The Dutch have their own tradition in December (in addition to Christmas) called Sinterklaas. It does seem to be a little similar to Christmas in some ways, but there are also several key differences:
- Sinterklaas is not from the North Pole, he is from Spain
- Sinterklaas does not drive a magical sledge, he has a ship
- Sinterklaas does not have magical elfs helping him, he does however have a sidekick called Black Pete
- If you are naughty you not only don’t get any presents, you actually have to come back to Spain with Sinterklaas and Black Pete :O
Im sure there is a lot more as well, but I am new to all of this so Im sorry about any mistakes, hehe.
Rob and I thought it would be fun to celebrate this special event with both of our families, and they were all on board My parents, sister and brother all flew over from Norway to celebrate with us last weekend, and Rob’s parents and sister all made traditional snacks and drinks that they brought over for the special evening (that we decided to have last saturday so that everybody could make it).
Beforehand everybody had to draw a name, and become that person’s secret santa. The idea was to buy the person you got assigned a larger gift, and just buy small gifts for everyone else. The tradition is to also make a special wrapping for the larger gift, something most of us didn’t do, but my secret santa did really well:
Rob’s dad made this wrapping, as you can see it is flowers with the Norwegian and the Dutch flags he also wrote me a really sweet letter. I think we all had a great time, and I know that I speak on behalf of my family as well when I say that this was a great way for us to experience Sinterklaas!
Last weekend Rob, Kristel and I went to stay with my brother in Oslo. Friday evening directly after our shift was over, Kristel and I headed to Schiphol where we met Rob and had dinner. Then the trip went to OSL airport where my dad was nice enough to pick us up and drive us to my brothers place. We stayed up for a while talking to my brother about this and that, and ended up getting around 3-4 hours of sleep.
Saturday we started out with a trip to the famous Frognerparken, as this was the one thing in Oslo Kristel really wanted to see (an easy request as my brother lives right next to it). We walked around for a bit and took a lot of pictures. Lately my favorite kind of picture, is a picture of somebody jumping, so we took a lot of those:
After we were done with the funny pictures, we dropped by XXL so I could get some nice and warm winter clothes. Then the trip went to Oslo Icebar. The concept of this bar is pretty cool. Everything is made from ice, even the glasses you drink from, the temperature is minus 12 degrees, and everybody has to wear a poncho to stay warm. We had a great time there, and it was more or less empty as well since we went at 2 in the afternoon, hehe
In the evening, my brother and I invited both his friends and mine over for a small party. It ended up a little divided (probably due to the age differences) but we all had a good time.
Our sunday was dedicated to family, and we all went to my parents place for an early dinner/warm lunch. They made my favorite pasta, and they even had Julebrus so I was very happy hehe. Before we went to the airport it started snowing – so we just had to take yet another jumping-picture:
And yeah.. that was about it, wish I had more time in Oslo, but this time it was just a weekend trip – I’ll try to make it longer next time, but I did have a great time and Im very happy I got to meet so many of my friends saturday evening
Hey guys, I know I have become real bad at blogging, but honestly I haven’t felt like anything that happened lately has been worth blogging about. It has been harder than I thought adapting to my new life here in the Netherlands somehow, and (ironically enough) I have been more homesick than I ever was when studying in China and Japan. I think this has to do with the fact that even back then I didn’t leave Norway on my own – I was a part of a whole group of people in the exact same situation as me. As for now, I have very few friends close by, and I am feeling a bit isolated. I think the best thing I can do about this is to try and make new friends, as well as try to visit Oslo a lot – it is less than 2 hours on the plane to get there after all, so it shouldnt be all that hard. This weekend one of my best friends Victoria came to visit, that really helped as well We had a great time shopping in Amsterdam, before we met Rob and his friends for dinner and drinks in Utrecht. Next weekend I am going to Oslo, so that will be great as well, think better times are about to kick in
I realise that I have been very bad at blogging lately, and Im sorry. The thing is that there just isn’t that much going on in my life right now that I feel like blogging about. Like I mentioned earlier I got a new job in Amsterdam, which I am still in training for. I like the job and the company a lot, but when I get home Im generally way too tired to do anything, because I’ve learned new things all day (about aviation rules, customer service, the programs we use to book flights and so on). This week I got to take my first few phonecalls on my own, and it went surprisingly well Of course I had people to ask for help when I needed it, and I belive all of my calls were being recorded and double checked so no need to worry – if I messed up they already fixed everything again, haha
Other than that, it seems like it’s going to be a slow weekend with japanese take-out, movies and computer games so not much to report here – have a nice weekend everyone!
Last tuesday my friend Kacey was here on a 24 hours stopover (she’s an airhostess and randomly got a flight to AMS) so we thought it would be nice to meet up and go to Amsterdam I met Kacey when I was living in Shanghai, so it was pretty random but also really nice to meet her here in the Netherlands. We walked around in the area around central station, the red light district and china town. On our way back to the train station, we were about to take a picture, when a random guy with a potted plant on his head showed up and posed with us.
He also really wanted to share his plant with us, and broke loose small branches that he tried to give us. Random! All in all a really nice evening
Last weekend was a rather social one for Rob and me. Friday we had dinner with Rob’s family before playing boardgame with his sister Charlotte and some friends. Saturday Rob and I both got a haircut, because this month I finally got a paycheck too, meaning we have a bit more money to spend
As it was a beautiful day, Rob and I decided to drive to the Goois nature reserve. This small park is absolutely beautiful, and they even have a really good restaurant where we had lunch. After walking around for a while we ran into this guy:
Now that’s a pretty basass version of a cow, hehe.
In the evening we headed to Utrecht and played some pool, before we met up with Rob’s friends and went to the movies. “Ted” turned out to be rather funny actually, and it is definitely worth seeing. Sunday was rather calm, and I spent it watching shows and studying for a test I took today at work. It is rather sad that the weekend is over, but then again without the work week, weekends would just be random days
It’s saturday morning, 9 AM and I have already been up for one and a half hours.. for those of you who knows me: I know, Im as shocked as you are. I belive the reason for this new sleep pattern must be that I finally started working this week – yess!
My new job seems really nice. Im going to be a booking agent for a company called Cygnific. The company is very international with a lot of people from Europe, but also from South and North America. I will be working in a nordic team, with people from Norway, Sweden, Denmark and Finland when Im done with my training. Once I had my dutch social security number, finding a job was surprisingly easy and I just had to wait for the training to start. It feels really good to be working again, as a long summer vacation simply isn’t what Im used to after 7 summers working for Tusenfryd.
Getting up in the morning has been pretty hard, even if I still didn’t oversleep (so how on earth couldn’t I sleep now that it’s weekend?!?). When I get to the bus station, I generally see something like this:
That’s right – it’s pretty much a construction site at the moment. I don’t mind it that much though, since they are building us a new train station that is likely to cut my traveltime to work in half.
Rob is sleeping in the other room and Im honestly quite bored with this saturday so far, guess I’ll make some breakfast and then study a bit for work while I wait on the rest of the world to wake up.
Have a nice weekend everyone!