Saturday, 31 October 2009

Affordable Art Fair

Today a friend of mine and I have spent a couple of hours in the labyrinths of the Affordable Art Fair in Amsterdam. Most art was not affordable and I didn’t like pieces I could afford. I do have a ton of postcards which I will use to redecorate my wall.

Friday, 30 October 2009


When I came to the Netherlands in August 1997, my Dutch was near to zero. I checked every single place in Kiev where they were teaching languages – Dutch was not on the menu. I diligently studied my Delftse methode book and when the time came to move to the Netherlands, I knew how to read and could count a little. I checked the available language courses as soon as I arrived, but the one that was useful and affordable had a waiting list. “Put me on it”, – I said. In the meanwhile I was forcing my Dutch dictionary to work overtime trying to decipher messages from the municipality, tax authorities and Alien Police (no kidding, this is the official English translation of Vreemdelingenpolitie). Not to forget the daily GTST sessions.

Learning Dutch in the Netherlands is quite a challenge. With regard to their language Dutch either don’t care whether you learn it or they think you MUST learn it. No one is ever happy you try, and no one has the patience to wait for you while you’re searching for words and trying to tie them together in a sentence. The overall impression is: “We think you HAVE to learn Dutch, but we are not going to help you.” As a motivated foreigner you feel abandoned, sad or pissed off, but never any good. I was pissed off. So much, that my written Dutch is now better than that of an average Dutch. Anyway, I’ve managed to learn this language and I’m quite happy about it. I think that you can never truly learn the country and its people if you don’t speak the language. And you certainly can’t call a place ‘home’ if you don’t speak the language. ‘Home’ is a very different topic, but I am very happy with my Dutch. My mother tongue will always remain Russian, but Dutch is very important to me too. To give you an idea of how important: if I am to start a relationship with a man who is not Dutch, it will be very important to me that he learns (or at least tries to) both Russian AND Dutch.

In the past few months I’ve met several people who live in the Netherlands for years already and who don’t speak Dutch: someone from Spain, someone from Ecuador, a couple of Italians and even someone from Kiev. All these people have spent between four and ten years in the Netherlands and still they refuse to (and cannot properly) speak Dutch. I don’t understand that, but if they choose to live this way who am I to say they shouldn’t? What I was really surprised about is how much this turns me off! What is the reason for this? I don’t think Netherlands is the best country in the world and everyone who comes here should be thankful for being tolerated and therefore over motivated to integrate into the Dutch society as soon as possible. I don’t think these people are stupid – their English proves they are not (if not their education and work positions). Is it some kind of revenge: I’ve gone through this, now you should too?

There was no YouTube back in 1997.

Thursday, 29 October 2009

Things that make my heart leap

“I will stay with you until you find your ideal man.”


There’s an application on Facebook that gives ‘advice’ from Dr. House. Basically it spits random Dr. House quotations at you. Last night I’ve spent half-an-hour pushing the “Get advice” button.

“Does it make a difference what I think? I’m a jerk. The only thing that matters is what you think.“ True! Not because people are jerks (although many are), but because it really doesn’t matter.

“Faith isn’t based on logic and experience.” Rather the opposite.

“There are only two things you ignore: things that aren’t important and things you wish weren’t important, which never works.“ Some people think it does…

“What you don’t confess to is almost always more interesting.” Very true! Especially for this blog.

“I knew you couldn’t stay away. I knew you loved me too much.” ;)

Wednesday, 28 October 2009


Eighteen women and two men in the stockroom. The stockroom is large, but not huge. With 20 people it’s quite crowded. I would call it lively if it weren’t so quiet in there. People don’t talk to each other. They count. Pick a box from the shelf, take all the contents out of it then fill it again counting all the items (necklaces, bracelets, earrings or whatever the contents of the box). Write the counted number on a sticker, put the sticker on the box, put the box back on the shelf. Pick the next box from the shelf… I offered to help, but weren’t allowed to do it at the end – too expensive.

