Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Welkom Sinterklaas en Piet!

I came back early from the training weekend in School specifically to see Sinterklaas steam into town on Sunday.  I endured much ridicule from many of my Dutch running acquaintances for this.  Be that as it may, Sunday was a gorgeous day, and Ed and I had a great time.  If you have questions about the hundreds (thousands?) of men, women, and kids dressed in black face paint and jester costumes, read about the morally confusing history of "Zwarte Piet" online.  It's fascinating.

First stop:  Maritime Museum, just down the street, to await the arrival of Sint's "pakjesboot."

Waiting for Sint at the Maritime Museum (Scheepvaartmuseum)!

"Who is nice?  And who is naughty?"

SINTERKLAAS! And the Zwarte Pieten!

Pieten on the loose!
From there, we biked to the pool for a quick swim.  Rather, Ed swam, and I forgot my swimsuit at home.  How do you forget your swimsuit?  Oh, well.

Zuiderbad... isn't it fancy for 2.50 euro per visit?
 Back outside!  We rode to our old neighborhood on Utrechtsestraat to await the parade.

That is a special umbrella, especially for catching kruidnoten.

Politie without a helmet!
Politie with a helmet!
 Here come the Pieten!

Making kids sing for flags.

This kid knew how to use his kruidnoten-catcher.

One of many Piet bands.

Piet on a fake horse.

Off-center axle bike Piet.



With all this excitement, where was the man himself?

Sint!  There he is, and there is his famous white horse, Amerigo.

Piet on a real horse.

There were several Tractor Horses.

Gangnam style Pieten.

The highlight of the parade was when a Piet caught Ed looking the other direction and shot-putted a fistful of kruidnoted at his face.  I'll bet those crafty Pieten love to catch confused-looking expats.  Another Piet [cautiously] took Ed's Seahawks hat and filled it with kruidnoten.  

A day well spent.  To top it off, I had a fun scavenger hunt waiting for me at home, with a Donald Duck Christmas comic as a prize!  Sinterklaas must have had a "pakketje" on his "boot" with my name on it.

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