After King’s Day, Amsterdam (Almost) Goes Back to Normal

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After receiving thousands of people on King’s Day, Amsterdam dawns clean and orange-less. On Friday, April 27, the crowds gathered on the streets and canals to enjoy the live music, the street markets, to sing, dance, or drink. During the National Holiday, most of the stores closed earlier or for the entire day. However, souvenir shops took it as an opportunity to make money out of this massive celebration. 

Omelan van Rayj, 29, has been working in the Holland Experience store in Damrak street for many years. On Friday, alongside 7 other workers, they received clients until 7 pm, later than usual for a national holiday. Damrak street was one of the busiest of the city. “I’m used to it, I’ve lived here my whole life,” she said. Overall, van Rayj believes there were fewer people than the years before to celebrate King’s Day. “The shop was quite busy but I think it wasn’t as busy as a couple of years ago.”

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Passers walk in front of the Holland Experience in Damrak on April 28. Isabel Bonnet / Staff

Like the Holland Experience, other stores relied on more workers than usual during the King’s day. A worker of the Souvenir and Giftshop Warmoesstraat, who preferred to keep his anonymity, explained that there were “too many people in the streets”, for which they decided to have 4 extra people to help. Even on Saturday, although there were fewer people, he admits there are still more tourists than usual and it has not gone back to normal yet.

Divas Budhori, 28, and his wife Deeksha Chandola, 28, came to spend their holiday in Amsterdam. The couple, not aware of what King’s Day was, arrived on Friday afternoon. “We experienced King’s Day, all of it”, Budhori said. “It’s a good way to celebrate a National Holiday. Everyone comes and they enjoy it”, added Chandola. However, Budhori admitted not being satisfied with the cleanliness of the streets on Friday: “We are happy that it is clean now in the morning, but we are not happy that it was dirty during the night.”

According to NL Times, about 1,500 “extra waste bins and deploying cleaning teams” had been placed around the city, and 700 workers were expected to clean the city overnight. Along, organizations such as Plastic Whale, coordinated a “plastic-fishing” event where 250 people volunteered to help clean the canals on Saturday afternoon. The student organization ESN VU joined the initiative by inviting the international students of the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam to participate.

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About 1,500 extra waste bins and deploying cleaning teams had been placed around the city during King’s Day. Isabel Bonnet / Staff

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Isabel Bonnet is a 21-year-old second-year student in communication science at UvA. She is the founder and editor-in-chief of The Amsterdammer. Before its creation, she worked as a photo editor at the Independent Florida Alligator and did an internship at Le Monde.

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