In addition to visiting Aldus for Thanksgiving and for his six-month birthday, Mom and Dad were able to witness the spectacle of the Dutch Sinterklaas.
Sinterklaas and his Zwarte Pieten ("Black Petes" whom you may remember from my post last year or from David Sedaris's "Six to Eight Black Men") arrived last Saturday in Hoogeveen. I don't know what it means that I've become this desensitized to people in blackface, including kids(!!!). I certainly don't get a kick out of it the way the Dutch do, but I no longer have the jaw-dropping repulsion as I did last year. This is decidedly not good.
Regardless, we thought it would be good for my parents to witness. The Sint was driven down the hoofdstraat escorted by Pieten, with other Pieten looking on from above and throwing pepernoten (small spice cookies) to all the onlookers.