Happy Feast of St. Today, Christianity celebrates the feast of St. You know of the guy: Nick, original inspiration for that northern merrymaker, Santa Claus.
They're nice enough places, but the numbers mean nothing to me. My second question might have to do with the average annual rainfall, which, again, doesn't tell me anything about the people who have chosen to call this place home.
What really interests me are the local gun laws. Can I carry a concealed weapon and, if so, under what circumstances? What's the waiting period for a tommy gun? Could I buy a Glock 17 if I were recently divorced or fired from my job?
I've learned from experience that its best to lead into this subject as delicately as possible, especially if you and the local citizen are alone and enclosed in a relatively small area.
Bide your time, though, and you can walk away with some excellent stories. I've learned, for example, that the blind can legally hunt in both Texas and Michigan.
In Texas they must be accompanied by a sighted companion, but I heard that in Michigan theyre allowed to go it alone, which raises the question: How do they find whatever it is they just shot?
In addition to that, how do they get it home? Are the Michigan blind allowed to drive as well? I ask about guns not because I want one of my own but because the answers vary so widely from state to state. In a country thats become increasingly homogeneous, I'm reassured by these last charming touches or regionalism.
Firearms arent really an issue in Europe, so when travelling abroad, my first question usually relates to barnyard animals. In Germany, where dogs bark "vow vow" and both the frog and the duck say "quack," the roosters crow "kiri-a-kee," and in France the scream "coco-rico," which sounds like one of those horrible pre-mixed cocktails with a pirate on the label.
When told that an American rooster says, "cock-a-doodle-doo," my hosts look at me with disbelief and pity. People who traditionally open gifts on Christmas Eve seem a bit more pious and family-oriented than those who wait until Christmas morning. They go to Mass, open presents, eat a late meal, return to church the following morning, and devote the rest of the day to eating another big meal.
Gifts are generally reserved for children, and the parents tend not to go overboard. Its nothing I'd want for myself, but I suppose its fine for those who prefer food and family to things of real value.
In France and Germany gifts are exchanged on Christmas Eve, while in the Netherlands the children open their presents on December 5, in celebration of St. It sounded soft of quaint until I spoke to a man named Oscar, who filled me in on a few of the details as we walked from my hotel to the Amsterdam train station.
Unlike the jolly, obese American Santa, Saint Nicholas is painfully thin and dresses not unlike the pope, topping his robes with a tall hat resembling an embroidered tea cozy.
The outfit, I was told, is a carryover from his former career, when he served as the bishop of Turkey.
For starters, Santa didn't anything. He's not retired and, more important, he has nothing to do with Turkey. Its too dangerous there and the people wouldn't appreciate him. When asked how he got from Turkey to the North Pole, Oscar told me with complete conviction that Saint Nicholas currently resides in Spain, which again is simply not true.
Though he could probably live wherever he wanted, Santa chose the North Pole specifically because it is harsh and isolated. No one can spy on him, and he doesn't have to worry about people coming to the door.
Anyone can come to the door in Spain, and in that outfit hed most certainly be recognized. On top of that, aside from a few pleasantries, Santa doesnt speak Spanish. Can I get you some candy? He knows enough to get by, but he's not fluent and he certainly doesnt eat tapas.
While our Santa flies on a sled, the Dutch version arrives by boat and then transfers to a white horse. The event is televised, and great crowds gather at the waterfront to greet him.
I'm not sure if there's a set date, but he generally docks in late November and spends a few weeks hanging out asking people what they want. I asked several Dutch people to narrow it down, but none of them could give me an exact number.Six To Eight Black Men by I've never been much for guidebooks, so when trying to get my bearings in some strange American city, I normally start by asking the cabdriver or hotel clerk some silly question regarding the latest census figures.
I say silly because I don't really how many people live in Olympia, Washington or Columbus, Ohio. May 29, · In his essay, “6 to 8 Black Men,” Sedaris deconstructs the Santa myth in the Netherlands, which is an already absurd story in and of itself. The essay starts off with a typical David.
David Sedaris, a well-known American humorist's essay is written to delight and inform his readers. By using “Six To Eight Black Men,” as the title for this piece Sedaris is offering a glimpse of what the audience may expect.
Six to Eight Black Men By David Sedaris I've never been much for guidebooks, so when trying to get my bearings in a strange American city, I normally start by asking the cab driver or hotel clerk some silly question regarding the latest census figures.
Sep 20, · Sedaris' observational humor does tend to come out in full force on holidays (see also his reading of the Saint Nicholas-themed story "Six to Eight Black Men" on Dutch television above), and indeed the holidays provided him the material that first launched him into the mainstream.
Lives of Men Six to Eight Black Men A heartwarming tale of Christmas in a foreign land where, if you've been naughty, Saint Nick and his friends give you an ass-whuppin' Six to Eight Black Men DAVID SEDARIS December 1 Click to View Article Pages.
Lives of Men Six to Eight Black Men A heartwarming tale of Christmas in a foreign land.