I need to ask something. I stand there between the shelves waiting till Pauline is ready with the box. She sees me and has to struggle to gain her concentration back. Pauline: ‘Forty three, forty four, forty five, forty six… forty six… forty six…’
Me: ‘Forty six.’
Iris (working next to Pauline): ‘Forty six.’
Nel (passing by): ‘Forty six.’
Pauline writes the number on a sticker and puts it on the box. Nel walks away. Iris starts a new box. I may ask the question now.

Monday, 26 October 2009

I love this country!

Tip•pel•zo•ne [Dutch] - (part of) public road where street prostitution is allowed.

I take a bus in order to get from work to Utrecht Central Station. I cannot read on the way, so I usually listen to music and watch people. Same people take the same bus at the same time every day. I know where they get in, what they wear, where they like to sit and how they pass their time while on the bus. When I don’t feel like watching people I sleep or look out of the window. Today I looked out of the window and suddenly noticed something I didn’t see before – a yellow road sign.
I couldn’t make a photo of it, so here’s a sketch. It looked approximately like this -->
This is Netherlands in a nutshell: accepting things as they are and organising them, so that everyone feels as comfortable as possible. I love this country!

P.S. I would like to thank everyone for the moral and financial support and all the warm words with regard to the death of my shoes. Special thanks to everyone who showed up for the funeral early this morning. Your gesture is greatly appreciated.

Secret ingredient

Why is one person able to prepare a delicious meal and another one is not even though both use the same recipe? Why is one person able to dance and another one is not even if they take the same lessons at the same school and make the same steps? What makes good music good music? What makes one person likeable (be the one everyone wants to know and be with) and another one not? You may argue that it’s all a matter of personal taste, but it’s not. There are things everybody likes and those who don’t are freaks.

I’d like to know what secret ingredient makes good stuff so good. Why? Just because.

Alexey Arkhipovskiy – The Way Home. This guy knows the secret ingredient for good music. (Thanks for this discovery to Yura who knows the secret ingredient for good photography.)

Sunday, 25 October 2009


It is with deep regret and sorrow that I announce the sad and untimely death of my favourite pair of shoes on Saturday, October 24, 2009.

I have bought these shoes in the spring sale of 2002 in Breda for €50. For more than seven years these shoes have been a part of my wardrobe providing excellent service in any kind of weather. They have shared four addresses with me in two different cities and starred in the Sasja and Natasha documentary.

At this sad moment I am humbly inviting all friends to join me in prayer and financial support so that I can give my favourite shoes the funeral they deserve and find a decent pair to take their place.

Funeral arrangements:
Viewing – Sunday, October 25, 2009
Wake keeping – Sunday, October 25, 2009 after the viewing
Funeral service – Monday, October 26, 2009

Contact: Sasja

Saturday, 24 October 2009


Shabbat is the seventh day of the Jewish week and a day of rest in Judaism. Shabbat is observed from sundown Friday until the appearance of three stars in the sky on Saturday night. Traditionally, on that day three festive meals are eaten, one of which on Shabbat-eve. It’s considered a festive day, when a person is freed from the regular labours of everyday life, can contemplate the spiritual aspects of life, and can spend time with family. The family consists of a young woman, a cat and tonight also a friend and a friend of that friend (being me). The cat, Oedipus (but female), comes from Israel. The hostess was born and raised in the Netherlands, but all her family lives in Israel. Her friend is Dutch introduced to Judaism by a twist of fate. She sticks to it. The friend of the friend (me) has Jewish father and some family (yes, including Vovka) in Israel, but doesn’t practice Judaism in any way.

So the three of us celebrated Shabbat tonight: listened to the recitation of Kiddush, drinking kosher wine, eating challah from the Turkish shop around the corner and having a meal consisting of kosher products from the bio supermarket at the city centre.

“I was born and raised here, but me and the Netherlands just don’t click together.” “I have only two Dutch friends. But they don’t feel Dutch to me, they are different.” “Israel is not my country. It’s not finished somehow...” It’s a precious experience to be welcome in someone’s house like that. And to be able to discuss Judaism in relation to myself in such a Jewish yet open-minded setting.

