to be standing next to these goons, prepping to MOON!! (I reckon we might just make it in tomorrow's papers, on the edge of the frame where their butts are!)
Every once in a while, a loud cheer would come up through the crowds, and everyone would think the parade had come our way. Turns out people were taking turns jumping into the filthy canal!
The crowd was getting bored, so people attempted to start a human-wave. It didn't get too far, about 50 metres and then it would stop. Then people on the other side of the canal started a Dutch cheer, jeering us on the other side. Here's a workmate explaining that they were goading us for being too quiet:
Then there was some commotion up ahead of the canal and about 4 or 5 helicopters circling closer to us... Ooh, the anticipation! Turns out they were police/ coast guard boats, just making sure the coast was clear for the VIPs.
(These rockstar coastguards were having a ball, making spins in the canal, splashing everyone on the canal banks. Then they spotted the mooning-goons and were cracking up, taking out their cameras and taking pictures of them! Dudes... THE COPS WERE TAKING PHOTOS OF THE MOONERS!! Can you believe it?!) (Sorry, I come from Singapore where they would've been arrested!)
More coastguard boats (with more cops with cameras, snapping away at the naked-bum-boys)...
The Dutch National team finally appears! (I like how they're on a touristy canal boat that says "Lovers". HAHAHA!) They were also cracking up at the naked-bum-boys.
They were followed closely by another HUGE boat of... PAPARAZZI!
(For a few seconds, all their cameras were turned our way when they too spotted the naked-bum-boys. HAHA!)
And then a whole convoy of boats followed in hot pursuit...
And a convoy down the streets too...
And then guess who pops up down the canals? The Soccer WAGS! (That's "Wives And Girlfriends") I only knew coz some of them are "famous" and some people around me recognized them.
Interviews in the streets...
It was middle of the afternoon on a work day, but some of us played truant and decided to jump into a workmate's boat and go cruising.
Then we came across another barricade. But our boat was small enough to squeeze through!
And then we came into a massive traffic jam on the canal. Mind you, we were on a TINY boat and at certain points, we had to reach our arms out and push the other big boats out of our way (it was either that or capsize!)
(Orange sofas on a boat?! HAHAHA!)
And then we came across the rockstar coastguards - the first ones down the canal who were spinning around and splashing everyone!
And that pretty much wraps up my super long post with... 98 photos and 3 videos in total. So what if Holland didn't win? They sure know how to keep the party going! (I ended up working late today coz of the afternoon break. But WHO CARES?!)