Oranje Fever

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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?

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5 Responses to “Oranje Fever”

  1. MikiStrange Says:

    Hi
    A little off topic but I’ve not long set up the http://www.leicestercyclechic.co.uk site and our latest entry Emma was riding a WorkCycles bike. Just thought you’d like to know.
    Mik

  2. Norms Says:

    Although I don`t like football and didn`t even watch the final match I really like the festive orange mood the people are in every time the Dutch team wins a match, Dutch speedskaters win a race or during queensday. I especially like the way people do their best to look absolutely silly whilst honouring the royal house of Orange-Nassau. That`s why it was weird to read in the news that during the peak of orange fever in the Netherlands in Northern- Ireland being `Orange`(although based on the same royal house of Orange Nassau) has quite a different meaning and leads to violence. http://www.nytimes.com/2010/07/15/world/europe/15ireland.html

    No partying silly looking ´orange´ people over there….

  3. Norms Says:

    Related news: Dutch catholic priest suspended for holding an orange mass
    (with video). You`ve got to watch this ;-)

    http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/world/goalie-priest-suspended-for-soccer-mass/story-e6frf7lf-1225893298288

  4. henry Says:

    Norms,
    That oranje service video is a classic, thanks! Kicking the ball down the aisle is just priceless.

  5. Alexis Says:

    Ace post. I love being ‘stuck’ in bike jams surrounded by gorgeous Dutchies on mostly good rides. Not such an Oranje fan so glad the World Cup is all won and done for 4 years!

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