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Pakjesavond

Have you ever noticed how, when people are waiting for you, public transport always conspires to make you be late?

Poor little Romeo had to wait until I got there before he could open his presents, and of course I missed my train, because the bus driver refused to move from a stop until the two ladies who had got on and breezed past her come back up front to show her their valid tickets. Unfortunately, they were foreigners (Italians) without a word of Dutch, and it took them a while to suss out why the bus wasn't moving.

The suspense was killing Romeo, and he called me on my mobile several times to hear how long I was going to be. I don't think there is anything in the world can make you feel worse than the disappointment you can hear in the voice of a beloved child.

My other nephew Mick called too, to ask if I could delay my arrival even more, and play the part of Zwarte Piet...sure enough, when I arrived, there was a big sack full of presents on their doorstep. I added mine, then knocked on the door with all my might, and ran away. I waited five minutes before I went back, and caught Romeo trying to ring me again, all excitement: I had just missed Sinterklaas! "Oh no darling", I said, "I just saw him in the street." But Romeo wasn't listening; he was far too busy handing out presents to everyone. He wouldn't even let me take off my coat before he handed me my first one.

Comments

skylar_muc
Dec. 6th, 2007 10:32 pm (UTC)
awww. what a cute story. how old is Romeo?

I've been meaning to ask that for a while, but is Sinterklaas the main christmas-like event in the Netherlands? Because in Germany we have "Nikolaus" on the 6th, who also brings presents but not the big ones (traditionally he brings nuts, apples and chocolate and the like, but many parents give more... I used to get an additional book or a cd single - that was back when people still bought singles lol, nowadays kids get spoiled even more) ... and then on the 24th, german children get their *big* presents from the "christkind".
gamiila
Dec. 7th, 2007 12:40 am (UTC)
Yes, Sinterklaas is the main event as far as gift exchanges are concerned; centainly when the children are little. They'll stop believing in Sinterklaas when they're about 6 or 7, but most Dutch people will stick to the tradition of Sinterklaas for the rest of their lives. There may be a few gifts at Christmas, too, but there isn't a big buildup like there is for the older tradition, and no one really believes in the Kerstman ;-)

Romeo is 5, but only just -- he'll be 6 this Saturday.