Tuesday, 31 March 2009

Ежик в тумане или первый день работы

6:40 - выезжаю из дома на велосипеде. Все соседи еще спят. На улице полторы машины и два с половиной велосипедиста. И я.
6:50 - центр. По Grote Marktstraat ездят грузовики. В божеское время эта улица предназначена исключительно для пешеходов и велосипедистов. В министерствах уже работают!
6:55 - вокзал. Велосипед паркую без проблем – мест валом (в смысле 0,5% мест свободно). В автомат за билетами очереди нет и за чаем тоже. Я купила 5 билетов и если еще брать с собой маленький термос с чаем и крутить педали чуточку быстрее, то можно выезжать на 10 минут позже!
7:01 - на перроне перед началом поезда стоит женщина в красной шапочке (форма у железнодорожников тут такая - синяя, а головной убор - красный) и всем дает шоколадки. Я взяла шоколадку, но спрашивать, по какому поводу, не стала. Ну ее, отберет еще! Кто рано встает, тому красная шапочка шоколадку дает! Меня такое объяснение вполне устраивает.
7:06 - полупустой поезд трогается. Пассажиры жуют бутерброды, читают бесплатные газеты и слушают музыку. По дороге в Утрехт мы проезжаем несколько больших ферм. Поля залиты густым туманом. Меня это очень отвлекает от чтения, я все ищу в тумане лошадь. Ежика я с такого расстояния увидеть не надеюсь.
7:45 - Утрехт. Жизнь началась, все проснулись, народу навалом, все куда-то спешат. Я неспеша направляюсь к пригородным автобусам - мой отходит через 20 минут. На остановке выясняется, что предыдущий ушел всего 2 минуты назад. Если поторопиться, можно сэкономить еще 15 минут! Удобно жить в стране, где все по расписанию.
8:35 - я на работе. A la работа comme a la работа – масса новых лиц. Я все имена сразу забыла. Начиталась всякой разрозненной информации о проекте и у меня неожиданно начала работать голова. У меня она всегда работает. И всегда неожиданно.
17:00 - домой. Автобус застревает в пробке – Утрехт забит намертво. В это время в Гааге ситуация еще хуже, так что я рада, что не на машине.
17:45 - Утрехт. Народу в пять раз больше, чем утром, все спешат еще больше.
18:00 - поезд трогается. Пассажиры едят мороженое и картошку фри, читают что попало и слушают музыку.
18:45 - Гаага. Велосипед, слава богу, на месте, не украли.
19:00 - дома!
Завтра будет новый день…

Незначительный факт: за двенадцать лет у меня в Нидерландах украли всего два велосипеда.

Monday, 30 March 2009

Cotton candy

So this was my “last day of freedom”. Tomorrow I have to get up at six in the morning (!) to be at work on time. I haven’t been commuting for years and I need to find a routine ASAP in order to save up precious minutes in the morning. I don’t have to do this every day, but the rest of the days will be filled with Photobeads, so there will be little room for days like today.

Today was fun. Kim called early afternoon and asked to join her for some shopping in Rijswijk. She needed new glasses and while she had an eye test I tried on ALL glasses in the shop. I wanted to see which glasses would fit me in case I needed them. Well, I found only one model that suited my taste - €345 - I think these where the most expensive glasses in the whole shop.

There was a fair in Rijswijk. I am not a good companion for fairs because all things that turn make me sick. But I had a cotton candy which was a little too big and I ate it all. I was completely sweet and sticky on the inside as well as on the outside. Kim tried to get me a Hello Kitty kitty and then we headed for the mirror maze and those curved mirror where we had so much fun moving around and trying different things that I ended up sick anyway!

Unrelated trivia: I have no TV but desperately need one!

Sunday, 29 March 2009

Опасайтесь лысых и усатых and be jealous!

My friend came over today and we fixed the flat tire on my bicycle. We also repaired the gears (finally!) and fastened the standard (or whatever the name of this thing is). He even cleaned the bike using sunflower seed oil :). Too bad I had to discover that my front light doesn’t work on my way back from the salsa lesson (I gave up on my back light long ago).

Salsa makes you happy! It’s a fact. There is so much energy in the air when everybody’s dancing on this happy music. Salsa lessons and parties are also a perfect way to meet lots of very interesting people. The Hague is full of international organisations and many foreign employees take salsa lessons. I met this guy called Alexander (Sasha) who is originally from Yugoslavia, but who moved to the US 15 years ago and now he works in the Netherlands. It was fun to discover we are both called Sasha. I doesn’t happen to me anymore since I left Ukraine. And the two sisters from Spain are real fun! We were chatting before the lesson and in the break. And after the lesson we discussed all the men we danced with. HA!

