Were you wearing a beret with a mala wrapped around your wrist?
________________________________ From: turquoiseb <no_re...@yahoogroups.com> To: FairfieldLife@yahoogroups.com Sent: Monday, January 28, 2013 11:43 AM Subject: [FairfieldLife] Abdication of a Queen http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/01/28/queen-beatrix-to-abdicate_n_2567717.html I have always been amazed by the regard in which one of Europe's longest-reigning sovereigns is held by the Dutch. They just adore her. I got a taste of why one day during one of my early visits to Amsterdam. I was sitting at an outdoor cafe in Dam Square next to the Nieuwekerk (New Church), having a wonderful brunch of coffee and goat cheese, pine nuts, and honey on toast with my girlfriend, and we happened to notice that a couple of abnormally- well-dressed-for-the-season gentlemen were hanging out outside the church. All I really noticed about them at first were that they were handsome gentlemen in expensive suits, and that they were obviously waiting for something or someone. There was obviously a wedding going on at the church, because other well-dressed guests began arriving. Finally, a lone car -- a fairly simple mid-level Mercedes, as I remember -- pulled up outside the church, and that was noticeable because cars are not usually allowed on the square. Just one car, no processional, no squad of black SUVs, just a car. One of the guys in suits walked over and opened the door and Queen Beatrix stepped out. I recognized her from photos behind the bars of many joints I'd hung out in. She was dressed in a nice, but non-ostentatious frock, and took great pains to stop and chat with passersby who recognized her and with other guests there in front of the church before going inside. Meanwhile that two guys in suits kept watch, but so discretely that I doubt most people watching ever noticed that she had bodyguards. No one ever flashed a gun or a badge or a uniform, no one ever got in anyone's face when they approached her, none of that hysterical stuff you would see with other monarchs or world leaders. Back when I lived in Paris and the President was in town and on his way somewhere, you couldn't get within five blocks of them without wading through squads of machine-gun toting troops. In Amsterdam, Queen Beatrix asked her two guards to wait for a moment while she stopped and chatted with a homeless guy who was sitting in front of the church. From where I was sitting, both of them seemed to be having a lovely conversation, and both left it smiling. Nice lady. Nice moment.