There was some strange behaviour outside my hotel this evening, instead of the usual languid European-style pavement restaurant with a few, mainly elderly residents enjoying their café under an iridescent evening sun as a few blonde haired goddesses drift by aimlessly on bicycles, there was a massed throng of unruly teens and drunken men filling the square in front of my hotel.
I presumed that it was some form of political protest as they were uniformly dressed alike, but apparently not, it was in fact an opportunity to get utterly paralytic on Heineken served in plastic cups while watching a giant TV screen erected at the end of the not-so-very-grand place. I initially presumed they were there to watch the local version of “America’s Next One Hit Wonder” or whatever it is called in The Land of Clogs.
It turns out that it was in actual fact some kind of sporting competition against Austria (I think – it was all in foreign so I couldn’t understand a word), anyway some team wearing a weird kind of navy blue uniform like they have in Star Trek the Next Generation, except they are in shorts instead of long pants were playing against a team representing the locals – dressed in the same freaky get up, but in orange.
Never heard of this game myself, but apparently the locals called it “Onze Kop van de Wereld”, whatever that means in English…?
At the end of the broadcast, there was a cartoon graphic of an orange coloured lion wearing a crown punching a kangaroo in the face and knocking him down. I couldn’t follow the logic of that at all, but the crowd seemed pleased about it, so I presume it referred to some historic rivalry with Austria or something.
Regardless, it seemed very important to them because when they won the heat against Austria, they shouted out “Australië gaat naar beneden gaan!” and “We hebben gewonnen!”.
I kind of got that the first thing they said was a reprobation against the Austrians for losing, but the second thing they said meant nothing to me at all. I asked what does “We hebben gewonnen!” mean in English and apparently it has never been translated into English so nobody knows.
I wonder why?
But as I said, strange people the Dutch…
P.S. – Sorry love, Johns married AND on the other bus…