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Posted by Mummy Dearest on Feb-2-2005

Today has been one of those steely gray days that we get in the Netherlands, cold and wet, devoid of color, a day which makes it rather easy to understand why so many dutch people took off for New Zeeland, or Australia, or any spot on this earth with a bit of sun. Spain, even.

On Wednesdays, the children only have a half day of school and at about 2 o’clock, Oma and Opa appeared with the coach to take us to the carnival store. The carnival store is a huge, barn-like building in an industrial area a few villages away. The personnel was dressed in clothing appropriate to the season and this year’s top ten carnival tunes were blasting through the loud speakers at about the same volume any self respecting member of a frat would play the Stones on a Friday night.

The place was packed. As The Boy, The Babyand I inched our way up and down the aisles of garish clothing and stupid hats, I felt very much the foreigner, the alien. Even though I know the meaning of the striped shirts, I don’t really get the joke, and saying that carnival is like Halloween just isn’t true. I’ll never understand carnival.

But the children loved the store, the neon colored boas, the pounding music. The Boy found a jacket that Austin Powers ( or Oscar Wilde, for that matter. Or Liberace) would die for, and The Baby found a pink tu-tu looking thing that captured her heart. They don’t see cheap fabric, they only see the glitter, the glamor, the fantasy of it all.

Even The Girl found her lab coat. Well, no, she didn’t find a lab coat, she found a cook’s…coat ? dress ? thing ? and is pleased as punch. We tossed in a few cans of colored hair sprays and packets of paper streamers and they are- one and all- pleased and ready for carnival.

We ate apple turnovers and sipped coffee at a nearby coffee shop and then returned home. As The Father will not be home until the wee hours of the morning, I had been thinking of breaking into my stash of Velveeta, carried home from last year’s trip to the States, and having that classic american meal, macaroni and cheese. But instead, I do believe that we will go for that other oh- so- american dinner, beer and pizza.

Ok, the beer is for me. But it is the perfect day for a pizza.

And a beer.

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