Dios Rio


Ok, now onto the main course.

After dining on Danish, Japanese, Cameroonian and Slovakian appetizers, the Dutch football team is getting ready to tackle Brazil this coming Friday.

Watching the Slovaks go down 2-1 from a packed and humid bar on a sunny day here in Amsterdam, one could feel the buzz from the crowd well before kick-off.

It was somewhere in Leidseplein, teeming with non-descript bars and people and heat. By the start of the game, I was sweating my vuvuzelas off. No complaints here though - it was fantastic, with the long-overdue heat and that odd smell of a bar during daytime hours adding to the whole atmosphere.

The crowd erupted with a beauty by Arjen Robben within the first 20 minutes, and with almost total control of the game they sealed it with a Kuyt to Sneijder doelpunt later in the second half.

Prime seats

The game was a typically austere Dutch effort, doing just enough to win and being largely devoid of flash. These are supposedly the same people who invented a long spoon-like thing to scrape out the very bottom of a jar, so it seems fitting that there was no wasted effort.

Post-game, we squinted our way outside like bats from a cave and walked into a mass of singing and dancing youth, the whole scene a sea of orange. A mellow evening barbeque in the park with friends capped off a fine day to be in Amsterdam.

Inside - drama. Outside - tram-a.