|Where would you find a Labrador（拉布拉多猎狗）begging for money while sitting
patiently on the corner of a crowded street with a notice tied around his
neck reading 'nearly blind dog, please give'? Or multi-millionaire and
former CEO of Europe's largest broadcasting production company squatting
on an old rug selling discarded children's toys and general household bits
and pieces for no more then a couple of guilders（荷兰盾）? Welcome to Queen‘s Day April 30th.
The formula for celebrating Queen’s day is unique to the Dutch. You
rummage（到处翻寻）through your house gathering all
the artifacts you want to get rid of, haul them into the city or local
village, find a suitable place where you can display them to passersby,
and sell it for as much or as little possible. But there is more to
Queen‘s day than selling your past, creativity can play an important roll
in the pursuit of profit.
Queen's day was first celebrated on 30
April 51 years ago. It exists in its present festive form only since 1980,
when the current Queen, Beatrix, chose her mother's birthday as the day
for her inauguration（就职典礼）. She also declared
that in future, 30 April would stay Queen's Day, as a mark of honour to
her mother. Beatrix herself was born on 31 January, when it is too cold
for open-air festivities.
For instance, you could have your palm read or your fortune told for 5
guilders. Sounds simple, but modern deception can make it more fun. While
your friend is in the tent getting his/her fortune told, you are being
quizzed by an assistant about the others personal life - which is all fed
into a hidden microphone! The person doing the fortune telling is
listening to every word you're saying and relating that to the person
sitting across from them. Astonishment, amazement and utter bewilderment
can only ensue - and the laughter when the cat is out of the bag.
Another money spinner to be found during Queen's Day is three or four
oranges in a bucket of water. You place a coin on the orange, if it stays
there for more then four seconds you get double the money back. Be warned,
the orange rarely loses!
Music in the Air
More human talents can also be displayed, for
instance in the couple of square miles covering the 'Jordaan' in Amsterdam
you can easily find as many as nine or ten bands playing to beer drinking
crowds in the narrow streets, thereby slowing down your exploration of
Queen's Day considerably.
Adults do not only have the upper
hand（优势）in entertainment on this day. The Vondel park, a large city
park in the centre of Amsterdam is only open to children looking to make
an extra guilder. The music teachers tyranny finally reaps its fruit when
children finally get the chance to play to a public other than their
family or friends. Violin's, Cello's and a large percentage of typical
wooden flutes drown out（淹没）the usual sounds
of birds singing in the trees, or rather they have fled the sound of
horsehair bows and catgut strings crying for mercy.
The Day After
The aftermath of Queen’s Day is one of disbelief and utter shock for
tourists arriving in any of the major cities. Tons of rubbish such as
cloths, clapped out hi-fi equipment, furniture, bottles, toys, beer cans,
plastic cups litter the streets, all the streets. One would think a war
had been fought. A battleground would look more organised, although the
only wounded are those nursing a hangover, or disappointing takings from a
hard days work.