OK, the U.S.A. departed the World Cup a few days ago. So who is America’s team now?

I can’t say, but I do have a good sense of who Atlanta’s team is.

My wife wore her Holland shirt around town today and was stopped over and over by people who told her that they hope this year is the Netherlands’ year.

Soccer is a beautiful game, but it can also be a cruel one, and who knows how the World Cup will turn out? Maybe today was as good as it gets for a fan of the Netherlands. Maybe, just maybe, another couple of glorious days are to come. Again, I only say maybe.

But maybe there’s another lesson to draw from this experience. The city of Atlanta currently has 18 Sister Cities around the world. The list, as unlikely as it might seem, goes like this:

Ancient Olympia, Greece

Brussels, Belgium

Bucharest, Romania

Cotonou, Benin

Daegu, Korea

Fukuoka, Japan

Lagos, Nigeria

Montego Bay, Jamaica

Newcastle-upon-Tyne, United Kingdom

Nuremberg, Germany

Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago

Ra’anana, Israel

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Salcedo, Dominican Republic

Salzburg, Austria

Taipei, Taiwan

Tblisi, Republic of Georgia

Toulouse, France

Atlanta’s relationship with some of these cities is much deeper than with others. And, since the ties are largely reinforced by citizen volunteers, they wax and wane over the years, depending on the energy of the people involved.

But the lack of a Sister City in the Netherlands is clearly an omission. The time is right to develop that relationship. And I for one would be happy to join in and develop it.

Let’s go, Orange. Let’s go, Dutch. And let’s go, Atlanta, and develop a new and meaningful relationship with a wonderful country and people.

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Keith Graham

Keith Graham

Keith Graham was among the recipients of the prestigious Stella Artois prize at the 2010 Edinburgh Festival. Named for a blind piano player, he is also well known for always giving money to street accordion players. A quotation that he considers meaningful comes from the Irish writer Roddy Doyle: "The family trees of the poor don't grow to any height." In addition to contributing to Like the Dew, Keith frequently posts quotations and links and occasionally longer articles at http://tartantambourine.com/