Wednesday, 26 October 2011


The room was full, no empty chairs. When the first presentation started everyone had a smartphone in their hands. When I say everyone I mean everyone. Every single person had a smartphone in their hands. All fifty eight of us. Smartphone penetration = 100%. And everyone used their phone during the presentation at least once. Including the person presenting. He used his phone as a remote control. Some phones made sounds and nobody seemed to mind. The phone of the speaker went off at the end of the presentation. He didn’t pick up. But if he’d done that, probably no one would mind.

It’s not science fiction. It’s real. The world and our perception of things is changing. Fast.

Tuesday, 25 October 2011


“I like you in every aspect as long as you don’t swear.” A man told me this once. I can see his point. Russian swearwords are rude beyond any imagination and a woman using them looses all or most of her charm very quickly.

I don’t use swearwords in Russian often. At least, usually I don’t. But today someone on Twitter asked about the gender of a Russian swearword. I am a sucker for grammar rules so I responded enthusiastically and, to make my point clear I used two similar swearwords of different gender in one tweet. Someone else responded too, there was a discussion and swearwords flew back and forth. As a cherry on the cake a friend retweeted my initial tweet with the two swearwords letting the world enjoy my illustration of Russian grammar.

Now I guess many people think I’m a low educated, semi-criminal, illegal, drug addicted, vodka drinking prostitute. Because in that case such use of language is totally justified. Oh well...

As a means of compensation: 17 Hippies - Frau von Ungefähr. My German is not so good yet, though. They might as well be swearing for the entire four minutes.

Go ahead this. Maybe this'll help to clean my reputation. Thanks!

Saturday, 22 October 2011


He: Do you believe in reincarnation?
Me: No.
He (disappointed): Oh, what a pity!
Me: Why?
He: I want to see you in my next life. Then I’d marry you. I know your family name, so I can ask for you at the gate. But unfortunately you don’t believe in reincarnation...

Indeed, I do not believe in reincarnation just as I don’t share in any other religious belief. As I heard this, I felt an urge to ask some questions. For example: do they know there at the gate how my name is spelled in different alphabets? What if I’m a man in my next life? What if I am a lot younger or a lot older then? Will they allow you to choose where to go? I thought a person was not fully aware of their former life besides the belief that there had been one. So how is he going to remember his intention to marry me?

Belief and rationality don’t go so well together. And, with this possible marriage in mind, maybe it’s not so bad I don’t believe in reincarnation. ;)

Rupa & the April Fishes - Une americaine a Paris

Thursday, 20 October 2011


As we all know Lars von Trier is not afraid to be different. Melancholia shows he’s also not afraid to be slightly less different. Which doesn’t do any wrong to his new masterpiece.

Melancholia is a drama you accept and embrace although you keep hoping it won’t really happen in the end. It does anyway. That. Plus breathtaking photography.

Tuesday, 18 October 2011

Occupy yourself

Occupy [put the name of your city here] has surprisingly led to an explosion of emotions that I was trying to conceal, but don’t see the point of it anymore. So I am going to rant now.

First of all it’s a mass protest. And you may know what I think of those. And then, what are these people demonstrating against? Or in favour of? Excesses of capitalism was a very common statement of the Dutch protestors. Which is... eh... what are those exactly?

That’s when it starts – everybody has their own example, but most people named exorbitantly high salaries of the high bank executives and reckless bank policies including too high interest rates and careless investments. But how did the banks get the money they pay to their executives? Wait – we gave them the money ourselves! Because we’ve been borrowing the money to buy new cars, install new kitchens and go on vacation. Because we were willing to buy obscure insurances. Because we buy houses we actually cannot afford without the help of the government. No wonder banks lost it. The money kept flowing in effortlessly, so why be careful and not reward the executives? Do you have a right to complain if you have a new car, sit on a new couch in your way too expensive house insured against everything, even against an occasional attack of Smurfs armed with sticks made of green chewing gum?

And then, usually when you go camping you do prepare well, right? You do bring your own tent AND the foil to put underneath, don’t you? So why didn’t you now? Why are you asking me through your site to bring you chairs, tents, umbrellas, blankets, food, drinks, medicines and teddy bears?! And while you are there, do you make sure you don’t ruin stuff I paid for through the taxes? No, you don’t – look at Rome. And cleaning up the mess after you in every other city will cost extra money too.

So, please, go and #occupy yourself with something useful.

