August 28, 2007

Attempt nr. 1

Although we didn´t have a plan for the week in Bulgaria, part of the plan was to do some hiking.

Unfortunately our guidebook was pretty vague on the options. A lot of areas are said to be excellent for hiking. But without giving the details that we wanted.

On Sunday, we decided to head to the first spot on our newly made itinerary: Veliko Tarnovo; the town with the view as described below. We were met by very enthusiastic hostel workers, one of whom excitedly started telling us about an Ecotrail (3, actually) which leads to a nearby monastery. Perfect for our hiking requirements. "You cannot miss it" were the reassuring words of our Bulgarian.

We set off with a pack filled with food, camera´s, extra clothes and so on. We returned looking like two drowned muddy cats..... In between disappearing marks, an unfindable trail and a heavy rainshower we had ended up only across in the other part of town, without having even spotted the monastery.

Ah well. Tomorrow is attempt nr. 1 (again involving a monastery) but hopefully we can laugh about it as much as the first one! Weirdly enough, it really was a very fun day.

August 27, 2007

Bulgaria, day 3

I've just woken up in a tiny very laid-back hostel in the mountains in the middle of Bulgaria. The view from the balcony looks across to a huge fortress on the next mountain. Narrow cobblestoned streets lead up to the hostel, with rivers gushing down after last night's rainstorm.

A quick glimpse of life during my holiday. Gorgeous country, really friendly people, good food - what more could I want?

August 22, 2007


I'm not very sure what's gotten into me.... cycling home today, in the sun, just being overwhelmed with this feeling of complete happiness. It's definitely been a very long time.

I'm most likely getting way ahead of myself, but have so many things to look forward to. Giddiness when thinking about tomorrow night. Then, Friday is my last day of my current job. Excitement about the flight on the following week on Saturday. And in two weeks time there's the mystery weekend. And I still have to even start my new job yet.

Too good to be true? Dunno, but I'll enjoy this as long as it lasts.

August 19, 2007

Another summer post

Today was supposed to be the first proper barbeque of the year (after the other 'first' was rained upon heavily so that doesn't count).

The picture above is what the weather looked like this afternoon. So far for good bbq's this summer.... I cannot wait for some sun next week.

August 18, 2007

Summer in Amsterdam

I spent Thursday night tucked in under a big blanket, underneath an umbrella, but in a sun chair and in a beachy atmosphere. Well, the beachy atmosphere was gone by the time it started raining (see mention of umbrella).

But, before that I did manage to take a few pictures across the water at this outdoor cinema. The light was amazing but I don't think the pictures capture it well enough. I love all the new development on the IJ in Amsterdam, and this shows a little bit of what they're doing (the eastside of the station is much more 'ready' though, this side is mostly a lot of construction and cranes still).


Getting up early (-ish) on a Saturday morning can be worth it, if it means getting tickets to an upcoming Arcade Fire concert! Woohoo!

I've wanted to see them live for ages but keep missing the concert announcements (or decided not to go to the festival where they are playing today). Not this time. Bigger venue than I want, but can't have it all. Now I just have to wait until November.

Short preview is in an earlier post of mine.

August 15, 2007

The best thing ever?

Looking through my blog and the labels I use there's one category that I use much more often than the 'w*rk'-one: Travel!

My shopping of this afternoon included a guidebook to Bulgaria, where I'm off to in only 10 days with a friend for a week - if nothing goes wrong with booking our tickets tonight, that is.

I love these last minute ideas. We got talking about it last week because she knows someone there (and I need to check if my Bulgarian acquaintance is still/again there). Besides that we have no idea what to expect which is - in my opinion - one of the best reasons to go.

Expect pictures and stories in September!


Don't worry, it's just the sound of a bottle of champagne being popped open.

Everything seems to be fixed for my new job: woohoo!!

And details for those who are interested, I'll be going back to the type of work I was partly doing for a while in Tokyo. In a way very much the sort of thing I've been looking for.
To be more precise, I'll be working on facilitating international trade from the Netherlands to a few countries in Asia (South Korea, Malaysia & Afghanistan - yes, a very odd combination). I start in a few weeks and am very excited.

But first, I'm off to book a (well-deserved?) holiday.

Oh, and thanks for sticking with the blog despite all the venting here at times!

August 13, 2007

The complexities of dating

Having a lot of friends in relationships by now, I'm mostly left to fend for myself when it comes to dating.

Which is not a bad thing in itself. Except that I feel that I’m slowly becoming brainwashed by all these horror stories on American-style dating (rules? huh?) and whatever other styles are out there. Clearly I’m still quite firmly set in Dutch reality (Groningse nuchterheid?) which is very very good. It all seems to be a hell of a lot more confusing than how it used to be in university though. At that time you just sort of end up hooking up with a friend of a friend at a friend’s party or something like that.

Maybe I’m getting too old for that, but somehow it doesn’t seem to be how it works anymore. Which is leading to some interesting evenings and new people… Fun, but sometimes a bit too complicated for my liking.

(and yes, this is the drawback of a non-anonymous blog – am not sharing any more, you’ll have to live with the crypticness)

August 09, 2007


I've been thinking for some time that I want to start doing some new things.

So, I've just signed up for an evening class on theater! It doesn't start until another 1,5 months but I'm already really looking forward to it. Something completely new, that I've never done before. Can't wait!

[update - actually, 'acting' is not completely new. I was telling someone this evening about the movie a bunch of us made a few years ago. SO much fun! But of course, it doesn't really count as proper 'acting'.]


With final job discussions still a week away I'm starting to become a bit nervous. I'm quite convinced that they'll offer a good package but still. I'll hold off on the champagne for now just in case.

But, I have told lots of people including my current place of work. And as always, it's not until you leave that you find people are suddenly different. My boss seems to have been in shock for the past few days. Oops. And other colleagues who I hardly ever speak to are also coming up to congratulate me and to say how sorry they are that I'm leaving. Okay, that is the thing you do but considering the short time I've been here and that this isn't even official yet it's still a bit surprising. Oh well.

I hope to be out of there in 2 weeks and can't wait!

August 06, 2007


Highlights of the five-day-weekend-without-internet:

* I got a job offer!!! Final negotiations are still to be held but fingers crossed that it all works out the way it should. Champagne to follow after I've signed the contract.

* A huge night out on Friday at 11.

* Books, books, books and more books at the Deventer book market - apparently the biggest in Europe!

Pictures of everything else are here.

These are some of my favourites:

August 01, 2007


I quite like wandering around airports, seeing people rushing around - coming back from farflung places full of stories or leaving for weeks of adventure. Or at least, that's how my mind romanticizes it.

I'm at the airport three times in four days this week. But only one of them is for a fun occassion: picking up a friend who I haven't seen for a long time (actually, when I explain to friends who's coming over - a Russian friend who lives in Japan and is transitting through AMS - the next question is usually: Oh, I suppose you haven't seen her for a very long time then, right? Uhm, not quite - three months. That's actually less than some of my real life friends at home!)

Unfortunately the other two occassions are not so fun: seeing off the friend above, and today waving off a good friend at home who's off to the jungle of Uganda for six months. Sigh.