A Love/Hate Relationship
As many American tourists and expats can attest, the Dutch have a love/hate relationship with America.
Actually, that is true of people throughout the world — but the Dutch, known for their directness (viewed by those not used to this expression of honesty as ‘rudeness’) — have no qualms sharing their views with their American guests.
We love rock music (and know, of course, that it is not only made in America). We hate George Bush (who is considered a war criminal at best). We love blue jeans and lots of other American fashion icons. We hate America’s attempts at policing the world (particularly because the USA often takes a “do as we say, not as we do” approach. Over here, America is seen as one of the world’s foremost human rights violators).
We love Barack Obama (and just like many Americans, most of us can’t really say why). We don’t like the hype surrounding him (although just like many Americans, we are really, truly happy to say good riddance to his clueless idiot — who somehow got ‘voted’ in twice).
So anyway, we do congratulate our American friends on the inauguration of Barack Obama. With you we do hope that he lives up to everyone’s high expectations. And should you wish to get rid of George Bush, please send him over to the International Criminal Court in The Hague.
Amsterdam’s American expat community — about 4.000 strong — has several options to celebrate the event. One can, of course, follow it on live TV — via Holland’s official stations, CNN, the BBC, Sky News, or any of dozens of other stations.
The American Book Center organizes a toast at its Tree House, at which guests will watch the proceedings via live TV. Starts at 5pm, with limited space available.
Felix Meritus, the European Center for Art, Culture and Science, has a Yes We Watch event starting at 4pm.
The City of Amsterdam organizes a get-together for the American community at the official residence of Amsterdam Mayor Job Cohen. The American consul will attend.
Comedy center Boom Chicago celebrates Obama’s Big Night At Boom with a final performance of Bye-Bye Bush.
The festivities can also be watched on the outdoor video screen at Zuidplein, next to the WTC.
Democrats Abroad Netherlands has organized a Hard Rock Inauguration Day.
If you can’t make it to any of these events, simply follow along on your own TV.
Courtesy notice to American tourists: With George Bush gone it’s safe again to let us know where you’re from. It is no longer necessary to pretend you’re from Canada.
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