About Me

I have done a lot of things in my life and have also worked in many different jobs to make a living and to experience life. This blog is just some of my musings, sometimes funny, sometimes inspirational, sometimes sad, sometimes angry, sometimes simple but all the time, it's just me.

Saturday, February 28, 2009


Maastricht is one of the southern towns in The Netherlands.

About 3 hours on the train from when I am, so that's where I went today.

Train ride from Rijswijk to Rotterdam. Then Rotterdam to Eindhoven. Then Eindhoven to Maastricht.

It is considered to be one of the oldest towns in this country.

So, a 3 hours ride down, spent about 3-4 hours there and another 3 hours back.

Maastricht is a city and a municipality in the Dutch province of Limburg situated on both sides of the Meuse river in the south-eastern part of the Netherlands, near the Belgian and German borders. The city is part of the Meuse-Rhine Euroregion, a Euregio whose other main cities include Aachen, Germany and Hasselt and Liège.

It is widely known as a centre of tradition, history and culture, and popular with tourists for shopping and recreation. It is the location for various educational establishments including Maastricht University, the Maastricht School of Management and parts of Zuyd University of Applied Sciences (including the Maastricht Conservatory, the Academy of Dramatic Arts and Hotel School). Consequently the city has a large international student population.

I enjoyed Maastricht, should have gone during the carnival last week but well, I still enjoyed it.

Take care and be well.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Yet another weekend

Every weekend I struggle to do something, go somewhere but within a certain budget.

You see, when the weekend is here, I don't want to be in the hotel in Rijswijk and be alone and lonely.

So, I get out and do something even if it is just spending 2 hours in Kessler Park laundry room.

However, my long overdue allowances have been finally banked in and I have some money.

Prior to this, I had already planned various trips in end March, early April.

Last weekend in March I will be going to Krakow, Poland. Some friends have volunteered to take me around.

Then on my birthday weekend, I am going to London. Thankfully the pound is quite low now. I have booked a play (Les Miserables); a concert (Jason Mraz) and nearly thought about going to see Manchester United play Aston Villa in a premier league match until I saw the ticket price. It costs 200 bloody pounds.

On Easter weeekend, I may go visit friends in Vienna, Austria or go to Prague,Czech Republic. This depends a little on my friends response as well.

This weekend, was thinking of going to my boss' country, maybe go to Kiel or Berlin or nearer to Cologne but maybe go south to Antwerp and Brussels.

Oh well, we will just have to see my blogs about it later.

Take care and be well.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

First visitor to Rijswijk

Stel (my sister in law, wifey's sister) arrived from Poland today on a bus from Tarnow to Amsterdam.

Then she took a train to Den Haag Central station where I picked her up, took some time off from work to do so.

She will be here until Friday evening when she takes a long ride back to Tarnow.

So, 3 nights and about 4 days.

She had quite an eventful bus ride where she had to pay a bribe to bogus "German" cops but I believe were likely Polish Border Police which she has had problems with before.

This was at a Polish border town of Szcecin. No details available but I am certain that they were not German.

Obviously after the ride, she was a little tired, but she did go to The Hague where I met up with her after work and we went to Scheveningen which is by the North Sea. We had dinner in this Spanish sort of restaurant where surprisingly the service was very good unlike most Dutch Service.

On the second day, she went to Rotterdam and went around on her own. However, it was a cloudy day with some rain, but she still seemed to enjoy herself.

Again after work, I went to Rotterdam and we had dinner before we came back.

Tomorrow, she will be going to Amsterdam. It is unlikely that I would go over there after work, but I'll see.

On Friday, she goes off back on the bus to Tarnow, Poland.

Hopefully no major issues there.

It was somewhat nice to have a visitor. Although the stupid hotel here charges an extra 25 per night for additional guest, but, oh well, it's nice to have family.

I wonder how much they charge for dogs.....hmmmm, Al E, you want to come over with Mommy for a holiday here?

Take care and be well.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Wifey saves a dog

Wifey started a blog recently and is currently in Miri taking care of our boy, Al E.

