Merry Christmas everybody. I hope you all have a great time with much cheer and celebration. I’ll see you in the New Year.
“What are the Pieten Games?” I asked my wife while looking in confusion at the school letter my daughter had just handed me. “It’s a morning where the children take part in different Sinterklaas games and activities,” she replied. “They probably want you to look after a small group of the children and guide them around.” “Me?” “Yes. You.” “Oh… this is not going to end well.” The conversation was the result of one of […]
When I first arrived in The Netherlands I had no idea who Sinterklaas was. I didn’t even know he existed. My first November/December in the country was deeply confusing for that reason. During the years that followed I learned a little bit more about the tradition but I largely ignored it. I observed it as an outsider, not fully understanding it or having a reason to celebrate it. Then I met a Dutch girl, we […]
Have you ever noticed how places such as train stations and airports sometimes hide secret messages within public announcements? They usually include a slightly unusual name which is in fact a code intended to communicate to the staff that there is a problem somewhere. For example, an innocent sounding announcement for a Mr Wolf to go to the main desk might actually be a message for security to run there as fast as possible because […]
After many years of living in The Netherlands I have mastered the ability to fake speaking the Dutch language. It is something that came in handy when I first arrived in the country and is still useful to this very day (more so than it probably should be at this point). I probably should have used that time to actually master speaking the language instead but it is really hard. At least I can now […]