Sunday, 16 October 2011

My cat vs iOS5

Last Friday I was determined to make another step towards a healthy relationship with my cat but the iOS5 update of my iPhone made it nearly impossible. I never thought that my cat and iOS5 would cross paths.

I bought a cat flap. The only thing that I needed to do was to call a contractor and agree on the date for him to come and install the flap in my kitchen door. I picked up my phone ready to call and discovered that because of the iOS5 update the night before my phone lost some numbers.

Never mind. I have a WhatsApp message with his number. I just have to look it up. I headed for the WhatsApp messages and discovered they are not there. Because of the iOS5 update.

No problem. I got his number from another contractor. I’ll just call him and ask for the number. Oh, wait! I don’t have his number anymore. It disappeared after the iOS5 update.

Oh well, there’s Google. I found the number of one contractor, texted him, received the number of the other and made a phone call. “You have the flap? All right, what dates would be suitable for you?” – “Let me check my diary.” I open the calendar on my phone and realise... Yes. I lost all the past and future calendar content. All my appointments – gone! Because of the bloody iOS5 update.

“Well, Monday and Friday should be fine. I guess...” – I finally said. The man felt the doubt in my voice. “Let me call you back on Monday” – he replied. I agreed, although I was sure I wouldn’t be able to recover all the lost appointments by Monday.

Now I am trying to explain to my cat what iOS5 is. She said “meow”. Not sure she understood, though.

I listen to this to calm down: Philip Glass - Einstein On The Beach – Knee 1

Tuesday, 11 October 2011


I received a Wordfeud request today. I set the first word and immediately get a chat message.

“Sasja, is that you?”
“Yes. And who are you?”
“Don’t you recognise me?”
“No the photo is too small.”

That was the last thing I was going to do. I set another word and moved on with my life.


This kind of remarks never had any motivating effect on me.

A kiss from Ravi. x”
“A kiss from who?”
“Ow. You must be the wrong Sasja then.”

Good I didn’t try to guess.

Monday, 10 October 2011


Today’s zouk lesson. “Now gentlemen put your hands on the upper arms of your ladies. Pull the shoulders of your lady up and turn them towards you. Now let the shoulders drop again. Pull the right shoulder up and let go again. Ladies, follow your men! Don’t listen to me! Don’t think. Just feel your man and follow. Now change partners. Everybody has to do this with everybody. Go!”

I figured out that if close my eyes it’s much easier to feel and follow without thinking. In front of me a non-Dutch speaking guy. I see him for the first time in my life. Then I close my eyes and don’t see him. I let him play with my shoulders and let my head sway along. “That’s nice!” I hear him say.

That’s when I realise how weird the whole exercise is. While women concentrate on not concentrating (most with closed eyes) men pull and push our shoulders and watch us closely for the effect. Within half-an-hour eight different men held me in their hands and watched me follow their movements. After the exercise some guys looked quite shaken. Apparently this was something most men don’t get to experience very often.

There’s more to dancing than just dancing. I have sore muscles on my neck and shoulders.

We danced to this tonight: Adele – Rolling In The Deep

Friday, 7 October 2011

Dreams of Rivers & Seas

Dreams of Rivers & Seas by Tim Parks is a novel, but it feels alarmingly real. It gets you involved, makes sure you reach for your knowledge of life, your experience, your fears and dreams. And then it withdraws because it’s still a novel and you can never change anything that happened in it. Cruel.

The novel is also extremely cruel to its characters. All the way through the book I was wondering how the author was able to do all this to the people he created. It must have been difficult. Several times I had to remind myself that it’s just a book, fiction. Otherwise I couldn’t sleep longing to do something. Go to India, talk to people, prevent things from happening! Or simply weep. Remarkably, the book has a happy end. For what it’s worth.

And now don’t spare yourself. Read it.

Thursday, 6 October 2011


I am going to make it official! And I will announce it to the world on my Facebook wall. There will be photos and presents. And from then on there will be loads of love.

But first the necessary arrangements. My home is not equipped for two so I’ll have to call the contractor. This relationship will have to be registered with some authorities and organisations. And it all has to be ready before the last weekend of October.

I am not sharing my cat anymore!

Yasmin Levy - Mano Suave - Una Noche Mas

Sunday, 2 October 2011


Last night I had this little conversation:

Me: “I feel a little uncomfortable when a man pays €80 for food or activities to spend an evening with me. Somehow it doesn’t feel right.

He: “Why not? Men should pay. What other purpose do we have?”

Shot this picture at the port yesterday.

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