On Friday, she saved a dog - well, it was safe, but she reunited the dog with the owners.

See her story in her blog.

I am so proud of wifey and happy that there are still good people out there like our neighbours. At least now I feel comfortable that they would also have Al E's best interest at heart when I need to leave my boy at home sometimes.

And coincidentally, the dog also belonged to people I know who live in Luak Bay, a half guju bhai and his fiancee who worked near my department but now is in a different floor.

Great job wifey.

Take care and be well.

PS. Al E Baba also has a blog if anyone is interested to check it out.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Carnival on television

I was supposed to have gone to the carnival in south of Netherlands this weekend.

But I did not, thanks mainly to morons who do not get their job done.

You see, to go to the carnival in Eindhoven or Den Bosch or Maastricht, the train ride would cost between €20 to €30 for a day ticket.

So, since Eindhoven was having the carnival on Saturday and Maastricht and Den Bosch on Sunday, that would have been €60 for train tickets alone.

Then food and drinks and the general merry making during the carnival would have at least cost another €100 for both days (includes 2 lunches, 2 dinners and drinks and €100 is a low estimate as things could be more expensive during carnival).

So what do you do when you only have slightly less than €200 left because some morons did not do their job?

Well, basically watch part of the carnival on the television, eat simple meals and do simple things to pass your weekend.

Not an entire loss though.

I managed to see an overrated movie - The Wrestler, met someone in a wine bar that works in Shell and offered me to come over to Barcelona and stay in their place, managed to win €20 in a casino near the hotel, managed to finally go to a night club with house music - I must have been the oldest person there.

As for my allowances, after unnecessary and waste of time escalations, they are going to do it off-cycle this month because someone screwed up. They have committed by 27 February but I am now hounding them for more details.

So, such is life sometimes. Maybe I will go watch Slumdog Millionairre today, at least it is feel good.

Take care and be well.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

These are a few of my favorite things

Taco. Grolsh, The Wrestler.

Wine, Cheese Platter with honey.

Mojito, House Music, Chocolates and Kadak Puri.

This are some of my favorite things.

These are the things I did on a Saturday evening. I did not like The Wrestler and I do not think Mickey Roarke deserves an Oscar for this. I also don't think Heath Ledger deserves an Oscar for The Joker - so we will see.

As for the wrestler, it is Ala Leaving Last Vegas - but replacing alcoholic Nicholas Cage with wrestler Mickey Roarke and Elizabeth Shue with Marissa Tomei.

I loved the Austrian wine with the Truffle cheese and honey I had.

The Mojito was so so, just like the Chocolates.

The kadak puri is finished.

Now I have the hiccups!!

OK, I know you miss me, but stop thinking of me so much, because I want the hiccups to stop.

Take care and be well.

Friday, February 20, 2009

N52°02.280’; E4°19.360’; Elevation 9m

What is this?

This is my current exact location.

N52°02.280’; E4°19.360’; Elevation 9m.

Where is this?

In my room in The Grand Winston Hotel, sitting at the table on the Internet.

How do I know this?

Garmin Nüvi 765T navigation system (basically my new toy, a GPS device)

And I now have a Burgerservicenummer or Burger Service Number. Hmm, I wonder if I get further discounts on all the veggie burgers I have been eating.

Anyway, a burgersercenummer or BSN or the citizen service number is a personal number that replaces the Social Security number by November 26, 2007.

It is basically a number to be used for banking accounts, loans, buying cars, getting a driving licence etc.

I am in The Netherlands for 3 months or so, but need all of this. I had to register in The Hague town hall, I had to register with the immigration department etc etc.

I am now as good as a permanent resident of The Netherlands ... hmmm, maybe I should work from here instead (then I will not have to deal with HR morons at home).

Take care and be well.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

How do you spell Moron?

How do you spell moron in Malaysia?

