Monthly Archives: September 2013

Marzipan (Or: pigs and other sweets)

Last week Marco and I walked through V&D to look at their deals. They had a sale event going on called Prijzen Circus.  According to Marco you can also (sometimes) get some interesting things in the bakery during this time.

Lo and behold, I found pigs made out of marzipan:

pig made out of marzipan

They looked quite cute if you ask me. And full of sugar… In the background you can see other treats – everything in that display case was made with marzipan. Crazy!

Categories: Food | Tags: | 6 Comments

Woordenschat (Or: Dutch class 8 by ROC Mondriaan)

The theme of this lesson was synonyms (synoniemen) and vocabulary (woordenschat). The latter is a fun word, as it literally translates to word treasure.

Here were some of the words we had:

lui – je wil niks doen (lazy – you don’t want to do anything)

plezierig – iets leuk  (pleasurable – something fun)

ergernis – je vind het niet leuk (irritation, you find it not fun)

hekel – ik vind het helemaal niet leuk (hatred – you find it completely not fun)

Although this class is definitely slower than my last class, one nice thing is there is absolutely no English spoken in the class (mainly because there’s only a few people here where English is their native language!). Spoken Dutch and pronunciation are much better as well.

Another thing that was discussed was bijvoeglijk naamwoord (or adjectives). This was one thing that I did not understand for the longest time. The first thing you need to look at is whether the adjective comes before or after the noun. If it comes after, it’s pretty simple.

Het huis is groot. (The house is big.)

De auto is rood. (The car is red.)

De tafel is zwart. (The table is black.)

If the adjective comes before the noun, you usually add an e (and possibly alter the spelling a bit):

Het grote huis

De rode auto

De zwarte tafel

If you use een (or ‘a’) instead of de/het (or ‘the’) then the -e is dropped before ‘het’ words only:

Een groot huis (groot instead of grote)

Een rode auto (rode stays the same)

Een zwarte tafel (zwarte stays the same)

We also discussed the differences between words that might translate the same:

benieuwd = curious (you want information in general)

nieuwsgierig = curious (you want information over private things, a bit nosy)

Crazy vocabulary!

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Fierljeppen (Or: Dutch class 7 by ROC Mondriaan)

Note: I was not at class 6 due to the wedding (!) so there was not a blog post last week Wednesday.

Today was an interesting class as the chapter was “Sport”. We learned about a sport that is mostly in the Dutch province Friesland. The name of the sport is Fierljeppen (Wikipedia: Dutch | English). The sport originated in Friesland in the 1700s where there are lots of canals but not a lot of bridges to get across. Facing a lack of bridges in the area they used long poles to spring across.

The goal of the sport is to run towards the pole (which is already in the water) and climb up it as fast as possible while also maneuvering your body forward to reach the other side of the water. As the stick falls towards the other side you jump into the sand. The person who lands the farthest in the sand wins the competition.

And if that was not confusing enough, here is a YouTube video of it. :p

The wedding was good by the way. Afterwards we then spent a few days touring The Hague and Delft with my parents, brother, and sister-in-law. 🙂

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The 500th post! On our wedding day

Here is a momento from the day we met (after the hockey game he went to, not at).

Predators vs Devils Oct 19 2006 ticket

October 19, 2006 hockey game

September 19, 2013: the day we married.

Categories: Marco&Niki | 4 Comments

Fountains (Or: A lovely day in Scheveningen)

Here’s a picture from a month or two ago when Marco, Roger and I went to Rodizio in Scheveningen – a city name which I still cannot spell for the life of me.

fountain in Scheveningen

I do remember that the huge building on the left is a casino, and is also shaped like a cruise ship (being that it is right next to the beach). Unfortunately the weather is a bit colder now, so the beach isn’t as nice as it was over the summer.

