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Monday, May 25, 2009

Birthday parties & my 2nd assignment

Birthdays of Shoshannah & my dad & lots of BBQs

A week ago both my dad and Shoshannah celebrated their birthday (together 80 years young). That weekend we celebrated Shosh her birthday three times: On Friday in Maastricht, on Saturday in Weert with friends and on Sunday at home with family. Great weather, good people and an awesome BBQ completed the party.
Shosh her university friends in Maastricht

Family BBQ on Sunday

The next weekend we had to re-celebrate her birthday in Utrecht with our friends over there. Since my place isn't very big, we decided to take the gamble and organize a BBQ in the Griftpark. Keeping an eye on the weather forecasts every day paid off since we had awesome weather on Saturday.

Later that night we ended up on the Neude for a small taste of the big "Festival aan de Werf" here in Utrecht.

At ING I am still enjoying my time. About a month ago I started at the Managed Services department within Operations & IT Banking which delivers workplace services to all employees within ING (desktops & laptops, mobile and fixed phones, user authorizations and so on). Basically everything technical you need when doing your job). Heavy cost cutting is going on everywhere throughout the organization and my job is to check out how we as a (workplace) service provider can cut back on costs without having a deteriorating service performance. This creates a challenging playing field since I have to deal with both suppliers and (end-)customers.

This department has nothing to do with banking really but when we deliver high quality it will contribute to the emplyees' feeling of satisfaction at work and hopefully improve productivity. Unfortunately almost everyone takes for granted that their email works 24/7 and that a broken mobile phone gets replaced within a matter of hours, so we don't get any compliments when this actually occurs. But oh my... when email traffic is down for just ten minutes or they can't have their cell phone for a day.......... ;-)

Like I said, an interesting and challenging place to work.

Talk to you soon!

Monday, May 11, 2009


Sightseeing :-)

The weather was good and we had nothing else to do, so Shosh and I decided to go visit something. And after some deliberation we decided that the something should be Volendam, a small place just northwest of Amsterdam. Famous among tourists, but often a bit ridiculed by Dutchies. We hopped on a train, switched to a bus and about an hour and a half later we arrived in picturesque Volendam. We walked around (but were done rather quickly) and decided to buy a couple of drinks, some food and enjoy the sunny weather from the docks.

Now another week of work and the coming weekend we'll celebrate both Shoshannah's (25th) and my dad's (55th) birthdays.


Monday, May 04, 2009

Queensday 2009

Night & Day...

The best day of the year is over... I have to wait another whole year before I can celebrate Queensday again. This year it was great! After being gone for the past couple of times, this time I was in the Netherland and that called for a proper celebration. On Wednesday evening (Queensnight) Shosh and my sister with her boyfriend came over to Utrecht. We dressed up in our orange outfits, called a couple of people and went into the city to pre-celebrate the birthday of our previous queens (a.k.a a good excuse to walk in the streets in orange clothing with a beer in your hand).

Unfortunately Piggy couldn't join us both of course we made sure he could also enjoy the orange feeling ;-)
The day after we had breakfast and took a train to Amsterdam (which simply is THE place to be for Queensday - but it sucks on Queensnight...). We started out in the Vondelpark where we witnessed the masses going through all the little stands with second-hand stuff and kids with innovative ideas to make some money.

Afterwards we went straight to the Museumplein where Radio 538 has a stage with a whole lot of famous artists. We met up with Thieu's brother and his girlfriend, got some more beer and enjoyed the happy crowd, good music and awesome weather! And of course I enjoyed all the compliments on my great orange "business" suit... haha :-)

The rest of the weekend we spent in Weert. Relaxing and watching a movie on Friday. Working in my sister's garden the entire Saturday and ending the day with sushi and a boardgame. And the Sunday was a day of relaxing and catching up with a friend from China (Marc Frencken) who is in Holland for a short period of time.

Groeten uit Holland!
Ruudje & Shosh