Wednesday, 31 March 2010


On my Facebook newsfeed: B. and Віктор Янукович are now friends. • Comment • Like • Add as Friend

Wow! Yanukovych has an FB account that's actually up to date with lots of friends. He (or whoever maintains the account) likes to know who watched his profile and has some photos in his Albums. Even though we have two mutual friends I am not very keen on becoming friends with Viktor Yanukovych. But I was wondering whether other leaders (like Medvedev for example) accept friends. There are a couple of dozen Dmitry Medvedev profiles, but all of them are a fraud. I wonder, does Facebook have a limit on how many friends you can have connected to a regular profile - friends, not fans?

Tuesday, 30 March 2010


Last weekend was loaded with culture - very inspiring. The not so ideal man and I went to see a performance at the Royal Theatre on Saturday night. The performance turned out to be somewhat disappointing, but the ambiance of the theatre has compensated a little. We also made an attempt to enjoy some modern live music performance at the Supermarkt afterwards, but with little success.  We had to use Häagen-Dazs Belgian Chocolate ice-cream to make sure the evening ended well.

Sunday afternoon we managed to gather a group of five people to visit the Gemeentemuseum  for the Kandinsky and Der Blaue Reiter and the Haute Couture exhibitions. We spent almost four hours at the museum and my head is still spinning trying to digest all the visual information.

After I checked with a couple of friends whether their family and beloved ones are safe in Moscow I thought back of my many trips in the Moscow metro.  Lubianka - one of the stations attacked - leads not only to the former KGB building, but also to one of the largest book stores in Moscow. My mother and I went there less than a year ago...

On my way home I walked past the CDA headquarters when a couple of cars stopped in front of the building and the Dutch Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende stepped out of one of them and headed towards the door surrounded by the bodyguards. I was the only one walking past at that moment. There was no one else around except for a man who was occupied with his car some hundred meters further down the street. Even though Balkenende was surrounded by the bodyguards, the whole setting seemed so peaceful.  I was struck by the poignant contrast between this relaxed, almost serene scene and the news from Moscow...

Sunday, 28 March 2010


He is funny, sweet (although not always) and has a well paid job. He drives a big car and has a very big, very well decorated house. He is very clean. Even my house becomes cleaner when he comes. He has two lovely kids and he is a very loving and caring father. He can dance and he cooks deliciously. This sounds like an ideal man. But he is not.

Off to the Gemeentemuseum for the Kandinsky and Der Blaue Reiter and the Haute Couture exhibitions.

Saturday, 27 March 2010


It's just another ordinary day, nothing really happened. The whole week has been just an ordinary week. Nothing strange, nothing new, nothing sad or happy. I spent this week pondering about my writing. I've started this blog to be able to shout out when I needed to (for example when I am in Kiev) and to have a regular exercise in writing.

Blogging turned out to take up much more time than estimated ten minutes a day. I spend an average of one hour and twenty minutes for each post. It seems long for such short pieces, but writing and rewriting takes time. Looking for the images and music takes time too. Besides, some posts take hours to write thus bringing the average time up.

The week of thinking hasn't given much results. I know I enjoy writing. I know I would like to spend more time writing. I'm not sure I've made a progress. I hope my writing has become better because of the daily exercise. I still need to reread all my posts to see whether there is improvement in quality. I am not going to ask you whether I should keep on blogging or not. Many people told me it'd be pity if I stopped. So I am going to carry on. But I feel the need to move to the next level and I'm not sure what that level is. I want to write more. Obviously, I cannot blog more than once a day so I have to start writing something (or somewhere) else.
Surprisingly enough thinking about my blog has led to some other conclusions. Such as - I am happy. I am in a great uncertainty about my next job (haven't found one yet) and I am constantly lacking money. The state of my love affairs is... let's say complicated. I see so many people and have such a busy social life that I hardly have time for myself. Yesterday was the first evening since last week Thursday that I had no appointments. I hardly ever have time to sleep and weigh too much. I am still coughing (way less, but it's not completely over yet). This all doesn't sound positive. But I am happy. I am not stressed and that makes it possible to enjoy the freedom, the friendships, the romance and my writing. Maybe it's just that time of the year. I don't care.

