April 29, 2008


Looking at the blog it has been very silent here huh....

So, what has been happening:

* work is great - the event I mentioned in my previous post went pretty well; the project I've been working on for the past few months is finished, but I'll be continuing with it in a project management role; and am going to apply for an internal vacancy - very similar to what I do now but it's bigger and better, obviously.

* weekends have been relaxed without major events. Quite good actually.

* and I'm now on the eve of a six-day weekend. Bliss. Three holidays coinciding and a weekend in between makes for almost a full week of doing nothing. Well, I'm sure it'll fill up soon enough with a dj-gig of Simian Mobile Disco, helping friends in their new house, and mostly just hanging out in the city (although I don't know which one yet).

Oh, and did I mention my worktrip to Malaysia is booked? Woohoo!

April 13, 2008

A new week: exciting things

I'm quite excited about this upcoming week. It's going to be really busy, no doubt, mostly at work - but it's filled with fun stuff.

Tuesday is mostly when all of that is happening.

* the last week or so in the office has mostly been taken up by the preparation of Tuesday's event - something that came up last minute, officially speaking isn't really part of my actual work and I think just about everyone thinks I'm crazy for continuing to think I/we could pull this off. It's one of the biggest things so far which I've had to do, and despite all the negativity of the last week I think I've managed to put together a great programme. Hopefully my inbox tomorrow will be filled with lots of emails of people attending and there won't be any cancellations of speakers. *fingers crossed*

* when I come home from that event, I will suddenly find my house occupied by a temporary flatmate - my boyfriend. I don't think I've ever really lived in such close proximity with someone else (because my house really is tiny). I'm probably overanalyzing it, and I really do look forward to it, but well - it'll be an interesting experiment!

Japan re-visited

This weekend a Japanese friend who's now currently living in Duesseldorf came to visit.

This meant having to find out how well my Japanese has kept up after 2,5 years, going on three, of being out of Japan and not having had any significant Japanese language interaction aside from an occasional afternoon. Well, not as well as I had hoped, but also not as badly as I had feared. So it's a mixed positive, I guess.

As a ticket to Japan is nowhere in sight, I'll have to make do with a weekend in Duesseldorf sometime in the coming months for some shopping and what is supposedly the best ramen in Europe. Yumm!

It also reminded me of some of the peculiarities of Japan - constant apologizing for things that cannot be helped, very conservative ideas about relationships, work, travel etc. A reminder of why I don't want to live there long-term. And a reminder that I need to install Japanese language software on my computer again (long long overdue) so I can communicate with friends in Japan again.

But it's always fun to see your own town through someone else's eyes again - the pretty canals, the mostly smiling people, the relaxedness of Dutch cities (well, at least these last two compare favourably to Germany apparently!).

April 05, 2008


While usually having my weekends filled with travelling all over the Randstad, busy with meeting people and so on, this one contains nothing. And for once, this is very very good.

Apart from meeting one friend for coffee/wine this afternoon, and lunch tomorrow with cookie, I am spending my time on (lots of) sleeping, reading the paper and books, (a little bit of) studying, writing some things down which I can't seem to say, sorting out photo's from two years of travel, slowly preparing next week's presentation, cooking, etc etc.


April 02, 2008


Tonight I was interviewed by a sociology student working on her master's thesis: on the importance of 'feeling at home' in a multicultural society - how important is it really that migrants consider their adopted country their proper home, and how does this differ to 'transnationals' and their sense of 'home'. Apparently I am a 'transnational' and so agreed to do this interview.

What do I consider home? That one's easy - the Netherlands. Despite having lived in different countries, and fully expecting to move abroad for some time again in the future, I can't imagine the Netherlands not being my home.

Why do I feel that so strongly though? And I do feel 'at home' at other places too, so what do I need in a place to make it feel that way?
Questions that I've mostly only thought of in relation to Japan and why I couldn't live there long term: because I don't feel I fit in to Japanese society.

What I need to feel at home somewhere, to feel a sense of belonging is having people I care about and who are important to me close by, a comfortable lifestyle, an open society but most of all I need a society that I feel a part of, that I can actively participate in through associations, debates on current affairs, politics but also by being respected for who I am and for being 'me' in that society.