After the dinner all three of us headed for the salsa party at our dance school. :) I danced four hours non-stop. My body is still full of adrenaline.

My new music discovery, thanks to Thom Arisman. He has a very interesting music list I need to explore more.

Rouge Rouge

Friday, 23 October 2009


I was looking for a topic for tonight’s post that had nothing to do with men, sex and dancing. In vain.

Wednesday, 21 October 2009

Real man

So there is a Real Man, not to be confused with an Ideal Man. The man I’m talking about now is a real man. He is tall, no overweight, a tattoo around his arm. He has hair...hmm... let’s not talk about that. ;) He is not handsome, but attractive in a way men can be. It has something to do with the eyes or the way he carries himself, or both, I’m not sure. Anyway, he can drive any vehicle from bicycle to a heavy truck, boat included somewhere inbetween. He doesn’t need a car or a million of fancy gadgets to validate himself as a man. He doesn’t need to prove his manhood to anyone. Oh yes, he does talk about cars, he’s a man after all. He likes sports and not only on TV, no, he tried every sport possible and enjoyed them all.

He doesn’t make compliments. He doesn’t know how to do it, he feels awkward saying he likes anything about you. He likes sex. He doesn’t need to know a woman’s name to have sex with her and enjoy it. He knows what he wants and how he wants it. He goes for it, but won’t ever push or cross a border you set. He never argues with a woman. Never! Ok, work might be an exception. Oh, he is Dutch, he doesn’t mind having a woman as his boss or having his wife/girlfriend/lover earning more than he does. He will open doors for you and help you put your coat on (provided you’re female). He appreciates it greatly if you look good and wear fancy clothes, but he probably cannot describe any of them if you ask him. He simply doesn’t remember, deal with it.

Women adore him. Most women do. Maybe all of them. And yes, I like him too. Boy, I do! I’m just a woman after all…

Here’s some eye candy from Vorontsov. Just to be clear: I din’t mean him when I wrote this post, but the guy can pilot a plane, how manly is that!


Vanochtend kwam ik op Den Haag Centraal. Te laat, veel te laat. Om vervolgens te ontdekken dat de treinen naar Utrecht niet rijden. Zoek het uit. Ga via Leiden. Of iets. Ok, dan doe ik dat maar. Zucht... In Leiden blijkt dat ik nog een kwartier op de trein naar Utrecht moet wachten. Heeft iemand gemerkt hoe koud het was vanochtend? Ik ga echt niet een kwartier op het perron staan. Dan maar even bij Ako naar binnen. En daar bij de top 10 boeken zag ik het liggen. Een rood boekje. “Taal is zeg maar echt mijn ding” van Paulien Cornelisse. Omdat taal inderdaad echt mijn ding is, zeg maar, werd ik heel nieuwsgierig naar de inhoud. Binnen drie minuten stond ik weer buiten, EUR 12,50 lichter en een boek zwaarder.

Ik geloof echt dat al die zogenaamde storingen bij de NS eigenlijk geen storingen zijn, maar een deal tussen de NS en de winkelexploitanten op stations. 12,50! Echt!

Gelukkig compenseert het boek het merendeel van mijn leed van vandaag. Hiermee bijvoorbeeld: ”...het ding is groter geworden. Het ding omvat eigenlijk het hele leven. [...] Het ding is niet alleen je passie of je favoriete bezigheid. Een ding kan ook vervelend zijn, want er hangt serieusheid omheen. [...] ‘Ding’ kan trouwens ook gebruikt worden om een serieuze mening juist af te zwakken: ‘Nee, ik vind vreemdgaan niet oké, maar dat is mijn ding, hoor.’“
Of dit over ‘I Amsterdam’: “Als ze in Bennebroek nou eens de slogan ‘Ik Bennebroek’ zouden aannemen. Slaat ook nergens op, maar klinkt wel een stuk sympathieker. (Of in Waspik: Ik Waspik. Hè wat flauw, moet het weer zo plat? Ja zo plat moet het.)”

