…Sometimes when writing this blog I there is a need for me to have a week off; perhaps due to my diary being suddenly changed or having to work on a Saturday afternoon (because much as I adore football and my little project, I still have bills to pay). I’m writing this on a Saturday afternoon when you, dear reader, have gone two weeks without one of these daft little entries to read. No game for me today, because I’m in Brighton without a car or any money (I’ll come to that in a bit). So what on earth was my excuse last week?
Well, I couldn’t really watch a game at 3pm on a Saturday as usual as I was busy getting married. Really. At 3.30pm my long suffering fiancée became my wife, and my thoughts couldn’t have been further from football as we had a wonderful day surrounded by the closest of our family (and my mum and dad via Skype, as my mum is still poorly). A point of note: as the wife was getting her dress on I was downstairs watching Leicester playing Leeds on TV (sneakily, may I add) with my daughter and nephews. The very second that the Mrs had her beautiful gown zipped up, David Nugent scored the spawniest of goals to make it six wins in a row for my boys. If that isn’t a good omen then I don’t know what is.
The key to any successful relationship is compromise. Our honeymoon was booked for Amsterdam, one of our favourite places in the world, full of awesome people, architecture and my wife’s personal choice of hangout – coffee shops. If you’re innocent enough to presume that my bride is a massive fan of different brews of the brown stuff then you’ll need educating; On our last trip to the Netherlands we sat in many a different coffee shop surrounded by the haze of marijuana smoke as my other half got nicely toasted.
This is where the compromise comes in: I’m completely teetotal, deciding to adopt the straight-edge attitude to my life. I am however, not preachy with it; despite my own personal choices and weaknesses I see no point in putting my viewpoint on others. You’re fine to do whatever you want to do and I’ll probably have some sugar while you’re doing it. For example, if I refused to go anywhere that people drank alcohol my career as a comedian would be irreparably damaged. For the record, I’d much rather sit surrounded by stoners than I would drunks, and the big advantage of having the wife under the influence of weed is that I suddenly become the funniest man alive and we’re allowed to eat cake late at night with no cajoling required on my behalf.
So I knew that we would spend some of our time sat giggling in a coffee shop each day, smiling at the Dutch people (we try to avoid the tourist orientated areas where possible) and enjoying the décor which is nearly always graffiti from previous customers or airbrushed murals dedicated to Buddhism or Bob Marley. There’s not much else I can do whilst the Mrs has a smoke, although it does mean I’ll have at least three glasses of hot chocolate a day. Not made from powder, either – always Chocomel chocolate milk heated with a milk steamer and served with a tiny biscuit. Excellent. I always marvel that the staff of the coffee shops (usually only ever one or two people) manage to both be experts on marijuana, smoke their fair supply of the stuff themselves AND manage to look after money and be pretty decent Baristas. Great work…
There’s LOADS more to this report, so to get it (and 25 others from 2013-14) please download my ebook from the Kindle store. Costs less than £2 and is full of daft stories from my adventures over the season. Thanks!
25 thoughts on “The Football Neutral: Match Nineteen – AFC Ajax vs PSV Eindhoven”
Great post! Really amusing to see you noticing all the dutch habits like:”Dutch people don’t seem to move out of your way if they’re an obstruction” or “I noticed that the Dutch fans don’t applaud very much. Whenever a good pass was hit, or they had a decent chance, I would applaud as I would at an English stadium, but find I was the only one doing it. They much preferred to show their support by singing – or most impressively – jumping up and down.”
I’ve been to England several times and I experienced the English habits as ‘remarkable’ like you did with the Dutch ones.
Unfortunately you didn’t attend the most import match of the year against Ajax’ biggest rival Feyenoord. It was the best match of the year by far!
Keep up the good work!
I did at least watch the Feyenoord game on TV in a coffee shop with some Ajax fans. Really enjoyed that too but was jealous I wasn’t at the Arena! Thanks 🙂
Hey Jim, Nice blog! Glad to hear you had a great time!
