The Pleasure of Being a Day Host.
“From time to time I am contacted to act as a Day Host. This means I show people around the city of Amsterdam where I, myself, live. Since I am a Cultural Psychologist by profession, and very interested in the beliefs, values and myths of different cultures, I love to explain to my visitors how I experience Dutch life. Not being Dutch myself, I like to discuss the ways it differs from their own culture and my own.
Last December, I had a couple Rosanne and Carl from Canada. I met them at their hotel and spent a few hours walking them through the old historical city center . We also visited a farmer’s market in the Jordaan. The following day, coincidentally, St. Nicolas, the Dutch version of Santa Claus, was due to arrive in town by boat, accompanied by his now much discussed assistant, Zwart Piet.
I had the idea to invite my visitors to my home for brunch because, coincidentally, “Sinta” was due to pass right in front of my balcony overlooking the River Amstel. It was such a colorful parade with hundreds of boats on the water hooting and tooting this joyous arrival. Both sides of the canal were lined with thousands of children, but my visitors had “the royal box” view. All in all it was a lovely occasion, and later they wrote that it was the highlight of their Amsterdam vacation.