Simply with 2 letters, HR (Human Resources - some morons may not know what HR is).

mo⋅ron   /ˈmɔrɒn, ˈmoʊr-/ [mawr-on, mohr-]
1. a person who is notably stupid or lacking in good judgment.

Take care and be well.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Great Pretender

Oh yes I'm the great pretender (ooh ooh)
Pretending I'm doing well (ooh ooh)
My need is such I pretend too much
I'm lonely but no one can tell

Oh yes I'm the great pretender (ooh ooh)
Adrift in a world of my own (ooh ooh)
I play the game but to my real shame
You've left me to dream all alone

Too real is this feeling of make believe
Too real when I feel what my heart can't conceal

Ooh Ooh yes I'm the great pretender (ooh ooh)
Just laughing and gay like a clown (ooh ooh)
I seem to be what I'm not (you see)
I'm wearing my heart like a crown
Pretending that you're still around

Take care and be well.

Monday, February 16, 2009

North of Dam, South of Dam

Saturday started a little late. But decided to stick to the plan and go further up north, further up from Amsterdam.

Went to this town called Enkhuizen and a "ghost town" called Zuiderzeemuseum. The train ride was from Rijswijk - Den Haag HS - Harlem - Amsterdam - Hoorn - Enkhuizen and back the same way.

Well Zuiderzeemuseum is not really a ghost town but in the winter, all the activities are on hold and you can walk around the old reconstruction of a town. In the summer, it is a hive of activity but in the winter, it is a ghost town, but nice nevertheless.

I enjoyed my whole day in Enkhuizen and later went to Den Haag for dinner. Ate dinner in this place called Rootz which serves 60+ different beers, I had one with dinner.

On Sunday, another day I started a little late. Went to breakfast in my shorts and t-shirt and the restaurant was crowded with a lot of people who were all dressed to go out. Ran to catch the train on time and managed to do so.

So, this time south of Rotterdam, significantly south. A train from Rijswijk - Delft - Rotterdam - Eindhoven. Then on return trip, Eindhoven - 's-Hertogenbosch - Utrecht - Den Haag - Rijswijk.

It was raining everywhere, every stop. In Eindhoven, went to a few museums including the Van Abbemuseum as well as Design House.

Then went to 's-Hertogenbosch. How do you pronounce that, an 's in a name?

Anyway, people call it Den Bosch.

It is a nice historical town with a lot of nice architecture. I walked down in the rain and then saw this big party in a pub with people dressed up. Apparently, they are practising for the parade and carnival next week.

So I joined in as well. Got talking with this young group of people and their parents and had a blast of a time.

Then had dinner and on my way back to the hotel.

Nice eventful but tiring day.

Take care and be well.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

No Ghost Just A Shell

Design House, Eindhoven, The Netherlands.

Take care and be well.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Gujubhai in Rijswijk

You can find a Gujubhai or a Gujubhen anywhere in the world, even in bumblefack Rijswijk.

Yah you can find a Chinese everywhere to but there are maybe 1.5 billion Chinese in the world compared to maybe 50 million Guju's around the world.

So what is the chance that I would find a Guju everywhere I have been in the world? It is significantly less than finding a Chinese or generally an Indian.

Anyway, the Gujubhai I met here is also working in SMEP and he is here for training for the next five weeks or so.

I try to avoid Guju's where I can but this guy I actually know from SMEP and therefore not easy to avoid.

So, this Gujubhai and I will likely be going out tomorrow - young boy, so as the elder statesman I have to show this Guju boy around.

Well, it is better than doing things alone but I would not want to make it a habit.

Take care and be well.

Postscript: This now reminds me of Sting's song Englishman in New York. Maybe I will write lyrics to Gujubhai in Rijswijk following Sting's tune :P

Friday, February 13, 2009

4 nights in Rijswijk and Laundry Day

I have eaten Vegetarian Schnitzel, not spicy Thai Red Curry, Domino's Pizza and a sandwich with some chips.

4 days now I have not left Rijswijk, I need to go out tomorrow.

