My arrival home was planned to coincide with the Christmas holidays, for which I was genuinely excited. It had been three years of Santa rerouting presents to my Japanese abode, and then having to Skype in to appease the family. There are also a great number of traditions that our family has during this time of year, so actually being present to listen endlessly to Kenny G’s ‘Miracles’, dress the tree, and watch Christmas Vacation was reeealllll-ly nice. Soeng, an Aussie friend I met in Japan was willing to come over from Toronto and enjoy her first proper Christmas. Memories were made.
As a part of the holiday gauntlet, we had a number of family parties and such to attend. I had been completely absent from the lives of these relatives, so catching up and confirming my existence was good. On the Bock side, we took part in our annual round of Left Right Center. We Bussies always make a good showing at this event, but my lack of practice showed this time Basically, one rolls a couple of dice and then moves their money as directed. The last person to have anything left in their hand wins the pot.
Another most exciting tradition are oliebollin, aka fat balls. For as long as I’ve known, my Grandma Ada would bring to light our inner Dutch and make these every New Year’s morning. They are basically fried lumps of raisins and dough, which is dipped into sugar. These are not good for you. Now that I was home at long last to partake and oversee their production, I insisted that we continue the tradition. This was my mom’s first shot, and we weren’t really sure how they would turn out. Fortunately all was well with them, and I ate to my heart’s content.
The holidays were a lot of fun, and a great chance to see friends that made their way back home too. It was nice to share drinks and catch up, but once they returned to their lives, a certain void was evident. For my next act, it was obvious that I would need to find work and get going on life.