Saturday, 9th October 2010. Technically, it wasn’t the last day of summer but it sure felt like it. The sun shone brightly and there wasn’t a single cloud in the sky. At 24 degrees Celsius, it was perfect t-shirt weather… if it weren’t for the reddish-orangy leaves in the trees, you wouldn’t have guessed that it was the second week of October! People were out for a stroll, or in their boats, on their bikes or rollerblades or sitting at a terrace with a cold beer. Basking in the sun’s glorious rays, Amsterdam looked absolutely stunning!
A friend of mine decided to celebrate her birthday with a picnic in Amsterdam’s famous Vondel Park. Armed with our birthday gifts, sushi and prosecco, we parked ourselves on a grassy spot at the edge of a pond. We talked, laughed and simply enjoyed the gorgeous weather. Everyone looked so happy: couples curled up in each others’ arms, friends having a good laugh together, parents playing football with their kids, the odd tourist smoking a joint – there were smiles all around!
A group of friends even brought a couch with them! They sat there, huddled together on their worn-out PVC couch, and watched the world go by. There was plenty to see: the shortest skirts, the tightest t-shirts, chiseled physiques, the latest designer shades; from sexy to scruffy; fresh-faced babies in their strollers to elderly folk with their strollers… everyone was out for a saunter to enjoy perhaps the last warm day of the year.
There were happy faces everywhere I turned. People flirted with one another with a fleeting look or a smile. The pheromones swirling around in the air were almost tangible!
“Live every day like it’s your last”
Someone brought a ghetto-blaster on a wheel-barrow and started belting out dance tracks from the eighties and nineties. People got up and started dancing. “Come on… join us! It’s FREE!”, one of them yelled. Many people stopped to watch, clapped their hands and swayed to the music.