A few weeks ago Marco brought home a new Lay’s flavor for their ‘Do us a flavor!‘ contest. Of course, flavors are different depending on the country the chips are being sold in. The four flavors for America this year were cappuccino, bacon mac and cheese, salsa mango, and wasabi ginger.
The Netherlands have their own flavors, of course. A few weeks Marco brought home one of them:
The flavor is french bread with garlic butter. Unfortunately you don’t get anything that tastes like bread in the flavor, just garlic butter (which comes across nicely).
Of course this is the country that has ‘normal’ flavors of barbecue ham and of patatje joppie (a sort of Dutch sauce that goes well with French fries apparently).
A month after Marco, Roger also turns 40. We celebrated the event by going to Paraplu in The Hague – the first time for me. As usual, I had the kipsaté (chicken on a skewer with peanut sauce). Yum! Also the first time I ever had kroepoek (the white disks) paired with peanuts and peanut shavings directly on top.
As a surprise, a family member had ordered a birthday dessert for Roger (and the table). Quite spectacular:
Good times en lekker eten!
Woohoo! Yesterday I logged into the DUO website to see if the results were there yet… and they were! Long story short, I passed everything. To pass each section you need 500 points or more. If you pass all four at the same time you get a diploma, otherwise you get a certificate for each section. Once you have all four certificates you can mail them back to get a full diploma.
The previous post that I wrote with information about what it was like to do NT2 programma II can be found at this blog post.
Yesterday Marco and I had cheesecake at The Cheesecake Company in The Hague (by the Grote Kerk). We sampled Tangerine Dream…
The tangerine part of the cheesecake was definitely subtler then I expected but still quite tasty. The bottom part of the cheesecake is chocolate, of course accentuated by the two syrups on the plate as well. Lekker!
And of course you have my usual coffee on the left and Marco’s cappuccino on the right.
As some of you remember, last month I took the Staatsexamen Programma II to test my aptitude for the Dutch language. We were told that we would be able to access the results online after about 5 weeks, and receive a letter in the mail after 6 weeks. It’s getting closer to 5 weeks now, so I have started to check the website. I did this yesterday morning, but did not see anything. No problem – it’s not been five weeks yet.
So imagine my surprise when Marco and I came home in the afternoon and had a letter in the mailbox from Duo (Dienst Uitvoering Onderwijs, or Department of Education). That was quick! It hasn’t been six weeks yet…
And then I opened it.
It turns out that it was yet another form letter (I get one every six months) telling me that they had no evidence on record that I had completed my requirements for my inburgeringsverplicht, i.e. requirements to stay in the Netherlands. (For the record, the requirement I need to complete is to pass the test that I am currently waiting on results from.) Irony!
Of course, since the results aren’t in the system yet, obviously the form letter still gets sent. Still…not what I expected when I opened it, that’s for sure. Back to waiting…
Over the weekend we had a birthday party for Marco (slightly delayed since some of our friends were out of the country). Since it was his 40th I decided to be slightly evil and buy some themed balloons. “Keep calm — you’re only 40″ balloons, to be precise.
Very colorful – not quite the rainbow I was going for, but it works. One of the guests also dropped off flowers…
Marco decided to show off his creative baking side by making key lime pie using Keebler graham cracker crust (recipe here).
And of course he added his own touch by freezing some of the raspberry syrup mix into Captain America shield molds. Yum. And crazy…
Looking for another way to learn Dutch?
Duolingo is a free language learning service available online and (for some languages, but not yet for Dutch) via an app. It approaches language learning as more of a game; you receive xp points when you complete a lesson, for instance.
I haven’t gotten that far into it yet. When you first create your account you have an option to test your knowledge of the language and start at that level, but I chose to start at the beginning just to see what that was like. What the program is not known for is teaching you how to speak the language – it is all written based.
There are also some audio based questions (type what you hear). Questions can be skipped but then you lose a “heart”; you also lose a heart for wrong answers. Once all hearts are gone, you will have to repeat the lesson.
Check it out. Remember you can test out of the beginning stages if you already know some Dutch.
Sorry I have not posted much lately – I’ve been a bit under the weather (though if you happen to be either of my parents reading this, I’m fine. Marco takes good care of me ;p).
But anyway — here’s a picture of a front yard somewhere in The Hague! I can’t even remember where I was anymore, as I took it a few months ago.
Last month or so Marco and I went to Ikea in Delft to look for some random supplies. We ended up purchasing funnels for the kitchen (random) and reading lights for the bedroom (intended).
On the way to Ikea (by bus) we went under an overpass which had some really interesting graffiti…
That’s one aggie bird.
Last month Marco and I were walking past city hall (probably on the way to get coffee at Lebkov) when we spotted something new.
A seal near the entrance to The Hague’s city hall. But when we walked past it yesterday night, it was already gone. All that was left was a pattern of studs that had held up the seal. Did it fall? Was it taken down? Stolen? Who knows…