Monday, January 31, 2005

Night Life


Saturday evening.

Dutchman and I were gasping and running our butts off to the Rembrandt movie theater. Fast, fast! We booked our seats via the online movie booking system, Belbios and that means we should be at the kassa (cashier) 30 minutes before the program starts.

Ocean Twelve…

Frankly speaking, the film was a disappointment. The storyline was fine in the beginning then it strayed off and went straight to the moon! Goodness gracious, for a movie with such high profile actors in its cast, it made me wonder where they placed their excellent judgment in picking movie projects(?). But then, I am admirably such a critic, more so the Dutchman. “Ocean Eleven was surely better.”, Dutchman said.

Here is whats refreshing, the first half of the movie was filmed in good old Amsterdam. Seeing the familiar architecture, streets, stalls and even hearing the church bells ringing brought a strange déjà vu feeling. Amsterdam is beautiful, enigmatic, rustic and mysterious.

And the reprehensibly alluring already divorced *take note girls* Brad Pitt (who’s one of the stars in this movie) is I heard a die hard fan of Amsterdam. He has been spotted a couple of times by paparazzis walking in the streets and frequenting the coffee shops in the Dampkring area. Coffee shops by the way are not places to drink your favorite cappuccino, but to smoke hash, weed, in other words marijuana! Pay attention to that when in Amsterdam.

The Bar and the Booze

After the movie, I cajoled Dutchman that we go clubbing. It was drizzling outside a little bit. I didn’t like the idea of being wet because I just blow dried my hair. I would not want the 30 minutes blow drying vanity to go down the drain, so instead we hopped over to the nearest bar where at least real adults hang-out. Utrecht City is by the way, a student city, flooded with teeny boppers in their oxidized bikes. Because of this it is not easy to find a bar, a pub, a club, or café without these can be pesky kids, hehe. The Dutchman refuses to sit between them as he suddenly feels old.

De Kijker in English it means, The Watcher was the name of the bar where we took refuge. Hmm, maybe everyone in this bar is encouraged to watch each other?

The bar was very druk (busy). I could barely move myself as I snaked behind Dutchman being sandwiched left, right, front and back by all these tall Dutchies. At 5’2” (156CM.) it is indeed a challenging situation entering a room full of tall people. I couldn’t breathe!


Whelp! Don’t step on me you cheese head or I prick your bulging butt!!!

After the arduous maze, we, *sigh of relief* emerged in the bar. Dutchman ordered 2 glasses of beer and we retreated to the back portion so I can better exercise my respiratory lungs properly. Ahhhh... it was better. Alas, I could inhale and exhale peacefully.

The European bar is what I call a standing ovation ceremony. Almost every single breathing individual, all throughout the evening until the wee hours of dawn, is - STANDING. Seldom will you see people sitting, people prefer to stand and seats are either empty or have turned into coat hangers. These Yuru-pee-yans all want to STAND, lol! Ugh, to my disdain... poor me, the 5’2” 156CM… huh… huh… I feel like I am in nightmare on elf’s street. I feel like an elf amongst the giants! Maybe I should wear 5 inches heels next time?

The BAR scenario. What do you think? True or False?


Another thing that’s noticeable in these bars (or pubs and clubs) is, you will not see anyone eating. No pulutan (a side dish usually eaten whilst boozing). You are supposed to only drink. My New Yorker friend was complaining to me before: why is it that in (northern) Europe no one wants to have those side dishes or even just a bowl of peanuts when boozing up? She said at least in America, they do.

So, if you come along this way, please don’t start ordering your favorite pulutan such as those yummy buffalo chicken wings because there is NONE. The waiter will tell you to find your way to the nearest McDonalds.

Well, it was fun in the bar. Watching people has always been an enjoyable pastime, actually a hobby that I/we can never outgrow. And witnessing how the Dutch guys try their luck in picking up the Dutch gals was just pure entertainment. I will reserve this for another entry because the Dutchman has A LOT to say.

We finally got home past 3AM and hit the bed.

