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Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Christmas 2009

Five days of eating, drinking and unwrapping gifts...

But the eating took up most of my time by far... On Christmas Eve Shos and I went to Weert and prepared a nice meal for my parents. Due to a train delay we barely were in time to do some last-minute Christmas shopping but we managed to make it! Of course the food was way too much, but with some perseverance we managed to eat all of it ;-) Add a couple of glasses of wine to this and some presents and you automatically have a good evening.

On Christmas day we didn;t do a lot but kind of waited for my sister and her boyfriend to come over so we could all eat together. We did a very traditional Dutch thing called: "gourmetten". In the middle of the table is a little stove and everyone has his/her own little pan. Everyone also has a bunch of little pieces of meat and fish and some cut of veggies which you then slowly prepare in your own pan. Sounds kin of dorky but it is a very nice thing to do when you are with a group and nobody wants to spend a lot of time in the kitchen.

Before we had food we distributed all gifts by means of several games and after dinner we played more games with which you could steal presents from other people. Not everyone ended up with exactly the thing (s)he wanted so there was some vigorous trading going on at the end of the night.

The following day Shos and I worked at restaurant Parc de IJzeren where we assisted the Chef in preparing the food for that evening. It was a nice evening and after quite a few hours of work we ended the night with some well-deserved cold beers.
Because the restaurant closed for the following week, I was allowed to take home some meat that would otherwise go bad. Therefore I once again invited some people over the next day and we had more delicious food! Later that night we went out and got home way to "early"...

On Sunday my grandmothers visited us, so it was a day of sitting at home, talking and relaxing. We paid a quick visit to my sister's new house and had more food in the evening. After that Shos and I went back to Utrecht because I had to work again the next day.

Happy New Year to all of you!


Thursday, December 18, 2008

Doornroosje & Boom Chicago

The holiday period is approaching and so are all the parties...

Last weekend Shos and I went to Nijmegen to meet up with Mark and Judith and a bunch of our Dutch friends from Kunming. A couple of weeks before we decided to go to a party at a club named "Doornroosje". Bonne assured us it would be an awesome party and we believed him. After a very nice warming up at Susan's place we went out and party till it became light out again... Bonne was right!

This week I also had a couple of Christmas celebrations at my work. On Tuesday I went to Cap Gemini for a couple of drinks because of the closure of a project and on Wednesday my team from ING had a small celebration. After work we all went to Boom Chicago on the Leidseplein in Amsterdam for food, drinks and improvisation comedy. It was a good evening to chat to colleagues on a mroe personal level and have a laugh with the comedians on stage.
Today and tomorrow I am doing a project management training in Amersfoort (Prince2) and in the weekend I will go down south to visit my parents and check out how my sister's new house is coming along (might need to help with some painting). On Sunday Shos will be back from a weekend in the Belgian Ardennes and come back with me to Utrecht where she can enjoy her vacation while I have to work... Life is unfair ;-)

More stuff after Christmas!!!
Happy holidays to you all!

Ruudje B.

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Sinterklaasje in Utreg!!!

Een gezellige pakjesavond met oud-Hollandse spelen!

First of all, sorry for not updating for such a long time. Not that I haven't been doing anything, but for some reason things I do here inHolland seem less interesting or exciting as when you are not "home". My weeks are spent working, my evenings with drinks with friends, movies and some cycling and the weekend I go to Shos either in Maastricht or in Weert. But since the begnning of this month Shos and I both have an OV-card (public transportation card) with which we can travel all over Holland for free.

So last Friday Shos came to Utrecht because we were celebrating Sinterklaas here together with Mark, Sven & Ron (Mark's girlfriend Judith was ill unfortunately). We all both small gifts for a total of €10 and piled them in the middle of the room.
Then we started rolling dice to win gifts (1=pick, 2=give away, 3=unpack (but not keep), 4=steal, 5=switch seats clockwise & 6=game). The games we had were: spijkerpoepen, koekhappen en hamertje tik. Short explanation: with "spijkerpoepen" (nail shitting) you tie a nail to a string ang tie that string to the back of your pants. Then the nail gets a push and starts to swing, then you have to squat and get the nail into the opening of a bottle within 30 seconds.

With "koekhappen" (cake biting) you hang up slices of "ontbijtkoek" (breakfast cake), you get blindfolded and have to eat the cake within a two minute time limit (check out the movie for a demonstration...).

And finally with "hamertje tik" you have to hit a nail into a block of wood. Do it within 3 hits and you get 2 gifts, within 5 you get one gift, but f*ck up the nail and you have to give one of your gifts away. Fun guaranteed!!!After the games we went out in Utrecht and had a good night at a bar with lots of 70s and 80s music. On the way back from the ATM I got lost and needed Mark's instructions over the phone to get back... that's what you get when you live in a new city for a short time!
That's all for this time! The next post will follow a lot quicker than this one...