A Blog by International Students at Leiden University
You know how some days you just get up and say “Today, I am gonna be productive.” …and then you take a nap? Well, that is like my daily routine but I am having a surprisingly productive day today so I figured I’d start this post earlier than planned. Here it goes!
Koningsdag. King’s Day. One big orange party!
You can read about King’s Night here. (Part One of this post)
It was 4am when I finally got home and into my bed from a night of partying just to get back up in a few hours. We were going to meet up at the station with a group of friends and take the 10.43 train to Amsterdam. I, however, woke up at 6am and couldn’t go back to sleep no matter how hard I tried. Oh well, I still felt ready to take over Amsterdam and was very excited because I had no idea what to expect! I think that’s one of the best feelings in the world, sailing to the unknown – especially if you are with an awesome team!
I expected Amsterdam to be crazy crowded and thus assumed that the trains would also be crazy and it would feel like a metro ride in Japan. (You know, where they have people whose job is to push people into the metro in order to fit more people!) But contrary to my expectations the train ride to Amsterdam was very smooth and we were even able to pick up a friend from another station without any difficulties. NS had added extra trains for this day and ended up carrying 270.000 people to Amsterdam. Wow. Right? So you can imagine that it was a huge party that took over the city!
Everyone was still hangover from the night before so our first stop was of course Albert Heijn To Go to grab some coffee. Then we joined the joyous crowd. The motto of the day was Keep Calm and Wear Orange. Well actually no one had any intentions of “Keeping Calm” but you get the idea. The moment you left the station you were greeted by marketing geniuses –as can be seen below- selling everything from t-shirts to hats and glasses, all in orange.
There was also an open air event going on in Amsterdam but we figured why pay for tickets when you can just party on the streets? So we went to another Albert Heijn to get some fuel for the day. Everyone at the alcohol aisle was greeted with a surprise note which can be seen below. Even though it was very easy to work your way around the rule, it was surprising to see that a bottle of tequila or a single can of beer were worth the same according to this rule. Oh well…
I tend to think that special days are about being together so that is basically what we did; walking around the city, drinking, talking eating and dancing. There were small tables on the streets where people were selling the things they cooked/baked. Small markets had popped around as well. I don’t know the exact number of DJs on the streets but there were a lot. We met lots of interesting people because everyone was so open – especially on this day, more than ever.
The general idea of the day? It is best expressed by these two on Humans of Amsterdam ‘s Facebook Page:
‘Do you have a word of advice for the new King and Queen?”
”To be honest I don’t give a damn about the monarchy, I just want to party and wear orange clothing!”