Today, Leslie, Tyler and I helped with the Embassy table at the Kermes. This is the Queen’s big fund raiser. In 2010, Leslie and Hillary actually got to meet the Queen.
We arrived at the exhibition hall at about 07:45. We waited for the van from the Embassy to arrive. When it got there we unloaded about one pallet worth of grocery items from the NEX. Those were all taken upstairs to be placed on our table. Those items included things such as peanut butter, brownie mix, pancake syrup, and Lucky Charms cereal. The items sold for anywhere from 1.00 Euro to 5.00 Euros.
After the table was set up we began our wait for the Princess of Spain to stop by our table. For some reason the Queen was not available this year. While we were waiting, a man came up to me and began to tell me how the things we were selling reminded him of his time in New York city. He ultimately introduced himself as the Ambassador to Spain from the Philippines. We talked for ten or fifteen minutes. He was a very nice man.
While we were waiting for the Princess, but before the general public was allowed in, workers from the other tables were wandering the hall looking at what the other Embassies had set up. In this event, it is customary to give the Queen a gift when she comes to each booth. The gift from the United States was nicely done in a cellophane wrapped basket. As the other volunteers came by, we encountered a young boy. I would guess he was about 11 years old. He slowly looked at everything on our table and then asked, “How much is the basket?” He was told it was not for sale, but rather it was a gift for the Queen. He said, “Oh, so when I am the King you will give me a basket?” Leslie replied, “Sure, when you are King of what country?” In a very matter of fact tone, somewhat indignant, he retorted, “Why Spain, of course!!”
When the Princess finally came by our booth, many people from the general public had already been admitted. So, it was a mob scene when she arrived. Thankfully I was still able to get some good photos.
Shortly after that we were released from our shift. We walked around and looked at the tables from other Embassies. We stopped at the Mauritania table. They were selling green, mint tea, among other things. Leslie and Tyler had some. The man that made it did so with a flair. He poured it from one cup to another over a distance of two or three feet. That was entertaining and caused it to be quite frothy.
After leaving that table, Leslie and I got a red wine at a Spanish table. At the Spanish table we ran across the “future” King who had visited our table earlier. His father was operating that table with help from his son. The father was very nice and we certainly enjoyed his son. Not far from there, was the Belgium table. Tyler had a beer from there. By then, the exhibition hall was becoming very crowded. We decided to leave and head home.