Chaos In Amsterdam

Apparently, there was a little problem in Amsterdam’s airport:

Travelers going through Amsterdam’s Schiphol airport today are being warned to expect serious delays after a total power outage overnight forced officials to close the airport.

However, that’s not the “chaos” I’m referring to in the title. This is:

The city had just celebrated King’s Day, a major public holiday, on Friday and the airport had previously warned Sunday was a “peak day” and would be exceptionally busy as a result of school holidays.

Here’s “King’s Day” (or “Queen’s Day”, as appropriate):

Schiphol must have been a picnic by comparison.


  1. I just got back from Amsterdam 2 weeks ago. I’m glad I missed Kings Day.

    Interesting place though. Strange language. Go on, say “Achtergracht” without choking. Wrong side of the channel, I guess.

    Does Afrikaans have a lot of achtergrachting in it?

    1. Almost all Afrikaans is “Achtergracht”, except the Afrikaners would probably spell it “Agtergraagt”, every “g” pronounced like the throat-clearing “ch”.
      I have no idea what it means, in either language.

      1. I think it means “Canal number 8”. It was on the sign over a canal near our accommodation and google translate helped.

        Holland is maddening for me because I speak both German and English with a bit of French. My guesses as to Dutch meaning based on that knowledge were often absurdly wrong. Plus, every Dutch person I met spoke English well, often with an interesting Dutch-British accent. They spoke English to me before I said a word in their presence and when I teased them by answering in German or French every single one just switched and responded in kind. They’re a clever, well educated people.

        The whole subject of gargling while speaking reminded me of a Scot friend and such places as Auchtermuchty. Isn’t there an Ochterlochtie or something similar?

        1. “Gracht” means street or avenue (from the older word “graacht”, I think). “Achter” (unless it’s a name) means “back”, “after” or “behind” as well as “eighth”. So “Back Street” it could be, but “Eighth Avenue” is also possible.
          Dutch Readers, if any, are welcome to chime in at any time.

          1. According to Google it’s a little canal stub with a bunch of boats tied up to it, hanging off a major-looking canal.

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