Tuesday, November 22, 2005

A night in Huis Ten Bosch

bears are coolI think that some of the most enjoyable experiences we have in this life are the ones where we aren’t expecting to have fun, in fact we are probably expecting a really lousy time. A lousy time is exactly what I was

expecting of my Saturday night last weekend, that was until I caught Huis Ten Bosch fever!!

Huis Ten Bosch (pronounced “house ten boss”) is a theme park (actually it doesn’t have any rides so it can’t really be called a theme park) with a twist, it is a giant recreation of Holland… Yes you heard me; it is a giant recreation of Holland. What the designers have done is take some of the most famous buildings from Holland and rebuilt them along with traditional architecture and ideas (e.g. cobble streets, canals, wind mills and a heck of a lot of flowers!) into a very beautiful, highly overpriced theme park!!! WHY? I hear you scream, the answer is I really don’t know, but at least I can say I have been to Holland…sort of. Huis Ten Bosch is severely overpriced, around $55 AUD and all you are paying for is entry to the park to look at the beautiful scenery and spend more money, this comes in the form of highly overpriced shopping and luxury food. But there is one way around this hefty price, go at night. If you enter the park after 5pm entry only costs around $11AUD (and in my opinion is the best time to go) and the park is lit up like a Christmas tree (could it be that it is almost Christmas?), actually the park had Christmas trees everywhere! So now you understand Huis Ten Bosch, I can tell you my story.

My family and I all packed into the car wearing our warm jackets, gloves and scarves (it is getting really cold here) while two different moods permeated the atmosphere of the vehicle, my father and I thinking “yeah whatever” and the girls all saying “oh this is going to be so much fun!”. Now, I am not sure why, but Japanese women seem to have a major fascination with Huis Ten Bosch and think it is the most romantic place on earth (I’ll admit it does have a tinge of romanticism to it) and I also think it is the only place in Japan where you will see every couple holding hands (tip to the men; If you ever get a Japanese girlfriend who you really like, take her to Huis Ten Bosch and she will be yours forever- Please note that this comment can not be upheld in a court of law). We arrived at Huis Ten Bosch where we would later meet our family friends (My AFS Liaison Person and her husband, and another family who are involved in AFS) so while we wandered through the park waiting for them I got trigger happy with my camera! Eventually we came across Santa-Claus (who the Japanese call Santa-San) who happened to come from Holland and is definitely the funniest Santa I have ever met; he even told me his real name lol! We took a family photo with him and then met our friends with whom we went to watch a Gospel concert and eat dinner with.

Talk about the best Gospel concert ever The band were from New York and were called the Harlem Messengers, they did covers of Lauren Hills “killing me softly”, “oh happy day” and a few other Gospel favorites. This band knew how to work a crowd (the crowd went nuts which is rare for a Japanese venue), the vocals were absolutely hot and cooking, they were pro’s. After the concert finished my family headed home, I stayed with our friends and headed to a Disco (oh yeah!) where the Harlem Messengers would perform once more and then the dance floor would open up. Ah the dance floor, I could live on a dance floor because I love to boogie baby!! Though it had to be the worst Disco I have ever been to as it pretty much cleared out byAAH A PANDA!! 10:30pm! At first there were a lot of people dancing, but then “the circle” formed and if you know Discos then you know that “the circle” is the biggest killer of dance parties world wide (unless of course you live in an African tribe or something). “The circle” (for the uninitiated) is when everybody stops dancing with their individual partner (usually out of embarrassment) and forms a big circle where every now and then someone jumps in the middle and dances (sort of like playing the hokey pokey. Eventually the disco cleared out and it was just our group and the staff left, so I decided to have a bit of fun… Over on the bar they had a big Panda costume hood which people sometimes wore, I had them bring the hood over and proceeded to dance.break dancing Panda If you were there you would have seen a giant Panda break dancing and doing the robot in the middle of the Disco, oh it was fun!

Eventually We decided it was time to head home and trod our way back through the empty theme park to our car, it was a great night.