Monday, August 06, 2007

Sunny and proud

Originally uploaded by Geoff Coupe
After being quite convinced that the Queen had cancelled summer in the Netherlands, this weekend was a welcome breath of warm air. The heat wave coincided well with the second biggest event in Amsterdam (number one is Queen's Day), Canal Gay Pride. The police estimated that more than 350.000 people gathered mostly on the Prinsengracht canal to see the boats.

A Finnish friend of mine who works for a gay and lesbian organisation was in town for a seminar and she asked if I would like to join one of the boats of the Dutch gay and lesbian organisation COC. I instantly decided to give it a go and did not regret that for a second. It was fun with people mostly from the international projects of COC so the boat was filled with people from Poland, Armenia, Azerbaidjan, Kirgistan, Moldova and a bunch of other countries where being gay is still a risk and a struggle. It was nice to witness how much they enjoyed the boat ride in the sun through a cheering Amsterdam.

I heard from my friend that Amsterdam's Gay Pride is turning again slightly more political without losing its jolly tone. Fantastic event altogether.

Today was my first real holiday day. I must confess that I haven't done much. I stayed at home mostly with the terrace doors open, listened to music and read books. Every now and then I felt slight guilt for not doing anything but remembered usually rather quickly that hey, this is what holiday is about.

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