Category Archives: Friends

Day Of Hearts… I Love You!

HartjesdagOriginally Hartjesdag (Day of Hearts) was a festival celebrated on the third Monday in August in the areas of Haarlem and Bloemendaal and in various parts of Amsterdam, particularly around the Haarlemmerplein, in the Jordaan, and on Zeedijk. On Hartjesdag fires were kindled and children collected money. Later it developed itself into a type of cross-dressing carnival, where men dressed as women, and women dressed as men. A typical scene was captured in the oil painting entitled Hartjesdag, by the artist Johan Braakensiek in 1926.

During the German occupation in 1942 the Hartjesdag became prohibited, and after the war it eventually became obsolete. In 1997 a local committee on Zeedijk, Amsterdam, decided to see if they could revive the tradition. Each year since then, the festival has flourished into a two-day event on the 3rd weekend in August.

Where the name Hartjesdag comes from is not clear. Probably it has arisen in the Middle Ages. It is suspected that the name is a bastardisation of ‘hertjesdag‘ (Deer Day). This was a festival where in the forests around Haarlem deer (herten) hunting could be done by the ordinary people, which was normally reserved for nobility. The deer were then taken to Amsterdam and roasted in the streets.

On Sunday evening it’s now ‘Night of Romance’, when at the bars and restaurants, but also in small theaters in the surrounding streets, live music is played and songs are sung. On Monday they start with a brunch for the people of the neighborhood, and the ones who feel part of the neighborhood (like me, and I live 4.5km on the other side of town). After brunch the ‘Hearts’ (people who normally don’t cross-dress) and ‘Queens’ (the ones who do!) can register to win a prize at the end of the day.

I was greeted by a creature looking as ‘Divine’ who knew me by name, and I didn’t know who he was. I do know now, and when he dares to do it, with consent of his wife, I can do it too… next year!

Here are some photos who were posted on Facebook, I thanked the photographers already. They are in random order, and will change place every time you open this page. Click on one and it will open in a new page, there you can scroll through them.

EuroPride 2016, The Party Is Almost Over…

Yesterday was the main event of EuroPride2016, our world-famous Canal Parade. I didn’t make photos, others have better equipment and a more steady hand than I do. Below you find some impressions and on Facebook you’ll find another 595+ photos…

“We Never Go Places…”

Famous words by our friend Adrie, and she ends the sentence with “We Always Stay Home!”

Just like last Saturday… It all started a little while ago, on August 3, during the opening of the photo exhibition of our friend Jan van Breda. One hall was decked out with photos of Kotomisi.  We came back on September 4 to see the expo in more detail, something we couldn’t do on opening day. We had a blast after seeing the photos again with the Surinam woman. They invited us to visit them on the groups 5 year jubilee.

This happened last Saturday. All three of us stuck out, as white as we are, but we felt like we had fallen in a warm bath, the way we were welcomed and put at ease, but also the talks, the food, drink and the music were wonderful. Below is an impression of our time at the museum, on September 4th, but also of September 26, with the headdress in copper bowls or just a plain platter, the women dancing with those said copper bowls, and NO I wasn’t dressed up as a Kotomisi but instead they asked me to dance… something I haven’t done in public for eons. Just enjoy, just as we did.

Photos by Nicky, Adrie and me. Klick on a photo and it opens in a new window.

The next day “We Never Go Places, We Always Stay Home…” was at the ‘Belly of Amsterdam’ or the Central Food Market, just to see what kind of different foods are sold around the city. Okay, we tasted some of it too. 😉

Love Of Friends

crystal-heartsA few weeks ago I was contacted by a Humanitarian Caregiver who works in a OAP. One of his clients had the strong feeling of being a transgender woman, and he wanted to show himself as said woman to the world, or at least in the confines of the Old Age People’s home he lives in.

Two of my best friends are transgender women, and they both work in and for their community. The HC had met them once, but didn’t know how to connect with them, so he came to me with two requests.  The first to talk with the transgender and the people who take care of him/her, and second if my friends would like to talk during a lecture on transgender’s in one of Gay OAP homes he works in.

