Sinterklaas is real!

Legend has it that a man named Sinterklaas arrives in the Netherlands each year in mid-November by steamboat from Spain, moving from town to town, delivering candies to nice children. Much like our Santa Claus, which, wiki says, is derived from Sinterklaas.

Today, coming out of the bathroom, I saw two boxes of letter chocolates inside my boots. The letters were P and V for my nickname and last name’s initials. I headed out, exclaimed “Sinterklaas is real!” and Dutch-kissed my sister. Oh, the Dutch kiss is three kisses on the cheeks, in case you’re asking.

Two other nice things happened today: I had a video chat with a good friend of mine which was probably the longest I’ve spoken today (I can’t really say much when it’s just me and my 10-month old barely-speaking nephew at home all day, can I?). The other is, it snowed tonight.

It was strong enough to create a thin pile of ice on my window sill. And it was hypnotizing too. It’s one that makes you stare at it and then before you know it, you know eternity. Ice pieces (or do they call it snowflakes?) came rushing toward me while I looked out of the window from my bed. It could almost make me fall asleep, only that I was enjoying this snow thingy for the first time. And as for sleep? It can always have me any night, so yeah, am still up albeit it’s almost midnight.

This night is special. The past couple of days have been special. Maybe the snow has something to do with it. For the first time since I got here a month ago (has it already been a month?), I am completely at peace that I am here, just right here.


Sinterklaas or Santa Claus? 

*This is part of a 68-Day Travel Diary called Reflections of a Nearly Thirty. Read the full Reflections Series here.

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About hellopenville

Writing is my one true north. (The other is eating spaghetti. I make the best pastas in the whole world I swear!) I have been writing since age 10. I remember being in another school a lot because of Campus Journalism contests. I was a grade-school copyreader, headline-writer, and feature writer, who emerged to be a college editorial writer and eventually a TV news writer. However, I have always been an insecure artist. These constant condescending thoughts always stopped me from creating: “No one would read this.” “This has been written before and therefore no one would read this.” “This is not interesting enough and therefore no one would read this.” “This is not relevant, or factual, or trendy enough and therefore no one would read this.” But I learned to risk to write even if no one reads it, than not to have written anything at all. To resist writing is to resist truth itself, to betray that which comes freely to you when you do not allow it to be manifested through you. I didn’t think writing was serious work. But every time I thought about writing, it would make me nervous. It would rattle me and frighten me. I would shake the ground under me. Aren’t dreams like that too? Read more at


Europe, Holland, Travel Reflections Series (3 months in Europe)


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