Thursday, 31 March 2011

Buikpijn voor WarChild

“Ik ben Marco, ik ben geen weerman.” Vorige week vrijdag ging Marco het weer presenteren bij RTL. Dat wou hij graag doen voor WarChild. Maar dat mocht pas als mensen 10.000 smsjes naar radio538 zouden sturen. En daar was hij vrijdagmiddag nog niet zo zeker van. En zou zijn weervoorspelling wel kloppen? “Daar heb ik pijn in mijn buik van” – gaf hij toe.

Nou is het met Marco helemaal goed gekomen natuurlijk. Zijn fans houden van hem, 10.000 smsjes kwamen en zijn voorspelling hebben we niet zo nauw genomen dus als het niet helemaal uitgekomen is, wij blijven toch van hem houden.

Voor €12 kun je een oorlogskind helpen. Buikpijn krijg je er gratis bij als je een stunt doet tijdens deze week van 538 voor WarChild. Hadden de burgemeester en wethouders van Assen geen buikpijn afgelopen maandag? En Tonnie Olde Heuvel met zijn mega autostunt? Hoe mega kan het worden voor €20? Tussen de stuntelaars heb ik maar twee gevonden die geen buikpijn hadden: Mariska en Chaneyra, maar zij hebben de lat lekker laag gehouden - dat is eigenlijk smokkelen.

Ik heb geen smsjes voor Marco gestuurd. En alle andere buikpijnhebbers heb ik ook niks gegeven. Totdat ik uitgerekend had dat Jazzlyn Soares morgen maar liefst 360 ritjes in de Vogel Rok moet rijden om haar doelbedrag te behalen! Toen voelde ik de buikpijn. Dus heb ik ook maar snel €0,10 per rit toegezegd. Nu hoeft ze maar 257 ritjes te maken. Kom op, jongens! Help die arme meid toch!

Enne, is Mark van Eindhoven al kaal?

Wednesday, 30 March 2011

If I were a man

I wish I were a man. Oh, life would have been so much easier if I were a man.

It would be perfectly fine to approach a person of the opposite sex and be proactive. Being direct and a little blunt at times wouldn´t be so much an issue. I would be praised to heaven for my communication skills. I would be able to drive a car properly. I would be able to forget about my worries when I need to work.
And to compensate for the fact that I cannot wear funky rings and necklaces I´d buy gadgets.

Oh, I wish I were a man!
(Take a second to vote in the poll on the right!)

Tuesday, 29 March 2011


Having a brand new gadget must be very rewarding if people are prepared to: waste their time and spend extra money for a newer model when the older does roughly the same trick for less money.
The queue (or rather 1/10 of the actual queue) for the new iPod last Friday in Rotterdam . Did these people really gain that much by having the new toy or are their lives empty so there’s space for this?

Thursday, 24 March 2011


Vraag me niet waarom, maar vandaag dacht ik opens aan de Koningin. Niet aan de toekomst van de monarchie of haar rol als staatshoofd. Ik dacht aan… meubels.

Stel je bent een koningin. Je woont in een paleis, hebt lekker veel geld, kunt je een en ander permitteren. Maar hoe werkt het in het paleis? Staat het vol met antieke meubels (die er al eeuwen staan en fanatiek bijgehouden worden)? En als je nou van Danish Design houdt? Mag je dan zomaar de vertrekken die je gebruikt restylen? Of moet je vergunning vragen bij de Monumentenzorg vanwege de plafondprofielen en muurstofferingen? Je bent een koningin dus een vergunningaanvraag ga je niet zelf doen. Dat laat je doen natuurlijk. Maar moet je het formuliertje zelf ondertekenen en een kopie van je identiteitsbewijs bijsluiten?

Verhuizen is ook zoiets. Stel dat je iets anders wil. Een loft in Amsterdam bijvoorbeeld. Mag je dat gewoon doen of zal de Minister-President je uitleggen dat het geen goed idee is? En als je zin krijgt om te emigreren? Gaat ook niet of wel?

Shoppen doe je ook niet zomaar op een zaterdag in de stad. De tweede Paasdag naar een woonboulevard? Heeft de Koningin ooit een IKEA van binnen gezien? En koken? Kan Hare Majesteit koken? Doet ze het wel eens?

Ik vraag me af of het zo leuk is – koningin zijn.

Tuesday, 22 March 2011


I live a busy life. It’s my work, my interests (a lot), my social connections plus everything that comes along with that: groceries, cleaning, shopping, finances, contracts and disputes. But sometimes I feel like I need a break. At such a moment I don’t want to do anything. I just want to do nothing.

If I need a break from work I might do some extra complicated cooking, clean the house, knit while watching TV or read. I’ll probably be quite tired at the end of the day.

If I want a break from my house I try to meet with friends which can result in making a daytrip to Groningen. Such days are very inspiring, but very exhausting.

If I need a break from social activities I’ll most probably do some gardening or spend the whole day shopping. Shopping is gratifying, but usually means a headache at the end of the day and a great mess at home.

If I feel useless because I’ve been doing too much shopping, gardening and cooking I’ll go and make some serious progress in my work. That most probably will lead to some intense weariness.

