So, as you might imagine (or not), in 39 years of life I haven't seen that much snow.

In fact, in my hometown, it snowed in 1983. I was 4, still in kindergarden, and in the morning everything was white. My mom told me to stay in the doorframe, while my dad was going to get the car. She told me: "Don't move, don't touch this, it's very slippery" So I stayed there, just looking at the white snow, feeling like stepping on it, but not doing so. By lunch time, I saw the rain wash away the snow in the windowsills of the canteen. And of course, they didn't let us play outside (more on that in another post).

The second time I saw snow, my parents and I were coming home from Covilhã through Serra da Estrela (the highest point in Continental Portugal) and my mom told me: "Look Patricia, snow!" "Where?" "Up there!!!!" When I looked up the mountain, it was some whitish patches, that looked like shredded cotton... So for me this doesn't count.

The third time I was coming from Cambridge to London, in a field trip from my English school, when I was 16, and the teacher had told us that it might snow that day. On the bus I saw some flaky, whitish things, but it lasted for 1 minute... so, also doesn't count.

The fourth time I went to Serra da Estrela with my sister (she lives in Castelo Branco) to see the snow. So, it had already fell, and was already turned hard, and slippery. And of course, I slipped and fell. But I didn't see it fall, nor played with it. No snow man, no snow ball fight...

But...last year, as you may noticed from this blog, I moved to the Netherlands. Even though the Netherlands is not famous for the snow (like I said here ) from time to time, I've learned, it snows.

Right now, as I'm writing this post, there's a snow storm outside my window :)

So In February, my other half woke me up one night to tell me it was snowing. I was so happy to see it fall. I looked like a child.

The next morning, we went to throw some snow balls, and tried to make a snow man.

But again, I didn't walk on the street while it was snowing.

So last Sunday it started to snow in Amsterdam, and I went to see a Christmas movie with J. It was snowing and it was so nice. It was the first time I've walked in the snow :). J. spent the whole time on the way to the tram trying to catch a snow flake in her tongue :) So cute.



Nice weather outside :)

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So, one thing I've realized is that in this city (because I don't know other cities in the Netherlands - shame on me!!!!) there are not so many roundabouts. In fact I think in one year, I've only seen one. In Portugal it's something that abounds (sometimes too much), and in fact sometimes it eases the traffic.

Other thing that does not exist is bridges as crosswalks, in roads with lots of traffic. It means that the traffic will flow more easily, and the pedestrians will have to climb some stairs, and cross a bridge over the road, to get to the other side...wich, would mean some more exercise :)

But here, there's no such thing. Which would be fine if I didn't keep missing buses, because the signal is red to pedestrians and I'm stopped on the other side of the street, without being able to cross...

I've lost the count to how many buses ands trams I've missed...probably that's another reason for people to bike...

As you can see, the light is always red for pedestrians...tsc, tsc, tsc no wonder I keep missing buses and trams ;)

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Ok, so, if you arrive in the Netherlands in November, you'll be able to whitness the arrival of Sinterklaas, from Spain, in his boat, with his helper (Zwarte) Piet. You'll see boats in the canals with guys disguised as the Sinterklaas (a mix between a cardenal of orthodox church and Santa Claus - I hope not to offend anyone, but for a foreigner it's this), throwing pepernoten (small biscuits of spice mixes) at children. Also, children will leave the shoe by the chimney (or by the door, if the only chimney you have is the extractor above the stove...I think no one likes to cook with a dirty-soled shoe on the kitchen counter) with a poem/or a drawing for Sint, and of course some carrots and cubes of suger for Sint's horse). On the night of 5th December Sint will come and leave the presents, or more pepernoten and gummys, and all kinds of sugar treats, and, of course, the horse will have eaten the treats, and on the 6th of December we will go back to Spain....

As you may have noticed, this has a uncanny similarity with our more Western (yes, Portugal is more west than the Netherlands) Traditions of Santa Claus (or Pai Natal, in Portugal), that give the presents, during the night, but Santa Claus comes with reindeers, and of course, he comes on the 25th December. There's no arrival with, as we say in Portuguese "pompa e circunstância" (with the fanfarre, and everyone greeting him, and a huge party...).

It seems that my daughter will have the best of both worlds, because, of course, by now she knows everything (or almost) about Sint, so I think she'll be expecting something...and of course, we already have a Christmas Tree, and she'll receive presents during Christmas, in Portugal.

I don't know if you noticed the (Zwarte = Black) Piet, so he's Sinterklaas helper, and his face is black, because he goes down the chimney...but because now everything has to be politically correct, his face was related with black people being slaves...so now he is just Piet, for your information.

The funny thing is that the Dutch didn't let their tradition die. When I was a kid there was no "Pai Natal". It was "Menino Jesus" (Baby Jesus) that gave the presents, if we had behaved...but now in my family my sister will dress up as Santa for my daughter to receive presents.