Categories: Scheveningen | Tags: | 1 Comment

Waiting (Or: Inside Schiphol airport)

Today we are going to pick up my parents, brother, and sister-in-law at Schiphol airport. It is only one day before the wedding!

Here are some pictures that Marco and I took back in July while waiting for our flight (so beyond the security area):

chairs in Schiphol airport

Where would you like to sit?

relaxing area within Schiphol airport

Can you see the cat?

Categories: Friends&Family | Tags: | 4 Comments

Obstacles (Or: Construction in The Hague)

It seems like all of The Hague is under construction, though I’ve been told that the construction is perpetual and never-ending.

Here’s a view of what my parents, brother, and sister-in-law will see when they arrive tomorrow at the crack of dawn (!):

Construction in The Hague

It is just one example of many things which are under construction. At the next corner, they are building a Mark and Spencer’s, which you can read more about at this link.

Categories: Daily Dutch living | Tags: | Leave a comment

Holland Spoor (Or: Bikes, bikes and more bikes)

This photo is from a few months ago, and shows the bike area of Holland Spoor. That’s a lot of bikes!

Holland Spoor is one of the transportation hubs of The Hague, along with Central Station. The latter is bigger, although that is mostly because Holland Spoor is classified as a public monument and can’t be expanded.

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Blue (Or: Across from Noordeinde Palace)

Here’s some pictures of The Hague that I took over the last few weeks. The first one is a building across from the Noordeinde Palace, one of the three palaces for the royal family. Of course, I mostly took the picture because the window covers were a lovely shade of blue!

building across from Noordeinde Palace

I also ended up taking a picture of a canal, though I forget where it was at or where I was going at the time. The flowers dominate the photograph, almost hiding the water completely:

canal in The Hague with flowers

Of course, as I already mentioned this is from a few weeks ago, before the weather went all cold and rainy!

Categories: The Hague | Tags: , | Leave a comment

Schrijven is blijven (Or: Dutch class 4 by ROC Mondriaan)

Fourth lesson by ROC Mondriaan. I’m starting to make some stupid mistakes, which of course I find really annoying. With this type of endeavor I want to be perfect. Oh, and did I mention that the wedding vows we are telling each other will be in Dutch? Yeah, I’m crazy. But I’ll come armed with note cards! (Thankfully I have pretty understanding parents who are willing to listen and consult the translation we provide as needed…)

There were a few choices quotes from the teacher today:

Schrijven is blijven. Niet schrijven is vergeten.

Loosely translated: Writing is remembering (lit: staying). Not writing is forgetting.

Als je het niet weet, kies de.

Translated: If you don’t know it [whether to use ‘het’ or ‘de’ before nouns], choose ‘de’. 80% of Dutch nouns take ‘de’, whereas only 20% take het.

Interestingly, ‘de’ is for both masculine and feminine nouns. Back in the day there was a 3rd form for feminine nouns, but they were since consolidated into the same category as masculine. ‘het’ is actually for neutral nouns like professions, diminutives, metals, and other various things.

We then did some exercises where we switched around the word order, similar to Monday’s class:

Morgen ga ik met mijn kinderen voor het eerst naar de kinderopvang.

Tomorrow go I (:p) with my kids voor the first [time] to [the] daycare.

Ik ga morgen met mijn kinderen voor het eerst naar de kinderopvang.

I go tomorrow with my kids for the first [time[ to [the] daycare.

The main thing is that the verb stays in the first or second position… morgen ik ga is wrong as ‘ga’ is in the third position, but it’s a common mistake.

You can actually put phrases into the first position (thus, it is not limited to just one word). It mainly just changes the emphasis of the sentence.

Met mijn kinderen ga ik morgen voor het eerst naar de kinderopvang.

The subject and the verb always stick together (in simple sentences anyway). If the time element (morgen, tomorrow) is not in the first position it usually follows right after the subject, as it did in the last example.

One week to go until the wedding… Crazy times ahead!

Categories: Courses | Tags: | 2 Comments

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