Monday, November 18, 2013

Mostly a Photo Update

This week at the Egelopvang, I worked in the "sick" area. It was different because we had to give a few hedgehogs medicine, and really give them a good once-over and assess their health as best as possible. Most of them have skin infections that they're being treated for, poor things. We gave two of them medicinal baths, which was hilarious and adorable. They're not fans. Humpy was first, Voortje second. 

On my way to the Egelopvang, I got lost on the sand dunes. Which was fine, because it was a completely gorgeous day, a rarity right now. I felt so good riding my bike in the fresh air, with the sea to my right and the deserted dunes to my left.

On Saturday, Sinterklaas made his official entry into the Netherlands, by way of Den Haag's shore. He was officially greeted by the mayor and the Spanish ambassador, then made his way via white steed to the city's center, where we got to see him. It's interesting how "saintly" he looks, right? Also, yes, those are people in black face. I can't remember if I've talked about this already on the blog, but Zwarte Piet (Black Pete) is a Dutch tradition. He is Sinterklaas' servant. Some say he is a Spanish Moor, others say he's black because he got dirty going down chimneys. Either way, he is clearly a racial stereotype. It was very eery seeing SO MANY people dressed up. It's so normal to them. Young children wear the colorful costume, which you can buy at a grocery store. Some even put a little black paint on their face. The most interesting thing I saw was actual black children running up to greet Zwarte Piet. You can read more about the issue here.

Lastly, Nadine and I went to the Gemeentemuseum yesterday. It has a lot to look at, from Dutch masters, to modern, to a special exhibit on Coco Chanel. One of the most fun things about it was their basement exhibit called Wonderkamers, which is kind of meant for kids, but who cares. It's probably one of the most impressive exhibits I've ever seen; they must have spent so much money on it. There was a fashion portion and you're actually allowed to try on different period costumes and strut on a catwalk. Nadine and I were giddy. I guess we both love to play dress-up. Now I want a bustle.

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