Monthly Archives: February 2012

Assassinations (Or: Travel back to 1584)

Imagine coming down the stairs from dinner, and seeing a French nobleman at the bottom. Someone who you thought was on your side – but was in reality pointing a pistol at your chest and shooting at close range, killing you.

In 1584.

This was the fate of William the Silent, one of the leaders who revolted against the Spanish in the 16th century. He died after a reward was placed on his head and someone decided to track him down and kill him for it.

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Dutch televisie (Or: Soaking up some Dutch)

I am looking forward to a day off this Thursday hopefully. Of course, I have to get through tomorrow first! The weather does not look that promising, but it could be worse.

Lately I have begun to watch some television shows, as mentioned in a previous post. Here are a few that I have already started watching (met ondertitels = with Dutch subtitles. Look for the ‘T’ in the lower right of the video):

Het Klokhuis – (The apple core) – an educational program for teenagers, about 15 minutes. (met ondertitels)

Lingo – A game show originally from America where the contestants had to guess and spell words. It also has a bingo-like component. So it is good for letter pronunciation, spelling, vocabulary and numbers.

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Categories: TV shows | Tags: | 1 Comment

Dutch theaters (Or: Staring at the ondertitels)

In a previous post, there was some talk about Dutch movie theaters. Here is what I have learned about them:

1. Most importantly, the major English movies are still in spoken English. Generally a movie is shown in its original language.

2. Most (or all?) of the movies I saw had Dutch subtitles (ondertitels) at the bottom of the screen. For me, this was distracting – in a good way. At times I found it more fun to stare at those then to actually look at the movie itself.

3. There is assigned seating. When you purchase your ticket at the ticket machine, you pick the exact seats you want. This is nice since it lets you see what seats have already been taken. Of course with movies which have been out for a while this isn’t as big a deal, but it’s good to stake a claim.

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Categories: The Hague | Tags: , | 1 Comment

Distance (Or: Finding Dutch things in random places)

Earlier this year, the Dutchies and I visited New York City – a tradition that actually began long before I was in the picture. It just became a lot easier to do when they had a free “hotel” at my place! We were walking along 42nd street, and I saw something out of the corner of my eye. I stopped, stared, and realized that there was an advertisement with some Dutch cities on it.

Mind you, I no longer remember what the advertisement was about, and there were other cities pictured (in both directions), but it was still interesting enough to take a picture of.

Dutch directional sign in New York City

It’s always useful to know exactly how far you have to go to get somewhere!

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Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: | 2 Comments

Chandeliers (Or: It eclipses even the art)

I have a weakness for chandeliers. I love how beautiful they look – and how they come in all shapes and sizes. I had mentioned the chandeliers in a previous post about the Royal Palace in Amsterdam. The ironic thing is that I recall those chandeliers with more fondness than the actual art itself, though that of course was beautiful too.

Without further ado, let’s take a look at the chandeliers…

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Renovation (Or: Outside the Royal Palace of Amsterdam)

As mentioned in one of my previous posts earlier this month, the royal palace of Amsterdam had been undergoing renovations to its exterior when I visited. Roger was kind enough to take a picture of the outside for me recently (taking time out of his sprint-from-the-train-to-the-ferry commute!):

Amsterdam Royal Palace, 2012

As you can see there is a lot of people walking through the courtyard — and a lot of birds who have no fear of humans anymore.

In other news, het is vrijdag! It’s Friday! But I have to work tomorrow afternoon, so any weekend exhilaration I might have is dulled by this fact — for now. Tomorrow at 5PM, I might be singing a different tune…

The next thing I am doing for my Dutch language learning is viewing episodes of Het Klokhuis — an informational program aimed at kids which still manages to have interesting content for adults. I’ll admit that part of the reason I chose this program is because most of the episodes have ondertitels (subtitles) in Dutch. It makes it a bit easier to follow along, though it’s still not that easy.

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Trains (Or: Riding the rails)

Today’s first two pictures come from Roger, Amsterdam’s #1 train commuter! It’s a long commute too: first biking to the Hague bike station, dropping off his bike, getting on the train, praying it’s not 15 minutes late again, and then sprinting from Amsterdam Centraal Station to catch is ferry to get across the river IJs. Crazy times.

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Categories: Amsterdam, Transportation | Tags: | 2 Comments

Temptations (Or: The real reason I am moving)

Hold on to the edge of your seats. I am going to give you a shocker. The real reason I am moving…

is chocolate!

That’s right folks. Marco had a craving for sweets a few days ago, and brownie mix was all he had in the house. So he whipped up a batch and then sent me the evidence. Tempting, tempting…

Marco’s brownies that he made from scratch

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Categories: Food | Tags: , | 2 Comments

Night lights (Or: In front of the filmhuis)

Take a walk around Den Haag and you will find yourself in front of the filmhuis (film house). They show a lot of foreign movies from around the world in the film’s native language, though I personally have not viewed one there yet. Maybe if the film was Spanish and had subtitles…

Filmhuis in the Hague

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Categories: Culture, The Hague | 3 Comments

Prinsenhof (Or: A beautiful courtyard)

Another place that we visited in Delft was Prinsenhof, where William the Silent was assassinated. They turned his place of assassination into a museum, but I’ll leave that post for another day. For now, let’s just look at the beauty that awaits outside.

Statue within the Prinsenhof courtyard

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