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In which John takes the thoughts from places video series back to Amsterdam for the massive party / garage sale / birthday celebration known here in the Netherlands as koninginnedag.

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A Bunny
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Good morning, Hank, it's Monday. I woke up early on Queen's Day here in Amsterdam, because Henry was all like, "I don't always wake up at 5:42 in the morning, but when I do, I expect to be fed." The Yeti and I dressed him in a Dirk Kuyt jersey and headed down to the Vondelpark that morning. The streets of Amsterdam were abandoned and only ducks were on the canals although the port-a-potties in the distance hinted that a party was brewing. As we walked we passed this Emily Dickinson poem "To make a prairie it takes a clover and one bee, / One clover, and a bee. / And reverie. / The reverie alone will do, / If bees are few." When we got to the Vondelpark, families were already setting up their stations for the free market, which is so called because none of the items in it are free, not even the back issues of Donald Duck comics. Queen's Day is a celebration of Queen Beatrix's mother's birthday, and it involves this strange city-wide garage sale where people sell artwork, and old clothes, and unicycle with hula hoops for tips, and offer carnival games, and oh my God to be kid on a lake in a bubble. It was pretty great, but Henry just wanted to play in the sandbox. He was like, "Guys, look at this stuff! It is AMAZING." After a while we walked back to the apartment, and I watched thousands of people streaming downtown. And then I met up with nerdfighter Tobias who was the only person in all of Amsterdam not wearing orange. Tobias: I looked in my wardrobe and I didn't have anything orange. John: You're embarrassing yourself. John: I'm starting to feel a little anxious. Tobias: Why? John: Just because of the number of people who are here and also wearing orange, which is very anxious color for me. There were no more ducks in the canal and no more empty streets, just a lot of people and free inflatable hats. John: Now that we've got these hats, it's definitely a party. Tobias: Yeah, it is. We finally made it down to the Museumplein where a hundred thousand drunk people were listening to music, whereupon Tobias tried to teach me how to say "Queen's Day" in Dutch. John: CO-nin-nin-nin-dag Tobias: Koninginnedag John: Ko-nininachdach Tobias: Koninginnedag John: Ko-ni-- Photobomber: Koninginnedag WAHHHHHGH! We got photobombed quite a lot down there in the Museumplein. On the walk home Tobias and I had an impassioned discussion in RE: the providence of this liquid, and then he bought a biography of Elton John at a free market. John: We just saw a guy trading underwear for Rice Krispie treats. Which is the kind of thing that, like, does happen, but not at 2:20 in the afternoon. Finally, after an hour of pushing through crowds I made it home. Techno was rattling our apartment, but I was happy to live in a world that finds cause to celebrate. And happier still that, by law, the party ended at 9 p.m. That's just good government regulation at work, Hank. I'll see you on Wednesday.