mekyria: (2013 indonesie 2)
Last weekend we booked a vacation home at the coast for Sense of Bellydance. The original planning was to have Bellydance on the Beach on Saturday but the weather was too cold and unpredictable so Gerie called it off. It was a good call.

We still gathered there with six of the eight members. M called it off on account of needing surgery in two weeks and having too much pain to join right now. E called it off because she just moved and needed some alone time to settle in her new place. We rented the house from the aunt of L and it is really cute, tiny house in the enormous backyard of a normal Dutch house. We talked most of the day on Saturday, had dinner together and walked to the place where we'll have our show on October 22th. It is nice, a room at the back off an old fashioned bar with lots of dark wood paneling. The stage is pretty big, not much with regards to light but it is also in use for other purposes and usually bands perform on the stage.

The best thing is that it's free. Yes, the bar owner offered it to us to use for free, on account of the people in there ordering drinks at the bar. It seats about 80 people so that's good business. We had a drink and talked with the bar owner before heading back to the cottage. I shared a room with N (Who also happened to be my first belly dance teacher, 17 years ago) who was hoping on some whispered conversations but I passed out after my head hit the bed.

I woke up at 08.00 but decided to stay still and fall asleep again. It sort of worked. I slept from 24.00-10.00, making it the first full night of sleep in nearly nine months. Woohoo! I missed Eliza and E and our dog but it was nice to be away for a day. We had breakfast together and talked some more between 12.00-14.00 and then N drove me home. It was lovely to share the ride and talk while driving.

With every week that passes I'm starting to feel more like myself and this weekend was just what I needed to pick me up and make me feel like I went on a tiny holiday. I think E is now also looking for a way to have a 'day off' but all his friends are in relationships. I suggested that he might go on one of those guy trips when the deer are mating. They camp out in the forest, take walks during dusk and dawn to spot deer, have a campfire, roast meat and tell strong tales. He would also stay away for a night. I was glad to be home again and hug Eliza, she's just so precious, funny and happy it is ridiculous.

Barcelona

May. 12th, 2015 02:59 pm
mekyria: (2013 indonesie 2)
Little Brother and two of our travel friends from Indonesia went to Barcelona last weekend. I've been to Barcelona twice: the first time with my Ex which was quite romantic. The second time with my ex inlaws, which was awful because I got sixk and we had to spend half a day searching for the football stadium whil eonly one person in the group wanted to see it. (hint: it wasn't me)

This time, we booked an appartment through AirBnB. A first for me, I am positive about the experience. The appartment was large, with a private terrace, living room and three bedrooms (Little Brother and I shared). It was perfect because I needed a kitchen for midnight snacks and a place to nap. If previous I was the queen of naps, I am now promoting myself to Empress.  We waited a bit too long to book our plane tickets and as a result we had sucky departure time on thursday (7 in the morning) and an indirect flight back on Sunday. Let this be a lesson for next time. I was however practicing my skills of not giving a fuck and letting other people handle things, which all in all went splendid.

Thursday
E. drove me and Little Brother to the airport on Thursday (5 am) where we boarded in good spirits. With only hand luggage we quickly were out of the Barcelona airport and on our way to the appartment. A friend of the owner showed us around. The AirBnB site didn't mention that the door to the bathroom consisted of an aluminium frame and bubble wrap, or that the appartment was kind of 'industrial'. Meaning it was an old warehous and they didn't spend much on remodelling or decorating. It was fine for our purpose though.

After settling in, we walked to the beach enjoyed the blue skies and even ventured into see with our pants rolled to our knees. Great to be in a place with nice weather. When I bowed over a fountain to drink some water, an delderly guy on a bicycle drove past me and slapped me on the butt. I was too stunned to react. Even at three months pregnant my ass looked inviting enough to slap! How rude. We had some lovely tapas on the beach and got some groceries on the way back to our appartment. We planned on going out but the others had a couple of drinks on the terrace and before we knew it, it was dark. We stayed in and watched a movie on Little Brother's laptop, nice and cozy.

Friday
Park Guell! one of my favorite parcs, much to my suprise they have a new ticket system in order. Due to limitation of the amount of visitors, you have to a buy a ticket for the next available time slot, which was usually 2-3 hours after you arrived. This came as a suprise, but we bought a tickets and wandered through the parc to kill the time. It really is gorgeous. Climbed a pile of rocks that didn't look steep but in retrospect, 10 feet is still a pretty long way down. We enjoyed the famous mozaics and went on our merry way to the Sagrada Familia. I am allergic to something that grows in the parc because my hay fever was going crazy at this point.