Nog een leuk muziekje voor het slapengaan (of heb ik dit al weleens laten horen?):

Tuesday, 20 October 2009

Luxury problems

“You may not complain, many people would like to be in your position!” I’ve heard this more than once. “Don’t complain about your weight, everyone wants to lose weight and be like you.” Why is it ok for people to complain if they think they’re overweight, but not ok to complain if you’re underweight? There are too many men who want more from me than I am prepared to give. “Oh, that’s a luxury problem. Would you rather have men ignore you and think you’re ugly and boring?” Well, no.

I would rather be rich and healthy than poor and ill. But the problem with problems is: you usually do not get to choose and they don’t dissolve after being compared to greater problems of people on the other side of the world. Of course, I’d rather have a men plague than suffer from hunger. Or have my house destroyed by a tsunami. Or lose my family in a war. Or be raped in Darfur. Or be born with AIDS. Or… But the point is – I live in a country that is not at war, where tsunamis don’t happen and where there is no hunger. Netherlands has other problems: cancer, asthma, weird allergies and obesity. And just like a girl in Darfur cannot chose whether she’d be raped by a gang of soldiers or have asthma, I cannot chose whether I’d have men annoying me with their advances or have my house vanished in a storm. Obviously I would have chosen for the men, but I didn’t have any choice. And this theoretic exercise in pain comparison doesn’t make my problem dissolve or even become smaller.

Apparently, if your problem is not the same as the problem of the majority it may easily be dismissed by the majority. I have to be very careful in order not to lose weight and have too many men wanting more from me – luxury problems.

There’s one more thing that’s bugging me: why do strawberries and tomatoes taste the same in this country?

Monday, 19 October 2009

Love Life

The deadline for solving my Love Life puzzle was Saturday at 23:59. By that time I have received three right answers from four people. You can imagine how easy it was to choose whom to invite for the dinner. ;) There where more people who submitted right answers, but those are close friends for whom I cook regularly already. Believe it or not, I also have received several wrong answers. Out of curiosity and for the sake of gender balance I decided to reward the person who sent in the first wrong answer. I will have to borrow a couple of chairs from my neighbours. :) All the winners can expect an e-mail or a phone call from me next week. All the rest - do solve the puzzle anyway. It will reveal some facts from my love life and who knows, I might decide to reward you somehow anyway. ;)

I had a conversation with a friend today about relationships, sex and cheating. We both agree that you find the best relationships while you are not looking for one. I was just wondering why it’s so easy to get a one-night-stand with someone you don’t know at all. Why would people want to have sex with a total stranger? My friend couldn’t explain this phenomenon. Another question was: if you just have a sex relationship with someone and both of you don’t want to build up anything serious, do you still owe fidelity to your sex partner? My friend said you do. I have to think about it. Another thing I have to think about is: what mix of ingredients makes me jealous in a relationship?

I would like to have a bachata course. Maybe next season. But for now – have a look at this fantastic video! I’ve seen it a couple of years ago on TV, but didn’t catch the name. And today a friend has published it on his Facebook wall. Thank you Yves!

Sunday, 18 October 2009

Ukraine Day

“I am sorry, I missed the bus. I’ll be there 15 minutes later.” “Finally I get to kiss you!” “Where are the models?” “Shall we move the chairs to the other side and put some tables here?” “I am sorry, I forgot to make you a badge.” “Nice shoes!” “Does Luc van den Brande speak while the fashion show takes place in the hall next door?” “We need to eat before the show, otherwise we will collapse on the catwalk.” “How is it going here?” “Let me introduce you to the sponsor.” “When will the lights be installed? We need to test the lights!” “May I have a lunch ticket?“ “The lights consume too much electricity. You cannot use them.” “Guys, the music is too loud. We cannot hear the speakers.” “We need to change, but there are too many men in here…” “The concert starts at 17:00 sharp.” “Would you please help me hand out the flowers to all contributors?” “What? You understand Belgians? You got further than I. I am still working on that!” “Where is Ilona?” “Who is staying where?” “I am not going to arrange the host families anymore in the future!” “We need to clear the room.” “We are not joining you for dinner.” “Shall we order a mix of dishes to share?” “It was nice meeting you. See you next time. Bye!” “Good night! See you tomorrow.”

