Queen's Day looked like a prize for my survival after the exam week. Instead of indulging myself in Amsterdam, I spent over half a day in Limmen, a small town near Alkmaar. Beer or bloom? I preferred the latter.
Following the route signs, I reached a church. An exhibition was going on inside, where the competition entries of flower arrangements were displayed. I was glad to find some artifacts in Chinese style, a little taste of Zen. With a map provided at the church I started the tour of Limmen. First stop was a small house with a private art exhibition inside. I didn't find anything special till I walked through the back door: a colorful tulip fields in the backyard came into sight. Wow! After eight-month's agonizing waiting finally I stood in the midst of the sea of tulips. I couldn't help but just wowing again and again.
Actually, on that day there was a tour of 'KunstFietsRoute' (artistic cycling). Tourists could cycle and visit different artists at different stops. At Stop 4 there was a studio owned by an artist called Judith. She quit her well-paid job in a hospital and became a social worker helping people get rid of stress by teaching them Tai-Chi. Wow! Chinese cultures seem to be highly accepted and popular here. Viva China! Judith played a card game 'inzichtkaarten' (cards of insight) with me: I drew out one card from a pile of cards in her hand. A saying was written on the back of it, 'om een vriend te krijgen, moet je er eerst zelf een zijn.' No bragging, I could understand the meaning before her explanation. 'To get a friend, you must first become one,' I was flabbergasted how Dutch philosophy could be so closed to Chinese one. We share a lot in common.
No beer and no parties, my Queen's day seemed a bit dull and not that typical Dutch, but it was still a perfect day for me: sunshine, flowers and arts, isn't it enough? Queen's Day is not only in orange. Just take a day off, enjoy your favorite pastimes and be happy.
Video of the week:
Actually, I did stay a while in Amsterdam before going home. :-p