holiday jobs in europe

An Open Sinterklaas Plea to the People of Holland

Friends, (non)-country men, lend me your tweets.

I have but one Sinterklaas wish this holiday season. And that wish is a holiday job. But not just any holiday job. I want a job as one of your Zwarte Pieten (Black Petes).

But let me explain.

I have written to everyone but mighty Saint Nicolaas himself – the .infos, the .nl’s, the Sinterklaas’s, the tourism boards, KPN  – in search of the this dream holiday job as Black Pete.

I know it must sound strange. Strange that a foreigner in your flat, heavily-diked land desires to spread holiday cheer to children he doesn’t know. And stranger still that this foreigner comes from a land renowned for it’s Twinkies rather than its Pepernoten.

Now I know what you are thinking – Why should this guy be a Zwarte Piet?  He isn’t even Dutch. Very true. But – Holland is country of tolerance. Of higher morale fiber and higher standards to let tourists get higher and do things out of the ordinary.

I know I don’t speak Dutch.

I know I don’t permeate the sweet scent of delicious Stroopwafels.

I know I am not freakishly tall enough to play korfball.

I know I  peddle down your cobbled streets too slowly and too clumsily.

I know I forget to ring my bicycle bell as I almost run the elderly off the road.

I know I eat too many servings of kibbeling.

And I know – I know I can’t roll my G’s like a screeching broken record.

But what I do know – is that I will be the best Goddamn American Black Pete I can be.

All of these are statements are undeniable, but what also is true is that Sinterklaas is a season of hope, that even a hopeless, humbled yet still determined American can help make some Dutch children’s holiday a little bit brighter by showing that anyone can be a Black Pete, even an American guy.

Please help me make this dream into a reality by spreading this message to all your countrymen and maybe with a little luck, a little determination, a little holiday magic.

You can help make this holiday miracle come true.

And please message me at turner (at)  if you have a Zwarte Piet position to fill.

Turner barr

Hi, my name is Turner. I travel the world, hustle to find interesting jobs, and write about what happens when you read too many self-help books.

  • Neil Skywalker
    Posted at 14:07h, 15 November

    Zwarte Piet isn’t Dutch, He’s from Spain just like Sinterklaas. He’s black because he goes down the chimney and is covered in ashes. Not because he is black which most people including many Dutch seem to think.
    Sorry, I can’t help you out connecting you to some one. 

  • Neil Skywalker
    Posted at 14:08h, 15 November

    Hope you find a job! Have fun!

  • Stephanie E Ward
    Posted at 10:46h, 17 November

    well if that doesn’t work out you can always go to Salzburg to see if you can be one of the Krampus

    • Turner
      Posted at 11:15h, 17 November

      already one step a head of you my polar bear killing Canadian friend. I am talking with them now. 

  • Blyth
    Posted at 03:04h, 19 November

    That would be some job. I almost shat a brick first time I heard the Sinterklaas saga, from Dutch friends on St. Maarten, who reenacted it at the town dock, shoe polish and all. I’ve heard the ash explanation before but…why the lipstick? 

  • Monique @MoTravels
    Posted at 02:25h, 27 November

    You didn’t get the job as Zwarte Piet? Awww….