March 29, 2008

Caved in

I promised myself a few months ago that I needed to stop buying books for a while because of the ever-increasing stack of unread books on my shelf. Plus all the books that I borrow from friends.

It had been going pretty well, slowly moving through that stack, and keeping away from bookshops. Until last week.

I am now the proud owner of Colin Thubron's Shadow of the Silk Road, which had been on my wishlist for a while, and De Russische Kater by Laura Starink - after having seen her speak in a very interesting debate on contemporary Russian politics a few weeks ago.

I vaguely remember claiming that my Russia-fascination would be done with after my last trip to Russia exactly a year ago. I guess that hasn't happened huh. Oh well. Am now off to Amsterdam to see a documentary on Anna Politkovskaya to keep up the theme.

March 27, 2008

Why I love my job

Although I've been in this new job now for 7/8 months I am still really enjoying it. I am amazed at how quickly life turned around last August, that all of that is still lasting, and I usually walk out of my office quite happy after another interesting day.

I just wrote a rundown of all the different things I did today to give you an idea of why I love my job. Boring, I know. But, since I recently discovered that this blog is not nearly as anonymous as I thought it might be, I won't bother after all. You'll have to take my word for it that it's fun and exciting.

And the best news of this week: my work trip to Kuala Lumpur is pretty much fixed! Woohoo.

March 25, 2008


Last Friday, 21st March, was the first day of spring. And it felt like spring a week before.

So why has it been snowing almost non-stop since Friday afternoon? And why does the Netherlands stop working when it does?

March 23, 2008


I'm pretty bad with keeping track of where my money disappears to, but am fairly punctual about paying bills. So, a few weeks ago I got told by the tax office that I have to pay back some money after some recalculations (all things that I was expecting) which I did almost immediately.
I just checked into my bank account and noticed that they've re-transferred more than the amount they asked me to pay back to my account claiming I overpaid them.

I should do the right thing and find out what's going on, I guess?

Review: Persepolis

I just finished watching the new movie Persepolis. I have wanted to see it since it premiered on the Rotterdam Filmfestival in January, but knowing that it would come out in the cinema's I didn't bother seeing it then.

It's an animated movie after the graphic novel with the same title of author Marjane Satrapi. It recounts her life growing up in Iran after the 1979 revolution, and coming to Europe for highschool. Great insight to a major historic event from a personal point of view.

While I enjoyed the movie I think the very simplistic drawing did harm the presentation of the story as a movie. Although I haven't read the book (but a friend of mine apparently has it) I imagine it to be much more powerful on paper. Even though less is sometimes more, I feel that on screen you need more visual power to convince the viewer - and this is one of those cases.

Especially the beginning of the movie felt too much like a documentary and too slow-going to really catch my attention. Maybe this is also because the beginning describes a period in Satrapi's life when she's still very young, and things seem to be moving faster as she gets older. And I started to enjoy it more as the story continues as well.

It is a very interesting part of history though, and I love the way that this story shows a little bit of that. And it has made me interested to know more about the actual happenings and history of this part of the world. Nevertheless, I do think I'll like the book better.

March 16, 2008

On books and such

Reading this review, on the recently discovered blog Neojaponisme, about the new winner of this year's Akutagawa prize in Japan made me realize that I still have a shelf of Japanese books to read.

The book reviewed, Chichi to ran ( Breasts and Eggs), sounds very interesting. It reminds me a little of a previous Akutagawa-winner, the book Snakes and Earrings by Hitomi Kanehara. The way the new winner appears to be written, and the topic it is on, seems to be pretty refreshing - which Kanehara did a few years ago, but completely differently.

I haven't read any of these books in the picture for over two years. I should really start getting back into it, if I want to be able to maintain my Japanese (reading) skills. The last two years have just been too hectic to be able to focus on books like this. Today felt different. I've been cleaning out my house, getting rid of a lot of things, and it feels as if the restlessness is well and truly gone. Who knows, I might be able to sit down for one of the books from that shelf again. Or maybe really start thinking about a project? Plenty of ideas... which is very good.

The best part:

(shamelessly borrowed from B. and M., who actually used their camera while on ski's/snowboard. Thanks!)

March 15, 2008

Spring is in the air

I love this time of the year. You can feel it's getting warmer (despite the occasional storm), birds are singing and people are walking around the city with a big smile.

First time to wear open-heeled shoes.
First time to put away my wintercoat as it's too hot to wear it.

All that combined with strolling the market, buying fresh flowers, olives, yummy food. Planning an impromptu evening with friends, after still being on a slight high from a fun night in the pub the evening before.


March 12, 2008

*bounce bounce* [2]

It's one of those days again - bouncey, happy, chaotic, but fabulous.

I don't know if it's just a good day, or if it's the light, or if it's the little things that happened today (dress compliment from a random stranger, work compliments, exciting projects) but I'm pretty much dancing through my house tonight.

Not even the stack of tax letters and various other boring and frustrating administration papers can get me down.

Whereas over the past few weeks I've been locking myself up a little bit, not going out much during the week, early nights and keeping my weeks pretty empty - from now on my agenda is rapidly filling up with loads of fun appointments with friends and events to go and do. And I can't wait. Yay. Looks like I'm returning more to 'me' again.

March 09, 2008


So, back from the skitrip. I actually survived 6 days of skiclasses despite the occasional (regular?) relapse into thinking what I was thinking being there.

But it was fun. I managed to get off the mountain pretty smoothly on the last day (though not quite the way we were taught), the group of people was fun and the weather was mostly pretty good.

The best part? The amazing views on top of the mountain. Absolutely stunning.

So, on to thinking about a next trip: London in June/July is pretty much definite. Yay.