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

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

Nice lady. Nice moment. 


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