OK, the fairy tale didn’t work out perfectly but 2nd place in the 2010 World Cup isn’t bad for little Netherlands. As an American I was only a little disappointed while the rest of the country takes matters of football much more seriously.
Why football (“soccer” for my countrymen) on bakfiets en meer? Because practically everything here has something to do with bikes. I snapped these photos an hour or so before the final match with Spain. Bicycle traffic jams, folks, all over the city! Everybody was cycling or walking somewhere to watch the game with friends and party; at somebody’s house, on one of the squares with giant TV’s, at a cafe… Central Amsterdam was one wound up, vuvuzela tooting, orange wearing, Dutch flag waving, case of beer on the rear carrier near riot.
Why do most people ride bikes? The usual answers: It’s the most convenient, fun, social, cheapest way to get around. And on such an evening half the city would be riding home considerably less sober. Regardless of what the laws say (drunk cycling is technically not legal of course) I’d much rather be amongst lots of drunk cyclists than drunk motorists. Besides, what’s the fun of wearing silly clothes and wrapping yourself in a flag if you’re just going to sit inside a car?