Sunday, June 27, 2010

BBQ Non Dutch style

When I first moved to the Netherlands, I moved to a small city where no body spoke English (at least not to me). I couldn't find any other English speaking expatriates like my self - I didn't even dare to go to the store alone. If I told you I felt alone, that would be an understatement! I quickly dove into a high level Dutch language course just so I could learn to communicate quickly with my fellow civilian.  That course took about 1.5 years including the extra levels I took on top of what was mandatory.  
The culture shock was extreme - I won't kid any body.  The food is different, the mannerisms are different, and the most difficult; I was miles away from my family and friends who meant the world to me.  I can't begin to tell you how many times I questioned my ingenious idea to move to the Netherlands.  
I quickly met a few English ex-pats in the Dutch classes who I am very happy to say I am still friends with but we also all have our own lives and families but unfortunately months go by before we find time to see each other.
My grandmother always told me I should write a book about my experience in the Netherlands.  I have always known that I don't have any creativity when it comes to words.  My grandmother on the other hand has her Bachelor of arts in English and only expects her first grand daughter to carry the same genes. Sorry to disappoint you grandma...
Even though my grandmother is in no way tech savvy, I decided to possibly make her somewhat happy.  I decided to write a blog about my experiences.  As I started I began looking around at other peoples blogs here in the Netherlands who are also experiencing what I am experiencing and finally came to the realization that I am not alone. Hallelujah !   The first blog that I found was Tammy at Canadutch  Everything she wrote about, I could totally relate to... in fact it felt like I was writing it (but with a better writing style then my own of course).  I stalked her immediately and found her on facebook and it seemed like we connected.  Shortly after finding Tammy's blog, I found Sonya's blog at Home Cooking with Sonya.  I too felt like I had a connection through her witty yet loving words.  PLUS she had such YUMMY treats and recipes on her blog. BONUS!  She made me remember how much I loved to bake.  I loved trying her recipes because I knew they ALL were good!  I then realized she lived on my side of the country, another BONUS! It didn't take me long to stalk her too and find her on Facebook. 
Today was the day we got to meet up with our husbands (and children) for a delicious BBQ at chez moi's house.  The weather may have been hot but didn't stop the time from flying by as we chatted it up non stop as if we were all long lost friends.  It didn't take me long to realize that my inclinations were correct and I have indeed found a group of friends that I can totally be my self with. 

Tammy brought some mouth watering cheese cake.  This was seriously the best cheese cake I have ever tasted!!

Lots of pictures were taken but I think they were just trying to make me jealous of their camera's ;-)

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Questions and answers Tagged by Tammy

I was tagged in another blog by Tammy.  She had to answer 5 questions and then ask 5 different questions where she tagged me so here they are and here are my answers. 

1. Do you believe in ghosts?  Why / Why Not?

I do!  When I was younger I had seen them on and off.  A few years ago I had seen one in my parents basement (where we sleep when we visit eeek!).  Now my youngest daughter sees orbs particularly in my parents house when we visit.  She says they are nice orbs full of colour - so they don't scare me. 
2. If you are totally honest, do you consider yourself to be a gossip?  If so, has it ever gotten you into trouble? I'm not really a gossiper - I know when to keep my mouth shut!  I love hearing it though especially if it's about someone I know!  It hasn't gotten me in trouble as far as I can remember (maybe when I was a teenager but we aren't going back to that dark era).
3. Is there anyone you’ve lost touch with from your past that you Google or search FB for regularly to find out about them? The people I want to keep in touch with I am in touch with now, there is one  I occasionally stalk just to see how their children have grown up.
4. What is your biggest passion in life?
(other than your kids) Grooming dogs and the well being of dogs.  Animals in general! And trying to keep in touch with all of my friends and family back home.
5. What is the craziest / scariest / funniest / weirdest thing you’ve ever witnessed?
(Any of the above) Beside the ghost I mentioned earlier... A UFO hovering not too far away from where I live while there was a no fly zone due to the  Eyjafjallajokull Volcano eruption in Green Land.  I never believed in that nonsense and I still not sure if I do but I am not sure what else could it be.  It was glowing yellow orange (hard to tell) - it hovered for some time when finally it took off straight up into the star lit sky. 

I am really bad with making up questions so bare with me!  Tiffany at Clogs and Tulips, Frau at West Family Adventures and Arwa from Orangesplash - these questions are for you! Anybody else who wish to answer these please feel free to do so - I am always curious to see your answers!

1. What do you miss most from your home country?
2. What is your fondest memory as a child?
3. What has been your most difficult obsticle to over come in life?
4. You receive one million euro's, what do you spend it on?
5. What are the top 5 things on your bucket list (things you must do before you die)?

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Orange (ya) Crazy

You haven't experience a sports event until you have experienced a soccer game (or football as it is called on this side of the world) in Europe.  Europeans, and especially the Dutch, are very enthusiastic (to put it lightly) for football.  Tomorrow (Friday June 11th) starts the world soccer championship's between 32 countries (the Netherlands included of course) and there is no denying that the Netherlands is ready for the games.  In every store imaginable there are orange (Hollands colour) merchandise to be seen, everything and anything imaginable.  In all my years here I have never seen it this orange crazy. 

It doesn't stop here... Nooo people are decorating their houses and further..... their whole neighbourhoods.  Now I am Canadian,  us Canadians are pretty crazy about hockey and our teams and even when the Canadians are playing the Russians in the World Championship Ice Hockey games.... but never in my life living in Canada have I ever seen any body decorate their neighbourhood or even the out side of their house  to show their support for their team! 

Even apartments weren't left out with decorating and sometimes were even able to keep it looking somewhat tasteful (if you like orange and lots of flags).
But it can go too far .... especially for this one who was the only one to decorate in this whole apartment complex (except for the above neighbours who only had a few flags).

Is my house decorated? Nope - except for a single flag my daughter attached to her window.
*gasp* Do I not support the Netherlands footballers?  I support them 100% but the only ones that benefit from me buying a bunch of orange merchandise is the stores and producers of the products. Besides, nobody in my neighbourhood has decorated their house (thank goodness).  

Thursday, June 3, 2010


If you have absolutely no Dutch knowledge, you are probably looking at the title of this particular blog thinking what the A..? Avondviedaagse literally translates to "evening four days (event)".  What happens during this event? Walking... lots of walking!  Depending on your age and well being you could be walking up to 50 km a day especially if you decide to do the Nijmegens International four day march (which will be around 20th of July this year).  And why would they want to walk so far? Tradition! It was started in the early 1900's for  Physical education teachers and soldiers, it didn't take long for this to became popular among other sport groups. If you decide to walk the NijmegenseVierdaagse, wear your good sport shoes and bring lots of bandages for the blisters, you will be walking 30km, 40km, or 50km each day.

The city I live in just rounded off their four day march where mostly children participate in (but it is open to everybody of all ages).

The children/adult from all sorts of schools, sports and after school groups have the option of walking 5km, 7km and 10km . The kids do this while screaming singing all sorts of songs and chants.  Usually on the last day all the parents and friends will stand along side the road awaiting the parade of marchers with hands full of candy's, flowers and toys to throw over their necks as they pass by. 

How some of these children make it to the end with out whip lash or any other neck injury is beyond me.

 And if this guy behind you blowing on his horn in your ear isn't enough to motivate you to keep moving, then I am not sure what is!