Uncategorized

“Europe’s favourite cookie with coffee!” (Or: Biscoff/Lotus cookies)

Continuing the trend of “things that remind me of home while visiting America”, Marco and I were in a drug/convenience by the name of Duane Reed when we spotted some Lotus cookies. Except in America it looks like they are known as “Biscoff” cookies.

Lotus cookies renamed as Biscoff cookies in America

They are pretty good with coffee – fairly light, fairly small, so one is just right.

Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

Wafels & Dinges (Or: Goodness in Bryant Park)

Hi all! I’ve been gone for a while, as Marco and I were in America (three days in New York City as tourists and a week in Indianapolis with my parents). And now we’re back! And to begin with I have a few posts of things that remind me of home, to some degree.

The first is a Belgian waffle stand in Bryant Park, Wafels & Dinges (translates to Waffles and Things). Actually, they have a lot of locations throughout New York City. Here’s a look at the side of the stand:

Wafels and Dinges in Bryant Park

My favourite part is “Speku-what? Spekuloos!

It’s our favourite dinges made from traditional Belgian gingerbread cookies. In places like Dadizele, Zwevezele, and Erps-Kwerps, Belgians spread this dinges on waffles, pancakes or as the sandwich spread (“to spekulate”).

Some people we know also eat it by the spoon (“to overspekulate”).” Heh.

Continue reading

Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: , | Leave a comment

The Netherlands welcomes Donald Trump! (Or: Video from Zondag met Lubach)

It’s official – The Netherlands has pitched itself to the US president, Donald Trump. This satirical video first appeared on the Dutch comedy show Zondag met Lubach. The voiceover is done by Greg Shapiro, a Dutch American comedian.

“Dear Mister President. Welcome to this introduction video about the Netherlands. It’s going to be a great video. It’s gonna be absolutely fantastic. … We speak Dutch. It’s the best language of Europe. We’ve got the best words. All the other languages failed. Danish is a disaster. German is not even a real language. It’s fake. It’s a fake language.” and “This is the Afsluitdijk. It’s a great, great wall we built to protect us from all the water from Mexico.” And more!

video-from-zondag-met-lubach-madurodam-mention

Stillshot from the video. 

Madurodam – the miniature city theme park in The Hague – even got a mention. And that alone is enough of a reason to watch the video.

Categories: The Hague, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Marching for America (Or: Demonstrations in Amsterdam this weekend)

I occasionally receive emails from the US consulate in Amsterdam for things happening in The Hague and in Amsterdam. I’ve blogged about it before, most famously for the email I received regarding the New Years Eve celebrations a few years back. That one definitely made the Netherlands seem like a war zone…

This morning I received an email regarding two demonstrations taking place this weekend around the US Consulate:

Dutch authorities have informed the U.S. Consulate General in Amsterdam that demonstrations to protest U.S. politics are scheduled to occur near the U.S. Consulate General on Friday, January 20, and Saturday, January 21, 2017.

On Friday, January 20, two groups will demonstrate:  one group of demonstrators will gather in front of the U.S. Consulate General Amsterdam on Museumplein and the second group of demonstrators will form at Dam Square in Amsterdam before joining the other demonstrators already gathered at Museumplein.  Both demonstrations are scheduled to begin at 1900 and continue until 2100.  Police estimate approximately 2,000 demonstrators and over ten official sponsors of the demonstration.  There will be a large police presence, including riot police.

The Saturday, January 21, demonstration will begin at 1200 and end at 1500.  Approximately 3,000 participants are expected to assemble in front of the U.S. Consulate General on the Museumplein as part of “Women’s March Amsterdam.”  Police will be present in large numbers.

Read more here.

The Women’s March is definitely worldwide – at last count it was in 57 countries. The sheer logistics is staggering – for example, the march route in Chicago had to be shortened after the number of marchers jumped from 22,000 to 50,000 in 2 days. 

The original march (Women’s March on Washington) has a list of buses going to DC, by state. Also a list of “Sister Marches” if DC is too far away. At I am writing this there are 616 marches worldwide with an estimated 1,364,000 registered. It is a staggering amount.