Saturday, January 22, 2005

Mona Lisa's Smile


One of Leonardo Da Vinci’s Masterpiece.

Mona Lisa: Wut up? Wuh yu lookin at muh?

What is her secret? Is she hiding something from us? Why is she giving that mischievous smile?


The Da Vinci Code book. Quite a controversial piece... but then, I am not religious myself so I am not really surprised.

Jesus loved a woman.
That woman was Mary Magdalene.
They were supposed to be married.
And Mary Magdalene was never a prostitute.
Then they had children.
Jesus had children.

Jesus was a man... after all.

Jesus Christ!!!

Have you read the book?

Thursday, January 20, 2005

The Missing Filipina Case – SOLVED


Finally, the Bebe Paña case has folded and was drawn to an end after 4 years of searching for her body, believed to have been killed and hidden by her cold blooded Dutch husband, Edwin.

I actually just received the news today from the Dutchman. He called me at home (I am still on strike lol) that the case was on the headline news of the Telegraaf newspaper. I could not find the news on its online page so I went to the site of Peter R. de Vries, the host of Reality TV Crime & Detective stories. He has been very active with this case.

It was indeed confirmed --- Bebe Paña was found, DEAD, just recently.


For the full news and photos, click on Peter R. de Vries link above. Look into the red section of NIEUWS, then click MEER below.

Bebe Paña with her son when she was still alive.

Her remains were discovered under the cement floor of the murderer husband’s twin brother in Nuenen (The Netherlands), who obviously was an accessory to the crime. He is currently taken into police custody.

Bebe, who’s a Cebuana came to the Netherlands to be with her Dutch husband. Together they had one son. I am not in-tuned to the facets of their marriage, but in 2001 the husband claimed that she suffered stress attacks and because of these, Bebe made a decision to go back to the Philippines to live an anonymous life, free from stress while leaving him to fend for their son. They were all but lies...

Last year (or was it the other year), Peter R. de Vries and his team flew to the Philippines on a Find Bebe hunt mission. Regrettably she was nowhere to be found. Not a single trace.

Peter R. de Vries on a hunt mission in Cebu with Bebe's relative, I think her sister.

In the meantime, the husband Edwin secretly moved to Norway, hoping to escape from the razor-sharp eyes of the press and the police. However unknown to him, the authorities have been already busy for months gathering enough evidence before closing on him. Sometime in October 2004 he was arrested for further questioning on new grounds of evidence in his home in Norway by the local Norwegian police.

The police also found child pornographic materials in his computer!

On relevant news, a Filipina Au Pair was also taken into employment by Edwin to take care of his son (Bebe’s son in this case). Weeks later, the Filipina Au Pair was found dead in her room. Reason of her death was unexplained.

Since he was a doctor by profession, he was clever enough. He quickly arranged for a cremation of the Filipina Au Pair. And in order to get the family's approval for the cremation, he probably made up some believable neurotic story and dangled enough Euros in between to the poor family back in the Philippines.

The Dutch police could not press charges since the crime scene was expunged and manipulated leaving no remnants of evidence. And worse, there was no body, no victim’s body to investigate, but only ashes.

But with the death of his Filipina wife Bebe and the new developments the police found, he is immovable. He cannot escape. Canned. He should be pulverized in jail!

I have actually been following this case since I arrived here in NL in 2002. Such a tragic tale isn't it?

These are the kinds of stories the C.F.O. (Commission on Filipino Overseas) will usurp and flaunt onto your face, complete with video tapes and horror flick accounts, when going through the CFO counseling seminar. A counseling seminar is required by Philippine law to any Filipino citizen moving to another country as a love immigrant.


This Bebe Paña story, I am sure will be added to their already jam-packed inventory collection of murder and abuse documentaries of Filipinas abroad.

Monday, January 17, 2005

SEXUALITY & NUDITY in Europe


(I decided to split my last entry and make it a full blown topic)

Dutchman and I just love the weekend uitslapen (oversleeping). We are the certified lazy butts and we cherish every moment we can get to linger in bed under the comforts of the warm duvets. Ah yes, we desperately need to win the Lotto!!!