We decided to have dinner first, which was a mistake. By the time we got to the ticket line, we could only get a timeslot around 7 pm and my eyes were burning and I was very, very tired. Instead we went to Catalunya and did some shopping on the Ramblas: a nice summer hat and a Desigual dress. I have to go for size Large these days, but that was to be expected considering the circumstances. My bossom is very impressive and for the first time in my life I face the problem that my cleavage is always indecent due to it's size. Who knew THAT was ever going to happen to the flat chested A cup teenager! At seven Little Brother and me went back to the appartment, where I fell asleep and woke around 20.30. The others went out and came back around 2.30 with stories about drinking cocktails and bar hopping, while I stayed in and watched 'Jupiter Ascending'. I liked my night better. Much as I hate to admit it, I miss the taste of wine. I can do without drinking alcohol but I've come to appreciate the taste of wine and it sort of sucks. It's all worth it though.

I never quite understood the concept of going out to town to meet strangers, try to carry shallow conversation in bars with loud music and getting back home smelling of smoke and sweat. There should at least be some dancing to make it worth my while. As it was, I liked the couch and the pot of tea next to me.

Saturday
We bought our tickets for the Sagrada Familia online and headed out to mount Montjuic first. It has abeautiful viewpoint over the sea and the city. I wouldn't bother with the castle next time as it was rather empty. I was glad we took the round trip ticket for transportation, if I had to walk the whole way I would have been exhausted after this. Afterwards we went to the Sagrada and it is magniificent. Last time I visited it was full with scaffolds, but now the church is in use, with huge stained glass windows and wonderfull light. I am so glad we went there and I even ventured up the tower on the nativity side. They cleverly designed a tiny elevator to get people up, and we only had to walk down. Great thinking, thanks guys!

We went back to the appartment where I took a nap, and we went out for dinner in the area of our appartment. Unfortunately the food was overpriced, didn't taste good and the waiter made some mistakes that he blamed on us (and he only wanted to talk to the man in our company). Blegh.

Sunday
A relaxed day, where we went back to the beach where we  layed in the sand while Little Brother took a dive. Watching people on the boulevard and once more eating fried tapas (by now, I couldn't stomach anything fried anymore. Too much of our food had been fried the past days. We took a taxi to the airport and went home. E picked us up and Noushka was extatic to see me again. E and I videochatted on Friday and when she heard my voice through the phone, she started looking for me in the room and outside. It was very cute.

E cleared the attic and tomorrow the builders will arrive to place the scaffold. Next week the construction will start and we'll have two nice attic rooms in a couple of weeks. Untill then, we have a bass guitar in our bedroom and too much furniture in our livingroom. The dog doesn't mind, she's walking into corners of wood funriture 'by accident', always with her jaws open and her teeteh ending up in the wood. Curious.
mekyria: (Together)
E. and I returned from our two and a half day honeymoon yesterday. We had a great time in Antwerpen (Belgium) though the weather was crap. There is so much rain falling down this year all over our little part of the world that experts predict an early autumn with a lot of food for the animals. Seems like Autumn started after the first half of august.

Today is the start of the new school season and traffic was crazy. I succesfully manouvred around the roundabouts that were packed with traffic jam, but had an unfortunate incident with a car at a t-crossing. I didn't get hurt but I have some damage on my bike that needs to be looked after. Things were obvious in this case, the driver just didn't see me. She was also shocked and I assured her that it coule have happened to anyone. We exchanged contact information and we'll be in touch tonight, when we both had time to process.

The start of the new school season also means that there are thousands of new students on our university, anxiously starting their new study. I am going through my email to get back on top of stuff, work will be busy.

Tonight I am teaching my try-out class and the second audition for my project. I am hoping for ten people in my try out class, seven people have signed up for the audition tonight. Squee!! I have set the max on 14 participants for the production, we'll see how that works out.
mekyria: (indonesie 2013)
I am cutting my trip into three parts: we spent a week on each island so it seems appropriate to take you with me through Sumatra. Sorting through pictures is a very pleasant experience, taking me back there. What suprised me the most is that Indonesia is not a very sunny country. There are often clouds blocking the sun. Thank God for that, the few hours that we spent in the full sun scorched our skin. I am also posting some of these pictures on facebook so you might recognize them. This time, they come with captions :-)Read more... )
mekyria: (playful on tree)
There are a million things that I want to tell you guys. If I wrote down everything that happeend in the past three weeks on holiday, it would result in very long posts that eventually nobody would read, not even me. I am going to give you the short outline for now, and create shorter posts during the next month with pictures and video.