It was a successful day with a lot of inspiration for the next time!
I hope someone will share their pictures.

Friday, 16 October 2009

getting ready...

...for the Ukraine Day tomorrow.


Tonight I visited Arnon’s reading at Wageningen University, part of his guest lectureship at that university. Before there was a dinner with his and my friends, but without him. After there were drinks and snacks. He shook hands, greeted friends, acquaintances, publishers, old girlfriends, new girlfriends, CPA’s and his mother. I have met a man who has a complete archive of all Arnon’s works and Arnon’s accountant.

I cannot afford so much shopping! Maybe I should just give in and accept the fact that I am arnonised?

Thursday, 15 October 2009


This morning I was reading a newspaper on the train and came across an article about Slovz. Slovz are a fancy name for valenki (see the Timeline). They are going to be the new Uggs – everyone will wear them this winter – hopefully. “I need to get me a pair of those”, I thought. Russian = good. I have to support this kind of initiatives. I thought of Saratov winters with mountains of snow. You step in the snow and sink up to your knees. And when you try to get your foot out, you inevitably leave the shoe (valenok) behind. So you stand there with one leg half buried in snow still and another one in the air, shoeless, covered in a wool sock made by your grandma. And although this happens all the time, somehow it’s still extremely funny. You stand there, balancing on one foot, laughing, laughing, laughing...

I looked out of the window. The train was passing the fields somewhere between Gouda and Utrecht. Most of the time morning mist is covering the fields creating a spectacular view. But today the picture was stunning. The mist was thick and absolutely white, covering the fields completely. It looked like… snow! For a moment I had a flashback: endless fields, the train is moving along and all you see is snow and lonely lampposts - one... two… three… This “snow landscape” outside, memories of valenki, the music on my i-pod gave me this complicated feeling: dark, cold, lonely, home…

Ivan Kupala - Molodost

P.S. The deadline for solving my Love Life puzzle is Saturday 24:00. Start NOW!

Wednesday, 14 October 2009


for the fashion show of Ilona Cootz during the Ukraine Day (OekraïneDag) next Saturday (17 October 2009). We had some cancellations and now we are calling around like crazy to get more models and two make-up artists. No modelling experience is required, just the right size (175cm to 180cm tall, size 34/36) and the ability to walk straight on high heels. Know anyone who suits these criteria? PLEASE let me know: I’d be sooooo grateful!

Tuesday, 13 October 2009


Please make smaller steps.
Try not to push me. I will come along don’t worry.
Take care, there is a couple behind us.
Please make smaller steps.
Are you in a hurry?
Stop turning your head around. I’ll do the looking behind your back.
Please make smaller steps.
Try to relax your shoulder and keep it down.
Don’t stop, go on, I will adjust.
Smaller steps, please!
The rock movements are supposed to be very subtle, we are rocking too much now.
You are not supposed to pull me with your right hand. Just give direction.
Could you please make smaller steps?

I think he will leave me soon...

Monday, 12 October 2009


There was a spider in my bra drawer. I have too many knickers so I need separate drawers for knickers and bras. Anyway, I was getting ready for tonight’s dancing lesson and was choosing a bra to put on under my dress when a spider crawled from underneath the bras and settled on the side of the drawer. My drawers are made of white fabric and I could see the spider very well in all detail. I stood there and watched it sit. It was not one of those very tiny spiders you could call sweet if they weren’t spiders. It was also not one of those light ones with very long thin legs (I think there’s even a special name for them in Dutch). The spider wasn’t large and fat either. It’s proportions seemed so right, almost human. And it just sat there not trying to get away. It had no business to attend to, just chill on the side of my bra drawer.

