Marco and I visited Action today. Action (English Wikipedia) is a cheap store, kind of like Dollar General in the US without saying everything is a dollar.
Imagine my surprise (okay, not really) when we saw that Action was selling kruidnoten (English Wikipedia) already. Although I know Roger already saw some at the beginning of this month. Kruidnoten is a hard cookie-like confectionery sold in the time leading up to the Sinterklaas holiday on 5 December. These days it starts appearing in August, and 2021 was no exception.
It is another rainy day, although that seems to matter less when you are working from home. Luckily it was dry when I went out this morning to do some grocery shopping. Otherwise it is a pretty quiet Thursday and we’re just counting the days (or day) until the weekend.
Here are some of the stories that I’ve seen in the news lately:
Coronavirus reporting again hit by IT issues but growth does seem to have slowed by dutchnews.nl. The issues occurred twice in the past week, meaning that the number of cases reported was inaccurate. They aren’t missing any data, it just comes a day or two later than it should. The last few days the number of cases has only risen by a little bit (we’re just over 10,000). What really matters, however, is getting the hospital intakes down so that more people leave the hospital than enter it. And we are not quite there yet.
Over the weekend I went to Xenos, a local store, to purchase additional face masks. That particular mission was successful, luckily. I also spent a few minutes staring at all of the holiday displays in the store. Halloween, Sinterklaas (December 5) and Christmas all in one day. I’m sure if they celebrated Thanksgiving in this country you would have seen turkeys as well.
It’s almost time for Halloween! Here is one of the two display stands at Hema:
I have mentioned before that Halloween isn’t that big in the Netherlands. It’s slowly gaining in popularity but trick or treating for candy isn’t a huge thing. Of course there is some trick or treating (I know some international schools do promote it) but it’s not as big with Dutch children as far as I’m aware. SoLow has a great collection of costumes and decorations if you’re interested. Xenos usually has a small collection as well.
As most of my readers are aware, it’s not going that great with Europe in terms of the corona virus. The same is true here in the Netherlands as we’ve been breaking records left and right. Number of cases, hospital intakes, ICU intakes, deaths… It definitely seems like the “second wave” has started. Today we registered 2,552 cases. Various experts (but not the government, yet) are saying a lockdown will be coming if the number of cases can’t be slowed. For instance the chairman of the Dutch Union of the Intensive Care Diederik Gommers said this during an interview with Radio 538 (article in Dutch). You can also see the weekly numbers at RIVM.nl in English, updated two days ago.
Okay. I’ll admit Halloween is not that big in the Netherlands. Each year you see one or two more stores with a small selection of items. And why am I thinking of Halloween you ask? Marco took some photos of a new Halloween display at the local Xenos:
Of course the best part of Halloween is the candy, but Marco said those display shelves were still empty and hadn’t been filled yet. Here’s hoping it happens soon!
And thanks to the Halloween display I’m transported back to our 2017 Disneyland Paris trip (Marco, Roger and I) where Frontierland was decorated in the style of the Pixar film Coco for Halloween:
Here’s a “Hmm. I never thought of that.” link for you:
Marco and I visited SoLow a few times this month to look for Halloween supplies. The name of the store refers to their prices: they are, well, “so low”. But the best time to visit is in late September and in October, as they always have a good selection for Halloween costumes and decorations.
This evil clown definitely looks like he jumped right out of the set of Stephen King’s It…
Or the undead dog. Oddly enough, this was the only thing a little kid wanted to go near. She was deathly afraid of the other decorations that made noise and moved around, but nope. This one she just HAD to pet. Briefly…
Masks for every occasion.
Or a happy go lucky skeleton, if that is what you are looking for.
I’ve been pleased with how Halloween has grown as a holiday over here. It is still not nearly as popular as in the States, but there are more parties and opportunities for kids to get candy if they know where to go.
I think this year I might resurrect the blue fairy costume again. With a few pieces I bought this year from SoLow, of course!
I figured that the students and staff would need a little pick-me-up after the craziness of Hurricane Sandy, as classes only resumed yesterday. And then yesterday’s evening classes were canceled due to the Nor’easter! (winter storm)
Here is the candy that I purchased and passed out today (along with a cute orange pumpkin pail!):