We flew back to Amsterdam on Saturday, leaving the emerald isles behind us. In the Netherlands we call Indonesia 'the emerald belt', the Indonesian government lunched a campaign to promote Indonesia as 'the emerald of the euator'. It is aptly named: innumerable lush green islands surrounded by the brightest blue water. Little Brother and I had a wonderful time during the holiday, the country and culture, with each other's company and with the people in our group. We have seen some amazing things and done incredible cool stuff. To me, visiting Indonesia was also a way of connecting to the past, to my grandmother and grandfather who were born there. It was interesting to see how the interaction with people was different from our travel companions because we look Indonesian.  

I am slightly jetlagged and back in a deserted office, faced with the month August and the dawning realization that I did a good job before going on holiday: there is some work left, but not enough to fill the whole month. Be prepared for tons of updates with many pictures of animals (urang utans, dolphins, monkeys, bats. Unfortunately no turtles), people (mainly me and Little Brother hanging out and acting silly), nature (mountains, waterfalls, sea, islands, vulcanoes, sunrises and sunsets) and culture (wajang dolls, dance performances, houses, rituals).
mekyria: (Kyria met theepot)
After quite a disastrous week, things are getting better. I reread my entries to see how much of the drama made it to lj but it wasn't much! It makes it easier to write a recap after things are solved because I am less emotional about it.

Read more... )
Things to do before the end of June:
-rewrite the new IT security policy and send it out to whomever needs to give advice on the topic (policy advice stuff, been there and done that.)
-finish the planning and money needed for the next two years on IT security (I am doing project management stuff here, which is new to me so I am all scared shitless that people will call me out on writing down bullsh*t.)
-pack stuff for Indonesia! Buy the basic travel clothes that I need for a 3 week trip and include enough Deet and medicine to make sure I can take care of myself. My biggest fear: get ill and spend three weeks feeling like crap.
-paint the fungus wall of doom.
mekyria: (Default)

My mum turned 60 and she wanted to go on holiday with all her children, meaning little brother, big brother and me. We had a great couple of days in Madrid, the capitol of Spain. I am however annoyedwhen my mum told us on the way back from the airport that Big Brother feels like he s excluded from our family ever since he moved out when he was 18. And how he feels that I am never asking him how he is doing, or visiting him besides from birthdays.

I ask if I can drop by to see hs house, he tells me he doesn't want to chack agenda's, just ring when I am in the area (I never had to be in his area on account of it being two hours away. I don't wander around much aimlessly when I have a day off)

When I text him, no reply.

When I mail him, no reply

When I ask him face to face how he's doing, one syllable answers.

What pisses me off most is that he never said anything to me about this in the past 16 years. In fact, he still hasn't, this is hearsay from my mother. My brother is very introvert but he is smart enough to figure out that I am not a mindreader. Or old enough to speak up for himself. Holding resentment because I am not meeting the expectations he set for me without telling me hurts my feelings.
The main reason why ths bothers me is because I want him to like me, or at least not ignore me. I always had the feeling that he thought I was a weird person and he was ashamed of me towards his friends.

Posted via LiveJournal app for iPad.

mekyria: (Default)
Things are starting to get a bit vague, so excuse me if I happen to mix up days and events. I left with Oslems workshop, didn't I?

Wednesday
After Galata tower we slept in. Since Ozma mentioned it, she was uncermeoniously dragged on stage by the not-so-good bellydancer and force feeded by a sultan, then coerced into dancing on stage. Being a good friend, I cheered her on and took crappy cellphone pictures. Well yes, that IS a tambourine she is holding!
2012istanbul01
2012istanbul02

I'm quite in the middle of finding a new subletter right now so I won't be able to properly finish this post. More will soon follow. :-)

mekyria: (belly dance floorwork)
This is a very, very long post on my trip to Istanbul, where I finally met Ozma/Parasitegirl in real life and had a wonderful time filled with dance stuff and caterpillars making cocoons. I have been neglecting my LJ updates and I'm going to make up for it spilling all the details.

