Oranje tompouce (Or: The Dutchies win again!)

oranje tampouce in celebration of the World Cup

“tompouce”, a type of cake that goes with coffee. Here with a festive orange color due to the World Cup going on.

Nederland 3 – Australië 2

Woohoo. A much closer game but we survived. This time someone in the neighborhood had a lot of fireworks and set them off after we went ahead 3 to 2 (a bit premature if you ask me!). But we made it – and they set more firewoks off after the game was officially over.

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Wow (Or: Go Dutchies!)

oranje leeuw met voetbal

Spanje 1 – Nederland 5

Wow. Very cool to watch! After they scored, we would sometimes turn off the volume briefly and just listen to everyone shouting outside.

And as much as Marco likes to say otherwise, he was shouting at the tv too!

I have to say my favorite goal was the “flying Dutchman” goal by van Persie – a header right before the half to tie the score at 1-1.

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From Marco (Or: Christmas countdowns and Zonderland’s gold)

Niki mentioned a few times that for our various trips we’ve had countdown clocks to well..count down to the moment we’d be together again.
When she came over in December 2010 (and only Roger and I knew about her arrival) I decided to mix things up, make an advent type of calendar. Every day a new little ‘treat’, another (lower) number.

It started out as a joke, when it snowed on December 1st, and I drew the number 24 in the snow (24 more days until Christmas in NL)
Then it grew from there and I tried to come up with something new and original every day.
Often the number was either some randomly found digit, a few times I made one myself (like a 17 out of ‘hagelslag’ or a 3 out of jalapenos, or a 24 out of chicken fingers) and I even used a flyer for the pizza place across the street because it had a big seven on it.

The final picture of course, December 24 –one day till Christmas– was taken when Niki was already here (she arrived on the 23rd)
We have only two more countdowns ahead of us. Well, not true. I’m sure we’ll do more.
Counting down until the weekend, counting down to vacations, anniversaries, etcetera etcetera.

Soon of course the final countdown will start (cue the cheesy Europe song) Wooohooo.

In other news; During the Olympics we often get to watch sports we usually don’t see on tv.
Gymnastics is one of them. Today a Dutchie wrote history by winning ‘our’ first ever gymnastics medal, and it’s gold.
OMG. I know little about the high bar, but his routine was so much more spectacular than his fellow competitors.
The aerial moves he did have never been done before (in competition) as he combined 3 difficult moved into one crazy flowing display of awesomeness.

Do yourself a favor, look around for a proper video. And IF you can, watch it with the Dutch commentary.
The man goes nuts, and rightfully so. Amazing. It makes the routine even more spectacular.

[Edited to add by Niki: There’ s a proper video at but it’s not viewable if you have an American IP address. Try this YouTube video but it might disappear at any moment.]

Categories: Holidays, Marco&Niki, Sports | Tags: | Leave a comment

Cycling (Or: Rooting for two teams)

Note: I took this post idea from a Georgia Peach Abroad – and the concept of rooting for two teams equally.

Of course, I am not yet in the Netherlands. I am still in America, so that means that the coverage is dominated by American athletes. So hearing that there is a sport that will feature a Dutch athlete as a clear favorite means that I am much more likely to tune in (oranje!). This morning was the women’s road race in London and the surrounding area.

When I first turned the TV on, one of the comments was how the Dutch were aggressively attacking. This strategy did not let up at all. Near the end of the race, there were four riders left from four countries: America, Great Britain, Russia, and the Netherlands. I remember thinking: Who do I root for? America or the Netherlands? Although it would have been nice to see both teams medal. At some point the conundrum was solved, as the American had to drop behind after having mechanical issues with her bike.

Originally from (article has some other nice pictures)


So it was down to three… and I was trying to not watch, but trying to watch all the same. So nerve wracking!  I suppose that I should be glad, since I was rather clueless about the history behind the Dutch rider (Marianne Vols). I later found out that she has a tendency to do very well in races – but fade at the end. But she won!

Of course, after the post-race hugs and congratulations, NBC focused on the rider from Great Britain (partially because it was an English speaking athlete). So that was the end of the Dutch coverage. For now…

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Olympics (Or: That’s a lot of volunteers)

So far my favorite part of this opening ceremony was during the industrial age, with the rising of the Olympics rings and the sparks flying from underneath. The LED lights on the stadium audience seats are pretty cool too.

The weirdest thing has been realizing this is on tape delay (just like Beijing in 2008) and that NBC in America loves to add lots of commercials to the program. Marco and Roger watched the ceremony live, with it lasting about 4 hours. With commercials, the American version lasts 4 hours (8PM – midnight EST) so there is definitely some bits that will be cut out.

50 twitter feeds to follow for the Olympics (athletes, reporters, etc.)

Bringing things a bit closer to my home… Empire State Building lightning schedule – Each day of the Olympics, the Empire State Building will light a side of its building in honor of a country in the Olympics (four countries per day). The Netherlands will be featured on July 31, along with New Zealand, Brazil, and Romania.

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Yellow jerseys (Or: The end of the Tour de France)

This is Marco again, taking over Niki’s blog.
And once again I’ll talk a bit about sports.