Anyway, thousands of questions have gathered in my head and I would like to ask some of them here, but that still needs a lot of thinking. So I'll leave them for some other time, when I'm ready. Yesterday I made a playlist on YouTube with almost all the music I used on this blog. If there's a song you liked, but you don't remember the name and the artist - check the playlist. No need to browse the blog anymore. There's a little player on the right side of this blog with all the songs and a link to YouTube.

I'm off to bed now hoping we can put the stupid fight about road directions behind us.

We always sing along when this song is on in the car:

Duffy - Mercy

Friday, 26 March 2010


I've just spent some five hours browsing through my blog to give you some statistics as a mean of celebration of its first anniversary. There is more work to be done, but for now - catch this:

In one year I have posted 359 times. I have skipped a couple of times because I was travelling, had a headache or had some other serious excuse.
I have posted 40 photos of (some parts of) myself.
I have shared more than 100 songs or other music compositions.
I have shared my impressions on 5 theatre plays and 5 books.
I have posted 28 eye candy photos taken by me.
There were about 10 polls and assignments on this blog during the course of the year.

I have repaired most broken music files. I have made a play list on YouTube with all the music. Will share that tomorrow. Off to bed now!

Wednesday, 24 March 2010


He: "Do you have kids?"
Me: "No."
He: "Do you want kids?"
Me: "Is this a job offer?"

Tuesday, 23 March 2010


Biotex Echfa Wit (what a strange name!) is the best way to make white clothes radiant white after they'd been coloured or yellowed. Biotex Echfa Wit also works perfectly as a remedy for spots of tea, coffee or even wine! I wax lyrical on Biotex because it seems to have saved my Stop&Stare top. I am checking it every fifteen minutes and it becomes whiter and whiter every time!


I did some laundry today. Just light stuff on only 30 degrees. The temperature is so low - nothing ever goes wrong. Except for tonight. My carrot pink shawl has coloured the rest of the things pink!

Few things didn't suffer: two pyjamas that were pink to start with and my  Diesel knickers (true quality!). The rest turned out to be pink. Knickers, socklets, a bra. Well those may stay pink. The
knickers are actually quite cute in pink. I don't use white socklets outside home anymore, so they are not a problem either. I'll have to replace the bra, though. Oh well. A blouse and two tops are pink now as well. Which sucks in different gradations. The blouse still looks fine even though it's pinkish now. Its new colour matches the colour of the fabric ornament, so probably no one will notice. One of the tops doesn't look fine at all, but I can miss it. The problems is my new (worn just one time) Stop&Stare top that I bought in Brussels. It's just not cool in pink. :(

I have launched a rescue and put all the pink stuff in water with loads of Vanish - all in vain. I propose a slight modification of the name for this product - Vainish! I'll try to get some Biotex on my way home tomorrow. Hope for a miracle. I cannot use any aggressive whitener on that top because of the print.

I am so upset now!!!

Monday, 22 March 2010

Nothing to wear

I've just spent 45 minutes deciding what to wear to work tomorrow. I am certainly not going to wear something I wore last week Thursday. I also don't want to repeat the Wednesday outfit. I threw something together and decided the colour scheme was way to outdated - can't wear that! It was getting late and I thought I'd just wear the same combination as I did for the dinner at friends' place Saturday evening. But that involves the same t-shirt and the same necklace as on Wednesday. Moreover, I'd have to wear those high heel shoes that give me feet pain. My feet do need a break. So I decided to use a combination I'd already tried several times long ago. But the sleeves of the black tunic are too wide and wouldn't fit into my jacket. I have a coat with wide sleeves, but it's too cold for that still. So I put the t-shirts and the tunic back in their drawers. And that's when I saw a white jacket I haven't worn for a while. I put it on, found a pair of trousers to go with it and a scarf with fringe. Nice, I can wear this with my fancy Moscow shoes. Hmm, what if I try the black chequered sweater instead of the white jacket? That looked nice too and that's when I stopped. While writing this I also thought about the combination I would wear to work on Tuesday. I hope I can still remember that by the end of the day. Tomorrow evening is going to be too busy, I won't have 45 minutes to spend in front of the mirror.

I thought I'd give you an update on my hair, this is the result of my experiments with the camera.

