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Mijn eerste Kerstmisdag in Nederland

My first Christmas Day in Holland. FINALLY it got cold. Ice replaced the puddles at the curbs.

Here both 25th and 26th December are national holidays. This means I actually saw trolleycars stopped still, *empty*, both days -- nobody was riding them so they could go quicker than their schedules stated, so they had to stop still to spin off time.

On the holidays, the few cars that are out are zooming around like crazy. I thought I was back in Haifa on the Sabbath. The drivers decided that the cops are all celebrating too [mostly, that's right], so they start racing the motorscooters. I am learning how to dance as fast as I can.

At the hostel, here comes this toddler, dressed up like Santa Claus [anyway, that's what her parents told me: red jammies and hood, white fur trim]; she crawled over to my table when her family wasn't paying any attention. She stared up at me and smiled and pointed, and then started to crawl up the back rungs of the next chair [empty, so it would have banged over on top of her] but I was able to steady it for her, I moved so quickly she plopped right down and rethought her itinerary. Her dad caught this last bit and thought it was hilarious; a couple of them actually spoke broken English, so I explained.... they said she'd been attracted by the light from my laptop screen.

And here is my gift from the Queen:




Actually it's a gift to all the people of Den Haag [along with other modern sculpture plunked right down in the middle of the biggest shopping street here] ... {the Queen paid money for this?} {guess it's all in the... erm... taste of the beholder lol} He's about four meters high, on his pedestal. He's sitting in this blue child's chair and his name is "Nostalgia For The Full Moon", text by the French writer Paul Eluard and piece by Jan Snoeck (2000). I did not get the full flavor of this Nostalgia before now, because it was being mobbed by last-minute shoppers looking for that special surprise gift. Not to mention mobber-motorscooters, taxis, etc., etc. Imagine two hundred people in this picture and you'll get the idea. How deserted it all looked one day later...

So all you knew about Dutch Art was Rembrandt and Frans Hals and Vermeer and the Van Eycks?

Or maybe MC Escher or Piet Mondriaan?

Welcome to Snoeck.

I immediately thought of three of my LJ Friends who would adore one of these Snoecks under their... umm... tree, so I wanted at least to post a pic. One of the three lives in a shimmeringly hot desert in America [well, almost] so I'm not sure how well she would be able to get a real one of these [made out of plastic fibers] to stand up. Ummmm... the thought is what counts?

I notice that Nostalgia appears to have sprung a leak or two at his base, but I am not sure this is the artist's intention?

Then I found de Groenewegje, "the little green way", which is not green, nor a way, nor is it little. One of my friends told me later that this was a historical name before the long, polluted-water, dark canal --- which is there now --- got built alongside it. {It still marvels me that I stop in front of plaques talking about things being built here in 1160, 1170, 1230, like that, and I'm walking on or near the streets first laid out then... makes America feel like it was built last month...} /digression

So. There are beautiful private ships riding in the Groenewegje canal... actually every canal in this country is connected to the North Sea, if you follow them far enough {in the right direction, lol}. One has tall lighted masts. This recalls the saying about boats: 'Any boat is safe staying in a harbor, but that is not what boats are built to do.' Especially not boats you see here... Close to here is where, 400 years ago, the Mayflower Pilgrims / took off from / got thrown out of / depending on your POV.

This is my fave ship of moving lights:


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