Student - December 15, 2011

Pan and Sinterklaas

The advantage of studying in Holland is that one can celebrate two Christmases in December.

Sinterklaas
The advantage of studying in Holland is that one can celebrate two Christmases in December.
The Dutchmen are always proud of the fact that the Santa Claus 'invented' by Coca Cola in U.S. is actually the copycat based on the prototype of Sint Nicolaas, the everlasting 81 year old. Hopefully on December 5th most of the 1st year international Masters experienced an unforgettable virgin pakjesavond in a typical Dutch way. If not, don't be upset, herewith I'm going to give you three tips to better celebrate the Sinterklaas next year.

Dobbelspel
Dobbelspel (the game of dice) is a must-play gift exchange game to celebrate the birthday of Mr. Sint Nicolaas. For the lack of space, Mr. Youtube will take care of the introduction job to teach you the rules of the games. I just want to remind the 1st year international Masters of the post-Dobbelspel syndrome. 'I played it last Friday, Sunday and the coming Friday, I don't want to play anymore,' grumbled one of my corridor mates. Ration yourself carefully, don't play too hard.

Chocolate Letter
If you either can't afford the luxurious gifts for Sinterklaas or scorn the Made-in-Nowhere goods of ACTION, go to buy chocolate letters in HEMA. What is my tip here? Don't make friends with the people having the rare initials such as Q or X because the stock for letters tends to be insufficient. I ever made a special visit to HEMA and asked a salesman: 'Which are the best selling letters?' He thought for a while: 'Like J, B, G, H sold fast, also S and P. S is for Sinterklaas while P for Piet.' Hope you will make new friends with who calls Jan or Bart for next year.
How do they deal with the left-over after December 5th? Nothing new but korting! 50% korting! I failed to resist temptation and bought quite a few for my trip to China next week... I'm going to fool them: this is the typical Dutch way to pay tribute to Santa Claus.

Gift Container
Did you notice there were lots of colorful paper shoes on shelves in all the supermarkets? One might ask if it is a tradition in Holland. I can assure you ‘Nope'. It's just a marketing trick to lure more kids and of course their parents to their shops. I assume you've heard of the carrot-for-candy trade between Sinterklaas and the kids. If not, never mind, my tip for you still works: next year make your beautiful paper shoes and put them in each supermarket, then you can earn bags of pepernoten (mini-biscuits) and candy for free. Leuk, toch?

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