Monday
My flight left around 14.30 and Shakespeare volunteerd to bring me to te airport, an offer I gladly accepted. I had just returned from Sail camp, also a fun but tiring experience. In retrospect it would have been better if I had taken more rest inbetween. My flight was perfect and because I had the expensive one I got fairly decent food during the flight and a sort of comfortable chair. Upon arrival, the heat made me sweat instantly. It was around 32 degrees celcius and high humidity. The airport welcomed me with a cactus garden and I went smoothly through the visa line and passport control. Outside I found a yellow cab and asked the drver to bring me othe address Ozma provided, but the driver got very confused and decided to call the apartment owner, who told me that she didn't expect me and was not picking me up, and told me to call Ozma. A rather confusng situation ensued, with me texting Ozma, Ozma calling me but me thinking it was the apartment owner, and the drive ending up with bringn me to Galata tower. The moral of the storyis: make sure what the nearest tourist landmark is and you will probably end up in the right place. 

I was welcomed by Ozma on the tower square, wearing a fabulous cotton retro dress and cheering because I had arrived :-)  By that time it was after sundown and our street was filled with tables full of people breaking fast for Ramadan. Our door was right behind the stage so we apologeticaly ducked to avoid the camera's filming the stage. Up four stairs we climbed to a beautiful apartment which was small and provided us with everything we needed: a small kitchen and kitchen utensils, bathroom and bedrom with two beds. And thak god, airconditioing and an additional ventilator. We got some food from te mini supermarket arondthe corner, Ozma made penne and we fell asleep, both exhausted.

Tuesday 
I felt like crap. Atigue hit me like a brick wall and despite sleeping in, I felt like everything was too much an couldn't get into action modus. Ozma and I headed out seperately and I walked upIstiklal street, a large modern shopping area, and ended up at Sim Moda Evi. It involved walking up four stairs and knocking on a dodgy looking door and ben glet in by a Turkish 20 something girl who spoke good English, with mister Sim running around in the background. She took me to one of the rooms (the showroom) and told me the other was their atelier where they worked on making the costumes. The showroom had a big fishtank with tiny colorful fish in it, and walls that were covered with rows and rows of costumes. The most eye catching where the ones with printed silk skirt and the girl mentioned that those were also the most expensive ones. I picked out a couple of costumes to try on and the girl helped me get into the costumes. I learned that my hips are bigger then most costumes allowed. Good, because it made it easier to choose. I ended up liking a turquoise/seafoam costume with purple/gold beading, but the skirt was too short, too narrow in the hips and the design was sort of standard. Also, the price was 800 euro which is standard, buying from importers would give me the same price so I left empty handed.

I circled the area and walked back to our apartment. Ozma had arranged a lesson with Özlem and we had an appointment to meet at 15.30 at taxim square. I checked my phone and checed that it was 14.30 as I was walking up the stairs in our apartment. Got home, turned my iPad on (wi-fi) and iPad said it was 15.30. Timezones and all that. Id sme rfantic running that I do not recoomend in this type of weather. We end up running late, but Özlem looked relaxed when she picked us up from the small square next to a mosque and walked us to her apartment. Big kuddo's to Ozma for arranging the classes, her online searching skills and google maps magic skills saved the day more then once.

Özlems class was Roman, being steps ad combinations for 9/8. It was good, she explained from a belly dancer's point of view and mentioned that there is no 'one true way' to Romani dance. She told us she danced at Galata tower every night. We looked at her with puppy eyes, asking if she could make a reservation for us. If the reservaton is done by a Turkish speaking person/dancer, chances are you get a discount.

That night we made the two minute walk to Galata tower and enjoyed a luxurious dinner and entertainment with a folcloric group, a belly dancer who got Ozma up on stage for the audience participation, and ofcourse Özlem! She is a beautiful dancer, very nice shimmies and very Turkish in her style. No floorwork, no zils. She later told us that zils are considered annoying by the band, as most of the time dancers don't know how to play them well. She didn't propose to the band o dance with zils yet because of that. As a special suprise, the night ended with a long, long performance of a singer who serenaded each country with a song. Ozma managed to hide her flag to avoid the Japanese song, but I was not so lucky. He had a bit of Lee Towers thing going on and went on with singing for over an hour, while all the guests tried to escape by paying the check an dleaving. We waited around for Özlem and talked about being a dancer/perormer. A tipsy woman from Norway came over to say hi and compliment Ozma and Özlem on their dancing, and after that we went back hom for bed. It was a good night.
mekyria: (Default)

