So, it’s Sinterklaas time in the Netherlands and everybody is pretty excited about the old man coming to the Netherlands by ship, all the way from Spain. Everybody? No, not me. For the three years I spend in the Netherlands, I managed to avoid the celebrations. First, Klara was too small, and then well, we just weren’t in the mood. When he came to Scheveningen, we went for a walk in Delft. When he came to Delft, we escaped to the Rotterdam Zoo, which was blissfully empty.
But this year, for the first time, we went to celebrate Sinterklaas’s arrival in the Netherlands because our friends wanted to go and they invited us along. Their little daughter is the same age as Klara and the girls love each other. They are best friends, and often hold hands together. It is absolutely adorable to see my little girl engaging into meaningful relationships with other children!
So, of course, we couldn’t refuse. One of the reasons I didn’t like to take part in the celebration was the fact that it is extremely crowded, and crowds drain and exhaust me. Sinterklaas was just everything I don’t like: crowds, noise and more crowds and more noise. Oh, and the Zwarte Pieten are creepy, don’t you think?
But this year we went and it wasn’t so bad. My husband took Klara to watch the arrival, and Julia and I stayed a little bit on the side, enough to avoid the crowd but close enough to get pepernoten, which we both liked. It was a cosy spot and we felt well there.
I didn’t see much of Sinterklaas coming but that was OK. The important part was that Klara and her little friend did, and they even managed to shake his hands. She loved it. Last year, when we were invited to the Sinterklaas celebration in her daycare, she was staring at everything with a look of confusion on her face. She was too small. This time, however, her eyes glittered and she smiled and smiled and smiled, and repeated the words: “Sinterklaas” over and over again. We then had lunch in one of the restaurants in Voorburg and went home.
I was absolutely exhausted, but that was OK because my girl had lots of fun. It also gave her a lot of opportunities to be outside, run and scream, and she was so tired that she collapsed into bed. I am glad that she liked the celebration. Luckily, the arrival of Sinterklaas in Voorburg was a small one, not comparable with what is happening in Delft or Scheveningen, which made it pretty manageable for me, otherwise I couldn’t have handled it.
Anyway, it was not as bad as I had feared, and I even had fun as well. Who knows, maybe we’ll go next time?