Part of the reason was that it has been raining the last few days in the evening and it dampens my spirits as well as my clothes to be out in the weather.

As for today, the weather was nice but I had to do my Euro1 laundry at the Shell facilities, so had a sandwich, some chips and juice while watching my clothes tumble, turn and spin.

The laundromat in Shell in Rijswijk is the biggest secret. It seems like nobody knows about it and nobody seems to use it. It is not even in the guide and even the security did not really know about it.

It has 2 Miele washing machines and 2 Miele dryers. It uses tokens which you can get for free at the convenience shop in Kessler Park (the main building).

But you have to buy Euro1 soap for the machine from the shop in order to get the tokens.

The laundry room also has 2 nice irons and ironing boards and facility to hand wash your clothes in a sink or pre-wash in a sink.

It is situated in the basement, behind the gym on the way to the learning center.

I did not take any pictures because technically you are not supposed to take pictures inside Shell over here, but I will see if I can sneak some pictures the next time I do laundry.

Tomorrow is Friday, I will surely go out somewhere, like The Hague. This weekend maybe a trip up North or down south, further up from Amsterdam or further down from Rotterdam.

Take care and be well.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

4 Birthdays and no funerals

Happy Birthday Bro, 42 and going. I guess this will be your first birthday as an American citizen. So 42 years as a Malaysian and hopefully more than that as a citizen of the United States of America. Here's wishing you all the best. Another year over, a new one has begun.

Other birthdays of people I know on 12 February include
H.P. - oldest son of my father's ex boss. A con-man. It's like the mob, but no cement.

J.O.B. - wife of my ex-friend, an ex-boss and a bitch. No joy when you see this person.

P.K.S. - an ex-boss who has helped me directly and although an arrogant person at times, I guess someone who has helped many times I have to give some respect. Some furniture you like, and some you just are indifferent.

Do not know anyone who has died on February 12 though, which I guess is good.

Other famous birthdays on Feb 12 include Abraham Lincoln, Charles Darwin, Arya Samaj Maha Rishi Dayanand Sarsvati, Otto Ludwig and Bill Russel among many others.

Famous deaths on Feb 12 include JC Penney, Jane Gray and Charles M Shulz among many.

Take care and be well.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Domo Arigato Mister Roboto

Domo arigato, Mr. Roboto
Mata au hima de
Domo arigato, Mr. Roboto
Himitsu o shiri tai

You're wondering who I am (Secret secret, I've got a secret)
Machine or mannequin (Secret secret, I've got a secret)
With parts made in Japan (Secret secret, I've got a secret)
I am the modern man

I've got a secret I've been hiding under my skin
My heart is human, my blood is boiling, my brain IBM
So if you see me acting strangely, don't be surprised
I'm just a man who needed someone and somewhere to hide
To keep me alive, just keep me alive
Somewhere to hide to keep me alive

I'm not a robot without emotions, I'm not what you see
I've come to help you with your problems so we can be free
I'm not a hero, I'm not a savior, forget what you know
I'm just a man who's circumstances went beyond his control
Beyond my control, We all need control
I need control, We all need control

I am the moldren man (Secret secret, I've got a secret)
Who hides behind a mask (Secret secret, I've got a secret)
So no one else can see (Secret secret, I've got a secret)
My true identity

Domo arigato, Mr, Roboto
Domo, Domo
Domo arigato, Mr. Roboto
Domo, Domo
Domo Arigato, Mr. Roboto
Domo Arigato, Mr. Roboto
Domo Arigato, Mr. Roboto
Domo Arigato, Mr. Roboto
(Thank you very much oh Mr. Roboto
for doing the jobs that nobody wants to)
Domo Arigato, Mr. Roboto
(And thank you very much oh Mr. Roboto
for helping me escape just when I needed to)
Domo Arigato, Mr. Roboto
(Thank you thank you thank you)
Domo Arigato, Mr. Roboto
(I wanna thank you)
Domo Arigato, Mr. Roboto
(Please thank you)

The problem's plain to see
Too much technology
Machines to save our lives
Machines de-humanize

The time has come at last (Secret secret, I've got a secret)
To throw away this mask (Secret secret, I've got a secret)
Now everyone can see (Secret secret, I've got a secret)
My true identity

I'm Kilroy! Kilroy! Kilroy! Kilroy....

