Teacup Humans

I’ve had a variety of ideas of things to blog about, but then I got some sort of stomach bug this week and my plans went the way of the mice’s. I’m feeling better now, but it was a mental struggle just getting one Trippist post done today. I’ll hold off on the deeper thoughts I’ve had about learning the Dutch language until I’m feeling a bit more mentally alert.

In the meantime, I’ll (hopefully) amuse you with my latest crafty hobby. I’ve been making these little sarubobo dolls, just for the hell of it, since they’re fairly quick and mindless to make, although the tiny size makes them a bit more challenging. It’s also a good way to use up some of the small scraps of fabric that I have. Oddly enough, I just noticed that the blue ones are for luck with study and the green ones are for luck with health. I’m not sure the green one I made the day before I got sick helped. Hopefully the blue-ish ones I’ve made will help with my Dutch studies.

One of my other “hobbies” recently has been catching up with seasons 1 and 2 of the HBO series True Blood, which has just started airing here in the Netherlands on the Foxlife channel on Mondays. It’s a show about vampires living in Louisiana, not New Orleans, though. It’s silly and fun and recently had a great line about children. Vampire Eric referred to them as being small, like teacup humans! When I saw a screencap of the scene with one of the quotes, I figured I’d combine my two hobbies and have some fun with them. The result is this:

Kus Kus Kus

Yesterday, I saw this story on CNN about the French tradition of kissing when greeting and how it may suddenly be discouraged because of Swine Flu/H1N1. The French, and to an extent the Italians, are the first nationalities I think of when I think of greeting someone with a kiss. Yet they’re amateurs in comparison to the Dutch.

The French and Italians might give one kiss or two, but the Dutch — sometimes considered thrifty — are quite generous with their kisses, giving three when greeting or taking their leave of a good friend. The mechanics of it consist of alternating cheeks, usually starting from the left (from the giver’s perspective). It’s usually only woman-to-woman and woman-to-man; man-to-man is rare, although not unheard of.

Interestingly, considering the story about the possibility of the French backing off from kissing, some people suggest that the kiss on the cheek may actually be less of an illness-spreading risk than shaking hands.