Doing nothing is tough.

The Kills - U R A Fever

Saturday, 19 March 2011

Love. A fairytale.

It's been a long day built around our visit to the Russia's Unknown Orient in Groninger Museum.

I've added another kiss to my 'collection':
Martiros Sarian - Love. A Fairytale, 1906

Friday, 18 March 2011

Sense of entitlement

Several years ago I did a laser hair removal on my bikini area. I’d go to a special salon every six weeks, spend there an hour each time and suffer pain. Lots of pain. The result was well worth it so I´m definitely not complaining.

With the bikini result in mind I finally decided to get my armpits laser epilated too. I made an appointment at a beauty salon in Rotterdam. I had to wait several weeks, but finally the day had come. Excited I rang the doorbell.

The area of skin covered by hair is smaller so I’d anticipated the procedure to take about half an hour. I took a deep breath and decided I was ready for the suffering – the skin in the armpits is very soft and sensitive. I was also ready for a cup of tea and a friendly chit-chat with the salon lady. Well...

Not that the lady was unfriendly or didn’t want to chat. It’s just... There was simply no time for all this. It took me ten minutes to fill in the intake form and to pin a date for the next appointment. The rest – undressing, examining the skin, cooling up, the actual epilation and dressing up took exactly seven minutes. Blip-blip-blip-blip. Once again. Ready. Pain? What are you talking about? Wow! Technology has definitely made a great leap during the past seven years.

I was happy to save my time, but somewhere deep inside I could feel a very light disappointment. As if I didn’t get something I was entitled to and I am not talking about the tea. It’s the pain I was ‘missing’. Weird!

Tuesday, 15 March 2011


Got hit by a truck today and going to see the inside of a court room tomorrow.

Monday, 14 March 2011

Red red wine

The table is already set for the lunch when we come in. We are not the first to arrive. I get a glass of red wine. I don’t like red wine. I don’t like wine at all. But I am in the country that doesn’t recognise the existence of people who don’t like wine. Everyone assumes that if I look, talk and walk like a human being I must love wine. Red wine.

Realising that asking for the white wine isn’t an option and not wanting to invoke an awkward silence by asking for water I take a sip from my glass. I feel the heavy astringent taste in my mouth - one of the things I strongly dislike about red wine. After the second round of clinking glasses when the rest of the guests come in my head starts feeling unpleasantly heavy. After the third round I will feel slightly dizzy. Ugh! Luckily there’s water during lunch and nobody seems to notice I don’t take refills.

Once, when someone offered me wine, I refused and said I didn’t like wine. “Ooh, you miss so much!” – they exclaimed. Huh? Imagine a convinced coke addict offering you a dose and telling you that you miss a lot when you refuse?

Why is alcohol more acceptable than (other) drugs? Why is alcohol more accepted than cigarettes? When will alcohol be banned from the Dutch cafes just like cigarettes are now?

UB40 - Red Red Wine

Thursday, 10 March 2011

De Driestuiversopera

De Driestuiversopera door Nationaal Toneel vanavond was bij vlagen verrassend leuk en bij vlagen teleurstellend.

Tuesday, 8 March 2011


It was 1991 and I just started my first year at the university. That Wednesday in October was sunny and exceptionally warm for this time of the year. The bus was fully loaded when a man with a wooden crate squeezed in.  I stood right next to him and the crate was hitting my arm every time the bus hit a bump or a pothole in the road. I would lose my arm way before I reached my destination if not for the young man standing behind me, close to the window. He pulled me over to the window and before I knew it we changed places. Now I was standing protected from the crowd and the crate was hitting my saviour’s back.

I looked into his eyes and... my heart sank. The guy was in his early twenties, tall, his short dark hair was an unintended mess. His dark grey eyes looked at me as if he was trying to pull me in. If that were possible I wouldn’t have had resisted. I think our eyes were expressing exactly the same mix of fire and fear. It felt like we’ve finally found each other.

“Thank you” – I said still drown in his eyes. “You’re welcome” – he answered. He lowered his eyes. I did too. The silence became awkward. He looked over his shoulder at the crate man. I looked out of the window. I smiled when our eyes met again. He smiled back. Awkward silence again. He took out a study book (a student too!) pretending to read. I looked out of the window sometimes peeking at him. Every once in a while he looked up from his book to pull me in with his eyes.

Three stops later he stepped out of the bus.  He was watching me while the bus was moving away. I smiled. But I wanted to cry. Because at that instant I knew what love at first sight felt like and I also knew I lost him forever.

I took me some time to realise I would never forget him. Then I started looking for him. I went looking around ‘his’ bus stop. I put paper advertisements on the bus stop, in the busses and at all the university faculties I could guess would be appropriate judging by his study book. I put advertisements in newspapers. Later I have spammed all possible forums on the internet in search for him. I was always looking for him in the crowds on the main street during holidays and in the weekends. I inevitably scanned all the faces around me in the metro. All these years I knew that if I met him, I’d recognise him right away. And he would too. There was no doubt he didn’t forget that day.

