Thursday, October 20, 2005

Autumn Break

It's Joel Jan's Autumn Break. Which means, me spending less time writing because Autumn Break means Joel Jan time.

After the hectic rush of schooldays, the relaxed pace of the break is a luxury. Instead of waking up bleary-eyed and pulling an equally groggy son out of bed, we can now stretch and sleep out until our bodies tell us that it's time to get up. Not that we sleep really late. The latest we've woken up is about 8.30 in the morning.

The Train Museum or Spoorwegmuseum in Utrecht made for a fantastic day out. After two years of renovations, the place has changed into a fantastic wonderland for kids and lovers of locomotives and trains. I kept thinking that this would be a super place to celebrate Joel's birthday. He is such a train geek. What I loved about the new museum is the appeal that it holds not only for children but also for adults. It was quite interesting and inspiring to sit inside "Den Electric" which was the name given to the first electric train in The Netherlands. I could imagine ladies and gentlemen dressed up to the nines, stepping into these fabulously decorated wagons. Taking a trip in a train was something like taking an airplane trip nowadays...only classier, I think. For a common laborer, it took about a month's wages to take his family on a train trip to the shore. Can you imagine what a treat that must have been? I wonder how much scrimping and saving went into taking their kids out on the trip of their lives. Probably, they had to scrimp and save a bit more than we do when we want to take the plane home to the Philippines. Well, maybe just about the same. After all, a trip to the Philippines for the three of us is equivalent to about two month's wages. And that's only economy class.

On the relaxed days bit, we spent a super afternoon in Alphen aan den Rijn. A town that is swiftly turning into a city with its renovated shopping streets, its colossal municipal hall that looks somewhat like something Lorenzo Piano would have created, and the Library which was our main goal for that day. We spent a fabulous afternoon among books and sheet music, and ended up taking home a subscription and three books that we can keep for the next four weeks. Joel Jan is such a bookworm that a library subscription is certainly not a surplus. It has become a necessity.

After that, we visited this little toy shop where the shop owner is an avid train guy. Joel has been saving up for a train locomotive, but his cents still won't buy him the loco that he wants. So, we ended up looking at some passenger wagons. Since we are booked to go to Eurospoor, it might be worth taking a look how far his fifty euros will get him.

What else does this week hold, well, a trip on the light rail train...lots of reading aloud...lots of "Knutsel" ( craft ) time... and generally very little time to write.

Thus far, I've only written 1,300 words which represents my rough draft for the OWW November challenge.

*visualize me pulling my hair out by the roots* I really want to write more, but visualize doing that with a boy who says every five minutes: "Mama, time to read now. Mama, time to do crafts with me." and so on and so forth...

But honestly, I do love these days. :)


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