Well, you make your plans!
We had the day all laid out, had an idea of what we were going to do...and it mostly went according to our plan, except the last little bit! I ran a little late finishing some work for the uni, and we left the boat at around 4.30. No biggie, stores close around 6ish, and the grocery store later still, around 9.
We get up to the hardware store at 5:15. Closed up tight as a drum with a note on the door. OK, well. As we walk through town, a lot more stores are closed. We start to wonder, is it a holiday or something? We get to the cheese shop, closed. Hmmm, what day is it? Dec 5th?
Jeez, it's the day all the little dutch kids put out their clogs for Santa (sinterklaas) to put presents in! Ah haa! How did we forget!!
It's one of the wild things about living in another country, you just don't instinctively know when the holidays are! Even after all the years we were in Catalunya there were some that came as a surprise every year.
So, happy sinterklass to all the Dutch kids, hope you were good, cause apparently if you weren't he'll put you in a sack and take you back to Spain to teach you to be good. (echos of slavery????? though honestly, the weather's better there, so you know, it wouldn't be all bad!)