Reliving ‘Dat Childhood

So this past weekend was a particularly childish one, I must admit… but let’s call it a cultural experience, shall we? Saturday I went with the ESN (Erasmus Student Network) student organization to the Netherlands’ very own theme park: Efteling! Larger and older than Disneyland California and with a very well-executed fairy tale theme, I don’t care what you say: IT WAS SO CUTE AND AWESOME! Personally I much preferred it to Disney World, as it felt much less artificial and blatantly consumerist. I would highly recommend it to anyone visiting the Netherlands with children (or without, whatever). I mean, come on! How cute is this?!

(This is a terrible picture, I know, but it’s the main entrance)

Life-sized mushroom houses:

The Hansel and Gretel House:

(Damn pole ruining my picture)

Come on, you can’t hate on that. I wish I had had more time to explore the park, as we had to leave after six hours and didn’t get to see a big chunk of it. (Of course, it didn’t help that we got lost in a labyrinth of fairy tale-themed houses…. But SHHH.) Then, on Sunday, we decided to go deepen our—uhh—Anthropological experience… and go see Sinterklaas and the Zwarte Pieten (Santa Claus and the Black Petes—the Dutch version of elves) arrive in Amsterdam! I’m not even going to elaborate on the blackface thing; you can interpret it for yourselves. They’re very busy people:

Distributing pepernoten (Christmas candy)

Playing music

Being interviewed on TV

Swinging off of buildings

Hatching evil plans

Posing for pictures

And stuffing peoples’ mouths with pepernoten so they can’t properly smile when posing together.

And of course, we can’t ignore the true star of the show: Sinterklaas!

Anyway, I’m off to go do more mature, adult things. As a closer, here’s a picture of me being super Dutch and buying wall food:



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