No, I am not a day late. If you celebrate Halloween in the Netherlands, you are doing it tonight. I am not sure why but that’s how it is. It is mostly celebrated by people who are not Dutch or who are going to the big electronica dance events tonight. Which I am joyfully NOT partaking of.

I do miss pumpkin carving though. In case I come across a pumpkin, I have my carving kit in the garden shed.

Today was so beautiful with clear skies and about 65 degrees. I walked everywhere today instead of taking my bike because I wanted to enjoy the weather and move at my own speed instead of that of surrounding traffic. This afternoon, we took a long walk in the park. It was fun to watch them run and chase each other. When Henry moves into run mode he holds his tail like a handle of a pitcher. I have no idea how he does this, I think it is like some kind of propeller to keep him stable. Of course, George chases after him and tends to grab Henry by one of his ham hocks and pulls him around and down to the ground. This exhibition also comes complete with a soundtrack of ferocious barks and growls.

Over the past few months, I have been slowly collecting a group of people that I know. It is a good representation of ages and lifestyles. It allows me to be social and to dispense advice and feel useful without feeling the need to solve everyone’s problems or rescue anyone. It also allows me to improve my Dutch, learn all kinds of useful swear words in other languages and generally get exposed to more than my fair share of culture. Last night, as I was searching on the internet radio service for some music to play, someone said to me (in Dutch) “Please don’t put any more of your shitty American music on”. Without missing a breath, I replied “Not to worry, this is the Rolling Stones, they are English”. I nearly fell of my chair with laughter for two reasons. The first is that this person is one of the shyest people in this little group and if I want to have a conversation with him, I always have to do it by asking direct questions. So for him to let something like that fly, was really a big step out of his comfort zone. The second reason why it was so funny is that I have been gradually trying to introduce good music to them – think the classics like The Clash, The Ramones, Tom Jones, Billie Holiday, etc. And they listen to a whole lot of electronic music and classics like (translated from the Dutch) “I feel sexy when I dance”.

Next month, I have arranged for all of us to meet for dinner. It will a very unusual mix at the table. Luckily, we will be going for Indonesian so that is food that lends itself well to communal eating and conversation. It will also be interesting to see what it is like when no one is working while interacting, just socializing.

Going back to watching “The Haunted Mansion”. It was always my favorite ride at Disneyland! I think I probably haven’t outgrown that either 😉

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