Should be an interesting weekend. Don’t get me wrong though – I hope for the best for this administration! Even if it feels like an ocean away. Because the laws they make over there still affect me over here.

womens-march-on-washington-2017-map-of-sister-marches

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

Time to vote (Or: American presidential election)

Next month (8 November) is the American presidential election. But early voting has already started – early voting in person is allowed in 33 states and early voting by mail is allowed in 27 states (English Wikipedia). And that isn’t even counting absentee ballots for citizens living overseas or in the military.

I am a bit late to the game but this year I decided to register to vote for the first time :). This entails filling out an absentee ballot and sending it back to the county of one’s last official U.S. address. For me, this means sending it to Rockland County, New York as my last American address was in Pearl River, NY. A county is made up of a group of cities that work together under the same administration, and an American state is generally made up of these counties. So state -> counties -> cities.

For voting information, you can visit fvap.gov, or the Federal Voter Assistance Program. They have articles there like 5 things you need to know to vote absentee.

Step 1 is to download the FPCA (Federal Post Card Application) and mail it in to get into their system. You have to do this at least every few years – mine says it expires at the end of 2018. Also in New York you have to declare your party about 5 or 6 months in advance (Democratic or Republication) if you want to vote in the primaries. The primaries were earlier in the year, and are used to determine who will lead the Republication and Democratic tickets. You can read more about it here.

The only drawback at the moment is that New York state hasn’t fully embraced the digital age. So I can download the FPCA from the website, but I need to send it a hard copy (even if I also email it).

Step 2 is waiting for the actual ballot to arrive. Mine arrived last week, and I filled it out and put it in the mail yesterday. Like the FPCA, you need to mail it a hard copy, not just vote online.

Here is a look at what arrived:

ny-federal-election-ballot

The actual ballot is open in the middle. Above that, you have a smaller envelope which you date and sign. You then place the ballot inside. It’s a security envelope, so you can’t look through it. Below, you have a slightly larger envelope which you put the smaller envelope inside. You put your return address in the upper left and (since I am not in the US) appropriate postage to get it back to the US. Postage is only paid for if mailed from within the US.

And a close-up of the actual ballot:

ny-federal-election-ballot-closeup

On this ballot, you had three choices: President and Vice President (column 1), US State Senator (column 2), and not pictured, the House representative. The last race featured Nita Lowey, who was running unopposed.

A bit interesting – you can see that the race for President/Vice President had some duplication, as both the Republications and the Green party supported Trump/Pence. Similarly, there was some duplication for Clinton/Kaine (Democrats, Working families, and Women I believe).

This ballot is from Rockland County, NY. The format probably varies with each county, so this isn’t indicative of all ballots. And in a week or two I can check back online to see if my ballot was received and counted.

Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: | Leave a comment

Waiting, waiting, waiting… (Or: Joining the MacBook Pro world)

I was going to write about the lovely cocktails that I enjoyed at Milu last Wednesday, but I think that will have to wait until the next blog post! Instead I am going to talk about my PC. I received this computer as a birthday gift from Marco and Roger back in April 2010 or 2011. It is a cute little Asus netbook. Either way it is at least 5 years old. It does okay, all things considered. Except when Windows 10 needs to reboot to install updates. Ugh!


Since I’ve taken that picture it has mercifully come back, but it did spoil my plans to write a blog post there. So instead I am writing this blog via the WordPress app on my iPad while using a Bluetooth keyboard. It’s not the fastest typing in the world, but it is still much faster and accurate than what I can do on the iPad directly. Except for the last sentence. Ironically I made a lot of typos and had to slow down my typing there…

In the meantime I’ve been waiting on the new MacBook Pro. Unfortunately, I expected it to come out in March or June of this year. It’s now September with no end in sight. Well, except an email reply from Tim Cook that they didn’t forget about Macs. Hopefully that means October, but we’ll see! Part of the reason I’ve been patiently waiting was because there is a good chance I will go for the 15 inch rather than the 13 inch, and the processor in the 15 inch is already two years old (it did not get upgraded last year). Not a problem at all, except that I’ve proven I like to keep hardware for a long time, so I want a computer that lasts at a minimum five years. I love my iPhone 5 and secretly dream that I can hold on to it until early 2018. Another reason is that I secretly love to read the “Waiting for Skylake” thread over on Mac Rumors. Skylake being the new processor. The thread is around 24,000 replies and almost 1,000 pages. Crazy! 

