During a European Soccer Cup years ago the Dutch were playing in Geneva. The hotels were booked out in Geneva so where did the Dutch they stay? Anywhere they could around the lake. I went out for an afternoon run along the lake not realizing this and was affronted with a mass of orange wearing, beer drinking, loud, fun Dutch. I was in complete shock by their behavior. I mean they were wearing orange wigs, orange shoes, had their faces painted. I have never seen fans dress in such a manner...completely over the top!
This was my first glimpse of the Dutch pride in their Orange (the royal color). Today is Kings Day. The King gives the country a day off to celebrate his birthday. It is the only day in the year where you can sell anything on the streets without a permit, without paying taxes. The streets turn into a wild flea market, parties everywhere, dancing and the canals filled with boats and everyone wears orange. People do the craziest things to earn money as well. Two guys were letting people throw eggs at their bums for money. I think they earned well and remember while they were in their speedos I was wearing a coat...it the Netherland's....so not very warm out!
My message is simple... join in the fun wherever you are. Today my hair was colored orange, Markus wore an orange hat, Maya was wearing an orange wig, we had orange sunglasses and looked rather foolish strolling the streets selling orange cupcakes. I still think it's a bit mad but if you ever have a chance to encounter the Dutch Orange-pride, join in...it's fun!
—Allison Ochs Social Worker M.S.W. , Coach, Expat, Mother of three, Wife