Saturday, December 5, 2009


How is it that I'm technically working less, but I'm MORE busy?! Today had no wiggle room, none at all.

I slept in late this morning because I was out late on Friday night partying with Dutch people. I now know more than I ever imagined I wanted to about St. Nicholas Day. It's about more than gifts in wooden clogs!

Here's a brief synopsis: St. Nicholas, who is Turkish and works in the government, comes to Holland on a boat from Spain. He is met by a white horse and 6-8 black men (apparently, the number is changeable, sort of like the Surya Namaskara B's in Astanga). They are all named Zwarte Piet (Black Pete). In olden times, these guys may have been slaves (and St. Nicholas wears a pointy hat, but hey, let's not go there...) but now they're all 'just friends' and they hang out together.

If Dutch children are bad, then they are beaten with sticks by the 6-8 black men, then St. Nicholas kidnaps them and takes them to Spain. There are no documented cases, though my Dutch friend told me very solemnly that her parents never mentioned the beating, only the kidnapping (that was apparently enough to scare her into obedience).

On the plus side, Dutch children put out their shoes and sing a little song and voila! In the morning, St. Nicholas has stopped by on his white horse and filled the shoes with small gifts.

For our part, we ate cookies and chocolate and exchanged small 'secret santa' type gifts with badly composed poetry. It was a hoot!

I had so much fun, I forgot to meditate in the evening and I slept in so late that my yoga practice got bumped to suppertime. I did my typical last-minute-must-do-yoga thing: Sun salutations and some Hatha poses.

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