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Last october 31st, America celebrated Halloween. I am given to understand it is a big deal in America, and have seen a lot about it on TV, in American series and, of course, movies. The Netherlands, however, has no Halloween tradition. That is not to say that we do nothing, though. While there is nothing Dutch about Halloween, some of the American culture seeps into ours, and there are some very small efforts to get something off the ground. So far, though, the success ranks somewhere well below that of Valentines Day and even that of gift giving at christmas. And while my collegues in the southern part of the country did things like going to theme parks that opened up for the evening with a special halloween theme, we in the northern part seem to do nothing at all.

You see, up here, we have our own tradition: Sint Maarten. On the eleventh day of the eleventh month all children go out with little lights to go door to door, singing songs in exchange for candy. No American scare fest can break down that bastion of tradition, though I do have to take care that Beedoo! will not go 'BOOGA-BOOGA!' at the little singing children.

Anyway, as it stands, Beedoo! missed an entire Halloween experience here. We walked the dog, we played games on the Playstation, we hang around. Not that it was boring: that day has been one of the most enjoyable yet for me!

Still, in the end, just another day...

It's very noticeable thet Halloween really hasn't taken much hold over here... in fact, the only trace of it I've seen was in a single shop window, which made a halfhearted attempt with orange and black border and a few spiders and cotton cobwebs.

Due to some tragic circumstances, Arno and I will be the ones handing out the candy at Simone and Giovanni's house on St. Maarten. (Gio's mother An slipped in her house and the fall broke her neck, so please keep their family in your thoughts and prayers. An is in stable condition, but will likely be in the hospital for a while, and wear a halo-collar for months...) Simone and Gio need to be with An and John (his father), and so Arno is arranging to be home extra-early that day so the two of us can take over candy-duty.

Lois herself has a cute little St Maarten lampoon, something like a Chinese paper lantern on a stick, with blinking lights inside. We'll see if we can get a picture of her with it. ;)