Written while I'm waiting at the airport. I read the posts from my flisties last night, but was too tired to reply. I've been in Friesland for the past week, learning how to sail a small keelboat. And small is a boat under 20 meters long. It was a very intensive, very fun weekend. The hardest part for me was dealing with so many new people and constantly having people around. I tried to be wise and decided to rest when possible, but succumbed to my enthousiasm a couple of times, resulting in me not getting enough rest. I had a blast and received my level 1 certification, meaning that I have shown to know and be able to perform the basic maneuvres with a boat, as well as know the correct terms. There are a ton of terms on the ship and a lot of terms for actions, that you have to shout to your crew or that are shouted to you by the one at the rutter. I hope I can go out and sail some more this year, being on the water is absolutely lovely. Our boat disn't have wi-fi, it was an internet free week for me. Vey soothing, I should dothat more often.

Also, sailing is essentially different from being on a boat with a motor. There's something about taming the wind that gives me a huge powerkick, and being able to use Science (tm) all the time appeals to my geeky side.

Here I am today, sitting at Amsterdam Airport and waiting for my flight to Istanbul for a meet up with Ozma. I got my travel guide and the address of the appartment, will figure out during the flight how I'll get from Istanbul Airport to the appartment. I look forward to finally visiting Turkey for the first time, taking dance classes and watching performances. If the appartment has wi-fi, I'll post updates. If not I'll resurface next Sunday with tons of stories.

Posted via LiveJournal app for iPad.

mekyria: (Default)
I've been insanely busy with my new super secret theater project, called 'Living Apart Together', with performances that use the belly dance vocabulary in a theater setting, integrated with other movement vocabularies like ballet, modern, tribal fusion, etc. Our scheduled performance date is the Asli Sharqi festival at the end of September. The festival Eman Zaki is also attending btw, so I'll get  my special ordered costumes straight from her hands! *excited*

Working with two other dancers + the creative director from The Oum Kolthoum project and this week is clogged with rehearsals, finding and working on music, concepts, etc. Hence my lack of posting and such. It has a lot of interesng concepts,maybe not novel, but the integation with belly dance is unique. I have also received the dvd from the Farrah festival with our Nubian clip and me dancing with a live orchestra, and I did two hafla performances last month that I have video material from but no time to put those things online. It's been a loooong time since I posted video clips and I feel I really should make time, but so far other stuff is more important, like dancing :-)

Newsflash: I'm going to Istanbul between 6th-11th of August, meeting up with the lovely Ozma and doing awesome dance stuff. I'll be offline between July 28th and August 5th on account of learning how to sail and being outdoorsy and stuff.
mekyria: (tribal dance castle fest)
Despite all the stuff that is going on at my work, I've been investigating plans for the summer holiday. Let's go through the list of options that I worked out, shall we?

1. horsebackriding
I do not have enough experience with horsebackriding for outside tracks, which sucks because that's what I envisioned in my highly romantic version of a horsebackriding holiday. I chose to be sensible and push it to a later moment in my development as a rider. It was fun though, searching the internet for trails and tracks in Spain, Italy, France, and even the Netherlands.  We're a flat country so our outdoor view is always of a flat plain. Flat plain with grass, flat plain with trees, flat plain with houses. Still, we have some great outdoor places where I could ride. One day.

2. diving
I'm taking my 5th indoor training this weekend and the outdoor training is scheduled at the end of June. There is no way that I'm going on a diving holiday on my own this summer, I'm going to get me some experience below my lead-belt with dives in the Netherlands. Maybe Egypt/Red Sea diving next summer....

3. Sailing
This one was on my list of 'stuff to explore'. I have never sailed before, so I signed up for a sailing weekend in Friesland for absolute beginners. Friesland is the Northern part of the Netherlands. It is also flat as a pancake, the view is mainly lakes, water and reed. I'm going in the first week of August on a boat with app 40 people, every day class on a smaller vessel, and everyone is between 20-35 years old. Let the fun begin!

random summer stuff:
-Laudie asked me if I want to participate in her new belly dance project so we're doing a couple of intens days together this summer to get most of the conceptual work done. We'll work on perfecting the theatershow next year. It's awesome that she invited me to participate *glows* Laudie is the creative director of The Oum Kolthoum Project

-I'm doing the fashion show for Laced-Up, the fetish boutique in Utrecht, during the Summer Darkness Festival at the end of August. Need to pick music and prepare a performance for that, something with a 40-50-60ies feel to it, that can be done in gothic/fetish clothes.