“We are going to the Centrum (center) after boodschappen (grocery shopping), okay.” I ordered Dutchman, whilst standing outside the toilet door. Yeah he is inside busy doing what he must do, lol.

“Yes, that would be fine.” was all I heard from him.

“Good...” I muttered and quickly rushed to get myself ready, with Mr. Paracetamol in tow. Although my body is still on strike on a Saturday, I felt the need to go out and get some fresh air.

The weather was rather cold but dry, with intermittent rays of sun splashing throughout the horizon and its reflection mirroring the rustic Dutch architectures. We strolled the Centrum an window shopped, which in our book means - looking not buying, albeit a classic Dutch trait.

Afterwards we proceeded to Café Le Journal, our customary hang-out. I think the owners of this establishment should give us the customer award of the year. We are their loyal fans haha.
I must confess that the habit was formed due to this crucial reason: their reading collection. They all have the sizzling newspapers and magazines from fashion, business, socio-politics, home-lifestyle, music, and red hot gossips. Dutchman and I are hooked.

Perusing through the stacks of magazines displayed on top of this huge table in the middle of the cafe, a magazine caught my eye. Its one of those usual monthly fashion Dutch publications.

The cover of the magazine resembled something like this.

The magazine cover was very arresting: a studio foto of a group of real and normal women clad in their birthday suits.


I believe that this is not the first time I have seen pictures of naked real and normal women, like you and me, featured in a Dutch magazine, so I was not at all surprised. I mean goodness gracious, they even have these womens full names tagged in the article and what they do for a living and where they work! Heaven rain on me but isn’t exposing your flesh enough? Why provide the audience details of where you actually work? That’s like saying to any psychopath, “Stalk me please...”

I just can’t imagine myself, maybe I have such a pea brain, that people, strangers, literally anyone and everyone can see what my buttocks looked like... stripped naked and published for 16 million people to read.

With all these thoughts running in my mind, I quickly ran through the pages to read what these unclothed courageous women have to tell. The editorial was all about: What a woman wants with her body to be changed

“Hmm, interesting...” I thought.

As I turned the pages, I got amused by the sizes and shapes of their bodies. You see, they aren’t models, they have regular bodies so it is very easy to identify ourselves with them. And they aren’t really fat too.

The first woman in the line up wanted a strong abdomen. The next wanted her butt shaped better and fuller. Then the other wanted a nice set of perky boobs. Then came the fourth... uh, I was speechless...


The whole café loomed into darkness like an empty train tunnel, and only the humongous depiction in front of me gave light. Staring at me was something I thought I can only find in the adults section. For a moment, I thought I was holding the January edition of Playboy.

About half of the magazine page was a picture of a zoomed up woman’s vagina. WTF! Yes, her bloody VAGINA!!!

*Wipes sweat*


Her want: the sagging lips of her vagina re-touched...

OK, OK, OK! People relax please... (I have to relax! lol). Damn haha.

I guess the picture is but a normal portrayal of Dutch humanity because I try to prod the Dutchman to see the picture, instead he chastised me to behave. I was told to stop laughing and stop acting like a kid in public.

The normal European (or perhaps them Dutch only?) stratum of thinking when it comes to sexuality and nudity is abstruse, at least to me. Their mindset doesn’t directly translate to the physical realm but of sublime and pragmatic nature.

Freedom from malice? Freedom of expression? Of press? Art?

The wheels are turned the other way around here as displaying even a minut hint of mischievousness is taboo. These European cold meats do not show any malicious emotion... as they all want to say. On the contrary, you will end up relegated as the evil malevolent one for having such beastly thoughts. Yeah like what I just did.

How profound can this be, huh?

Ah well, just one of those scandalous revelations I experience living in Europe and in this tiny country of The Netherlands.

Saturday, January 15, 2005

This Week's Review: Mama Mia!


