In this small country, I keep finding myself surrounded by people trying to enjoy the same thing as me. Today I was surrounded by people trying to enjoy the Van Gough Museum.
We still had a great time.
In the overcrowded museum, my kids and their friends were thoroughly engaged by the museum-provided “Treasure Hunt” for children. The hunt smartly directed them from painting to painting, inspecting this or that in order to answer a series of interesting questions. Being small, they wove in and out of the legs of the grown-up visitors in order to more closely inspect the art and complete the treasure hunt. They learned a lot, worked together, saw more of the museum than me and had fun.
It was brilliant.
So, I don’t always hate crowded tourist places. I just hate overrated ones (like the Keukenhof tulip garden).
But I didn’t just spend the day looking over people’s shoulders at the top corners of famous works of art, I also watched my fellow Amsterdam visitors. Based on these observations, I have devised the following quiz:
Amsterdam Tourist Quiz
Identify the origin of the following visitors to Amsterdam:
1. An overweight, older man wearing a baseball cap, shorts and black socks with sneakers. He loudly chatted up half the train about his plans for the day with a smile and a laugh.
(a) Local (Dutch)
2. The youngest member of this family peed on the sidewalk while waiting to enter the Van Gough Museum.
(a) Mainland Chinese family
(b) Local (Dutch) family
(c) None of the above
3. This visitor picked up a random, young blonde child for use as a prop in her vacation photo.
(a) Local (Dutch) woman
(b) Mainland Chinese woman
(c) No one, because who would do that?
4. These people carried around and used “selfie-sticks.”
(c) All of the above
1: (b) Obviously.
2: (b) Because little kids are little kids and sometimes have to pee no matter where they are. (If you picked (a) I am certain that you live in Hong Kong and might want to read this post: Ugly Americans, Ugly Chinese: the tourist trap.)
3: (b) Obviously.
4: (c) Because apparently half the world has gone insane.
How did you score?
Above 75 percent: Please treat yourself to the following snapshots of a glorious spring day in Amsterdam.
Between 50 and 75 percent: You still pass, but only get to enjoy this photo of my lunch, a raw herring sandwich.
Less than 50 percent: I recommend you spend more time people-watching.