Which reminds me that probably she will ask questions about the existence of TWO old men giving presents...I will have to think of somethink...wish me luck :)


Well I don't have a photo of Sint, because I wasn't there when he arrived, but here is a photo of a Christmas Tree. I hope you like it 🙂

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So, what are the Netherlands famous for? Bikes, windmills, tulips and wooden shoes...

From these, what I find more ubiquitous are definitely the bikes. Bikes are everywhere. You really have to be carefull when crossing the road, otherwise you'll be run over by one, or two or one thousand....really.

These people use the bike to go everywhere. I've seen people carry one travel suitcase attached to the bike. I've seen people carrying really big, cumbersome things, on the bike.

There are several types of bikes: omafiets, moederfiets, stadsfiets, bakfiets, and if you translate the names they are grandmas' bikes (the dutch typical bikes), mothers' bikes (which usually have little chairs to transport the kids), city bikes and cargo bikes (these have a huge box in the front, where the children will go sitting).

And also it seems that these people are born knowing how to bike. First comes the bike, and then the baby....

I've seen one mother riding the bike, holding the head of the 4 month old baby, because he had fallen asleep...it is master level....

In order to become more dutch, of course, one has to have a bike. So I bought one, really cheap, and was really happy with it, when I found out that it was too small for me (you can check that story here - use google translator). So now I'm on the look for a more size suitable one. It shouldn't be that difficult.

But besides all the bikes passing by, I realized that in the Netherlands bikes are really important, when, after the first snow falling this February, the sidewalk was full of snow, the road was full of snow, but the bike path was clean...

So now you know: Netherlands=Bikes :)


Everywhere there are this parking spaces for bikes :)

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Well, second post in this space (huuuu, I'm doing well Ahahahahahah!!!!).

So yesterday it was a night out with co-workers. We went to Piadina bar , where the waiter was really nice (in every way, including the looks ;) ). So we had some drinks (I really liked the Chocolate Martini) and a cheese and ham board, and of course two piadinas. It was really nice. Afterwards we went to this bar in De Pijp (I don't know the name) where we danced a little more, and drank a little more, and after that we went to Rembrandt Plein, to this discotheque/disco bar/whatever, and wait for it...we drank still a little bit more, and danced more.... And there I realised that going out is the same everywhere, whether in Faro (where I studied), in Lisbon (where I worked), in Loret de Mar (the final year of highschool trip), or here in Amsterdam. Well, looking at this list I also realised that I didn't travel that much, ahahahah.

So what happens is first, you have something to eat, and at the same time, you start drinking. Then you go to a bar where you drink more, dance, and the music is loud, and you have to scream to get a drink, and you have to scream to talk to anybody, and if you're in the mood for flirting....well you also have to scream...AHAHAHAHAHAH. And then you move on to a discotheque. You have the bouncers at the entrance, that always look like they want to beat you up (I know it's a tough job, and probably they do it on purpose, still It's always unconfortable...), and then more loud music, drinking and dancing. But then, can you really call that dancing? Usually is doing the same moves, trying to not get run over by the passers-by, because there is always someone trying to get to the bar, or get to the bathroom, or get to the friends that are on the other side of the bar....

And finally, you danced a lot, you drank a lot, and it's time to go home. In the old days in Faro, you still had to go to the Padaria Lisbonense, and get a "pão com chouriço" and a cinammon roll, and then get a taxi to go home. Here, I don't know, you just run to the tram, or you get an Uber...

The big difference? Here things happen quite early, so it means that at 11 pm you'll be in a bar crammed with people, and in Portugal, at 11 you're still at home getting ready for the night :)


This is Spui at night, nothing to do with Rembrandt Plein, but I don't have any more photos :)

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Well...


I seem to have a problem...I start stuff and then...don´t keep up with them. Am I the only one? So this is the 5th blog I'm starting. What happened to the ones before? Well, the first one is this: blog da maionese . It's still on and kind of alive. It talks about random stuff that I remember. Sometimes I have this weird ideas, and it's a good place to have them collected. It's in portuguese, but I thought of translating most of the interesting posts to english, let's see...

The second one is this: noisette - cosmética natural , it's about one of my passions (diy skin care products). Since I moved I haven't been able to do much. In fact I've only made one bodybutter...

The other 2: organizing freak and Um friozinho na barriga have only 3 or 4 posts. One is about my so-called decluttering (well...it didn't happen like I wanted to...) the other is about...moving to Amsterdam...but I found this provider, so I'm testing it :) What propably will happen is I will post my adventures in Amsterdam, written in English here, and written in Portuguese there... Do you think I can keep up? AHAHAHAHAHAHAH!!!! We'll see.

So for now this is the (re)beginning ... Hope you like reading me

Behind the Red Light District

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