Amsterdam View: Football fever
Posted on July 6, 2010
As Amsterdam gradually orange-fied, I managed to steer clear of football fever, safely hidden behind my computer at my writer’s residence during the most contagious times. The arrival of the first tropical day nudged me out and onto the canals, even though I knew it wasn’t safe.
But it was a lovely afternoon and the canals were un-summery quiet, so we set sail, only every now and again startled by a cheer or a boo or a vuvuzela roar, that rolled out of an open window.
I did feel the tension in the air, though, and when the Dutch team scored the winning goal – ‘Sneijder! Sneijder! Sneijder! Sneijder! Sneijder! a helpful and deliriously happy fan cried out of his window – I silently cheered.
We had dinner at the waterfront on Bicker’s Island with our American friends and when we once again set sail, it was clear that the sun was not going to let us forget about the more important matters in life. As we zoomed the Amsterdam canals in our quiet electric boat the sun cast an orange glow on our dedicated driver. The quay sides were packed with happy people, a lot of them dressed in bright orange. They headed to an open air concert at Westerpark and we, kinda feverishly orange, followed them.
Just before mooring we got jumped by two happy fans. They had stripped to their neckties and – yes, orange – underpants, dove into the canal, swam up to us, boarded the boat and begged for beer. We were sad not to be able to reward them, but they took it like men, dove overboard and just grappled the next boat.
We moored and joined the festive crowds, enjoying the music, the drinks, the sun setting. Westerpark: don’t miss it when you are in Amsterdam.