Last night I went to a concert organized by the choir that my parents in law sing in. It was in a chapel about 5 kilometers from here. I had hoped to go with Marinda but... homework called!

I came into the church and found most of the back rows taken. Seeing as I actually wanted to see my parents in law, I ventured forth to the front seats. I actually ended up sitting by myself, about six rows to the back with nobody in front of me. Is that a dutch thing, to not want to sit in the front row?

The church was filled with grey heads and dark coats. Even though there were coathangers in the foyer, everybody kept their coats on. Is that also a dutch thing? To go into church looking like you're ready to run out at a moments notice? It wasn't due to the cold, because the heater was working!

I looked at the program and then sent Herman a rather desperate sms. This was supposed to be a Christmas concert and I only recognized two of the twenty songs! And the language! Here in this traditional, very very very traditional area great joy is found in singing old old songs. Written in ancient dutch. Comparable to singing hymns written in shakespearean english.
When I first came to Holland and went to church with Herman I would nudge him and ask for an explanation for every other word of the songs we were singing.

Eventually the choir came up and I got smiles of recognition from my parents in law. And then the music burst forth. Surprisingly good actually! I had expected a rather unprofessional set-up, but they sounded good! Old and traditional sure, but I still enjoyed it, despite the sonorous tones of the organ and the sloooooooooow tempo in which all was sung.
And I recognized enough of Silent Night to get at least some of the Christmas spirit.

That, and the tree which is standing unclothed in our living room, are the beginnings of Christmas in this house!

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