This whole week has been a total defiance for me, well my body that is, because I was and am still sick.

I visited my doctor last Tuesday and he referred me to another one. That’s the system here in NL, centralized with lots of red tape. It’s not the same in the Philippines or any other country where you can just go visit any doctor or drop by at any OPD (Out Patient Department) of a hospital anytime. In NL, no one will entertain you, they move here by appointments. *sigh*


MAMMA MIA!

A girl’s night out: the mother in law, sister in law and me yesterday Friday.

I still wasn’t feeling well but the tickets were already bought last year. I just can’t cancel and say rain check, it’s € 60 (US$ 80) loss of money. So I went.


The musicale play was held at this imposing Beatrix Theater in Utrecht right below Utrecht Centraal Station... which for me is 5 minutes away by tram or car, less than 10 minutes by bike and 20 minutes by foot from where we live.

The theater was full. The entrance was crammed with throngs of crowd, all queued up and hurrying to get inside to escape from the dry evening cold.


When I stepped inside, different hues of blondes and browns greeted me in the lobby. Many were sipping their drinks by the lobby bar and by the lobby mezzanine above.

We proceeded to the garderobe (wardrobe) to deposit our winter coats. Of course this service is not free and I think its a must.

We reserved the drinks for the pauze (pause) later. So we went up to the mezzanine to check where our gate is - gate 6.

The insides of the theater resembled like a bigger version of a movie house, except that this is more stylish and extravagant. There were also handsome and pretty ushers and usherettes assisting theater goers and at the same time promoting the CD’s of Mamma Mia.

The show began with a loud explosion of retro ABBA music. Ah, my childhood, the 70’s. They brings back memories of the past...

The storyline of the musicale revolved around ABBA’s music, Sweden’s masterpiece. Speaking of which, if you try calling a Swedish company, do not be surprised if their music-on-the-telephone-while-you-wait is an ABBA classic. I found it really entertaing!

Anyway, this is my first time to attend a theatrical musicale play in Holland and – in Dutch. I had to condition myself to switch and settle into the 100% Dutch mode. A daunting task I suppose.

The finale, a dramatic piece... superb theatrical production.


But to cut the long story short, the play was fantastic... leaving me with a loving and whimsical feel after. I guess this is what plays do to you eh?

What I really enjoyed was the play of lights. It made the whole set alive and glorious. I felt like a little kid admiring the colorful camaraderie of lights, scene after scene after scene. It was simply gorgeous...

I won’t bore anyone with the details, so for the real review, check it up HERE. Click North America for an English version. Highly recommended!


When I got home, the Dutchman was sitting on his favorite black leather fauteuil. Typical of him, he’s glued to that fauteuil all weekend with his laptop and afstandbediening (remote control – I know, such a strange word!). Yeah right, men...

Saturday, January 08, 2005

Back to REALITY News


It’s been roughly a week after the glorious 3 weeks of warm holiday in the Philippines. The reality has finally sunk down that we are back in the cold and windy land. Outside, I hear the angry swooshing of the wind, its tune reminding me of a choir whistling. And from where I am seated in our living room, I can see the trees and some flags swaying freely. Holland, a windy country.

It is not really that cold, but the callous wind can make 9C feel like its 2C. It bites through leaving painful stings on our skin. I also have to grip myself tight so as not to be tossed and turned by the militant wind. Dutch weather sucks, big time.

Now, on to some better reports...

Yesterday Friday was The Dutchman’s birthday and since he hates growing old, I shall not reveal his real age online. He thinks though he is still 21 years old... yeah right, haha.

So as usual, the whole schoonfamilie (in laws) was over last night to celebrate his verjaardag (birthday). Dutch birthdays are family syndications, they are a revered tradition and is supposed to be an obligation.

One of the discussions that was brought up in the birthday circle (yeah typically Dutch too) is about Dutchman and I going to Wintersport, well for next winter holiday. My schoonzus (sister in law) asked if we can go with them this winter instead. They go every winter to the Alps, which is quite normal I shall say for many Dutch families.

