Time slips away (Or: It’s been six months?)

On Sunday I realized that I was now at the six month mark for working at home (13 March to 13 September). I’ve got about another four months to go, unless the return to office is delayed again. I will be going into the office however later this month – to get a new work computer. That came as a surprise to me! On the one hand I’m glad as I hope it will be faster. On the other hand I am worried because it means I need to hope all of my existing software reinstalls properly. But I did pick a day that will hopefully be less busy, so I will just cross my fingers.

Of course there are a lot of rules, which is a good thing in my opinion. Only two people can share the same time slot to pick up their computer, you need to wait in reception to get picked up, you can’t wander around (with the exception of getting coffee, since hey, they aren’t evil), you need advance permission to visit your desk, etc. etc. etc.

Let’s go for some public transportation related news today:

  • Erasmusbrug closed after overhead tram cabling collapses from This happened yesterday morning. It sounds really bad, but luckily there were no injuries. The bridge was re-closing (after having opened for ship traffic) when the cabling fell down. The bridge was able to re-open for pedestrians and cyclists on Monday evening.
  • A campaign by the Dutch public transportation branch, called “OV OK”. Two things to know if you’re not from the Netherlands: OV means public transportation in Dutch and it is pronounced oh vay so that you get the rhyme oh vay oh kay. See also this article from Het licht staat op groen voor het openbaar vervoer (Public transportation gets the green light). I can see where they are coming from, to a degree. While we are told to work from home as much as possible, we are currently allowed to use public transportation. The rules are that you need to wear a face mask and that you should avoid rush hour wherever possible. But for now I view it as something to use if absolutely necessary (even though it pains me to say that, as I love riding in trams!)
Erasmusbrug from the nhow hotel
Categories: Rotterdam, Transportation, Working & Volunteering | Tags: | Leave a comment

Eurovision Song Contest (Or: Close to home)

Today it was announced that Rotterdam had won the right to host the Eurovision Song Contest (Eurovisie Songfestival in Dutch) next year in May. This is because the Netherlands won the 2019 version of the song contest with Duncan Lawrence’s Arcade (YouTube) in May. It was their first win in 44 years.

Now, if I am being honest – this whole concept of a European song contest seems polarizing at best (you either love it or hate it) and political at worst. There are two components to the voting – each country has a panel of five judges which cast their vote for other countries using a points system, and each country also has votes coming from televoting from the fans. You are prevented from voting for your other country. Whomever gets the most points from the two combined voting areas wins.

Next year the song contest will be held at the convention centre Ahoy in Rotterdam (Wikipedia) after it was announced that Rotterdam had beaten Maastricht for the right to host the event. I’ve been there a few times for concerts and WWE wrestling events – it is a nice venue. The only annoying thing is that you need to use special tokens to buy food and drink, so we usually don’t buy anything.

Hotel prices in both Rotterdam and The Hague are skyrocketing (article in Dutch). The Netherlands will have a busy month in May 2020, as it was also recently announced that the newly-granted F1 race will happen on May 3 in Zandvoort (in the area of Amsterdam). That’s actually one of the reasons Amsterdam dropped out of the race to host the Eurovision song contest rather quickly – there was already going to be issues with having enough hotel rooms in the area, especially as a lot of press and groups arrive about two weeks early for the song contest.

It should be an interesting May next year!

Categories: Culture, Rotterdam | Leave a comment

3rd wedding anniversary (Or: A stay at nhow Rotterdam hotel)

Last week Marco and I celebrated our 3rd anniversary at the nhow hotel in Rotterdam (Dutch | English). The hotel was designed by Rem Koolhaas and currently holds the title of the largest building in the Netherlands (at 160,000 square meters).


Our room ended up being in the lower left building, in the upper left corner on the 23rd floor.

Where we were going and where we were staying was a surprise on my part – Marco only knew that it was a city in the Netherlands and we would be spending one night in a hotel.


Rotterdam Centraal, the train station. We ended up taking the new metro line E from Den Haag Centraal to Rotterdam Centraal, but that is for another blog post. 🙂

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Over twenty years (Or: WWE in Rotterdam, The Netherlands

Earlier in the year we found out that WWE (World Wrestling Entertainment) was coming to the Netherlands. It has been about 21 or 22 years since they have been in this country. So Marco took the day off and he and I went to Rotterdam in the afternoon to do a bit of shopping before the show at night, though we didn’t end up buying anything.

First we went to Selexyz, listed as “one of the largest bookstores in the Netherlands”. The arrangement of the store was pretty interesting… you had an elevator that either went up 3-4 floors or down to the basement. But each of the floors had mini-levels, with stairs connecting them. So Marco and I went all the way to the top (as he has done with Roger many times before) and slowly worked our way down taking the stairs. But they didn’t really have anything of interest in the Talen section (languages)

After that, we headed off to the MediaMarkt, which also boasted that it was one of the largest in the Netherlands, if not the largest. We were amused by what we saw:

WWE promotion sign in Rotterdam, The Netherlands

Apparently there was a WWE autograph signing, although the names there aren’t the higher level wrestlers. Out of curiosity we went upstairs to where it was at, but the place was packed. (Good luck to the shoppers who actually wanted to find a product up there!)

After that, we walked back to Rotterdam Central Station to meet up with Roger, and then took the tram onwards to where the event was taking place. After having dinner at Subway, we went on to the arena, called Ahoy Rotterdam, or simply Ahoy. The name reminds me of Chips Ahoy cookies…

Link to the wrestling results

The wrestling event itself was pretty good. Some other friends of ours arrived so in total we had 7 seats together. The crowd wasn’t quite as vocal as I could have hoped, and at times it was hard to see (sucks being short!) but otherwise it was a lot of fun.

Daniel Bryan WWE Rotterdam, The Netherlands

One of the wrestlers – Daniel Bryan, with his crazy beard.

Kane WWE Rotterdam, The Netherlands

The other guy Bryan wrestles with (on the same team), Kane. Yes, that’s a red mask he’s wearing.

Categories: Rotterdam, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

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