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Memories of the Netherlands 4 February 2010

Posted by uggclogs in Happiness.
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I am not sure whether this evokes the same feelings in people other than the Dutch, but I assume so, since it won an Oscar in 2000 for Best Animated Short Film.

Sinterklaas don’t come around here anymore 6 December 2009

Posted by uggclogs in Happiness, Life, Sinterklaas.
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This year, my Sinterklaas was a little sad, mainly because I am in that stage of my life where I am not a kid any more, which means that people will no longer go out of their way to spoil you and feed you treats, and I don’t have kids of my own to spoil, either. Additionally, I am in a country where Sinterklaas is not celebrated, and where ingredients are both hard to come by and expensive.

There were no lollies to be found in my shoes leading up to yesterday (even though I sang many a Sinterklaas song to lure Saint Nicholaas to my house; he must not have heard them).

There were no Kris Kringle presents that needed preparing nor poems to write. (When you reach a certain age in the Netherlands, the whole Sinterklaas coming to your house and giving presents turns into selecting a name out of a hat, finding a present for that person, then wrapping it in a clever way, and finally writing a funny tongue-in-cheek poem about your person and his or her preceding year, to alleviate some of Sinterklaas and Piet’s work on the evening. The idea is that he will be able to spend all his time on the kids rather than on the adults.)

I did have a get together at my house of friends and their families, to eat speculaas (unfilled) and merengue, and to drink mulled wine (which was a hit!), but I did miss my family awfully.

Late at night, I sent a little poem to my brother and parents on behalf of Vietnamese Piet. Soon after, I received gorgeous poems from UK Piet, although I am still not sure whether he asked both my parents to send separate poems, or whether there was an impostor in there somewhere, but I don’t really care. Yay for little gestures when one feels far away from home.

Miss you all.