Wednesday, January 13, 2010

The fine art of biking

...I learned to bike when I was quite young still. It can be tricky when you try to bike in big city traffic, through the wilderness outside my hometown (rarely happened, though), but generally biking is really easy. Piece of cake, once you know how it works.

Well. Now that I live in the Netherlands, there's a whole new level of biking. Dutch people do everything on a bike, they transport everything on a bike and bike in all weather. I've seen Christmas Trees transported on the back of a bike, MaxiCosi (the babycarryingthingies) on the back of the bike, bikes that can hold a grown up and three kids...I think Dutchies even MOVE with just a bike.

So. Now that it's snowing and icy all over, it's another level, too. At least for me. I was very hesitant to bike on snow and ice, but mastered it quite well so far. Our neighbourhood seems to be the last one to be completely iced over still. Ah well, I've been biking now for two weeks on ice and snow, never fell, I must be good at it by now.

Well. I thought so until today. On my way back from town, I took a corner too fast (at approx. 2miles/hr) or too steep (leaning in ever so slightly) and BOOM! I was sitting on my ass with a busted knee. FUN!

I haven't dared looking at my knee yet. I will have all colours and my bum will look fabulously coloured, too.

Soap Opera

Since starting my work in a Soap shop, my social life has increased tremendously. It's fun to work in a team, yet also very tiring sometimes. I'm an old fart compared to most of the girls, and I'm also aware of my impact on the business. Meaning: Everyone is replaceable.

However, the soap selling soap opera queens in my shop beg to differ. They are the next best thing to sliced bread - not all of them, but 3 of the 14 love the drama. 2 left the shop now after working there for 2 years and just knowing everything you need to know to make a shop run well. Apart from the fact that, erm, the shop was a mess until 6 months ago?

We have one special drama queen in the shop that makes everybody else's life miserable. Meet the 23 year old girl that acts like a 15 year old. Including the temper tantrums, hissy fits and the odd 'I asked one boss, and she said no, so I'll just ask the other one and try to play them up against each other'. Unfortunately (for her) her actions are so transparent - you can see what she's doing while she's doing it. Trying to be manipulative when you're too dumb to do it right is just a shame.

The rest of the team is chaotic but lovely. We need to find a solution to get rid of her. Unfortunately, nobody was strict with her before, and therefore we need to do the dirty work now. That shall be fun.

Happy New Year

We celebrated New Year's at the beach this year. It was amazing. Freeeezing cold, but so pretty. The Dutch love their fireworks, and even had a gigantourmos peace fire at the beach. From a distance it looked like a house was on fire.

Looking forward to next year. Including the 40 minute power walk to the beach to sober up

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Christmas is amazing

...we had goose for Christmas, with dumplings, a lovely stuffing with chestnuts and red cabbage. Delicious! A lovely tree, nice gifts (yet still no puppy) and a nice quiet time - apart from us trying out the Wii we gave each other for Christmas. And we had snow. *YAY*

On the 25th, we went to ze boyfriends family for the boyfriends dad's birthday. Nothing else is taken care of, but the birthday of the dad. Cause clearly, there's nothing more important than the birthday of the dad. Throughout the whole year. I went because ze boyfriend wanted me to, so... things you do for love...

The funnest bit was, as always, the grandpa. He's the coolest 89 year old gentleman on earth. However, our conversation started about my recent migraine problems. Quite innocent conversation. It then moved on to him telling me about a friend of his, who got some herbal remedy to treat the migraines but now had breast cancer. And how nowadays you hear more and more about breast cancer, not like back in the day. I then said that I was told that if you breastfeed it minimizes the chance of getting breast cancer, and a lot of women nowadays don't breastfeed anymore. Grandpa's comment: yes, they don't want to get saggy boobs!

Erm. Yes, I guess? (Mind you, this whole conversation was held in DUTCH)

Then he told me how one of his daughter's in law didn't want to breast feed either, because of the droopy tit syndrome. *AWKWARD* I'm happy I've not met this woman yet.

Then he goes on to tell me that there are actually women out there who have proper boobs but no nipples, therefore can't breastfeed.

