Tuesday, August 31, 2004
The Dutchman and I have been checking air tickets to the Philippines for our winter December trip. My brother is also getting married and since he is marrying a Tagala (someone from the Tagalog Region – Manila), then the wedding will obviously be held in Manila and not in Cebu. I heard it will be in Intramuros. I just hope they finalize all the dates this week because the flight ticket prices are climbing as I type!
OK, here's what we've found. BM Air Reizen (they have good fares), have the cheapest € 579- (retour) with Cathay Pacific but darn, fully booked. Dutchman checked our other options, Swiss, KLM, Gulf Air – ALL again fully booked! Is there some exodus of some sort to the Philippines in December?! Hmm right, its Christmas...
The thing is, the Dutchman is now in panic attack. I guess I don’t really have to explicitly explain that but we might end up buying air tickets around € 1200 each!!!
I am going to continue searching the flight database. What an exciting task this is.
Monday, August 30, 2004
"Zomer is voorbij" (Summer is over), is all what I hear today followed by the usual grunting and puckering of the eyebrows by everyone in the office. Its around 15C to 17C outside now, very early for autumn weather.
The punchline of this entry.
And this morning, upon alighting from the NS train, I was greeted with a heavy downpour + strong gushes of wind that almost blew me away and my umbrella down to the ground. I scrambled to my feet, recovering my lost balance while trying to painstakingly find the winds direction. I have to maneuver the correct way of positioning my umbrella, yes against this freaking wind. I happen to have these small portable ones, which by the way can be easily tuck in the bag, but when used, and with just a little slap from the wind, this umbrella can end up - a debris candidate.
Anyway, I regretted not wearing my boots, my stockings were all wet, clinging like some sort of damp tissue on my skin. I really hate this. On 2nd thought, there is dryer in the office.
The walk is about 3 minutes to the office. Not that far but the rain suddenly stopped when I arrived at the office doorstep. Damn rain, only poured down on my little train station to the office journey. Weather, weather, are you teasing me?
Later in the afternoon, up in the bar, I struck up a conversation with one of my colleagues. This guy, let’s just say, is strange or rather a better word would be, interesting. You see, he is always munching on his mobile. I swear, if its edible, the phone would have been long gone, eaten, processed and flushed into the toilet. Well today, he is in one of his rare mood moments, he is actually entertaining mundane discussions with other people such as me. Topic? The over-rated and trivial Dutch weather.
“There is just so much BS talk about the weather in the Netherlands” he said.
I nodded and said, “I am actually amazed that weather can be a very lengthy subject of discussion here.”
He laughed while squinting his eyes and added. “True and isn’t it that weather talk in other countries is only used for introductions, like ‘How is the weather on your end’ type of thing?”
“Yes true and ever notice too that it is normally a discussion reserved when you have nothing more to say?” I quipped.
He laughed again but this time very short.
I guess that was it. There was nothing more to say and to add. The weather killed the discussion. LOL.
And oh, he was wearing yellow orange pants today. I thought that would be the best punchline of this post.
Friday, August 27, 2004
The weekend spirit is brewing up in every inch of my nerves.... and everyone here at work is sporting the “I can´t wait its 5PM bored look”, having the “I am busy kuno” facade, ticking and clicking away with their mouses, or simply staring at the flat monitor screen into oblivion.
Sadly, August is one of the worst summer months for business in Europe. It is vacation season baby. Believe it or not, some companies DO shut down their businesses while they holiday and frolic away in God knows where land. This I will talk more on another post.
So later at 5PM, I will go upstairs to the pub, its the Friday afternoon office booze ritual.
Quite amazing but we actually have a bar in the office. Cool eh? This is… as my other colleagues would say, the best consolation there is in working for this company. We get free booze!
Wednesday, August 25, 2004
It's past 11 uur (11 o'clock) and the schoonouders (in laws) just left. They had coffee with us, but their main reason for the visit was the internet.
The in laws are in their 70's thus its like solving a 1000 piece puzzle if you put them in front of the computer. They will be clueless, hehe. So of course, the Dutchman was there to rescue the parents in distress. They are off to Italy next week and it was their intention to check on the internet for some charming spots along the way.
Also, when they bought the new model of the VW Golf (replaced their old one), they were given a free vacation certificate, well accommodation only, to a select number of Mediterranean countries. To reserve a choice vacation, one must do it online... hence was the Dutchman very handy.
They have actually enrolled in a computer class (for oldies) but they are not yet on the stage of internet emancipation.
