So this Sunday the national Dutch soccer team had their first World Cup game. It was against Serbia-Montenegro, which is interesting, because since Montenegro voted to separate from Serbia last week and therefore this is the last World Cup that they will field a team.

We had a frisbee competition day in Utrecht which they scheduled to start extra early so that all the games would be done in time for all the good Dutch people to watch the game. I watched the game with about a hundred people all dressed in orange in the bar part of the sport park where we had our games. It was pretty interesting. Grown men and women wearing face paint and orange wigs and blowing plastic horns and yelling cheers for the team and being generally jovial, and that was at 3pm even before the drinks really started.

I only watched until half time because it was obvious that the Dutch were going to win and I was exhausted from playing in the sun all day and tired of feeling my own dried sweat on my sunburnt skin. The Dutch won the game 1-0 but face some tougher competition down the road.

For the moment, it’s just an interesting sociological phenomenon. THe entire country is decked out in orange streamers. Restaurants. Bakeries. Hairdressers. Banks. Sex shops. Everyone is into it. There’s a fantastic sense of solidarity about the national team. I tried contemplating if the entire United States was all bunted out in red white and blue from one coast to the other and everyone was fixated on one game at one time across the entire country. It’s hard to convey. But it’s certainly a highlight of my stay in the Netherlands.

Categories: Europe

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