With a black bra in my hand still I made a step backwards unable to take my eyes off the spider. As if I could nail it down to the side of the drawer thus preventing it from escaping. I headed for the vacuum cleaner. I had to be fast. If I came back and saw no spider in the drawer I would have to unravel all the drawers until I found it. No dancing. I took the vacuum cleaner to the bedroom. The spider still sat at the same spot. It hasn’t moved while I was setting up the vacuum cleaner next to the drawers stand, plugged it in and put the nozzle (?) inside the drawer. It was still sitting still on the side of the drawer when I pushed the button and the next moment it wasn’t there anymore.

The whole operation felt like a murder because of the spider’s features and because it wasn’t moving around trying to hide. I even felt guilty for a second. Vacuum cleaner is a perfect murder weapon: clean, fast and if someone shows up attracted by the noise you can always pretend you’re hoovering the floors.

Slow Train Soul - In The Black Of Night

Sunday, 11 October 2009

Love Life

Yesterday was a special day for this blog: I posted 200 posts since March 2009. The whole blog thing is still new to me and I would like to mark this milestone with something special. And this special would be my Love Life Puzzle for you to solve. I’ve been working on it for months now. I needed help form a couple of friends and even my father, but finally the puzzle is ready. All the men and relationships mentioned in this puzzle are real. I mention only the first letters of their first names to protect their privacy. To solve this puzzle you may (and must) rely on what you know about me. You may also make assumptions based on your prejudices (or common sense if you like) and use any knowledge you have about the men mentioned in the puzzle. I will randomly chose three persons among the authors of correct answers. For these lucky three I will cook a dinner at my place in The Hague. I can only host three people because I have only four chairs. :) The men mentioned in the puzzle may not participate. Enjoy!

My love life has been quite adventurous over the past 18 years. For the purpose of this puzzle I’ve chosen 6 men with whom I had very different relationships – from a long-term involvement to a romantic encounter without sex and some relationships in-between. Here we are talking about two Ukrainians of my age, one Lebanese three years older than I, one Turkish five years older than I, one Dutch two years younger than I and one Dutch six years younger than I.

One of the two Dutch is blond. H is from Lebanon and is not Muslim. I had a four-months relationship with the only Muslim in this group (he was the only Muslim in my entire love life so far).

A Dutch guy whom I met at work is two metres tall and is not blond. All men can cook (I’ve been extremely lucky on that!) except for J.

The one whom I met during acting classes is not attracted to men, although he could probably play that on stage. Yes, I’d had an affaire with a bisexual man. He has brownish hair and is not tall.

I used the mother tongue of the men to communicate with four of the six guys. I spoke English with Ş who is circumcised.

V is Dutch who likes my green dress. He forgot our date, tried to ignore me, and was lying about his relationship until two weeks before his wedding. He’s also the only guy on the list I didn’t have sex with (which I’m quite happy about).

I had occasional sex relationship with two guys of which one is S and one has black hair. S is bisexual, he can play guitar.

A is Ukrainian and works as a judge. The Ukrainian guys are not tall. I met both of them through my studies. Both Ukrainians and one of the Dutch men wore glasses at the time of our relationship.

The guy I went to school with had plans for a music carrier, but went to the technical university instead. I did all the cooking in my 3 year relationship with the blond guy.

My Lebanese neighbour studied civil aviation and opened his own restaurant after he graduated from the university. The guys with facial hair didn’t wear glasses.
I didn’t want to have children with the guys with whom I had occasional sex even though the sex was really good.

If you sum up my age and the age difference between me and all the men except the one I wanted to have children with you will get 41 – almost like the answer to life, universe and everything.

And here’s the question: What can you tell about the guy I wanted to have children with except for the fact that he didn’t have black hair, didn’t wear glasses, didn’t study law and never worked with me?

Send your answers to Please do not post them in comments.The deadline is 17 October 2009, 23:59 Amsterdam time. You have one week to solve the puzzle: ready, steady, GO!