Great trip! The song is called: Crazy on the dancefloor – DJ Norman
Really an awesome blog man! One small remark: the singer’s name is Lenny not Danny ;). Glad you had a good time with us.
Great to read this experience from you. Glad you enjoyed yourself so much with Ajax.
From an Ajax fan from Holland;)
What an amazing story dude! I’m a 18 years old guy from The Netherlands, I’m an Ajax fan for what I know, 18 years. It’s the most beautifull football club on the world (in my eyes). You were talking about our Ultras, Vak 410, 2 hours before Aajx – Feyenoord (we call them ‘kakkerlakken’, cockroaches) Vak 410 held an ”Entrada” Here’s a link of it, I hope you enjoy it!
And about the Ultra’s, we have 4 groups, Vak410, F-Side, North Up Allicance and the South Crew. Their spot is aboe the F-Side and next to Vak410!
Thanks dude. You guys are crazy, and I love it 🙂
great story and i”m glad you enjoyed it so much in our country and our stadium!! wish yo a happy life tohether!!!
That was great fun, reading the opinion of a neutral person, wishing you and your wife a wonderful life together and please take notice to the fact that you’re always more then welcome in our beautiful beloved Amsterdam!
A great read. Too bad the match wasn’t that impressive, as they have played far better (Like Barcelona at home). But great that you loved it at Ajax! A few additions to your story as (youtube) impressions:
Lenny (Not Danny): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PqUMMJerabA
Techno song: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qcj7t_F0P1E
folklore clubsong: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=XKIm7Q2a8rc#t=55
If you ever wish to visit Ajax again in any match (well, feyenoord would be hard, as that’s limited to 1 ticket per supporter’s card), just contact me. Tickets are easy to get if you have a supporter’s card, and we can order well in advance (~2 months).
Thanks! I’ll be back next season for sure. Thanks for the links too 🙂
Even though i hate ajax i’d loved reading your great story!
I would like to invite you to come with me to another club in the netherlands: Fc Twente.
Maybe we can contact eachother by email!
Would love to! 🙂
Great blog! Really enjoyed reading it. Greetings from an Ajax supporter.
Great story I must say!! I am myself a loyal Ajax supporter, going to games as long as I can remember (home, away, european). It’s nice to read an honest blog about my team. If you would like, I hereby invite you to visit a game on the F-Side (where my seats are). Hope to hear from you, would like to exchange stories.
WZAWZDB (in English) We Are AJAX We Are The Best
The club then plays a folk song that EVERYBODY (me and the wife being the only exceptions) sings loudly.
It`s our club song
Oh and Danny = Lenny
Thanks for writing this pease it makes me proud to be a Ajacied (Ajax supporter)
It’s Andre Hazes – Bloed, zweet en tranen (Blood, sweat and tears)
Jim, as season ticket holders of Ajax I just loved your blog about Ajax-PSV. You described everything in such a great way, that I’m even more proud of Ajax and all their fans than I already was. Well done!
hey its North Up Alliance,
And i loved it the way u subscribed the game & experience !
Great blog man, very much fun to read. Glad you liked it in Holland and at our club! Come back anytime 👍
Loved reading this! Not only did it remind me of the great win over PSV, it also makes me proud to be an Ajacied (and a female one too). I’ll keep checking your blogs
Congratulations on your marriage!
Really enjoyed reading your post! It is funny to read how an ‘outsider’ experiences a game of our beloved club. It’s a shame you were not at the Feyenoord game on Wednesday, the atmosphere was even more electric! Keep up the good work, I’ll definitely keep on following this blog. And remember: WIJ ZIJN AJAX WIJ ZIJN DE BESTE! 😉
Thanks for visiting AFC Ajax. I always enjoy seeing tourists from abroad in our stadium, as I myself am a bit of a ‘groundhopper’ too. And I am impressed by all the research you’ve done on our club as well. I hope we made a good impression and you’ll be back soon!