Are you sitting comfortably? Then I'll begin.
This drizzly afternoon me and my two almost-grownup-offspring took ourselves to...
(okay, if you suffer from a Christmas allergy now skip the following paragraph!)
the local Christmas decorations show.
In October! Yes...I know.
For Wetlanders like us this is almost unheard of. We used to have a guy called Sinterklaas for the last couple of hundred of years or so, and it was like swearing in church if you so much as mentioned Christmas before Sinterklaas had safely left our country on December 6th. But due to hassle and bother to do with his (presumed) racist tendency to surround himself with black helpers called Zwarte Piet, a lot of people have had it up to their eyebrows with all the hullaballoo. Including me.
So...we went to our local garden centre Aralia which is renowned for its Christmas decorations. This is a family tradition (only we usually went around Dec. 15th) which always cheers us up.
And it was when we were walking slowly along the beautifully decorated aisles that it dawned on me. Or rather, it cloaked me slowly like a veil falling gently around my shoulders.
I watched other ordinary women like myself (no men in sight except for my 22 year old) making their way towards "the festive season", their faces relaxed, their eyes lit up with wonder and admiration (okay, okay, and with greed for some of them) whilst looking at the gorgeous displays. And I realized we are having it soooooooo good.
Even women like me (money too tight to mention right now), but definitely those women who were loading their carts and baskets with festive stuff. We have it so good!
We live in proper houses, heated houses, with running hot water and a fridge and washing machine. With all kinds of appliances to make our work lighter and easier. Most of us with some sort of job to put food on our tables and fags in our pockets (not mine - but you get the drift I'm sure).
We do not have to bribe border guards to let us pass. We do not risk our lives and loves in leaking overloaded boats in the Mediterranean Sea. We do not walk for days on slippers in freezing temperatures.
I know many of my pampered and slightly-less-pampered fellow Wetlanders view these human rivers making their way towards our small country with trepidation. Cynics are quick to point out to me that many of these refugees do have the latest iPhones and post on Facebook.
It confuses me, I have no easy solution for this problem.
But what I do know, is that we Wetlanders should be thankful that we can visit a garden centre and buy ourselves some pretty lights.