Take care and be well.

PS. This post is specially dedicated to someone who has not blogged for more than 2 months, something must have been in the coconut water he drank.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009


It has been raining on and off.

It's funny the rain here, but it sure is cold and windy.

Many umbrellas lie destroyed by the road because of the wind.

It rained in Rotterdam on Sunday when I went there. It was an on and off sort of rain but the winds were really strong.

Nearly destroyed the fancy umbrella Sarah had bought for me. I had to close it up before it was totally unusable.

On Monday, a little rain in the evening in The Hague and Rijswijk. I went to see a few apartments in the Hague. Quite nice but I have quite decided to remain in the Hotel. After seeing the apartments, I just decided to eat in Rijswijk because I did not want to be in the rain too long.

I am already falling ill, having a sore throat, feeling dizzy and nauseated and having this really stiff aching left shoulder.

Today, the weather was great in the morning but the rain started just before lunch.

On the air, it looks like it is snowing, but on the ground it is all wet. Then it is only rain rain rain. Wet looks, wet feet, wet shoes, wet pants, wet winter jacket.

It has been raining for a few hours now with no reprieve and it's not too much of help. I need some sunshine.

Does not help when I am already feeling sick. I need to take care and be well too.

Take care and be well.

Monday, February 9, 2009


This is thinking outside the box by Piet Blom the architect who designed these apartments.

Thinking outside the box but literally living in a box.

Very unusual architecture and guess what? These apartments are built 25 years ago.

From Wikipedia:
Kubuswoningen, or cube houses, are a set of innovative houses built in Rotterdam and Helmond in The Netherlands, designed by architect Piet Blom in 1984. The houses in Rotterdam are located on Overblaak Street, and beside the Blaak Subway Station. Blom tilted the cube of a conventional house 45 degrees, and rested it upon a hexagon-shaped pylon. There are 38 small cubes and two so called 'super-cubes', all attached to each other.

As residents are disturbed so often by curious passers-by, one owner decided to open a "show cube", which is furnished as a normal house, and is making a living out of offering tours to visitors.

The houses contain three floors:
Ground floor entrance
First floor with living room and open kitchen
Second floor with two bedrooms and bathroom
Top floor which is sometimes used as a small garden

The walls and windows are angled at 54.7 degrees. The total area of the apartment is around 100 square meters, but around a quarter of the space is unusable because of the walls that are under the angled ceilings.

This were among the main highlights of my trip to Rotterdam on Sunday.

Take care and be well.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Chaos in Rotterdam Central

I was going to blog about my wonderful day in Rotterdam, about the most unique apartments I have seen, about the interesting lamp post but I need to write about the chaos at the Rotterdam Central station here now.

On my way back from Rotterdam after dinner, there was just chaos at the train station.

Obviously, nothing is announced in English nor are there any signs in English. Then I figure it out, there are no trains, nothing is moving.

Apparently a power failure. And there were no trains going north from Rotterdam. So no trains to Amsterdam, no trains to Den Haag, no trains to Delft, no trains to Rijswijk.

No buses either. Obviously trams do not go that far.

It was not so late at night, about 7:30pm or so. So I considered whether I should wait and see if the Dutch get this thing sorted out.

After all they were not too informative or helpful of alternative solutions.

So, I decided to bite the bullet and take a taxi back.

After a whole week of saving money, there went more up in the air.

A usual train ride would cost me 2 Euros from Rotterdam to Rijswijk using my train discount card.

My taxi ride cost me 45 Euros.

You know, in a lot of ways, I find The Netherlands a little like Malaysia.

It is not as clean; there is rubbish like plastic, bottles and cans thrown all over the road and train stations.

The public toilets are not clean.

The service in restaurants is nonexistent.