Sunday, 21 March 2010


On March 24 I will celebrate one year of blogging. Every celebration here has been marked by some extra interaction. I would like to stick to the tradition, but I don't know how yet. Just come back in a couple of days and see.

I would like to mark one year of blogging with some elaborate statistics. It means I'll be intensively clicking and scrolling through my blog in the coming days. I also would like to look at the quality of my posts and maybe determine which of them are the best. So I will do a lot of rereading.

After I've clicked, scrolled and read the blog anew I would also like to decide about its future.

I'm off to bed now - will start rereading tomorrow.

Friday, 19 March 2010


My body is still impressed by the sweet burning inside, lazily enjoying the soft glow. This is one of those rare moments when my mind is resting, just following my body and reliving the moments of the past half-an-hour one by one. No hurry. No problems. No thinking. The energy we released moments ago is still hanging above the bed. It’s not too cold or too warm – just perfect. His warm hand caresses the skin on my back. I feel and listen.

That’s when I hear him sigh. He breathes in, holds his breath and breathes out again. He usually does this when he wants to talk about our relationship. He tries to get comfortable within the space I’ve given him. It’s tough because I haven’t given him any space. I set the rules in this game and he has no choice, but play along.

“I want to tell you something that might upset you.” He gives me a tender kiss on my right shoulder. I turn over to him and look into his eyes. He looks very serious, almost scared. Another sigh. “Tell me.” “I lived in Ukraine for two years” – he says. This is new. He had several weeks to tell me that, but he never did. Well, this explains his ability to read Russian. I am not shocked. I am not angry. I don’t feel betrayed. In fact, to my surprise, I don’t feel any kind of emotion at all. I just don’t know what to make of it. “Why haven’t you told me before?” “I don’t know! Honestly…” Silence.

“There’s something else.” He sighs again. I wait. “I am not 33. I’m 35.” Now I am surprised! “?!?!?!” “I was looking at you on the dance floor and I thought you were about 27 years old. No older than 29 anyway. I thought you wouldn’t want to go out with me because I might be too old for you. So I lied. I was very embarrassed when you told you were older.” I couldn’t help but laugh.

He gets up and walks away to have a smoke. I still lay in bed thoughtless, emotionless. “What do you think?’- he’s back. “I don’t know.” “Do you think I’m an asshole?” “I think you’re a dork.” “Yes, I certainly am a dork!”

I still don’t know what to think about it.

Thursday, 18 March 2010


This morning I stepped out of the train, got up the stairs from the platform to the hall of the Utrecht Central Station to find this:

These people are cleaners. Trade unions were negotiating for months to get better salaries and secondary working conditions (such as Dutch language courses and better rest places) for cleaners, but had no success. Now it's time for a strike. I wonder whether these people really sleep at the station. Normally that's forbidden and police takes care it doesn't happen.

The cleaners have torn up free newspapers and spread them over the floor of the station to show how inconvenient it can be if the station is not clean. This is how the station floor looked like in the morning. -->
When I passed on my way back home in the evening there were at least twice as much newspapers. I hope they'll get what they want.

Wednesday, 17 March 2010


Tiger Lilies - always so refreshing!

Rest in peace Florian...

We met only once. It was during the networking part of a trade mission on biomass in Kiev, November last year. It was friendship at first sight. Later during the reception in the evening I had a chance to ask him dozens of questions about how and most importantly why a young man from the Netherlands ends up in Ukraine. It's not often I get to meet young people who moved from the Netherlands to Ukraine and not the other way around. I still had hundreds of questions. I was looking forward to a coffee or a lunch together during my vacation in Kiev next May.

But then on 5th of January this appeared on my FB News Feed: "Florian Van Dijck has been operated in Kyiv and now moved to the Netherlands for further treatment. Leave your messages for Florian here, Masha & family will make sure he receives your messages. He needs your support." I wished him to get better soon, but couldn't get much sense out of this message. I was checking his profile every day, hoping there would be more information, but in vain. Finally, some three weeks later I have sent him a message: "What's up with you? The messages on your wall are a little scary. They make me worry. I hope you're not incurably ill. Is it possible to visit you? Get well soon!"