Because all the hectic of Gay Pride, Day of Hearts and Sail Amsterdam, it took some time to get a date fixed so the two of them could meet the client, the social worker and the staff.

Yesterday was the day it happened, they met with the staff, told them that they had to think outside the box. Becoming someone else is not a kit, but a transition. They also made arrangements so the person will be fitted out with good make-up, shoes and a wig to go with the dress he bought online.

Afterwards they dropped by at my place with small, but warm, Indonesian pancake rolls. We talked about how the meeting went, consumed the pancake rolls, drank some wine, talked about other stuff, ate dinner together (re-heating a quiche and a pie), had coffee and/or tea and before we knew it 5 hours had passed.

I hope they have a great time during their vacation in Normandy. Have a save trip!

A Full Day Ahead…

special-music-keySometimes life takes us in different directions. A few weeks ago I met a woman in a bar, we got talking about living in Amsterdam and other things. We talked about what we did for a living and how we spend our off time. After that evening we kept in touch via email and Facebook. You should have seen my surprise when I got an invitation to her latest project.

Later this morning I’m going to listen and see the World Premiere of ‘Anne and Zef’ a youth opera, based on the diaries of Anne Frank. The music is written by the woman I met at the bar, Monique Krüs.

In ‘Anne en Zef’ 10 musicians and 2 singers/actors are involved. The opera is based on the successful play ‘Anne en Zef’ by Dutchman Ad de Bont, who used parts of Anne Frank’s diary as a starting point. The story in short: Everybody knows the story of Anne Frank and knows how her life ended. Zef is an Albanian boy, victim of a feud between two families. Anne and Zef meet in heaven and find out they have a lot in common.

After the opera I hope I have some time to congratulate Monique with “the birth of her latest project”, knowing two other projects are already set in motion for 2016.

Next stop, AMC hospital! Nothing is wrong with me or my feet. A new trial will start in a few weeks and my specialists Tessa and Sicco thought I was a good ‘specimen’ to contribute to it. So first we have the talks before the trials really start. Afterwards home for a short nap, the day isn’t over yet.

In Café ‘t Mandje, the same bar I met Monique, is the final episode of Siorée Frivolette by Luna Lunettes at eight. It all started two years ago and time has gone by very fast. I got to learn, and met, a lot of people because of that show, making my world a bit bigger than the four walls of my home I normally was working in.


Gone… Just Like That…

colorful-crossThe internet is a place with many possibilities, something we take for granted, but sometimes it’s strange too.

I was just notified, via a personal message on Facebook, that blogger-friend Wayne Juneau, from On Transmigration, passed away last night after a year long struggle with a blood disease. His former employer at ‘Dos Locos’ in Rehoboth DE send me the message, so I know it’s not a hoax.

Wayne, and his wise words, but also his independent stance in life will be missed.

I’m sending my condolences to his loved ones, but also the friends he had in the blog-o-sphere.



Mr DeMille – part 2

Stage-BackgroundI stayed far away from the stage last Sunday, I only stood on it before rehearsal. And almost fell off it when someone called me over near the entrance of the theater-restaurant. Don’t get me wrong, the stage is only 18 cm / 7 inches high, but the up lights where in my eyes so I couldn’t see where the stage ended and the floor began.

The theme of this Soirée Frivolette Culinette by Luna Lunettes was “Mother / whore, Maria, Madonna” And the show was filled with classic and modern songs, a recitation about Maria Magdalene, a spider charmer (who also performs with snakes, but not last Sunday) and a crooner. In the audience two people celebrated their birthday so the whole crew and the audience sang “Happy Birthday To You” for them, while the restaurant staff brought cake and prosecco to their tables.

I was sitting in the back with Pete Statham, a singer/songwriter I met several months ago. He’s a guest at Luna’s Tuesday performance at ‘t Mandje on Zeedijk. At the end of the show Luna wanted all the people who helped on stage, I refused. I’m only selling tickets and hope that after all the costs are subtracted something is left in the till.

It was a fun evening and afterwards most of the audience stayed for dinner too, a nice mix of artists and visitors. The next one is on Februari 22 and the theme will be L’Amour!