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Tuesday, August 24, 2004

A definite must-read

I found this great weblog of an American who lived in NL for two or so years. His stories are a really good and fun read and tell about my silly compatriots a lot better than I could.

The goodbye part on the homepage is beautifully melancholic, but you should also read "Passing for Dutch". It's so funny AND quite true! (Check out those shoe pics for the difference between his Chicago and Dutch business shoes ; )

He also gives a little lesson on traffic and how to avoid getting killed by bike riders. With real-life pictures.

And then there is of course Zwarte Piet. Black Pete...

I never thought anything of it, but trying to look through an American's eyes, I see it could be kinda shocking.

The best thing about it is that if you do get here in November, which would be totally awesome, you'll be able to witness all this Sinterklaas and Zwarte Piet goodness yourself.
The Good Holy Man 'boards' the country about three weeks before his Holiday on December 5th and every town has their own Sinterklaas Arrival Celebration.

It's still by far my favorite holiday of the year because of the wintery feeling and the mythological aspects of the character Sinterklaas. Children are told that he climbs the roofs on his horse, and his 'assistant' Piet throws presents through the chimney. In the weeks between Sinterklaas' Arrival and his birthday, children 'set their shoe' by the fire -or the radiator in this day and age- and sing songs towards the chimney. The excitement I used to feel in those weeks!
If I could go back, I'd still want to believe...