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13 december 2005

Live as usual

it's only 4(.5) months after we arrived here, but we have really settled into our new lives...

There are obviously things that continue to amaze us, like working a full day and then still go for a few hours of skiing ;-)

Ge-an has started at Ikea in the returns department, a good way to build some Canadian work experience. Something that employers here really want to see.

We also celebrated our first St Klaas overseas. Sinterklaas arrived by paddle wheeler (raderboot) in New Westminster. A surprisingly large group of people was there to welcome St Klaas and his black Peet's. Probably a lot of second generation Dutch immigrants. Since we had shown Robin the Sinterklaas journaal over the internet he was well prepared and really enjoyed it.

We also experimented with St Klaas via Webcam. It worked quite well, both sides had sent a box with gifts beforehand. We took turns in opening presents and reading poems. Certainly not as good as "live" but still OK, especially if you think about it, there is 15,000km between the two ends :-). Robin got some really nice Dutch gifts.... Klompen, which he now wants to wear everyday (he loves the noise they make). And skates, which we still have to try.

As of december 1 all Canadians are preparing for the other St. Clause. All the streets and shops show christmas decorations. In the mall here there is a Santa you can visit and take pictures with. Opening hours 10 to 18 hour. It appears people are giving more to good causes this month then in the rest of the year. In reality that is probably not true, because good causes, fund raising party's, and volunteering are big business here. But these days fund raisers are everywhere, on every cornenr of the street some good cause is being presented, people are being pursuaded to give. Local grocery store all have their own food bank where you can drop a bag of food you just purchased at the store. The food goes mostly to poor families with small children. Everybody feels compelled to do something.

For the rest everything you see in movies about christmas..... it's all true. Houses turned into large, lighted displays. Choirs singing and bands playing on the street. I (Ge-an) was invited by a colleague of mine to come to her Christmas party. Once there she sat behind the piano and we all were singing along with the X-mas songs she played. Thought sometimes it felt I just walked into a movie, it really was great fun.

Bas finally took his driving test and also past. Flawless. So now he can go out at night again drive up the mountain and go skiing. The other day we used 1 ticket, Robin was at the daycare, I went skiing during the day and Bas at night. Two pistes have lights on them, and the piste is open till 10 at night. We had some fresh snow which made the skiing even better. It still amazes us that we can actually leave home and whithin half an hour be skiing down a hill. It's like Mike............ AMAZING

And at Christmas we will be skiing in Whistler. We can hardly wait. Robin is till to young to go skiing, though he does ask to go skiing. And he is the only one of us with a full yearpass for Whistler, which is extremly cool. And with his goggles, skisuit and snowboots he is the coolest. He loves the snow, so we will make snowmen and go sledding with him. Bas' parents will be with us for 2 weeks. We are hoping for some fresh snow, but it will be fun anyway.

So much for now, enjoy the holidays and best whishes to all.

Posted by Brijn at 07:50 pm | Comments (0)