Today we went to the celebrations of the chinese new year.
Because it's one of the last times we're able to make such a trip we first went to Schiphol airport, where we discovered my son lost his gloves and shawl in the train.
It was a very, very cold day with a nasty wind, so we didn't spend much time watching the planes. It was nice to be there, though.
I like to see all those different people either waiting, returning or leaving.
After that we went to Amsterdam where it was co-o-o-old!
In the shop of grandma Lotus it was warm however. She was very busy helping her customers and overlooking them all. Shoplifting is a huge problem and I think she should put too heavy items near the door and hang the handbags on locked rings.
We said our wishes and with a heavy heart we left her. She shouldn't work so hard. She does it to give her children the opportunity of a social life. And they accept it with gratitude.
Ofcourse I visted the temple, but it was too crowded there. Tourists walked in and out and only a few people stood there because they are buddshists.
The assistants sensed whom to leave alone and whom to approach to give information.
So I had some silent circle around me.
At the celebration area it was very crowded. We got some fortune cookies, but couldn't read the message inside. They were handed out by a bank, so I guess the message said something about becoming wealthy and use their bank. LOL!
All around the area small temporary shops were made to sell food.
We first made a round to see what they had available. Well, we couldn't see anything as it was too crowded. So we started observing what people were eating.
Then we saw a familiar face at the stand for the small chicken hamburgers and decided to get one each. I stood almost half an hour in line...eh in the chaos, then he saw me, smiled, mumbled a new year's wish, and gave me two hamburgers that had been baked and assembled in front of me.
I was happy to be able to get out of the crowd and sit down at our favorite bench.
The hamburger was small, about the size of a fist altogether, but delicious.
I'm sure that when my son is here we'll try and make them ourselves. One of the secrets is the sauce. I think I have to visit the right shop and ask the guy which sauce was used.
I was so cold that I suggested my son to go to one of the small restaurants and eat more chinese food there. He liked the market however and in a way I agreed with him. He wanted to taste something else, and so we stood in line...eh in chaos again.
After that tasteful small item we left and went to one of the warm shops to wish some people a happy new year. They were not able to celebrate at the terrain and were happy people thought to come to them.
In one of the shops we got a huge surprise.
Instead of the young girl, with piercing through her lip, we found her granddad.
We'd never spoken with each other in a proper way as he was always speaking chinese in the grocery of his son.
He was as surprised as we were and tried to speak english.
I wished him a happy new year and he gave us the whole traditional new year's wish, which I was happy to return in english.
We stood there bowing and smiling and it must have been fun to watch. Two cultures trying to get in touch.
He gave us extra discount on everything in the shop, so we could do nothing else than to buy something. Not against our will though. One of the girls needed a belt and we found a beautiful one with a clasp with a delicate butterfly in iron. And we found a very cute clock, now safely hidden until the receiver gets her schooldiploma later in the year.
So our visit to the buddhist chinese community was a nice one and hopefully not our last.