What a wonderful interview with Willem-Alexander for his 50th birthday!
Some things we learned(I am not a translator so not everything is perfect but I did my best)
-where they currently live the downstairs is for work and the family lives upstairs, in the residence thats currently being built it will be the other way around
-in the downstairs library there is a bronze statue of him as a toddler, made by his mum. There is also a small bronze statue of his mum by her sculpting teacher, a typical stance where she is pushing her hair back by using her sleeve because her hands are covered in wax
-he started to realise that something was different when he was about 3-5
-the other children at school weren’t really impressed, their parents were
-he didn’t watch tv till about 12 and then he bingewatched. Maxima had a similar upbringing. To avoid kids finding out he would quiz some kids about last nights tv before the break at school so he could join in the conversation after the break
-when the family moved to the Hague he got made fun of because of his accent, he then started studying characters from a dutch tv show until he could imitate their accent properly and fit in at school
-with three boys only 2.5 years apart there was a lot of discussion and he learned to be very ad rem
-it was hard for him going through puberty, he wanted to rebel and said that as a boy he wanted to rebel against his father but because Prince Claus was going through a heavy depression at the time their was nothing to rebel against, nothing to bounce back his comments. His mum was a new queen at that time.
-he therefore wanted to finish his secondary school abroad which he says shaped him
-he also very much values his military years and said without the discipline&experience he gained there university would have been very different
-he thinks its healthy to have had doubts about his role, because if you peel back the layers of why you don’t want to do it makes you realise why you do(its a good foundation)
-he encourages Amalia to do the same, he also urges her to make mistakes, preferably out of the public eye, and learn
-his protection officers never told on him to his parents, and he encourages his daughters protection officers to do the same. As long as they are safe he does not care and feels they need the freedom
-he met Nelson Mandela when he popped round to his granddads to say hello and MrMandela was there. Nelson Mandela also invited himself to W-A&Maxima’s wedding, was told three weeks before by staff that they had cancelled it because he had to do something else and Mandela was like ‘that can be the next weekend, I’m going to my friends wedding’ and so three weeks before it was fully arranged
-the princesses got a mobile when they were ten, each a hand me down. The plan is not during holidays and at in the evening but that doesn’t always happen
-when asked to be a member of the International Olympic Committee he was sure his father, who was a German and wanted to do nothing to do with the olympics because he felt bad that the Germans failed to protect the Israeli team in 72, would say no but Prince Claus actually encouraged him to take the role
-Prince Claus felt guilty about the Holocaust till the day he died. He wasn’t involved but felt that he as a German was partly responsible. He also didn’t want people to compare the Holocaust to things like Pol Pot
-in just a couple of years they went from being a family of five to losing their father, all three sons married and 3 grandchildren
-Though brother Friso live away in London and shunned the public Dutch life, he could be a harsh but honest critic, something Alexander did not realise he missed until it was gone
-he didn’t feel it was hard to mourn in public after the death of Friso, but felt the public support gave him a lot of strength
-it was hard to see how it affected his mother, and he realised he had been reckless himself(driving too fast for instance)
-after the MH17 plane was shot down the families and loved ones of those who died felt he knew what they were going through because he’d lost his brother the year before.
-when there was a ceremony when the first plane with remains arrived the dignitaries where seated in one place and the families were seated to the side, he felt that there was a difference just days before they were together, so he and Maxima decided to bow to them
-Maxima means everything to him, they’ve only been together for 18 years and he hopes for many more. He can ask her opinion, she can be critical, but also very caring and forgiving when he’s having a bit of a sulk sometimes. It gives him great happiness that she wants to share her life with him
This happened in 1995, but I still
remember it clearly. I was 24 years old, hard at work on a novel about love and
loss and redemption, and working third shift at a convenience store just off
the college campus to make ends meet. My manager, Todd, was a dick; my
girlfriend, Sage, was probably cheating on me; and the stray cat I’d taken in,
Kurtd, liked to crawl into my closet and piss on my Doc Martens.