The Austrian Alps, beckoning me for next winter. A favorite wintersport destination for many. Aside from the beautiful alps, Austria boasts of intoxicating lively bars at night.

J must FIRST enroll in ski lessons before we go to wintersport...” stated the Dutchman flatly. “She doesn’t have the good physical condition, so she needs proper preparation.

I was arguing with the Dutchman in my thoughts: “Excuse me, but I am in good physical condition! How can you assume that I can’t handle ski boots just because I wear high-heels? What makes you think I am so fragile? Just because I am not sporty and that I am too woman and feminine... huh?” - GGRRR


Anyway, I will enroll myself with ski lessons, soon. I hope I will have fun.

At WORK, things have fallen back into place. I had a one on one conversation with my superior and one of our plans was to do more business travels. This time to my other markets, so new countries to visit, I hope so.

And TODAY Saturday I will be going shopping, with a friend. ‘Tis winter sale again!

I have come to a point though that shopping is not anymore a luxury these days. The Dutchman thinks I have shopped too much from our Philippines holiday. I guess the habit has degenerated into a menial task, tsk, tsk, tsk.... Well what can we expect? The €uro there was PHP 75! Man, my wad of €uros went a loooooong way!

Or I will have to wait. I am going to Madrid in less than 4 weeks, so perhaps I can reserve my shopping energy there.

Wednesday, January 05, 2005

Dutchman Reminiscence


THE MOTHER

Dutchman and I, together with my unwavering family, stayed in the same hotel in Makati for my brother’s wedding (last December). The Dutchman went flat out delirious when the mother at precisely 9AM-sharp, calls us out of bed for breakfast. Then a few minutes before 10AM, a follow up call from again, the mother, reminding us that breakfast in the hotel closes in 10 minutes.

What would you do if your mother in law calls you every single day out of your bed, while you are still suffering from jetlag?

OK so we finally got up after 12NOON and the phone rang again.

Get it! Get it!” screamed the Dutchman throwing the telephone to my side of the bed. “I am sure it’s the mother AGAIN!

On the line: “I have bought brunch for the two of you. Your father will bring it up to your room. Do you want something else?”, the mother said into the phone receiver.

Aahhh, what a wonderful mother in law I have”, grinned the Dutchman concluding... patting his hungry tummy, while his other hand rubbing off his sleepy eyes.

THE UNCLE

The post celebration of my brother´s wedding was in Chateau de Busay… a classy restaurant in the mountains overlooking the city of Cebu. The view was spectacular, the sky showered with city lights looking like star reflections in the cool night. The garden where the party was held was adorned with torches adding a romantic, cozy but exotic appeal.

I am glad to meet you again”, says my father´s older brother to Dutchman as he grips his hand tightly not giving it back.


Thank you”, replied Dutchman beaming, wanting his hand back.

Did you know that you look like the younger version of Kevin Costner?” my uncle said, still gripping his hands.

--Dutchman laughs, blushing terribly, his face red like a tomato, his hands still hi-jacked by my uncles grip--

Yes, I heard people tell me that but I don´t really like him, I don´t like his movies”, Dutchman said, unsure if that was the right answer in order to get his hand back.

THE COUSINS

My cousins who met Dutchman in the past were sporting their biggest smile ever saying that he looked so handsome in his suit. Dutchman felt embarrassed but delighted, of course.

The other cousins who only met Dutchman that day whispered controversial things to my ears…

J, your Dutchman is GUWAPO (handsome) and YOUNG! You both are about the same age too!” says one giggling.


And he is NOT HUGE??!” says another. He has a confident stride too...” chimed the other.

Well he actually looks like one of those elusive expat bachelors to me.” one reckoned.

AAACCKKK...

Why, what did you expect I will pick!?” I replied thinking of chastising them.

--- Ah, the beauty of stereotypes in Filipino-Western (Asian-Western) Relationships that you witness in every nook of the Philippines. Well, it did prove a point BUT... you can always SURPRISE or SHOCK them, hehe.