Luckily, that was the moment when dinner was ready to be served.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Cookies and Christmas

A few more days until Christmas....after I decorated the house last week to look nice and homely for Christmas I decided that today was the day to up my housewifey game. I got christmas cookie recipes (from my mother), the boyfriend was busy on the balcony cleaning up the old shower bit (long story, nevermind) and I went to the local grocery store to get the last bits I needed to make the delicious cookies.

Well. Let me just say this much: the people in my neighbourhood LOVE ready mix cookies, cakes and don't really care about 'making from scratch'. Great. I raided the whole store for coconut flakes, Lebkuchengewuerz, and god knows what else was on my list.

Well. I found maybe 5 out of the 25 things I needed to make the 5 different kinds of cookies.

VERY annoying.

At least when I got home I heated up some Gluehwein, made the first cookies with almonds and marzipan and then a friend stopped by for a chat.

Happy 3rd of Advent.

4 more nights to my birthday. I love being 30, but 31 sucks a bit I think. It's a lame number, and it also shows me that I have only roughly 9 more years to figure out whether it's the right time to have babies.

still hoping for a puppy to practise, but that won't happen either I guess.

Not the right time for baby, allergies vs. puppy and no money for vacations.

Life's a bitch sometimes. But the cookies are delicious anyways.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009


was not my year. I am thinking about selling the rights to make a totally unrealistic soap opera out of my life. I'm sure people will watch it, laugh, feel sad for me and my naive self and then say: But well, that CAN'T be true. Surely, nobody is this mean, narcissistic and self-centered.

Well. I have the living proof a few miles down the road.

The quest for 2010 is to figure out how much more I am willing to take before I pack my bags and go back to my lovely Berlin.

Wanting my old life back is quite sad, knowing that I didn't like all of it either. However, at least I was in the end able to decide for myself what I want to do and when I want to do it without having unwanted third parties interfere without permission.

Thursday, December 3, 2009


So, the last weeks were a bit hectic - we flew to Portugal. The hotel was so-so (for a self-proclaimed 6 Star hotel the small details were just not right - as in plaster off the walls, chairs fixed with duct-tape and faucets that weren't installed properly, to name just a few), I was sick as a puppy (stupid cold hit the night before boarding the plane) but we enjoyed the time a lot. We had rented a car, got stopped by the police and were then let go cause we didn't speak enough Portuguese to understand his mumbled questions, and they weren't capable of speaking any language we - it was a rather funny moment when they stopped us, asked something, we gave them ALL the documents we had, they shook their heads, we looked confused, they asked again, then said: vacation? we said: SI!!!! SI!!!! and then they laughed, talked to each other, and let us go...very friendly people indeed.
The Douro Valley is very beautiful, especially now in the fall with all the leaves changing colour and the vineyards not too full of tourists. It seems anyways like the area is more of a secret getaway for Portuguese people than tourists from all over the world. I definitely want to go back, ideally without being sick like a puppy, and staying in one of the charming vineyards. Pacheca was adorable - the owners so very charming and the port tasted delicious. We got the full download of the different ways of making wine, tasting wine, old wine, young wine, very old bottled Port....Vintage port etc etc.

Anyways, the weekend was lovely. Some quality time for ze boyfriend and me. Yes, the being sick was annoying, but hey. We had an amazing view over the river, had some nice dinners (apart from the VERY smelly waitress, it was yummi) and it was almost all for free. What more can one ask for? The weater was lovely and we enjoyed the time. A lot. So, thanks again @zerotwonine.

Since then, I've been busy working, working, working, and other than that, sleeping and being generally lazy on my days off.

Tonight we're going to the Al Jareau Concert here in Den Haag- I'm excited. I saw him two years ago in Berlin and loved the concert - from beginning to end. Apart from the three totally wasted Russian mafia guys next to me who decided to play with their phones and rummage through their plastic bags, while commenting on it loudly - at some stage the husband of a woman behind us decided to slap them on the back of the head to shut them up. Fun times ;)
Let's hope they won't sit next to me again tonight.