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Christmas in Eindhoven

The time between the moment you notice that the days are getting shorter until Christmas is a period of increasing tension, full of expectation and anxiety. Public holidays and heightened commercial activity give pressure to those who feel they should be festive and merry. For the indecisive, there is much anxiety about figuring out where to be on this day.

Looking back, I have spent every Christmas, apart from one or two knee deep in research or self-pity, either hosting my own home concerts or as a guest at other people's Christmas gatherings. Being alone at Christmas is probably one of those things I've truly learned to avoid.

It is not by choice that I am spending today in the 5th largest city in the Netherlands. I've never learned to pronounce Eindhoven properly. It means "the end of the hoven." Can anyone tell me what "hoven" means?

For almost a year now I've been curious about this city, not least because I've been to Amsterdam, Den Haag, Rotterdam, and Utrecht already. The Dutch company Philips has its headquarters here. Indeed had it not decide to base it here, Eindhoven might not have grown into a city of 200,000 today.

At the train station, I posted my belated Christmas greetings, which comprised not of cards but photos and handwritten letters. I thought they would be more appreciated than hastily scribbled "Happy Holidays" on pre-fabricated, mass-produced Christmas cards. What I miss most at this time of the year are handwritten letters and face-to-face interaction with my dear friends and family who live far away. I'd spend Christmas with them anyday.

Dinner at Van Putten, one of the restaurants in the pocket of social life facing the train station, turned out to be just fine. Since I had no expectations, I was pleasantly surprised at the attentive service of the experienced, good-looking waiter and the delicious nouveau-riche Dutch/French fish dishes. A few bad experiences at Thai restaurants in touristy locations have cautioned me against choosing a restaurant on the basis of its cuisine and convenience of location. I suppose Van Putten does not typically cater to tourists.

Before dinner, I had gone to see the movie "Lemony Snicket: A series of unfortunate events" which was absolutely delightful. After dinner, another film at the Pathé Cinema awaits ---- "Alexander."

25 December 2004 Saturday

Related links:
Netherlands Tourist Board
Dutch Rail: NS
Pathe Bioscoop
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Anne Ku at Ilp in May 2001
Anne Ku

writes about her travels, conversations, thoughts, events, music, and anything else that is interesting enough to fill a web page.
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