Saturday, 10 October 2009


Yesterday’s post has brought 42 visitors to my blog. Usually there are 20 to 25 people coming every day. Sex sells! I find this a little peculiar. I was wondering why people are so reluctant to speak freely about sex while feeling so attracted by it. Where would marketing be without taboos?

Today was rather lonely and uneventful, but I’ve managed to get nearly all tasks off my list. Tomorrow I will make an apple pie and work on my puzzle. I am determined to finish and publish it by the end of the day.

Birthday by Tosca – perfect lounge music:

Friday, 9 October 2009


Originally, a one-night stand referred to a single night theatre performance, usually by a guest group on tour. Nowadays we are still talking about a performance, but of a very different kind. Last Friday I met a guy at a party in Brussels. We were chatting, drinking, flirting and inevitably sex became the topic of the conversation. I said I didn't mind one-night-stands. To me, sometimes a one-night-stand is the best thing to do. Actually I thought this statement of mine would lead to more flirting from his side (not that he didn’t flirt enough), but I got a very different reaction. The guy told me he was not in favour of one-night-stands, that sex is something special and he doesn’t like to share his body just like that, blah, blah, blah. He kept on repeating he wasn’t judging or anything, but he was so fiercely defending his point of view as if to convince me I should never do it again. And I didn’t even argue! For a moment I wanted to make a very disappointed face and ask “So, we are not going to your place tonight?”. Then watch him struggle. But I behaved, didn’t do it.

Tonight I was talking to a (male) friend of mine and he told me he didn’t like to have sex for the sake of it. Sex is an exchange of emotions, and if that’s not there, he’d rather not have sex at all. What’s going on? Have all men become sensitive while I wasn’t looking?

Wednesday, 7 October 2009


I was cleaning my front yard when a neighbour girl “joined” me.
“From what country are you?”
“Ukraine. Do you know where it is?”
“Yes…” The girl didn’t sound very convincing, though.
“Do you know where Poland is?”
“Yes. And Ukraine is before it.”
“Ukraine lies between Poland and Russia.”
“Ah, I know! It’s the same as Turkey, but then a little higher.”
“Exactly! It’s on the other side of the Black Sea.”
“How long is it flying?”
“Something like three or three-and-a-half hours.”
“The same as Turkey!”

It’s funny how we use things that are important to us as a reference point for all other things in life.

It’s been raining the whole day. I was lucky to get out to the Russian shops and to the supermarket for some food and stay dry. The rest of the day was grey and rainy. The summer is definitely over now.


Yesterday Arnon (oops, I’ll have to go shopping again to preserve the balance!) blogged about cat cloning. And I thought: since we clone anyway, why not clone popular people? For instance a woman whom many men admire could be cloned so more men could enjoy her company. If we clone popular people the ratio popular versus unpopular will change in favour of popular people. Will we help evolution this way?

Public transportation personnel of The Hague, Rotterdam and Amsterdam planned a strike for tomorrow. Luckily it was forbidden by a court decision. It’s going to rain tomorrow and I have some activities downtown.

Still in dancing mood: Club des Belugas – What is Jazz (Tape Five Remix)

Tuesday, 6 October 2009


During one of my first visits to the Netherlands John took me to the Efteling. We went by bike from his parents. After some forty minutes  biking he pointed at a building and said: “This is my school. I know the way by heart because I rode my bike here and back five times a week for several years.” “How did you go when it was raining?”, - I asked. “I was biking. Rain or no rain.” At that point I thought that Dutch parents are very cruel to their children if they make them bike to school forty minutes one way in any weather. I still cannot imagine I could do this to my child. I thought about this today when I had to bike home twenty minutes in the rain from The Hague Central Station. I had a raincoat on which would have protected me from getting soaking wet if I haven’t fell from my bike because the wheels slipped on the smooth tiles in front of the Municipality. Fortunately I have reacted very fast and haven’t hurt myself, but I didn’t enjoy the experience.

