June 11, 2019

Enforcement cracks down on impromptu pétanque tournament

Filed under: Sports by Orangemaster @ 2:03 pm

Enforcers (non-cops) have had to crack down on an improvised pétanque (called ‘jeu de boules’ in Dutch, aka boules in English, so all French words) tournament on the Museumplein in Amsterdam South. Some 300 players were going at it, but they didn’t have a permit to do so and the fun was over.

The whole idea was to throw a few balls, but the enforcers were not convinced. The district authorities for this rather posh neighbourhood also said that the pétanque players needed to have a permit for any ‘event’ over 100 participants. ‘Safety cannot be guaranteed. The balls are heavy and there are children around. And there’s a basketball court as well.’

There are a lot of pétanque courts in Amsterdam – I say this without any statistics, but knowing they are scattered over the city, including one about 300 metres from my house. But yeah, 300 people is definitely too big a gathering legally speaking. And before anyone laughs at the heavy balls argument: I have vivid memories of losing a toenail from dropping one of those metal balls on my foot when I was six.

(Link: waarmaarraar.nl)

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January 5, 2009

Annual Christmas tree bonfire in Amsterdam

Filed under: General by Orangemaster @ 9:36 am

Yesterday around 4 pm families on bikes and on foot dragged their Christmas trees to the Museumplein, the huge park in front of the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam where people can skate on the pond this winter. They piled trees as high as they could and at 5 pm they set the whole thing on fire while hundreds of people watched with friends and families. Not many events have this spontaneous community thing going for it, but this one did. I managed to join up with at least 10 people I know from Twitter (aka Tweeps) and their children for the event.

Just when I thought the security for the bonfire was exaggerated in a country that does not allow even the smallest of campfires at camping sites in the summer, the pile of trees set aside to feed the bonfire caught fire. A fire truck had to disperse the crowd while people just laughed and cheered on.

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