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|Volume 6 Issue 11
In this issue
Greetings from the Netherlands
Beste Wensen from the Netherlands. Bonnie M. Meier, co-owner of Jubon Juweelen and her husband Lee are taking a vacation in the Netherlands and Germany. We just spent a couple of days in Amsterdam and had the wonderful experience of seeing Sinterklaas riding through Amsterdam on his white horse with many, many Zwarte Pieten handing out 'pepernoots' which are made with cinnamon and spices. Several more played in bands or just danced along the parade route. It was really fun. I hope that I captured most of it on camera; however, I’m not the world’s best photographer so I’m not sure how the pictures turned out. I believe that all the Zwarte Piets were black this year, but it might be the final year. A lower court in the Netherlands just proclaimed that Piet could not be black anymore. The decision is now in a higher court, but if it agrees with the lower court, this was probably the last year for black Zwarte Pietens.
It was really interesting to finally see the canals and canal houses for real. I didn’t realize that Amsterdam was built on 90 little islands and connected by over 500 bridges. The airport is actually below sea level. What a lot of tall blond gals here! My daughter, Juliana, said that Orange City (or NW Iowa) was one of the only places that she did not feel out of place because she is so tall. However, I can see that she would fit right in here, too. In fact I believe that both our program director and one our ships officers are both taller than Juliana. On another note, our daughter, Juliana, is named after the former Queen of the Netherlands. I found out that she was a very loved Queen. She is the grandmother of the present King Willem.
Yesterday’s Viking Daily was filled with fun facts about The Netherlands. I’ll share a few with you. The national name of the country is Kingdom of the Netherlands. Many people call it Holland. In fact, two provinces actually have the name of Holland in them, however, that is not the real name of the country. Our program director, Marianne said that they promote the name of Holland over the Netherlands because it is easier on the tongue. The Netherlands is in western Europe and borders the North Sea and is located between Belgium and German. It is 14,413 square miles and is roughly twice the size of Wales and half the size of Indiana. Almost half of the country is reclaimed from the sea through the use of sea walls and coast dunes. Levees and dikes along the rivers protect against river flooding. And few lands are as flat. The currency is the Euro and the languages spoken are Dutch and Frisian although almost everyone also speaks English. It is required in school. They have a parliamentary democracy and a constitutional monarchy. King Williem’s wife is from Argentina and they have three little girls. Twice a year they give the press an hour to take pictures and ask questions and then they try to live normal lives the rest of the year. The press pretty well respects their wishes because if they abuse them, they will no longer be invited to the semi-annual press conferences, and they don’t want to lose their invitations. The population is 16.6 million with 41% having no religion at all, 31% are Catholic, 13% are Dutch Reformed, 7% are Calvinist, 5.5% are Muslim, and 2.5% are other. I don’t know what the difference is between Dutch Reformed and Calvinistic. I would have thought that they were the same. I have a whole sheet of fun facts, but I think I will save some for the next newsletter.
Attic Treasures By Co-Owner: Bonnie Meier
On Monday, November 17, Bonnie and Lee were to meet a Dutch gentleman by the name of Arthur Haverkamp in the center of Amsterdam. Arthur is a friend of my daughter who she knows through disc golf. I met Aruthur 14 years ago at the Disc Golf World Championships while he was touring in the US, but that was so long ago that we really don’t know each other by sight. We were going to identify ourselves but he was going to be wearing an Innova hat and I was to be holding a blue disc. We were both late for our rendezvous and we never did meet. I’m sure we were both there at the same time, but since neither was really aware of what the other looked like, we didn’t get together. However, Arthur did leave a few nice gifts at the hotel for us. One of them was a darling coat hanger that Arthur said they had found in his attic in Rotterdam when he was a young boy. It is in the shape of a little Dutch girl. Doc Neumann, a friend of ours who is also on the trip, looked it over good and said that he thought it could be duplicated and might be a popular item to sell at the store. Arthur is OK with that so that will be one of our next projects.
Chocolate Dutch letters have just arrived. The letters are limited so get yours quickly. We have quite a few dark chocolate letters, but a very limited amount of milk chocolate. If you are looking for more milk chocolate letters, Woudstra’s Meat Market also carries them so between the two of us, you can hopefully find the letters you need. We just received some wool yarn. We understand that no other stores in town carry pure wool. The Blue Tulip has brought in new purses and candles. I’m not sure how long these items will be in Jubon Juweelen, but come check them out. New Delft and new discs have arrived this past month. We have a lovely Christmas tree full of new Dutch decorations as well. We also have some new jewelry by Juliana. Our items and arrangements change frequently so visit us often. We might have just the unique Christmas present for which you are looking
Perusing our guest book
Since our last newsletter we have had people sign the guest book from California, Minnesota, New Hampshire, Michigan, South Dakota, Kentucky, Arizona, Mississippi and all over Iowa. We have also had people sign from Canada and the Netherlands. People from the Netherlands are not interested in our Dutch imports, they want souvenirs from the United States and, especially, from Orange City.