I went to a ballroom lesson today again. It’s very inspiring. Here’s a high level cha-cha-cha. Just let me be clear: this is not my ambition.

Sunday, 4 October 2009


A short summary of my weekend: John’s design apartment rocks. Mateja’s apartment is very nice too. If you have Erwan as a friend – you are very lucky. Dod is a very nice shop. Barbara is a perfect shopping partner (and a very nice person)! I have to try swing.

We went to a restaurant on Friday night and this is the bill we received -->
The food was good.

Nadia: “Kaikki valta Neuvostoliitto!”
Oodie: “?!”

Friday, 2 October 2009


John has moved to a fancy design apartment last week. The pictures looked great, I wonder whether the reality is as great as the pictures. I am going to check that out tonight. Brussels, here I come! Cuba party, cooking, shopping, housewarming party, another party (?). I won’t get bored during this weekend in Brussels. I just need to make sure I have some energy left for the dance lesson on Sunday. Oh, and just to break all the privacy laws and norms: Jeroen will join me in Brussels tomorrow. ;)

And if we are talking about design anyway – I want these for my birthday! (all of them!) -->

Thursday, 1 October 2009


Today I left early from work to be able some other work at home. I was waiting for the bus when a car stopped next to me. The car looked expensive, the driver – a man in his fifties – too.
The man: “Do you know the way around here?”
Me: “Very little. What are you looking for?”
The man named a street.
Me: “I am sorry, I don’t know where it is.”
The man: “I thought somebody who mastered the language so well, would be likely to know the way here too. Where are you from originally?”
Me: “I am from Ukraine.”
The man: “Your Dutch is very very good! I think it’s extremely difficult for someone with a Slavic language as mother tongue to learn Dutch so well.”
Me: “No, not at all. Dutch is a very easy language. Bu thanks for the compliment.”
The man: “Do you work here? What kind of work do you do?”
Me: “I am a business consultant.”
The man: “Me too, I am a fiscal law consultant. You are very beautiful. How old are you? Let me take a guess. 28?”
Me: “It’s seven years too little. I am 35. Thank you.”
The man: “That’s awesome, isn’t it? Do you live somewhere in the neighbourhood?”
Me: “No, I live far away from here.”
The man: “If you lived in the neighbourhood, I could have offered you a lift home. Do you need to be at the Utrecht Central Station?”
Me: “Yes, but I prefer to take the bus.”
The man: “I don’t mind bringing you there!”
Me: “I know. No, thank you.”
The man: “Good bye.”
I wonder what would happen if I stepped into his car.

A conversation I had not long ago: “How old are you?” ”Too old.” “Too old for what?” “I am 51.” “Too old for what?” “Nothing. I am still perfectly capable of everything.” Men! ;)

A chat with Jeroen today: Jeroen: “My status is about my presentation for my course next Friday.” Me: “OK. I am going to sleep now. Talk to you later.” Jeroen: “You are going to bed at 16:00?!” Me: “Yes. Long story.” Jeroen: “What is his name?” :)


Two weeks ago I asked you to help me decide what to do with my hair – let it grow or not. I want to thank the 26 dedicated readers who took a moment to cast their vote. If you know me well enough, you know I will do with my hair what I want. I am not likely to follow any advice in this field. The fact that you knowing that voted anyway makes your vote even more precious. I would like to say special thanks to those four people who voted “No”. I don’t know about your reasons, but to me this sounds like support of my decision to cut my hair short. I am very curious who these people are. I would love to send you a real “Thank you” card. So if you feel like revealing yourself, please do! All five people who love me no matter what (including my mother) – thanks a lot too. I do feel loved and would love to send you a real card too.

For the 17 people who voted “Yes” – thank you very much for voting. Thanks a lot for not sabotaging the poll results and voting seven times from five different computers and three different browsers in four different locations! No real cards for you, but... This may cheer you up – I decided to LET MY HAIR GROW!

By the end of the year my hair will be approximately this long -->
Thanks again, everyone!

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