The train service breaks down and there is lack of information available.

Not to get down too much on the country or the people, but the thing is, most Dutch I know like to complain a lot about Malaysia.

They also like to "taruh" us but can never take it when we "taruh" them back.

Well guess what, they are no different than us.

While there are a lot of nice things to see here and a lot of nice things to do and I am generally enjoying myself, but I can really get sick of the attitude.

But oh well, 3 months and take life as it goes.

Take care and be well.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Veggie Burger in Amsterdam

Well, I did have a Veggie Burger again but did a lot more in Amsterdam.

I was in Amsterdam pretty much the whole day on Saturday. Took the train from Rijswijk to Den Haag HS and then another train to Amsterdam Central. From there a tram to Museum Square.

First stop, Van Gogh museum to see some of my friend Vincent's paintings.

The lines were longer than expected and I queued up like a good person. Then I saw the sign from above and cut the line and walked straight in. You see, I made the Museum Card last week which means a separate line and free entrance. No queues.

It is all I had expected and even more. Van Gogh was a true Dutch Master.

(NOTE: The Dutch do pronounce the G, so Van Gogh is does not have a Chinese surname like how the French would pronounce it i.e. Van Goh :P)

After the Van Gogh museum, I wanted to go to a museum next to it, which is The Stedelijk Museum. It is supposed to be one of the most innovative and interesting museums of modern art in the world. Presently it is closed and in a painful and prolonged renovation, Stedelijk is planned to reopen in April of 2010.

So, I walked down the street and went into the Diamond Museum. Not too much into diamonds and have seen most of the good stuff in South Africa. From here on, I entered the Bols center but did not visit it.

Instead, I walked further down for the Heineken Experience at the Heineken Brewery. Very interesting experience this was. The lines here were as long as the lines at the Van Gogh and unfortunately, they did not accept the museum card.

I truly enjoyed this – I bought 2 bottles of Heineken beer that were personalised and 6 glasses with names on it, some as gifts.

Of course, you get 2 small glasses of beer for free as part of the tour. I took a normal Heineken and then tried a 0 degree beer.

After the Heineken brewery and walked to Hard Rock Cafe.

Here is where I had the veggie burger as I always do in Hard Rock Cafe’s around the world. After dinner, went to the Hard Rock shop and bought 2 t-shirts, one for wifey and one for me.

After dinner at Hard Rock, took the tram to the University area, walked around the canal, ended up walking past the famous red light district of Amsterdam and in the end walked back to Central station.

Spent maybe about 10 hours or so in Amsterdam, will go back again to watch a few more things in Amsterdam including Anne Frank’s house, History Museum, Marijuana Museum and Van Gogh again.

On the way back, the train broke down between Amsterdam and Den Haag HS, so we were stuck for about 30 minutes in the middle of nowhere.

But back safely but tired and with sore feet.

Take care and be well.

PS. Pics to be uploaded later.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Veggie Burger in Rotterdam

Was tired of going to The Hague every evening. Delft or Rijswijk being small seemed a little boring to go on a Friday evening.

So, I took the train to Rotterdam. Took the train from Rijswijk to Rotterdam with a dozen or so stops but still arrived within 20 or 25 minutes.

Rotterdam is amazing on a Friday night. Really a lively place with lots of crowd, lots of activity, many shopping areas, a huge casino, and many eateries and pubs.

After walking a while from the Rotterdam central station, I came to this square. Very interesting lights and the different types of floor. Very nice. The picture above is a tower which I walked towards. Defnitely coming back to Rotterdam sometime.

The had this interesting bronze statues everywhere on the walkways. The one above particularly caught my eye. And of course being a Friday night, there were cops in the main areas, even cops on horsies. Somehow animals like me and when I passed one of the horse, he or she was sniffing me up. I remember a horse in Vienna a few years back that licked me.

There was so much food to choose from but I finally settled on this place while walking towards the clock tower which served a veggie burger. So, that was my dinner for a Friday night. This was one of a few restaurants that did not serve tap water, so I had to order bottled water instead.