And zoals gewoonlijk (as usual), they brought something for us. Yeah, I have very generous in laws. What to do? It's their habit, it's their nature, something like an inbred thingy. This time, they brought a bunch of beautiful white Chrysanthemum flowers freshly plucked from their garden, and peaches, but fresh from the supermarket, haha.
The flowers are now proudly sitting in the dining table. They look lovely.
Monday, August 23, 2004
Fotos in the past, Paris 2001
I have been busy copying some of my scanned pics into the new laptop. The laptop is doing great, so far.
Anyways, I got so hyped up seeing our Paris trip 3 years ago, this was Dutchman's gift to me for visiting him in NL. I knew beforehand that we will be going there for a week and have already written off the expense in my finance sheet but when I asked him how much my share was for the trip, he grinned and said, "Its my gift to you baby!". Oh darn, I was overwhelmed as I didn't expect it, haha.
Since I didn't get any flowers during my stay, I guess the paying for the Paris trip was kind of romantic. You know Dutchmen, they always fall behind the romance department.
Crimee Metro Station
A candid shot, didn't expect the Dutchman will flash away. I love the bright yellow color of the underground metro. Warm and sexy.
Eiffel Tower in the Evening!
Check the lighted Eiffel Tower on top of my head. These lights blink for several minutes every single hour. Very beautiful especially from afar as it looks like a gigantic Christmas tree at night. The best place to view the tower would be on the topmost floor of the Montparnasse building.
At the Train Cabin restaurant.
We had dinner in this train cabin restaurant. It was actually charming but heck, too small, even for little me!
A flight of steps going down to the street from the Sacre Coeur church with the Paris view in the background.
So can you imagine going up and down in these stairs with my high-heel boots? March weather wasn't that great too, hence my umbrella!
Montmartre Square with the Painters.
I tell you, the painters in this square should be sent to court for harassment! They behaved like glorified beggars begging to paint or make a sketch of you for a fee. I had to hide behind the Dutchman's butt as he shoves them one after the other, hehe.
But, I couldn't let the opportunity pass away without getting a souvenir pose in this square with the beautiful paintings of Paris scenery as my backdrop.
Sunday, August 22, 2004
The history of the city of Utrecht actually began where the church stands today. The Romans were the early settlers and they have built a fortress in this area. Remains of this fort can still be found today under the Domsquare.
Also, the first Saint Martin’s church was built on this location around the 7th century.
From Roman to Gothic
The predecessor of the current gothic St. Martin's church was built around the start of the 11th century. In 1253, a huge fire swept through the city that badly damaged the Roman cathedral. Some of its remnants can be seen in the garden beside the Domtower.
After the fire, the rebuilding began. A new architectural style was introduced, GOTHIC. Construction of the new St. Martin’s cathedral was christened by Bishop Hendrik van Vianden. He laid the first stone and bit by bit, the originally Roman cathedral was replaced into the gothic cathedral of today, well without the nave that is.
History of the DOM Tower in Utrecht
1254 - Bishop Hendrik van Vianden laid the first stone of the Gothic Cathedral.
1320 - Construction of the DOM tower began.
1500 - DOM Tower and church were connected.
1520 - Construction of the cathedral ended.
1 August 1674 - Utrecht was ravaged by a tornado. The cathedral nave collapsed.
1826 - The rubble was finally cleared away, the current Domsquare was created.
1901 to 1931 - The reception building in front of the cathedral tower was built.
2004 - The nave rises again!
Friday, August 20, 2004
I am seething in anger towards the ogre Microsoft. My HP laptop is barely 2 weeks old and is already suffering from dementia, memory dump. The processor can´t stop groaning forever, all because of the pathetic Microsoft IE eating up the system. Or, maybe it has the bug crunch?
I really don´t know what to do. I stayed up last night till 1:30AM fixing it, well Dutchman did it for me anyway. Dutchman was pissed as he can´t even view the errors. We have done the reset countless times, still it remains the same, unyielding to the owner. When he deleted the IE in the taskbar, the system quickly went back to normal. But what is a person without the soul? The hardware is nothing if there is no software.
Given the chance, I would kick Bill Gates´ass for monopolizing the desktop software consumer market. I hope tonight the laptop will do some miracles... if not, I am resigned to re-install this despicable Microsoft XP Pro. So much lost of time :-(
Tuesday, August 17, 2004
MONDAYS they say is the least exciting day of the week, BUT perhaps the angels above were napping because hallelujah today is absolutely an exceptional Monday! DRUMROLLS... my superior, the Sales Director gave me the go signal (approved by upper management) for our Philippines business trip!