Part of the reason that I am looking to get into a Mac is to finally have all Mac devices — I find it really frustrating that I can’t easily copy text from my PC to my iPad or vice versa. That is actually possible with the upcoming systems. But the main reason for writing this blog post was to explain why I haven’t been writing as many blog posts lately — I usually average once a week, usually in the weekend. It takes forever to load websites and copy images over from my phone (I either use Dropbox or a special flash drive with a lightning/USB connector).

Anyway, another month or so, and then hopefully the blog posts will become more frequent! Hopefully. 🙂

Categories: Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Lazy Sundays (Or: In the sun)

image

This is a friend’s other cat (the first one making her way to my blog last month). Happily lying in the sun…

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

My donor career has begun! (Or: First blood donation in the Netherlands)

As I mentioned in a previous blog post, I recently signed up at Sanquin to donate blood (read more about the company here). In the last blog post I covered what the differences were between donating in America and donating here in the Netherlands, but I will just add that after going through the full experience (not jut giving a bit of blood for them to run safety checks on), the actual process of drawing blood is exactly the same. And painless, though I do get the needle phobia!

One fun thing though – since it was my first time donating I received a cute little gift. A card with some more information and a key chain with my blood group on it.

First time donor in the Netherlands card

And here’s a better look at the key chain:

First time donor in the Netherlands card with keychain

Cute!

Oh, and this time I did everything in Dutch, because I rule. From the questionnaire to the short visit with the nurse to a 20 minute conversation with the person drawing my blood. NOTE: When I went in the first time to draw a bit of blood for the tests, I did ask for a questionnaire in English to confirm the questions were pretty much the same as what they ask in America. If you’re new to blood donation and Dutch isn’t your first language, I’d definitely recommend going with English the first time around. But still, go me!

Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: | Leave a comment

A new experience (Or: Blood donation in the Netherlands)

Last month my workplace held a blood donation information session at work. Representatives from Sanquin, the national blood bank, came to pass out pamphlets for possible registration as a blood donor. I’ve actually donated at least a handful of times in America, but I was curious to see how the process differed between there and here. Some of the differences include:

  1. The American system is based much more on blood donation on site – I never actually set foot within an actual blood bank. Instead I would donate at libraries or at work. The workers came to you. While they do have mobile blood banks in the Netherlands, more of the donations take place within the blood bank itself, after you receive a request to come in by mail.
  2. Continue reading

Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: | Leave a comment

Bendy cats (Or: A Monday pick me up)

Special to you for your Monday morning:

Cat lounging around

This is Roxy (Roxie?), a friend’s new cat. She is quite bendy. She’s actually lying in a basket attached to a “cat playing structure”, but contently hanging over the edge. For the record, she was already doing that for some time before I walked over to take the photo.

Happy Monday, everyone! (Of course, if you’re in the Netherlands you’re probably at least partially comforted by the fact that you have Thursday off for Ascension Day — at least, I hope you get it off.)

Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: | Leave a comment

Blog at WordPress.com.

Invading Holland

The story of an accident prone Englishman living in The Netherlands.

100Words

the adventures of an American living with a Dutchie

Fauzia's blog

The way I see it

Eers

I'm a girl. I bake stuff. I take pictures of cats. I sell books. And I write nonsense. Welcome to my world.

Maria Victoria Smith

The many opinions of a British girl with a Dutch obsession

Expat Since Birth

a blog by a plurilingual expat-since-birth, linguist, researcher, mum of three, living in the Netherlands and writing about bilingualism, multiculturalism, parenting abroad, international life...

A Flamingo in Italy

Exploring the art, culture, food and more of Italy in general, and Bologna in particular

Roselinde on the Road

Exploring the world to find new perspectives

blewbird

tussen de randstad en de zee