I am going to book my flight to Kiev now. I am going there in May and while I'm there, my mother and I are planning to go to Moscow for a couple of days. Moscow! MOSCOW! Be jealous!

I took this tourist cliché photo three years ago. Our train arrived very early and we got to the Red Square at 7:00 in the morning. There were hardly any people and you could hear nightingales!

Для тех, кто умеет читать по-русски: читайте „Самую легкую лодку в мире” Юрия Коваля и опасайтесь лысых и усатых!

Trivia: my mother tongue is Russian and my Dutch is better than my Ukrainian.

Old love (and cervical cancer)

Today was the day! I went to meet my old love - Les Bonnes by the Roman Viktyuk Theatre. I’ve seen this play some 15 years ago in Kiev. Tickets were sold out almost instantly, so I came in with a false ticket. I was not the only one. The theatre was packed full. There were extra chairs from the theatre cafe, people were sitting in-between the rows on the floor and some, like me, were sitting on the stage.

The experience was overwhelming! I was swept along in this tragic story, blinded by the moves of the actors, confused by the novelty of the happening. My hands were hurting from the half-an-hour standing ovation. The actors had to perform their final dance three times. I heard one of them say to Roman Viktyuk: “I cannot do it anymore!” and then they danced once more. Back then it took me several days to “recover”.

And today the Roman Viktyuk Theatre was playing Les Bonnes in Schiedam - the only time in the Netherlands. I saw the announcement and it took me about a week to decide whether I did or did not want to go. Finally, I convinced Jeroen to join me and booked the tickets. I desperately wanted to experience all those feelings again!

So there I sat. The story (by Jean Genet) is still as brilliant as it was 15 years ago. The actors give 200% quality play, there is music, dance, costumes and beautiful bodies. There was everything a good, a very good theatre play needs. I understood that. But I did not feel it. I was just sitting there, waiting for the feelings from 15 years ago fill my heart, and while waiting I missed everything… I am sure I would have had an unforgettable experience if I only went there with an open mind and heart, without any expectations. Don’t try to re-experience old love? You might lose it forever…

Dalida - Je suis malade

I have received a letter from the screening programme for cervical cancer. Cervical cancer occurs most frequently in women aged between 30 and 60 years old. Every 5 years women of these ages in the Netherlands are sent an invitation to be screened. It’s a good thing because it helps to discover cancer in an early stage when it’s still treatable. But for me it’s a reminder of my age…

Trivia: I took acting courses for two years.

Friday, 27 March 2009


All right, I got the job at Versteegh! It took me six and a half weeks to find a job. I will start Monday or Tuesday next week. This is a project for six months. I will work three to four days in the beginning and one or two days towards the end. I am very excited!

I wanted to have another salsa lesson tonight (lower level), but have completely forgotten that my bicycle has a flat tire. By the time I’ve (re)discovered that, it was too late to go by public transport or walk. So now I'm sitting here with my makeup on, nicely smelling (True Star Gold by Tommy Hilfiger) and write this post. The last chance to take a trial salsa lesson is on Sunday. I’ll take that.

The whole day green is on my mind. First green leaves, smell of spring… Last Sunday I was cleaning dry leaves in my garden and discovered new shoots of garlic and parsley underneath! The garlic smells so nice – a nice addition to green salads. I have to go through my seeds and start planning my vegetable garden already.

Have some green from Yonderboi (I hope this works):

Trivia: I have two green dresses, one green skirt, one green top, one green blouse with short sleeves and one green sweater.

Thursday, 26 March 2009

Don't wait to get in touch...

he job interview went very good today. I hope the gentlemen are as enthusiastic about me as I am about Versteegh. They seem like a very good employer. I even got a lift to the station after the interview (otherwise I would have had to take the bus that comes every half an hour). I (and you) will know the results of both interviews by the end of next week.

A couple of hours ago a friend of mine called. She was worried about me and wanted to know why I lost weight. I have learned that her mother has died a year ago! I was shocked and realised it’s crazy that we both come from Ukraine and both live in The Hague and yet such things can happen in her life without me knowing it :(. Which reminds me that I have to call another friend to whom I owe so much because she is always there for me!

And then I talked to my supplier in India about my order. After we discussed the business I told him about this blog and about the broken relationship. And he said he would pray for me so I would meet someone special soon. And that he will work as hard as he can to make the logo beads work just for me, something to make me happy! I had tears in my eyes and thought that I have so many nice people around me, if I only could be a fraction as nice to them!

