Viva Hollandia!

Today is the Netherlands’ first match of the World Cup. We’ll be playing against Denmark this afternoon. Seemingly half the country is either taking the day off work to watch the match, or they’ll be watching at work. Basically, if you’re trying to get in touch with anyone in the Netherlands today between 1:30 and 3:30 p.m. CET, don’t bother. Sure, there are a handful of people not interested, but they probably won’t be able to hear past all the cheering and yelling anyway.

Viva Hollandia by Wolter Kroes is an older song, but it’s still gotten a lot of play recently. It’s timeless, I suppose! In fact, I could hear it being played somewhere last night as I was trying to go to sleep, so I ended up with the song in my head when I woke up this morning. I figured I might as well share it with you all. Most likely, we’ll hear it again today when we head to the Potdeksel to watch the game — if we get seats. The Potdeksel isn’t usually open on Mondays, but they’re opening early for today’s match. I think just about any bar and restaurant with a tv will be open today and showing the match. For those without access to a tv, but with internet, NOS, the Dutch channel showing the game, is going to be pumping out 120,000 live streams of the match. Internet might be a bit slow this afternoon as a result.

Let the real games begin! Wear some orange today and cheer on the Dutch team. Hup Holland Hup!

Click here if the embeded video doesn’t work or show up.

Night of the Dirty Song

Romance — of one sort or another — was in the air Saturday night at the Potdeksel, as the fifth Nacht Van Het Vieze Lied (Night of the Dirty Song) was held. The café was decorated with sexy lace curtains, red lights, and feathery hearts. Bow-chicka-wow-wow! It only got hotter and steamier from there! We went last year, although it seems I never got around to blogging about it as we were expecting company soon afterward. Oops. Oh well, at least I won’t be repeating myself this time!

The event always takes place right before the beginning of Lent, and is what I like to think of as our neighborhood’s version of Carnival. (Carnival here in the Netherlands is a whole other post, which I may get around to later today. Or not.) Anyway, the event is a night of well, dirty songs. Anyone can sign up in advance to compete, and they generally take an existing song and change the lyrics about a bit to make it fit the theme of the evening. It’s not a night for the faint-hearted and prim and proper! Penii, dildos, masturbation, oh my!

Each act performs a song — special costumes are not unheard of — and is then given a critique by the judges, Sjarrel and Sjaan. At the end of all the performances, boxes are set out for each act and the audience can put in money for their favorite(s). A winner is then chosen. (The money goes to a charity.)

Last year’s winners had a great song — a variation of Ramses Shaffy’s Zing, vecht, huil, bid, lach, werk en bewonder — and I still find myself singing their version. The original translates basically to Sing, Fight, Cry, Pray, Laugh, Work and Admire. The Vieze Lied version was a bit different. Their title changed to Lik, Zuig, Trek, Neuk, Glij, Kom en Bewonder. Let’s just say that the first two translate to Lick and Suck and I’ll let your imagination go from there, particularly as there’s not a straight translation for some of the others.

This year, we stayed for the performances but were tired and went home before the winners were announced (plus, this way we could more easily watch Sven Kramer win gold in one of the mens speedskating competitions!). That said, I suspect that it was the Double Ds, who won with their trio of naughty songs, not to mention their sharp gold lamé suits. It looked like they had the most money in their box as we were leaving. (We voted for Vader Abraham’s (NSFW) brilliant take on the concept of swaffelen, although the song has been stuck in my head ever since!)

The evening is one of those events that even if you don’t understand a lot of Dutch, you still have a good time. With a bit of studying before the event, as we had last year with the help of a friend, it’s amazing just how much you can understand!

My set of photos from the past two years can be found here.