One evening last week I switched on the TV to entertain myself during the dinner. I stumbled upon a talk show. The guest was this newly evolved the-girl-next-door style star. She is all over the place, and nearly everyone I meet claims to have met her at one time or another. I got fed up with her after five minutes of the show and was ready to push the button when they started taking questions from the audience. That’s when I saw him.

Life in the slow motion mode. My heart was beating hard enough to wake up neighbours’ kids. I got a lump in my throat. I was trying to pull him into my room with my eyes. I found him! It’s not like he hadn’t changed in twenty years. But I recognised him right away. I found him and this time I won’t let him go!
His voice didn’t change and my heart sank deeper and deeper as I was listening. It took a while before the meaning of his words started reaching me. He said something about this being the only possibility, about looking for a long time, he was not sure this question was appropriate in public.

“It was Wednesday, 9 of October 1991. I saved you from a man with a wooden crate on the bus. Do you remember?” - he finally asked, his eyes full with hope and fear.
“I didn’t live here back then” – the star answered with a sympathetic smile on her face.

Ночные снайперы - Я люблю того, кто не придет

Sunday, 6 March 2011

Creepy gardening

Today I have collected dry leaves in my garden that fell from the neighbours’ huge oak. While collecting leaves I’ve also found several clothespins, remainders of three air balloons in different colours, a little plastic tray, a female slipper (!) and some... bones.

The slipper was already a disturbing enough discovery, but when I started finding bones... The more bones I found the creepier pictures evolved in my mind. I have burried them in the bins and bags under loads of leaves hoping no one will ever find them or trace them back to my garden.

Somehow the prospect of planting flower bulbs tomorrow doesn’t seem so cheerful anymore. I hope I won’t dig up any half deteriorated flesh.

Friday, 4 March 2011


I am tired. Exhausted. Drained. It’s a usual Thursday evening and I can’t find any explanation for this lousy state I’m in. I’m total loss. And hungry.

I crave meat balls and baked potatoes. Plus a salad. With my boots and coat still on I make my way to the kitchen. Something tells me I won’t find any meat balls there. Dirty dishes awaiting their turn in the dishwasher – yes. Meat balls – no. I put the boiler on for tea and reach for the half-empty pot of pickled cucumbers in the fridge. I fish for the cucumbers with a fork, my coat still on.

I’d be more than happy with a chicken dish. With rice. Plus a salad. I took off my coat and kicked out my boots. I did a couple of short chat conversations. I go to the kitchen again only to discover that the dirty dishes are still there and the chicken with rice is still not. I take a chocolate bon-bon.

Grilled salmon with lemon dressing and mashed potatoes would be nice. And a salad. I make another cup of tea, eat a mango and three pieces of salami. There’s no grilled salmon in the kitchen and I move to the bathroom to spend the next couple of hours in bath. That’s a hell of a relaxation, but unfortunately it doesn’t take away the hungry feeling.

Now I finally go to the kitchen and actually make a salad which I eat as write this.
VACANCY: Cook for 1-2 times a week. You will get a good company and a grateful eater. Modest monetary remuneration is negotiable.

Thursday, 3 March 2011

Elections every day!

Even though I'm officially Dutch for more than five years, there are still moments when I feel like a freshman.  Travelling with my Dutch ID (without a passport) makes me excited. Voting during elections does too. So this morning I cast my vote in the provincial elections. Not that I’ve spent much time on making a choice, but I did feel a slight elation this morning.

With my voting ticket and my ID I entered the voting station. Four 50+ men nearly jumped up when I entered. “Madam, you are very welcome! We are delighted to see you here!” – their faces lit up in genuine joy. With great enthusiasm they checked my ticket and my ID (in the meanwhile entertaining me with some remarks about the cold, but sunny weather), gave me the ballot paper and showed the cabin. They were quiet while I was busy putting the red dot. “This way, please.” – one of them gestured showing me  the container where I had to deposit the paper with my vote on it. And then: “Madam, you are great! Have a very nice day!”

Can we have elections every day? Please?

Stubled upon this by chance: Kings of Convenience - Homesick

Tuesday, 1 March 2011

Ghost town

It’s 1:00. Raining. No cars on the road. I’m trying to fight sleepiness, but there’s nothing along the road to keep me awake. It’s either dark patches of land or even darker plains of water.  I’ve changed several CDs, but no music is able to break the dark sleepy mood of this rainy night. The wipers make squeaking sounds reminding me they need to be replaced.

I browse through the CDs once again in search of something refreshing while we cross another bridge. Suddenly I realise it’s not as dark outside anymore. “It cannot be sunrise yet, it’s just 1:00 in the morning” – I look around in silent amazement. The landscape that we are crossing terrifies me, but invokes admiration at the same time. I stop searching for music, the car engine and the wipers produce the fitting soundtrack for this.

These must be factories: huge spaces covered by huge grey shapes. They have no windows, but there are lights attached to every corner of each shape. There are so many lights, they create the ‘sunrise’ in the middle of the night. I can’t recall seeing anything so sinister yet so grand ever before.

The ghost town is large, it takes us ten, maybe even fifteen minutes to pass. In the rain. In silence. Guided by the gleamy lights. Europort…

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