night I’m talking about here was in October, and it was chilly and clear and I
remember the moon was big. If we’d had text messaging back then I’d have texted
Sage something poetic about a big orange moon (something about ‘kurious oranj’
because you couldn’t go wrong making a Mark E Smith reference)
but back then we just kept that shit to ourselves and everybody was just as
happy. I’d covered up my uniform shirt with my old reliable blue and orange
flannel shirt, the way I did every night, and Todd the Dickhead would have
thrown a shit fit if he’d seen it.
this all went down I was actually feeling pretty good about myself, because I’d
just made a little coin on a shady deal. It was a Friday night and a party at
the Sig Chi house had run out of booze. So around 2 in the morning, a couple of
Sig Chi bros came in and tried to buy a 30 pack.
were absolutely not supposed to sell beer after 1 AM, I said. It would be a
real risk for me to take, I emphasized. I cleared my throat. Looked around and
pointedly saw nobody in the store. “A real risk, dudes, a real risk,”
Two of the three guys turned around to leave. The third guy, a
handsome fellow wearing beer stained Abercrombie khakis and a violent green
polo with a little alligator emblem on it, said in a low, raspy whisper,
“And what would a risk like that be worth to you?”
minutes later I was at the back entrance, out of camera range, handing them a
30 pack of Natty Lite and counting my money. I walked back into the store and
saw a dude standing there playing our Pac-Man game.
what you may or may not know is that 80′s nostalgia among college kids goes back
to, well, the 80′s. By the mid 90′s, 80′s nostalgia was in full fabulous swing
and every bar on or near campus had an 80′s night or two every month, and every
frat house and off-campus frat apartment had several 80′s parties every semester. The owner of the convenience store where I worked, a big Falstaffian
goofball named Peter, partly as a nod to the college kids and partly because he
was a lovable dork himself, bought and refurbished an old Pac-Man arcade game
and set it up in the corner near the entrance.
the kid who’d come in to play it while I was hornswoggling the frat boys out
back looked like he’d just come from the ultimate nostalgia splooge-fest. Dude
could have just stumbled in from the big Shermer High School Winter Wonderland
Carnival. He was wearing a clean, crisp jean jacket with the word Disappearer
airbrushed in neon pink and green letters on the back. He had big spiky blond
Club Kid hair. This guy was skinny–we’re talking “Lives on vodka tonics
and Bolivian Marching Powder” skinny–and had the sleeves of his jean
jacket pushed up to reveal jelly bracelets up and down his right arm. White
Guess jeans were stretched tight across a round, muscular ass that I’m sure Sage
would have gone wild for, and the jeans were rolled up to show he wore his
white Gucci loafers sockless.
boy, The Disappearer, was really into his Pac Man too. He was bobbing his head
and swaying his hips and gobbling up ghosts. It was pretty fun to watch at
first. Almost on cue, the local radio station started playing Duran Duran’s “Girls on Film” and I jokingly said, “Hey dude, did you call in a
response. Not a talker. Fine with me! I sat my ass down on some egg crates I
kept behind the counter (Todd kvetched about it but fuck him) and started
scribbling in my notebook. This time of night I didn’t do much cleaning and
there weren’t many customers, so if he wanted to stand there and feed quarters
into an old arcade game that was fine by me.
I was actually kind of cranky he hadn’t answered me. Who did this shit think he
was? Just because I work in a convenience store he thinks he can just blow me
off? A Depeche Mode song came on the radio, Strangelove, and in addition to
giving the game some body English I noticed he was kind of shaking his ass to
the song. I decided to try being friendly again.
In case anyone is looking for football related documentaries there is this really beautiful but emotional once called “Fernando Ricksen: Hard times”. It’s about a former Dutch footballer who played for Rangers, AZ and Zenit. He was diagnosed with ALS in 2013 and it’s the story about him and his battle. It’s a real tear jerker and emotional but it’s really worth the watch. It can be found here (x)