corders in the hague

It's like having the Corders round for dinner - except the kids don't smash stuff and Mike doesn't drink all your booze. And when you're bored you can get rid of us with a mouse click rather than having to start tidying up the house.

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Location: The Hague, Netherlands

Monday, November 20, 2006


Esther and Julia have for the first time come face-to-face with Sinterklaas while wearing warm winter jackets and boots instead of summer dresses and shades. The Dutch keep saying how warm this autumn is but although Saturday was a beautiful sunny day, there was a bitter wind lashing us as we waited with hundreds of other kids and parents lined up along the River Vliet in Voorburg.
A quick Sinterklaas lesson for all those non-Dutch out there.
The Good Holy Man, as he's known to his friends, is basically the Dutch Santa only with a backstory slightly more firmly rooted in the religious history of Saint Nicholas, patron saint of children. He lives in Spain, has politically incorrect Moorish helpers called Black Petes who (any Dutch out there can correct me if I'm wrong on this point) BEAT children with sticks if they're naughty. He has a white horse with a name like a blend of Starbucks coffee: Americano or something like that, and he arrives in a steamboat before touring the country until December 5 when kids get presents. In the meantime, they put their shoes by the fireplace and Sint and Pete leave lollies and little gifts.
Esther's skepticism is at the moment just outweighed by her greed and Julia has also heard and chosen to ignore rumors about it all being a sham.
Anyway, Sint and Peter should be arriving any time now so I'd better sign off. Don't want to disturb them while they're working.


Blogger Marielle Scholten said...

Ja dat is inderdaad anders met die warme winterjas. Hier is het eigenlijk nog steeds wennen dat het zo heet is met Sinterklaas. Maar je hoort ons niet klagen hoor!!!! groetjes

1:46 AM  
Blogger Hong Kong Merretts said...

Boyd and I have noticed that in all of your photos, pretty much since August, you're either wearing lots of clothes or looking out onto a rain-soaked vista. This does not bode well for our Hong Kong wardrobe which still largely features shorts and t-shirts (although it did rain last week - making the evening news in the process).

1:36 AM  

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