You see, I like sports, but for Niki it’s a way of life.
Every now and then it seems like she doesn’t even care what type of sports, as long as she gets to watch something on tv. Like, the many times she puts on golf.
It amuses me (but in a good way.)

So a few times she told me she is really looking forward to indulging herself into the more European sports. We’ve already discussed voetbal (soccer) and how she wants to watch that.
We’ve already agreed upon me taking her to a few games (I haven’t been to a game in like..20 years?)

As part of her preparation for the euro-sports, she tried to follow the Tour de France this year.
Of course this isn’t easy to do, since it’s not on the radar in the USA.
I gues interest took a nose dive when Armstrong retired (and being under drugs scrutiny doesn’t help).

But even if she had been able to closely follow it, this year was boring.
You see, I like cycling for three weeks a year. The Tour is fun to watch..if the competition is strong.
Now I never like the flat surface races, because they follow the same formula and the sprinters always win.
But the mountain stages can be awesome. This year? Meh..the same team dominated everything and nobody was strong enough to challenge their superiority and threaten the race leader.

So the best thing the past three weeks was explaining some of the ‘behind the scenes’ happenings to Niki,
like race orders and tactics and such.
Like how each team comes with a designated leader, the guy that goes for the general rankings position.
They usually build the rest of the team around his needs, give him helpers for the mountains, stuff like that.
Oh, and I got to tell that the yellow jersey winner (the leader in the rankings) gives the money he wins to be distributed amongst the team. That’s one way of making them cycle for your benefit. 🙂

So that was the fun part. Again, the race itself was boring this year.
Oh well…Now we can get ready for the Olympics. Zet ‘m op, Holland!

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Euro 2012 ends (Or: A Dutchie’s perspective)

This post is from Marco who has been clamoring to write a blog post of late…

* * * * * * * *

So the European championship soccer–nay, voetbal, has come and gone.
Obviously the Dutch team didn’t make it. 3 Losses in as many games. A disgrace! 🙂
In the weeks leading up to the tournament, Niki posted a lot of pictures of how we got ready, turning everything orange.
Well, as you can imagine things quickly turned back to their regular color after they got ousted.
But don’t worry, they were the talk of the country even after being eliminated.

Rumblings about why the team couldn’t work together, what the coach did wrong and what not.
Hours and hours of tv were dedicated to the situation.
Eventually, after some evaluation talks with the KNVB (Koninlijke Nederlandse Voetbal Bond – Royal Dutch Football Union) the coach resigned.

But that’s not why I asked Niki if I could write this blog.
I wanted to take the time to point out some fun differences in how we do things surrounding the game.

Continue reading

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Sticky! (Or: What can you make from 450k post it notes?)

Artwork for the Tour de France, of course! The race is starting from Liege, Belgium this year, so their local mall used 450,000 sticky notes to create a collage of bicycle related art.

Laurent Dubrule/Reuters

Of course, it would not be Belgium without the MediaMarkt store in the background of the next photo… MediaMarkt is also somewhat visible in the picture above (you can see the red text at the bottom).

Laurent Dubrule/Reuters

Of course, I don’t really follow the Tour de France. This is mainly because the television coverage isn’t that great in the States. Only two of the dates are airing on NBC. The rest will be shown on the NBC Sports Network. I heard that channel is $20 a month extra!

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Heat (Or: Would you jump in this fountain?)

Heat: Two days of soaring high temperatures where frying eggs on the sidewalk is not completely out of the question. Both were 36C+ with temperatures feeling like 40C+ (105F) today.

But only two days’ worth. It breaks tonight, and then the thunderstorm rolls in.   Of course today the bus was a bit late due to an accident around the Lincoln Tunnel, so standing at the bus stop in that kind of heat for 40 minutes was… not fun. (Of course, this is where I have to admit the driver of my bus occasionally reads this blog, so if you stumble across this post Mr. bus driver, I know that you are not to blame! :))

Heat: Here’s hoping the Miami Heat don’t win the NBA championship tonight. I would at least like it to be a series.

Not Heat: Continuing the fountain theme of the last few days, here’s another picture of the fountain at Rijkswijk. Marco took it for me last month.

Would you jump into this fountain on a 36C+ day?

The amusing thing about this fountain is they do clean it about a few times a year… and it goes back to green within 2 days of the cleaning. It’s near the Bogaardplein.

Categories: Rijswijk, Sports | Tags: , | 1 Comment

Reflections (Or: 6 months to go)

Yesterday I was idly looking through my WordPress widgets – the things on the right like the categories, search box, signup, etc. I came across the Milestone one and decided to open it. This is the widget that says how many months/days are left until the big day. Currently it counts down to Christmas day, but I will change that once we officially book the plane tickets.

When I opened up the Milestone widget, I found myself chuckling a bit at the message that will be displayed on the day the countdown expires… but I will leave that big reveal until the big day. I am trying to imagine December 18, but it’s sort of hard even though it is so close.

Continue reading

Categories: Moving, Sports | Tags: , , | 6 Comments

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