Flowers, Flowers, Everywhere!
On our last day in Amsterdam, we took a side-trip to the flower market. Dad had been there once before, and thought we’d enjoy it. And enjoy it we did! It had something for everyone! First there was the sheer size. The picture above might give you an idea of a third of the size of the place. Maybe a quarter. It was humungous. It’s the distribution center for flowers for all of Europe … and apparently Europeans like flowers.
Then there were the flowers. This part might have appealed to me & mom more than the boys. There were hydrangeas in every color, and roses, and calla lillies (Those carts alone carried easily thousands of retail dollars on each cart.) I didn’t realize until I left home how many flower names Mom taught me when we used to go on walks around the neighborhood after school.
And then there was the Flower stock market. A room full of men, on their phones, focused on their laptops … bidding on flowers for their distributors. It’s too depressing to tell you how few pennies those $5 roses were going for. I don’t even want to think about the $12/stem richly colored calla lillies.
Flower bidding is a series business – all of the carts are on tracks, and they get directed as they are bought. They roll through the bidding room, and roll out to where men start to sort them according to where they are going. Once they are collected … they start being picked up by mechanical arms, and sent out of the building. Did I mention that we had lots of fun trying to figure out how it all works?
oh, and let’s not forget the men on the flower market floor who were pantomiming throwing flowers up to me on the catwalk over their heads. I liked that part too. ;-)