When we were working out the plans for Amsterdam so that Dave could speak at both A4U Expo and AAC, it fitted in to fly in Monday and fly back out Saturday. In between the 2 conferences was Queens Day on the 30th April which is a public holiday that is celebrated with a huge party on the night of the 29th following with a big street fair on the 30th. Basically one minute midnight past on the 30th, people can start to mark out their pitch for their street stall and they can sell whatever they like. A bit like a huge car boot sale but without the cars. I had read a bit about it and arranged to get us some orange clothes and accessories to blend in, but I didn’t expect it to be such an amazing celebration.
On the Eve of Queens Day we were out until about 4am so we weren’t up very early the next day, and made the most of the opportunity to have a lie in. We had lunch at the hotel with Marcus, Christoph, Mathius and Francois before getting ourselves on a train down to central station. When we got there in the middle of the afternoon it was a bit like a war zone or a scene of a riot. The streets were filled with cans and rubbish, and people were wandering around. There were quiet a few abandoned street stalls too.
As we walked down the various streets on our way to the Affiliate Networking Party just off Dam Square there were lots of parties going on with food stalls, music and lots of noise. One of the funny things that we saw was a guy fall off his chair and rip the back of his trousers. While he was trying to pick himself up his wife was shouting at him and kicking his shoes down the street. As typical tourists we had to stop and stare!
After we had spent a bit of time at the Players Bar we went off to find Bob Rains, and spent a really funny evening in and around the red light district. Bob had bought himself a wig which seemed to feature in quite a lot of the pictures we came back with.
The following night after the first day of the AAC / CAP Euro conference we were meant to be heading to a big party at Mansion, which is one of Amsterdam’s top night clubs, but I was all Bob’ed out after a brilliant Queens Day.
I hope we will have the chance to go back to Amsterdam and do Queens Day again as it was brilliant.