I enjoyed my 2 hours in Rotterdam and definitely coming back again, likely on Sunday. But tomorrow, I am off to Amsterdam.

Take care and be well.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009



I am a Guinea pig.

Take care and be well.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Nasi Lalapan for RM 115; 1 week expenditure = RM 2300

I really need to cut down on expenses, I do not know how yet. Maybe need to be like the Dutch, eat a cold meal, maybe just some bread and cheese. Pack from breakfast and eat that for dinner. I don't know yet.

I went to an Indonesian restaurant in Den Haag yesterday and it cost me Euro 25 for pretty much Nasi Lalapan with a glass of wine.

The rice came with a different type of tempeh, some freshly cut cucumber, 2 very spicy sambals and sayur lodeh (a vegetable chili coconut based curry).

It was really tasty and really nice. And tasting the spicy sambal was fantastic after 1 week of generally eating western food.

But Euro 25 which comes up to RM115 - I was shocked when I converted. And then I saw my wallet. I have spent Euro500 in a week. That is like RM2300 in 7 days.

Okay, so some of this is fixed one time cost like buying gloves, scarf, some museum discount ticket, books etc but most of it is food. Any hot meal for dinner and a cup of tea, glass of wine or beer here costs about Euro 15 to Euro 20 for dinner.

How could this be? Is this place really that expensive? Is my allowance going to be enough?

I have so many questions and concerns. Some I keep asking and receive no answers. This is something I really feel is uneccessary stress that affects my work.

Already I am missing my family (including Al E) and my friends, now I have to be concerned about what I can eat.

Take care and be well.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Happy Birthday Mack

My dear friend, A very Happy Birthday.

Sorry I could not be there to celebrate it with you.

I hope that the gift arrived safely and that you enjoy and cherish it.

I apologise for the times that I have made you sad or angry.

Hopefully you will remember and cherish more the times we have just understood each other and laughed.

A ruddy drop of manly blood
The surging sea outweighs,
The world uncertain comes and goes,
The lover rooted stays.
I fancied he was fled,
And, after many a year,
Glowed unexhausted kindliness
Like daily sunrise there.
My careful heart was free again, --
O friend, my bosom said,
Through thee alone the sky is arched,
Through thee the rose is red,
All things through thee take nobler form,
And look beyond the earth,
And is the mill-round of our fate
A sun-path in thy worth.
Me too thy nobleness has taught
To master my despair;
The fountains of my hidden life
Are through thy friendship fair.

from RWE

Take care and be well.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Sejuk Giler Sunday

Sunday morning, it is below zero, some snow flurries this morning, strong wind and it was by far the coldest day today compared to all the days I have been here.

Today's temperature in the places I have been has been high of -1 and lows of -4 degree Celsius. This is excluding the wind chill factor and boy was the wind blowing.

I started a little late today, just admiring the snow outside of my window and it already felt cold in my room as well.

But I dressed up and went out in the bitter cold. Started off at The Hague to go the M.C. Esher museum.

M.C. Esher has been one of my favorite artists for many years and I was only introduced to his art in USA when doing my bachelors degree some 20 years ago.

He draws and does woodcuts of endless perspective, any which way goes.

After that, I went to Mauritshuis which is next to the Parliament and has a lake in front.

This place most famous painting is the girl with the pearl earring by Vermeer. It is often referred to as the Dutch Mona Lisa. Very nice.

Apart from this painting, there were many other fantastic paintings in this place.

After this, I went to The Hague Historic Museum which is a little more historical.

It also had an exhibition of old doll houses - very interesting how this old doll houses were done with the intricate details.

Finally, took the tram to Scheveningen which is a beach town. It is quite a nice place by the North Sea. However, today was really cold and the wind was quite strong.

Well, the 1st weekend has passed. I guess next weekend I will do Amsterdam and visit all the sites in the city including The Van Gogh museum as well as the red light district.

Will update when I can.

Take care and be well.