The same day I received a reply:
" Hi Sasha, Unfortunately I am incurably ill and according to the doctors I only have a few weeks. I disagree and I am now in treatment in a hospital in Austria. I have gastric cancer with metastases.
Thank you for all your messages, I don't give up and think the treatment here can help. Please forgive me if I don't answer your following messages, then probably something went wrong somewhere along the way...
It was nice to get to know you Sasha!
Groetjes, Florian"

That's all I have now. No friend anymore, no answers to my questions. He would have turned 28 in a little more than two weeks. I just hope there is some kind of a greater meaning in his death. I hope his death makes this world a little better somehow. He was too great of a person to be wasted just like that...

Monday, 15 March 2010

Too much

Today I've suddenly realised that Catholic and Orthodox Easter have the same date this year - 4th of April. Too bad, because usually I choose which date suits me better and celebrate that Easter with decorated eggs and Easter bread. This year I wanted to make many small Easter breads (cup-cake like) to give to my neighbours and friends. Too bad I can't choose a date this year, because I'll be quite busy right around Easter time.

My friend and I are organising our monthly get-friends-together activity. This time we are going to visit two exhibitions at the Gemeentemuseum on 28th of March. A museum visit is easier to organise than a dinner or a brunch, but it still needs some organising. We've invited nearly 30 people, hoping at least half will show up. And while we are chasing the participants for the March event we have already started preparing the next month - my friend's birthday on 11th of April. She has 23 people on her list so far and we'd like to do something special. So again - planning and organising.

I'm also craving for a theatre play trying to squeeze one in between all the events and dancing evenings. Luckily that's only about two people, so organising is a lot easier.

Time for good music (thanks, Sueli!):


"I puzzle around with three women. It's complicated, but fun too!" - my friend was quite excited. - "What's new with you?"

"Well, this morning, I woke up, did the dishes, cleaned the bathroom sink, drank tea and left."

"From whose place?"

Sunday, 14 March 2010


 So this was the Stadsbal last night in the Atrium of the City Hall of The Hague.  A ball is about dressing up and shining, so I had my “cha-cha-cha” dress on. It has lots of fringe all around the dress which makes all my turns look spectacular. I was very satisfied with the result - enough compliments. Dancing in such a dress proves to be quite comfortable too - I will certainly wear it more often. It's a pity we've forgotten the camera, so I hope the organisers have caught us on film and will share the pictures any time soon.

Even though I didn't get to dance the ballroom part because my dance partner couldn't come, I still enjoyed the party. The ball was fantastic and I was trying to figure out what made it different from all the other big salsa parties. People dress up, there is a live band and a show, the music and the floor is good - all the ingredients one is very likely to meet at any large salsa parties. What's different is dancing space - lots and lots of space - and good air-conditioning. This means no bumping into each other, no scars on your feet and the possibility to make big moves and complicated shines (not that I do those, but still). This also means that you clothes are not saturated with sweat - a huuuge plus.

Too bad Stadsbal is only once a year...

Rodry-Go Comenzo la Rumba

Saturday, 13 March 2010

Body care

I spend about 6 minutes (average) a day brushing my teeth. 45 minutes a day are spent in a shower. 15 - brushing and styling my hair. I dedicate some 45 minutes a week to my nails and 1,5 hours every two weeks to my feet. 45 more minutes a week are for depilation of all sorts. Care for my face and hands - 15 minutes a day. Skin on the rest of the body gets about 7 minutes attention every day. Applying a deodorant and perfuming my body eats another 2 minutes a day. And then there are all kinds of small and or irregular hygiene and care moments that cost me yet another 30 minutes a week.

Altogether I spend 12,5 hours a week caring for my body. Is this reasonable? I wonder how much money I spend on this.

Friday, 12 March 2010

How does it work?

Today a friend of mine popped up in chat: "Tell me from your experience, how does it work?"
Me: "How does what work?"
He: "How do you, women, manage your emotions when you have an affair with two men? Or am I the only man unable to do that?"

What he refers to is polyamory. I'm afraid I cannot teach him that. And indeed, I know more men unable to have multiple intimate relationships. In my world men seem to be rather dedicated. In my experience different parties in a polyamoric relationship have different motives. One wants to maintain an intimate relationship with more partners. Another one might not care about other intimate relationships of their partner. Yet another one feels like they don't have any choice, but accept the situation. It's up to you to choose a how you deal with it. It's also my experience that we all still have to learn how to polyamory.