Here’s some eye candy for you. I took this photo a couple of years ago in the port of Antwerp for my photography course. I think I should start making photos again. Take another course perhaps.

Trivia: I prefer funky rings and necklaces to bracelets and earrings.

Wednesday, 25 March 2009

Chaos and “Männer sind Schweine”

The interview at NBvP was fine. I had a creative stroke when they asked “What do you think we should do to attract more potential members?” The ladies seemed interested and happy with my answers.

Here’s what I looked like today. I know it’s difficult to see the outfit on this picture, but I enjoyed the process of taking a photo in the mirror. Yes, I do have more frivolous dresses.

Back home I got an MSN conversation with someone who was not on my list. He/she refused to tell their name but kept talking in vague sentences as long as it took me to google their e-mail address. It was a friend who “called” just to share some of his positive energy with me and tell me about this German song called “Männer sind Schweine” :). Men can be very sweet sometimes.

So, I told him my life was ok, just a little chaotic. And then I realised how true this was. If you know me – I am not a messy person. My house is clean, there’s food in the fridge, fruit and snacks, the bills are paid and everything is under control with Photobeads. But my head and heart are a complete chaos, full of contradictory thoughts and emotions. I feel confused, scared and sad, but also happy, confident and full of energy at the same time. What’s going on and how to get out of this?

I took a bath to prepare for the interview at Versteegh tomorrow, but since I had very little information to read through, I have spent most of the time thinking of a jewellery piece to serve as a conversation starter. Now all I have to do is find an outfit that fits the necklace I have in mind ;).

Trivia: my bath is 180x90cm

Tuesday, 24 March 2009

Job interview or What to wear

I have a job interview tomorrow. It’s been long since I had my last job interview – almost two years. I am not worried (yet), but that might of course change tomorrow. The position I am applying for is Innovatiemedewerker (Innovation employee! sounds cool, doesn’t it?) at NBvP – a very old Dutch women’s association. I have just read all the information they sent me and browsed through their website. To me it looks like their members are getting older and the challenge would be to attract younger women as well as women with other cultural backgrounds (other than Dutch that is). Tomorrow I’ll find out how they see it and whether or not I can (and want to) help them. While reading NBvP magazines I have realised that I actually never understood the point of belonging to an organisation because of your gender or native language. So if I get this position it will definitely be a challenge! Anyway the job sounds fun, creative, will not take too much of my time and is just 15 minutes by bike from home. No idea about the salary, though.

What I am worried about now is… what shall I wear for the interview tomorrow? Yeah, I am a woman! Seriously, all my trousers are too large for me now, so no suit. A dress? By the way, tips on how to gain weight without losing the balance are welcome!

For dinner tonight:

Beef Wellington. It's supposed to look like this when it comes out of the oven. Wish me luck!

Question: what jewellery to wear for a job/project interview at an international wholesaler in fashion accessories?
Trivia: my weight is 51kg with my clothes on.


I have nobody to talk to at the end of the day and I need to move more. Dancing is the answer! Unfortunately ballroom classes have started in January, too long ago for me to join. Luckily salsa lessons are just starting. So today (or is it already yesterday?) I went for a free trial lesson with Universalsa.

The level of today’s lesson was a little too high for me, so I might have to take another free lesson this week. But I get the point. Here are some of my observations:
+ you don’t need to bring your own partner with you
+ there are enough men
- you don’t get to choose a partner so half of the time you’ll have to put up with a man who doesn’t know how to lead
+ you move a lot
+ you get a lot of energy
+/- you spend a lot of energy
- you turn a lot (should I take my airsickness pills with me next time?)
+ salsa makes you happy :)

I was talking to Chris outside after the lesson. It’s funny how sometimes you are able to have a very open conversation with somebody you’ve just met!

Question: why did they all keep speaking English to me? Except for Chris who is not Dutch, but does not switch to English.
Trivia: I have never been single and lived on my own at the same time.

Come in, make yourself at home

Every time I come to Kiev I have so many impressions, thoughts I want to share. And every time I am sorry I don’t have a blog to shout it out. And now there is nobody around who needs my attentions (I mean – now I am single) I seem to have loads of free time. So why not start a blog? Will keep me occupied for at least ten minutes a day (yes, a late NY resolution – blog every day) and give me space to cry out when I’m in Kiev.

So come in, make yourself at home and watch the soap!

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