I had a few random learning experiences this week. One was not so awesome- but the other was truly awesome. Fairly small things- but things with a big impact nonetheless. Basically it all boiled down to New Year’s Eve fireworks and home grocery delivery. Two seemingly simple concepts to understand- but oh no. Not quite so simple.
A holiday for people without kids or dogs
First, I am going to confess right out of the gate that I did indeed wonder (albeit silently) what the fireworks must be like on the 4th of July if they are this intense on New Year’s Eve. Thankfully, as my husband pointed out- I did not tweet this thought- and I am ever so glad that I did not. Really. I’m not stupid, but apparently I am still pretty wrapped up in my own ethnocentric identification with being an American. Lesson learned.
The fireworks for New Year’s themselves started December 30th. Well, maybe not fireworks exactly- but noisemakers. I remember thinking as I went to bed- wow, I bet things will be nuts the next night. Ha! I got up with the boys early on the 31st and it was still dark outside when they started up again. We went shopping and I actually saw people jump when some noisemakers went off as they entered the store.They sounded like gunshots. Hunting rifle gunshots. For the rest of the day the booms continued- constant, jarring, and foreboding. Indeed, they were precursors to the night ahead.
Simply put- I cannot do justice to the exorbitant display we heard and saw that night. Coming from the midwest & south- I thought I knew backyard fireworks. I knew nothing. In our small village of Oisterwijk there were gigantic explosions of color and light that made our teeth rattle. From our bedroom window we watched the fireworks for an hour- hoping that rain would dampen the enthusiasm of the blasters- but it did not. The house shook and lights continued to flash all night long. At one point I looked out the window and saw a flaming balloon flying through the sky over our house. Still not sure what that was, but I doubt it would be something approved by our old HOA.
The biggest head scratcher here though my friends- is that all three boys slept through each and every pop, sonic boom, and ‘warzone’ (not exaggerating). I couldn’t believe it. Here I stealthily have to leave a room like a ninja most nights for fear of waking someone up- and not an eye was aflutter due to the chaos on the street below. I guess that being sick for weeks was good for something. My only guess is that they were all so overly tired- and healthy at last- that they chose the 31st to catch up on their sleep. End result is that I do not think we will stay home next NYE, but seek refuge where they don’t have fireworks like these. Not sure where we will go, however- considering we are already in a small village!
The only redeeming thing about NYE here is the oliebollen. OMG. Thankfully they are not available year round or I would not be able to wear the same jeans next NYE. This sort thing of reminds me of Hamtramck and pazkis for Fat Tuesday.
An oliebollen stand outside of the grocery store. The line was huge- but the pastry was worth it!
Adventures in online shopping
Next up- I discovered our grocery store makes home deliveries for around 7 euros. Hmm…. load up the boys in the stroller and schlep back and forth to the store? Or just hang out and wait for a guy to come and bring it into my house for me? Tough call. So it was delivered this morning and can I just say I am never moving back to the US until this practice is implemented everywhere.
Some of my treasures: Some kind of beverage that I don’t even want to imagine the consequences of drinking, baking soda (how is that going to freshen my fridge?), so this is how they describe the ‘big’ pizza, and wtf am I supposed to do with this mini can of coke?!
The biggest (only) drawback of course- is that it took me almost 2 hours to figure out what the heck some of these items were- even with the help of Google Chrome’s translation. Thus, I ended up with some interesting things I do not remember ordering and now I am at a loss as to what to do with them.
This is my shopping list receipt. Can you see why it took me so long?
And what about pictures? This morning I tried to online order some pictures from Hema- a store that I can only say is the awkward, younger cousin of Target. Google Chrome once again was a big help- but to be honest I have no idea if I sent the order correctly or what kind of sizes to expect. My total was under 6 euros though- so eh. I’ll hopefully know better for next time.
And totally random: I tried to find something to replace this gross thing in our guest bathroom- but I still don’t know what it is.
A hand soap dispenser perhaps? But it looks nasty and I can’t find anything anywhere to replace it. I am open to suggestions.
Here’s to another interesting week ahead!