When I moved here in March, I wanted to have this blog up and running by Koninginnedag. That was yesterday. Koninginnedag (pronunciation: cone ing in a da – it’s actually super fun to say), means Queen’s Day, and it’s a national holiday here – schools and businesses are closed. This year is remarkable because Queen Beatrix is abdicating her throne, so that her son, Willem-Alexander can become king. Before we moved here, I figured that we would go to Amsterdam, because that is where the palace is, and it is going to be a huge party, and basically, I thought, party, Amsterdam, yes please!
We ended up staying in Leeuwarden for a number of different reasons. It’s a little surreal for me, I’ve never had a monarch, and the US was formed after revolting from one, but it is fun to see how excited everyone is here. And they seem charming, especially Willem’s wife Maxima, who’s from Argentina, has lived here for fourteen years, and is now fluent in Dutch.
There is a ton of odd swag you can pick up to celebrate. Below, for example, is a package of soup you can make with oranges, orange peppers and carrots; all put together solely because of their color. (To the Dutch, the color orange is patriotic, for William of Orange, who led the revolt against Spain.)
Lekker! (Lekker means yummy, but it’s used more broadly – for example, a good looking person can be a lekkerding, or yummy thing.)
We’ve already seen lots of houses with banners and flags. If we see anything good, I promise to document it, and not wait a month to post. Check out this flag: eat your hearts out car dealerships!