I AM IN AMSTERDAM!
Nanny Verwey-Nielen and Princess Dr Becky Leogardo
Kee Hua Chee and Miss Netherlands World 2012 Nathalie Dekker who was Miss Tourism International 2011
Miss Netherlands World 2012 and Christian Mantz
Michael Mantz and Christian Mantz
I ARRIVED ON 28 JUNE 2012 ON MALAYSIA AIRLINES, THE BEST AIRLINE IN TERMS OF SERVICE AND COMFORT, DESPITE THE HEAD WINDS AND TAIL WINDS IT IS ENCOUNTERING WHICH CAN BE RECTIFIED IF THEY MAKE ME MANAGING DIRECTOR.
Actually I am staying in The Hague but it does not have an airport and uses Schipol Airport as it is 40 minutes drive from The Hague, 30 if you speed a bit.
I am here with Princess Dr Becky Leogardo as someone has to pay Malaysia Airlines to fly me here as apparently the tickets are not free. I also need to be fed and watered and taken sightseeing plus a roof over my delicate head. So we are staying in the townhouse of Michael Mantz, the lawyer husband of Princess Becky.
Her entourage consisted of 5; me, her twins Gloria and Raphael and their 2 maids as God forbid Princess Becky and I would ever soil our manicured fingers changing soiled nappies. Or even dressing them up or tying their Louis Vuitton shoe laces or making their milk.
We arrived at 6.30am and after lunch went shopping in The Hague's main shopping street and bought next to nothing! Princess Becky managed to buy a dress from Mody Mary but everything else was as boring as yesterday's beer.
On Friday 29 June we all drove to Amsterdam to the main shopping street called Pieter Cornelius street. Incredibly, considering KL is so far down the rung compared to the ancient historic city of Amsterdam, there is only 1 Louis Vuitton, 1 Gucci and 1 Prada boutique whereas in KL there are 3 Louis Vuitton stores! And KL is not exactly Paris either! So in the glamour stakes, we are really much ahead as the Louis Vuitton, Chanel, Gucci, Prada and Ferragamo stores in KL are much bigger than the ones in Amsterdam. The Louis Vuitton boutique in Amsterdam is really a poor cousin to the KL's big brothers!
Anyway there was nothing, absolutely nothing, worth buying in the LV store so we gave up and hightailed to Hermes which is one third the size of Hermes Pavilion.
I demanded, on Princess Becky's behalf, to buy 3 Birkin handbags and was told there was none in stock. So I had to seduce Marcel Altenberg, Jeroen Brouwer and manager Bianca before a brown crocodile Birkin was finally produced!
We almost fainted from orgasms as it was a lovely new colour and at 31,200 euros, an absolute steal compared to what Hermes Pavilion KL charges! 31,200 euros is about RM 125,000 whereas Princess Becky was forced to pay RM 172,000 for her purple Birkin in Kuala Lumpur! And the boutique also forced the poor dear to buy tons of porcelain plates and other stuff no one ever buys just to be in the loop! If I were Hermes, I would stop producing everything else and concentrate on making Birkins and Kellys!
I mean, who ever buys a Hermes saddle or ash tray or shoes? Perfumes OK but why flog a dead horse when the queue to buy Birkins is 43.2 miles long?
So Princess Becky got her third crocodile Birkin and 16th Birkin bag. All due to me which is probably the main reason she pays for my trip.
The savings between an Amsterdam Birkin and Kuala Lumpur Birkin is around RM 47,000 and that is excluding 14% VAT! So the total savings is around RM 52,000!
A normal Birkin in calf leather in Paris sells under 6,000 euros or RM 24,000 whereas in Kuala Lumpur it is at least RM 36,000! Why the discrepancy is beyond me but those in the know fly to Europe for European designer goods for good reason! You get the same item plus a free luxury holiday!
Anyway I am surprised anyone ever bothers to buy a designer item in KL or Asia as whoever can afford an European designer can afford a MAS ticket to London, Paris or Milan.
And I had never been offered champagne in Hermes Pavilion! Here in Amsterdam I was drowning in champagne at Hermes boutique and ditto for Valentino which offers superb service like couture coffee and designer cookies on sterling silver tray.
Ferdinand, the manager of Valentino is half Indonesian so he is always partial to us folks but don't speak Bahasa Indonesia to him as his command of this great language is terrible.
There is always a little corner where sales items are offered, from 30% to 40% so don't be shy---ask to see the sales items. Many if not most of Valentino's past seasons' collections never arrive in Starhill which has been downsized due to the exorbitant prices but here in Europe they are not so heart-attack inducing. Ferdinand is not the snooty, snobbish and irritatingly arrogant sort but is very friendly, charming and easy going and all designer managers should be like him.
Princess Becky's stepson Christian Mantz came to join us for a late lunch that stretched to late tea. Also joining us were Nanny Verwey-Nielen, Miss Netherlands 1976 and now 'Mother to Miss Netherlands' as she is heavily involved in the pageant industry of Holland.
"Actually I am a housewife," Nanny tells me modestly and I don't own the Miss Netherlands franchises but if any organisers ask me to help, I am happy to do so."
As she is a nanny to all the current and newly ex- Miss Netherlands, I thought 'Nanny' was her nickname and not her real name but she gave me her card. It reads 'Nannay Verwey-Nielen' so 'Nanny' is her real name. Fancy that!
Nanny is tall at 172 and who should she come with but my dear, darling friend---Nathalie Den Dekker Miss Tourism International 2011!
Nathalie Dekker was Miss Netherlands when she participated in Miss Tourism International 2011 at Sunway Resort Ballroom and I was one of the judges! She did so well I gave her near maximum marks!
So it was a pleasant reunion as I have not seen her since she crowned Gabriella Robinson on 31 December 2011 and 1 January 2012 as Miss Tourism International is always held on New Year's Eve.
Nathalie Dekker then sprang a surprise---she is now Miss Netherlands World 2012! She will be taking part in the world finals on 18 August in Mongolia and will be departing Holland on 17 July for Mongolia, China and Hong Kong for the obligatory month long sojourn before the crowning of the new Miss World 2012/13.
Well, well, well, what a wonderful surprise!
Nathalie Dekker is a familiar face in Malaysia due to Panasonic which has used her since she won the title on 31 Dec 2010/1 January 2011. She is the face of Panasonic Lumix and Panasonic has offered her a contract till 2013. However she will be postponing everything until the new Miss World is crowned and I full expect her to win!
Nathalie will not be coming to Malaysia as often as she planned due to some unforeseen 'problems' which is so juicy-lucy!
Once I sort out the lurid details, I will keep you all posted.
Also joining us was top make-up artist, hair dresser and stylist Robin Hoven-Lieuw Choy who looks rather Malay but is half Chinese, hence his chinky name. He is actually Robin Lieuw Choy but has included his husband's name Hoven as in Holland, you can have a same sex marriage.
What with Nanny telling me about the 12 provinces of Holland sending a beauty queen to take part in Miss Netherlands and Nathalie Dekker gossiping about her woes in KL and Robin Hoven-Lieuw Choy talking about the latest make-up, I was quite exhausted by the time Michael Mantz and Princess Becky decided to call it a day. So all of us including Daniel, Gloria and Raphael Mantz and their 2 nannies were bundled into the luxury van bound for The Hague.