-Summer Bellydance Festival
The festival organised by Anusch Alwerdian. I'm not doing the workshops, just going to the show on Saturday because my coworker is performing with the studenttroupe. yay! Next to The Oum Kolthoum Project, my weekly classes and the private performances, I haven't been doing much bellydancing this year. I plan on dusting off my dvd collection this summer and try me som eof those. We'll see how that works out for me.

Things that are not going to happen:

-Castle Fest
Ikaiya didn't know if she could get the Saturday off, and it was the only weekend available for the sail week. So I won't be able to go to Castle Fest this year, it's good to take a break and reevaluate an event that I've been going to for the last couple of years. It's a bit like a renfair, which I totally adore, but I might have had a bit of an overload after a decade.

-sword fighting. Ikaiya took swordfighting classes in Utrecht a couple of years ago, as she is totally awesome. It's been on my to-do list, but it is not going to happen. Ballet, belly dance, badminton, running and horseback riding are sort of keeping me busy right now.

-camping. Mum and my aunt are probably 'going out to camp' when the weather is good and they feel like it. If this is during the weeks that I'm free, I might go a couple of days. I don't see myself taking another couple of days off at the end of summer for the promis of maybe we'll go, maybe we don't.
mekyria: (Default)

Sitting at Klagenfurt Airport with a couple of hours to kill and my ipad keyboard decided to quit on me. This is coming to typed onthe tandard ipad keypad andthose of you who know what that means will probably be more forgiving of typing errors. I've managed to write a bit of fiction over the week on the normal keyboard which was refreshing, though hard. Nothing post-worthy yet, but it's been so long ago that I felt the urge to write fiction it felt like falling in love with writing again all over.

Physically I'm finally feeling better. Ever since I left, I had a neckcramp, slight fever, and general feeling of not being well. Today is the first day without the cramp, which is good as I am teaching tonight.

The last couple of days we stayed wirpth my nephew and his girlfriend in sankt peter, a town near Klagenfurt. The whole holiday was relaxed and good for me in the light of my current rediscovering what family means to me with regards to the past. I also got to (re)connect with family members that I usually only see in passing and it turns out that we are all good people to hang out with. Seems like now that I'm working on my connection with family and friends, it get's easier to let go of dance frustration. I wonder what this means for me as a dancer, I'll reevaluate at the end of the year.

Posted via LiveJournal app for iPad.

mekyria: (victorian hat striped set)
I picked up the special made soles in the hospital in The Hague today, and noticed an immediate difference when walking. Less pain in my knee! Though after an hour, my muscles started to protest and I put them away aain. The foot technician recommended to wear them longer every day, starting with one hour an taking it up with an hour a day. Tomorrow's queensday wanderings will start with the soles. I just watched Kate & William's wedding on the news bulletin, and they are gorgeous together. Good for them for kissing twice instead of once :)

While I was in The Hague, I witnessed the preparations for Queensnight. Traditionally the old Queen Juliana celebrated her birthday on April 30th. The current queen Beatrix decided to stick with that date as her birthday is January 31th, which is an awful season for the traditional outdoor festivities. Though the Dutch occasionally question whether we still need our royalty (most of the time because they cost us money) overall we are blessed with a very down to earth royal family that takes a real interest in their people. And let's face it, revolutions with pitchforks and guillotines are soooo 18th century and don't want to spend our precious free time on dethroning a lovely 72 year old lady with hair set in conrete. Here she is:
 

Throught the years, the younger people added Queens night to the celebrations. A night with music, beer and people wearing silly orange hats. The Hague is the official location of the Queen (she has several palaces: one in Amsterdam, one in Soestdijk (in use as a museum) and one in The Hague). IT was nice to walk in the sun and see the pub people setting out extra tables, burly man building stages and testing PA systems. In Utrecht the 'free market' starts tonight. It's our country's biggest flee market, where everyone can drag junk from the attic and try to sell it on the street. A lot of people will wake up tomorrow, wearing an orange sombrero or crown and clutching a lampshade with no clue on why or how they got it. In short, the famous Dutch stingyness will go down while beer levels go up. I won't go out tonight because beer is not my thing and I'm way to thrifty for my own good, but I wish everyone who's going out a great time! 

*edited to add congratulations to all the British flisties on the wedding of William and Kate. w000t!!

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