So in the next couple of days, in fact the whole week, I will be religiously devoting my time in refining our business trip agenda. I desperately need to concretize my ROI justifications - yup per client with at least a 6 month to 1 year forecasted plan on total sales and profit.
I am pretty sure, like in most corporate reality drama events, these corporate wolves will run after you, and in this case it will be me that they will be after. They have invested something on me and even if its just a trip, they will still for sure get behind my back, just like a crazed wolf stealthily watching the sheep.
The wolves want results, results, results. This sheep nods and say: "No problem, I give it to you baby!", but the main ticker here is... how polished are the support tools so this poor little sheep can produce foxy-enough results for these werewolves?
A rhetorical question in fact.
Man, I am already thinking about the consequences... how realistic have I become? Pessimistic perhaps?
A not-so friendly reminder was chasing me in my mind, "A wolf can easily devour a sheep for lunch."
Hmm, I wonder whats for lunch today.
Monday, August 16, 2004
What the heck is going on with this bloody Blogger? I couldn't get in for the freaking *nth time! And once I did, the whole window flew out of my keyboard?! The words that I have laboriosly typed were gone in a snap. Dont you just hate that? GGGRRRRR...
I was supposed to be talking about cliched household chores... and how I am so glad that the Dutchman is not one of those chauvinist pigs.
Perhaps next time, I will extraaaaapolate on the matter. For now, we can dwell on the idea that the Dutchman is a good pick. If he reads this, he might wonder if I want something. LOL.
Sunday, August 15, 2004
What has become of the world? What has become of me? I have turned into a bonafide internet junkie!
Well, there is reason in fact to celebrate, if not because of this crazed technology, Dutchman and I wouldn't have crossed our paths. He would forever stay in the flatlands, maybe end up with a kaaskop [cheesehead] girl or remain as a kaaskop bachelor. While I, perhaps will be in someone else's arms in the Philippines or god knows where land.
Blech... thinking about that scenario gives me an icky feeling. I guess this is what real love can do, exorcize us.
Let's see... I have several forums that I frequent a lot, a travel forum, a Fil-West forum, Bisaya forum, government forum, European expatriate forum, Philippine forum, international forum.... um, what else? Oh yeah I forgot, I also indulge myself with the Friendster networking, YM, and ICQ. I still have the archaic mIRC but I rarely go there. And the new addition, Blogger, hehe.
I have not yet degenerated myself into a full-blown internet neurotic. I still shop with feeling the goods in my hands. But I love booking my tickets online and sitting at home managing my funds in front of the PC. I am lazy thats why, in this sense.
It is getting late, I think sandman just called me to bed....
Saturday, August 14, 2004
The dinner with Pat was lovely. We went to this place called DJANGO in Utrecht. The place was very gezellig, which is suppose to mean cozy.
The food was superb albeit too little. I ordered those typical European cuisine and was first served with a voorgerecht [appetizer] of measly scraps of lettuce and shrimp. I was sure too that the hoofdgerecht [main course] didn't even reach my viscerals.
Anyhow I didn't bother raiding the fridge when I got home. I need the NEEDED diet anyway.
During the dinner, we talked randomly about many things. Her family holiday in Spain, mine in Greece; her sister from Florida visited Holland; our work; the omniprescence of assumably control-freak bitches at work too; our Dutchmen and I won't further comment on that because the Dutchman knows this site and he might hack it down; our un-never-finished houses (her daughter just called that the sink again dripped!); and of course what we want as 21st century wimin.
I think flying to New York with her is an exciting idea, in fact she would be the best person to travel with since she lived and worked there for more than half of her life's existence. She did want us to go visit London together although I am not so hot about that. I was just there 2 months ago but I forgot to take pictures. *kicks my ass*.
It was a nice time with Pat. And maybe in the future, I will bring Dutchman to this DJANGO restaurant.
Wednesday, August 11, 2004
The Foto actually worked! Thanks Friendster for hosting it :-)
My tales for the day...
Ugh I am tired. I watched half of the "The Last Samurai" last night. It was freaking 2AM when I drifted off to bed. Dutchman didn't even noticed me!
At someplace else other than home....
I am close to snapping at some bitch. *edited* End of story.
My new toy at home, my HP laptop is doing fijn.
By the way, 'Kut weer' is back - rainshowers and a 19C temperature, supposedly for a nice summer day today.... BUT yesterday was 31C? Wat is er aan de hand? What did the Dutch do to deserve this kind of earthly punishment?