Every year the Dutch celebrate Queen’s Day (Koninginnedag) on April 30th, a holiday in honor of our Queen Beatrix. This year she will abdicate on Queen’s Day and her first son, Willem-Alexander, will become King Willem IV.
That’s right: next year’s Queen’s Day will be King’s Day. The future king only has daughters so there will be a Queen and a Queen’s Day again someday, but I expect that may take a while. So this will be our last Queen’s Day for now.
In San Francisco we celebrate Queen’s Day today, since it’s not an official holiday here and most people need to work on Tuesday. So we donned our orange and Dutch gear (leftover from the WBC semifinal last month) and got ourselves to the Murphy Windmill in Golden Gate Park.
Yasu and I volunteered to help out this year. I originally signed up for four different volunteer duties, but somehow 3 got canceled, all for different reasons. So in the end we only helped out selling bar tickets, handing out bar wristbands, and checking IDs (since you need to be 21+ to drink alcohol in the US) for an hour. That was a lot of fun though and time just flew by.
There were food trucks. And they weren’t selling tacos, no no, they were selling Dutch food. Or at least their best imitation of Dutch fries, frikandellen en kroketten, and there was one place that was selling raw herring from the North Sea!
That made me a happy Dutchie, since I love raw herring with chopped onions! And if you want to be really Dutch you eat it in a specific way. See me demonstrate that way below with actual herring and Yasu with a Dutch fry, since (for some inexplicable reason) he doesn’t like herring.
Any Dutch festival isn’t complete without some Indonesian food. We got ourselves some barbecued pork satays and they were delicious and very authentic.
There was a silent disco. This may sound weird, and it certainly looks really weird when you just look at it. A DJ at a turn table and a bunch of people with headphones shaking and moving their bodies to no music. Of course, when you get yourself some headphones you soon find yourself doing exactly the same.
It was fun and we would have done it longer if we didn’t get distracted by a familiar face in the crowd of Dutchies. Our SambaFunk friend Jeroen stopped by with his parents, who are visiting from the Netherlands. Jeroen loves Dutch stroopwafels and has even made his own from scratch in the past. He was the perfect person to try out the freshly-made stroopwafels from The Stroopie Gourmet from the East Bay. Final judgement: way too much cinnamon. These stroopwafels may taste okay, but they don’t taste traditionally Dutch. Oh well.
There was a makeshift Dutch grocery store. This was a happy place filled to the brim with almost only imported goodies from the Netherlands. I had a hard time picking just a few items, I really just wanted to bring everything home. I wish Albert Heijn (my favorite Dutch supermarket chain) would just open up shop in the Bay Area already.
All in all, it was an exciting day, especially for Yasu: