Saturday night

Last Saturday the long awaited second ESSLLI-2007 hostel kitchen cookclub reunion took place, it took a while to plan but it was worth it. In addition to the usual suspects (Wouter, Tikitu and myself) Wouter’s wife and Steve and Veronique (back from Spain) were also present, thus requiring me to plan the meal around my limited collection of pans and crockery. Not that that’s a bad thing, it actually resembles hostel-style cooking (although there was no need to steal pans this time and my kitchen is really much too small for more than 1 person). The evening started a bit later than planned because Wouter, Sirée and Tikitu where somewhat delayed because of a little transport incident, but around 19:15 the soup was about ready and the wine started flowing generously.

It was fun to cook for a group of people again (the thing I hate most about living alone is cooking for 1 person and eating alone…) and good to catch up again. After 2 cartons of fruit juice, 3 bottles of wine and a bottle of ouzo it was time to call it a day. Hopefully I can report on the next dinner party soon 🙂

PS Thanks for doing the dishes Steve and Vero!

Comments are fixed

Not that you were using the option very much anyway, so most of you had probably not even noticed it, but for a while it wasn’t possible to comment on blogposts here. I had temporarily switched off the option to comment because my spamfilter wasn’t working, but now it’s all fixed, and you can only comment on the 5 most recent posts…I hope to hear from you!

Cooking, the American Way

I cannot even begin to describe all the weird things I’ve come across here, mainly born from a wish to make life easier and more convenient, so here’s one example that I actually succumbed to yesterday (by force, I must add!). For the amount of effort that went into it it was actually quite alright, although it does assume that you have a mixer, which I don’t and it involves melted butter, which doesn’t come out of a carton like that…but well, it was fun 🙂

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Holiday feelings

Even though Christmas is already pretty close, I don’t really realise. This is probably because it’s still warm here (warm enough to walk outside barefoot after the Christmas reception because my cute shoes were killing me, or to cycle to work in a t-shirt). I can’t think of any other reason because Christmas decorations are omnipresent here, as well as little quartets in the street singing Christmas carols. And palm trees with Christmas lights look cool, but just different…Anyway, there is snow nearby, the picture below is the view from my office with snowy mountains (far away, but still ;))

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The American way..

Soo, I probably posted before that I had to get used to the ways in which people interact here. It’s just different, and today I found out about a new phenomenon. I’m going to call it a phenomenon, there’s no other way. I was coming back from Santa Monica where I enjoyed a nice cup of hot chocolate on the promenade whilst reading Wired magazine in the sun (a perfect way to spend your Sunday afternoon I would say). Because I was strictly speaking on a pedestrian path (it’s just the shortest way) I was cycling pretty slowly, as one does, when a guy just asked me whether there had been clouds this morning. Since he was sort of in my way, I stopped, took out my earphones, because I was listening to my iPod, and answered him. Nothing weird here. He said my accent wasn’t local, so asked me where I was from, so I said well from the Netherlands etc..next thing he asks me out for a drink, but I said: “no, I’m on my way home”. So he asks for my telephone number. Now this usually doesn’t happen to me on the street in the Netherlands, especially not if the guy in question is at least twice my age (!) I said I didn’t have a phone (always the easiest way out)

When I got home I told my neighbour about this, I just wanted to know if this is unusual and what the guy’s intentions could have been (mind you, this actually isn’t the first time here a person of the male persuasion and quite not my age asked for my phone number, but never as direct as this). The simple answer he gave me is that certain single American men of a certain age range see young women my age, especially when they’re not from here, as naive, easy targets to charm…at least for one night…Now of course this is no different in Europe, what is different is that they just go about it rather directly (well, not as in your face to make me realise straight away, but I’m just not that familiar with the customs of this place yet). My neighbour also told me by the way that more and more American women of let’s say 50 or 65 (successfully) go for young guys (20-25). By no means do I want to be ageist here and insinuate that people in this age range shouldn’t be dating anymore, but I just can’t imagine myself dating someone twice my age…

And we were all thinking that Americans were prude, eh?

Aha!

Soooo, last week when I was at IKEA I also picked up a scale. I’m not on a diet or something, but it’s just to keep an eye on things (OK, maybe I do want to get rid of some traces of my whipped cream adventures in Dublin). Anyway, since I don’t have much experience with these things I put it in my room, which has nice thick carpet and was shocked to find out that the indication of my weight was well above what I’m used to seeing, but my conclusion was that the scale was only $4.99 and my jeans haven’t become any tighter since I arrived here so the thing is probably faulty. This morning, in a brief streak of clarity I decided to put the scale in the bathroom on the tiles, and lo and behold, I’m back to my usual weight! (Even from before Dublin, so mum I think I can happily continue having ice-cream breaks every now and then instead of Coca-Cola light breaks…unless I spot a “Coca-Cola light break man” here of course ;)).