Thursday, 11 March 2010

Tourists in Amsterdam

We have to go to the Leidseplein, there are many restaurants around there.
Why? There are so many restaurants around here. Let's just choose one.
No! These are for tourists!
We are tourists.
Eh... Whatever. It's your birthday.

Wednesday, 10 March 2010


Garlic is banned from my house. And so is pesto, soft cheese with herbs and all other tasty things containing garlic or fresh onions. Dancing takes its toll. It takes two days to get rid of a nasty smell in my mouth and I dance on Tuesday, Wednesday (or Thursday), Friday and Sunday. There is no day I can eat garlic without having to consume enormous amounts of chewing gum and actually dance with a chewing gum in my mouth.

I had some pesto in the fridge - unused during the SAD brunch - and because I can never use it just like that on my bread I decided to mix a spoonful of it into the minced meat I prepared for the meat balls tonight. I thought garlic wouldn't leave any smell after it's baked. I was wrong.

Life without garlic is kind of sad...

Tuesday, 9 March 2010


60! Sixty. S-I-X-T-Y! Of course I went for the second opinion, what would you do in my place? And of course I had to accept the merciless outcome: sixty. It's been long since I was confronted with this number. Fifteen years passed and now it suddenly showed its face again. It happened so quickly. Just a month ago (or maybe even less) my scales were showing 56. I still fit in my Diesel and Levi's size 27, but it's kind of hard.

"I have to tell you something. Do you know how much I weigh now? Sixty kg!"
"Is it much or little?"
"I hear you. I actually like it. Your hips are so beautifully round."
"!!! I have to get rid of at least four kg."
"You have a very beautiful body."
"I have to dance more and have more sex."
"I will gladly help you with both! I do love your body the way it is now, though."

No, I am not going on a diet. I am going to act according to common sense. If I need to eat more in order to gain weight, then I probably have to eat less in order to lose some of it. I've done it before (fifteen years ago), I know it works. But still this number makes me feel uncomfortable.

Monday, 8 March 2010

Hallucinating in Brussels

Ethiopian food sounds like a contradictio in terminis. But it exists
and is actually very good. I had way too much of it on Friday evening at Kokob in Brussels. You are supposed to take a piece of a thin pancake, pick a bite size of food and eat it together with the pancake. It took us some time to realise that if we don´t use pancakes, we can fit more tasty stuff into our stomachs. You are also supposed to feed the first piece of food to your neighbour. That´s fun!

Saturday was busy: shopping, chocolate tour and two parties. We had some frites at 3:00 in the morning to close off the day. I had some wine at the first party and was quite warm and happy when we moved to an exclusive Eurocrats party. I thought fresh air and an hour of dancing had cleared my head, but... Walking through the streets of Brussels at 2:30 can be quite freaky. First, in an absolutely empty street a man and a woman appeared. They both were running and pushing trolleys with small children tucked in blanket (it was quite cold). The children were awake, all four were obviously having fun. Huh? We looked at each other in disbelief. Whatever. When we were crossing the Flagey square we saw a bus. The fact that there is a bus after three o'clock in the morning is already quite shocking. But this bus has made us doubt we weren't hallucinating. There were three or four passengers inside and about one hundred red, yellow and orange air balloons! I reached for my phone to make a picture, but the bus rode away. I still wonder whether it was real. Nevertheless, the conclusion is: I should go Back2Brussels more often!

Saturday, 6 March 2010

Back to Brussels

We are a relatively large group of people in their thirties and forties. We behave as we were in our twenties just like we always do when we are together. We speak English, German and Dutch. Some Dutch speak German, some Germans speak Dutch. We make stupid jokes. We laugh. We eat, drink, have guided tours and party together. We buy Belgian chocolates. We ignore traffic lights. We gossip. We haven’t seen each other for such a long time that some gossips are about things that happened three years ago. Men compare how much weight they lost or gained since they saw each other last time (might be years ago). Women don’t. We are back to Brussels for a couple of days. It’s good to have each other. It’s good to be together…

I’ve heard this song just some minutes ago on the radio – very nice:

Thursday, 4 March 2010


"Your neighbours are moving out. They will hand over the keys tomorrow at 13:00." What?! Did they tell you that?! "No, I've overheard the conversation." Thanks God! Last time he brought me home around two at night and greeted the neighbour who arrived home approximately at the same time. Stay away from my neighbours! They'll think you belong here. "Well, these are moving away, so you don't have to worry about what they think anymore." In fact I don't want to know what my neighbours think of me. Every night there is another car coming with another man. The neighbours probably think I lost my way. I'm just jealous that he is able to make contact with people around him so fast. I've been living next to these people for over a year and we have spoken no more than ten times. And now they move away. Their departure seems sudden, but maybe I've been too ignorant to see them moving. They are gone now and I had no chance to ask them why. Was my music too loud? My front yard too messy? I think I've seen the new neighbours busy in the house already. I promised myself to get to know them better than the previous ones. Somehow I think this will prevent them from disappearing all of a sudden.

Balkan Beat Box - Cha Cha

Job hunt

I need money. One of the possible sources of money could be a paid job. So I am looking for a job. I poke around in my network and I browse through several websites. The latter is a fascinating process. Several scenarios are possible after I see a vacancy announcement:
1. I see the name of the job and decide that I don't want it.
2. I see the name of the job, read the description and decide that I don't want it.
3. I see the name of the job, read the description, print out the vacancy text, read it again and decide that I don't want the job.
4. I see the name of the job, read the description, print out the vacancy text, read it again, save it for the weekend, read it again then and decide that I don't want the job.
5. I see the name of the job, read the description, print out the vacancy text, read it again, save it for the weekend, read it again then, start writing a job application letter and decide that I don't want the job.
6. I see the name of the job, read the description, print out the vacancy text, read it again, save it for the weekend, read it again then, write the letter, come back to it some days later and decide that I don't want the job anyway.
7. I see the name of the job, read the description, print out the vacancy text, read it again, save it for the weekend, read it again then, write an application letter, send the letter and decide that I don't want the job.
8. I see the name of the job, read the description, print out the vacancy text, read it again, save it for the weekend, read it again then, write an application letter, send the letter, go to a job interview and decide that I don't want the job after all.
9. Start all over again.

I hope I'll find a job soon...

Wednesday, 3 March 2010


Yesterday morning I received a D66 (Democrats 66) leaflet from a nice man on my way to work. Too bad I had no time to ask for his signature. At the bus station in Utrecht I got a sponge from the SP (Socialist Party). And now I am going to vote. And I think it will be GroenLinks (GreenLeft) for a change.

Tuesday, 2 March 2010


"May we inflate your tires?" a man in a VVD jacket (People's Party for Freedom and Democracy) at the entrance to the bicycle parking wasn't planning to inflate my tires himself. He had a woman to do that. "No, thank you, that's not necessary" - I felt sorry for the woman. "Do you have good lights on your bike? May I offer these led lights?" - he held a little baggy with two small lights in his hand. "Yes, please give me the lights" I said. "Have you already decided for which party you will vote in the municipal elections?" I haven't decided yet whether I'm going in the first place, but one thing I know for sure - I am not going to vote for a party that brought up Rita Verdonk and Gert Wilders. But I didn't want to disappoint the man who gave me the lights, so I shook
my head. "VVD is striving for the security in all aspects of our everyday life, we want everybody who deserves a punishment get punished, we want more police on the streets to maintain security." "I feel quite safe already" I said. "Good, let's keep it that way!" He gave me a leaflet with his photo on it. "I candidate myself..." "May I have your signature? Do you have a pen?" The man seemed amused and pleasantly surprised. He took a pen out of his bag and signed the leaflet for me: "Vote for me! Nathan Soomer" Well, he hasn't got a vote, but at least he had some fun. While we were talking the woman inflated tires of three bicycles.

Monday, 1 March 2010

Busy Sunday

Today was a busy day. A bit strange too. I spent most of the day cleaning the bathroom in a friend's house. Two walls and the floor of the bathroom are covered with natural stone that requires special treatment. My hands are screaming for help now. We went to a Japanese restaurant afterwards (all you can eat in two-and-a-half hours for EUR 24, the food is good). My stomach is still struggling with sushi, fish, tempura vegetables, salad, beef, duck and many other things. I've written and sent out a job application letter. And we had some serious talks about relationships in between all this. Sex and the City is on in full swing.

This song was playing on the radio when I was cleaning the bathroom:

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