It's May Day everyone, the only problem was that I didn't realize it until later in day. The beginning of the day involved waking up at 7 AM to make it to the Anne Frankhuis. As we leave the ferry that carries us into downtown Amsterdam I notice that all of the trash from the crowd gathered at Queens Day was completely gone. At least in the area we were at.
This isn't really part of my story of May Day but I felt it was relative to the overall feel of the city the day after Queens Day, When we came to the Anne Frankhuis so the tour guide John could gives us some background about Anne Frank he stopped by a famous statue of a little girl just outside of the museum. People start taking photo ops in the rain and we noticed a smell. The smell came from the fact that this part of the city hadn't been cleaned yet someone had defecated on the ground just five feet from the statue, one of my classmates almost stepped in it. Gave me a kick in my step which I really needed at this point in the trip. Amsterdam had been exhausting.
Well, back to the story. After we got through with the van Gogh museum we were allowed to break and tour the city one last time since today was our last day. They gave us too much time before dinner, upwards of 4 hours, so after getting lost on the tram briefly, Kaysey Rodgers, Aaron Robertson, and myself went to just tour the city when Queens Day wasn't going on, you know, just enjoy the normal tourists. As we were walking from Centraal Station to the Dam Square we noticed Middle Eastern music playing from across the street. There were a bunch of red communist flags waving in the air and a lot of booths set up for various political parties. We saw that the music was coming from a live band on a transportable stage playing Iranian Communist Music. We sit down at a place with a canopy and start to chill out and enjoy the music but we realized that we had no idea why this was happening.We go to the booths and no one spoke American but we could make out "Take one" from a nice woman representing the Green party over there. She was pointing to this magnificent wristband I am wearing right now.
We float through the crowd as a rap group comes on. Rap in in foreign languages are amazing by the way. This guy specifically sounded like Aesop Rock, but in Dutch, which was awesome. We bounce along to the music until a woman comes up to us to ask where we are from. She noticed Aaron's Delta Upsilon Hoodie that says Culver-Stockton on it. We explain that it's a school from Missouri and she thought we were from Stockton California. She had to have been about 45 years old and as it turned out was from Las Vegas and was just visiting for Queens Day. She starts talking about how much she loves the French rapper Sinick and came out to this because she really enjoys whatever the rappers name was that we were listening to. After some back and forth I asked here what all of this was. Turns out it was May 1st. Which is a huge celebration for Communists all over the world and it's called May Day. I had completely forgotten about that and felt dumb for it slipping my mind so easily. The only things we could collectively understand from the rapper were all of the slurs and hate he kept yelling about America and Capitalism. Because when you want to show how much you hate something, you better speak their language. This though made us three feel like we had a target on our chests. To counter attack this we just started dancing, all the while wondering if some anti-American communist was gonna come up and knife us. It was invigorating, scary, and awesome all at the same time.
So, as it turns out as we walked through the city taking in the 30-40 different cultures slamming into us on the streets, that the highlight of my day would be bouncing along to anti-America/Capitalism rap at a communist gathering. I honestly don't ever want to leave this place.
Posted at 11:30 AM by Kyle Darnell