Frank's Excellent Adventure travel blog






Orange You Glad You Came To The Netherlands!

A Guitar Would Be Easier

Hopin’ for the best

Even think I’ll go to prayin’

Every time I hear them sayin’

That there’s no way to delay

That trouble comin’ every day….

I caught a flight from Hamburg to Amsterdam. It was a quick hop and also considered a “stop-over” on my itinerary. I figured, once again, that it would be downright silly to not get off the plane and go visit some friends. Oh yeah, and Gov’t Mule was in town :-)

So there I was in the Netherlands with a few amazing friends - Sander & Bram - whom I had met way back in the Treehouse days of Laos. They went out of their way to take a few days off of work to travel up to Amsterdam to hang out with me.

The first night in town, off we went to see Gov’t Mule at the Melkweg. A first, for Sander & Bram - seeing Mule, a first for me - going to the Melkweg! So not to disappoint, once again the Mule was on fire and blew the roof off of the place. Fun for me to turn people on to some new music and of course lots of fun for me to dance to the tunes I know and love. After the show we wandered the streets of Amsterdam and I laughed and laughed at my slightly drunk and stoned friends. The funniest thing - and I didn’t find this out until the following morning - was that after they dropped me at my hotel via Taxi, they got lost and couldn’t find the Airbnb Apartment they were staying at, they wound up wandering the streets for hours! Hahaha…..

So, the next day, me well rested, them not so much, we set off exploring the city and getting primed for the evening events. Now, I am an American (that’s an excuse by the way), but I don’t live under a rock, and you would have to, to not know that the World Cup was in progress (the entire world - well except the USA, is crazy about Football) and that very evening Holland was to play Argentina in the Semi-Finals. And much to my delight (I’m lying) I was to join my friends and everybody else in the Netherlands to watch the match (game) that evening.

First off it was raining (or supposed to rain or something like that?) - so the “Public Viewing” we were planning on going to didn’t seem like a good idea. So after way too much back and forth we decided on meeting up with a bunch of other friends at some local pub and watching the match there. Okay, hours before, so we could get a good seat, we show up to an almost empty pub. We get what we think are the best seats in the house and we wait, and wait, and wait. Then right before the whole thing is about to start we decide that we should sit outside (because now it isn’t going to rain, or maybe it will rain, or something like that?) and we pick ourselves up and relocate. So all that waiting for nothing! Now there I am dressed in Orange (it is the National Color of their Football Team), sitting outside in the cold (yes it was summer but after all this is Holland), watching a game I have absolutely no interest in (but faking it the best I can!). And the game went on forever….and ever….and ever. It actually went into double overtime and then was decided by Penalty Kicks. And very unfortunately (especially for me because there I was all dressed up in Orange! and if you are going to sit through your first entire game of Football then the team you are rooting for should bloody well win - right?) the Netherlands lost 4-2 in Penalty Kicks. Now, I am being a little overdramatic about my not liking Soccer, uh I mean Football, actually I have started to somewhat get what others might see in the game, BUT I believe no game that helps to decide who the BEST TEAM IN THE WORLD is should be decide by Penalty Kicks! Get FIFA on the phone.

Sufficiently deflated from the loss, we all wandered off in our own direction to lick our wounds. Well, actually Sander and I wound up at some Bar partying with a bunch of wasted fans trying to drown their sorrows as opposed to lick their wounds! It was another very funny night. I sat next to some girl who was really upset that she couldn't remember where she left her bike. (by the way, she was too wasted to ride a bike at this point). And in Holland EVERYBODY rides a bike and they ALL look the same! (the bikes that is not the people). So, every now and then, in the middle of a sentence, she would drift off and all of a sudden say “where did I leave my bike?” hahaha… It really was quite comical. But the best of all was near the end of the night when almost ALL the other bikes had been driven away by one drunk or another, and there was like ONE bike left standing - directly in front of her - she says “oh! There’s my bike!” hahahaha…. okay that was the second funniest part because the funniest was that it wasn’t her bike at all and she tried for a long time to get the lock off with a key that didn’t fit! Okay, so the night turned out to not be a total loss :-)

The next day Sander, Bram & I wandered around Amsterdam in perfect summer weather (no really, it was sunny and warm and beautiful). But all too soon it was time to part ways for now. They had a train (or 3?) to take home to Tilburg and I had my flight to catch.

Blow your harmonica son….



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