(P.S. I already edited some of the real words my cousins used because they were very brutal! LOL)

Monday, January 03, 2005

2004 Wrap Up

Just a little summary of my 2004 year with monthly highlights…

JANUARY – Winter Holiday! Dutchman and I went to the Canary Islands in Spain for a 1.5 weeks escape from the cold. Perfect, it was Dutchman's birthday too! The islands were fantastic geographically located beside Africa facing the south of Morocco and the north of Western Sahara. Enjoyably, it has a reliable 23C winter temperature by day and a soft 18C-19C at night. When I got back to the -0C winter in NL, I suffered fever and cold shocks that lasted for a month!


The famous sand dunes in Corralejo, Fuerteventura, Canary Islands. A photographer's haven!
FEBRUARY – Dutchman and I had a playful tug of war fight, kind of a bit romantic re: Valentines Day. He reasons that it is pointless for the supposedly cold-unemotional-pragmatic-Dutch to celebrate this futile commercial event since this act doesn’t exist in their book, thus no dinner and no gift! WAH! Eventually he cowered and treated me to the American Broadway Steak House at Utrecht’s Oudegracht. The meal was humongous, I regret. Of which I only finished ¼ of my plate and Dutchman, ½. I received too the VD gift, a perfume, hehe.

MARCH – Work! Got promoted to Sales Manager, salary adjusted, commission adjusted, benefits adjusted. Have also filed online my first ever Income Tax Return in NL to the Belastingdienst (Dutch Tax Department). Ah, I am now a full pledge tax paying resident.

APRIL – Nagged Dutchman why he isn’t touring me around Europe and demanded for a short weekend getaway. His response: “I have seen ALL of Europe!” Well, I succeeded and we booked to a nice hotel in the center of Antwerp, Belgium during the Holy Week. It turned out instead to be a shopping holiday for me! (well much to Dutchman’s chagrin)

MAY – Found my long lost friend in the UK (currently still searching for another lost friend in the USA). Flew there via Manchester and visited her in Sheffield, which is in the middle to the northern part of the UK. Was a great reunion!

The easiest way to familiarize London - The Big Bus Tour!
JUNE – My 34th birthday and did nothing special. I bought however a Dressoir (buffet table) for myself which became an epic story, see this entry: “The Tale of the 3 Dressoirs”. Also went the 2nd time to the UK this time via London, and went up north to York… a beautiful city with a village fairy tale charm. Then on my last day I gallivanted and painted London red on my own.

JULY – Our Summer Holiday! Dutchman and I went to Crete, Greece. We stayed at Malia which is quite near to the most sought after Chersonissos coastline. Superb vacation, beautiful island-country... I even had the chance to visit the palace of King Minos (Minoan Civilization) in Knossos (!) which was said to be dated back to 1600 BC.

King Minos Palace in Knossos, Crete, Greece.The island was also believed to be the place where Zeus was born. Am I right Sixt?
AUGUST – Started THIS BLOG! Special thanks to “Pinay in Netherlands” for showing me the light of day and for giving me the learning ropes in this blogging mile game. I actually started a blog a year ago but never updated it until I forgot it’s URL – can you believe that? LOL

SEPTEMBER – Began my 2x a week evening Dutch Language Lessons at James Boswell Institute in Utrecht University. Then I went to the Philippines on a Business trip at the end of the month with my Dutch colleague for 1.5 weeks. Culture shock with the traffic, heat & humidity and the pollution.

OCTOBER – Returned to the Netherlands on the 1st week. When I came back to work, my contract was extended and the company gave me more promotion benefits. Hmm, nice way of receiving me. And YES, my first Castle Experience in NL! Dutchman brought me to Castle De Haar in Haarzuilens which is relatively near where we live.

NOVEMBER – Busy planning for our upcoming December winter holiday. Busy too with birthdays!

DECEMBER – Winter Holiday again! Flew back to the Philippines, this time together with the Dutchman for 3 full weeks. Attended and celebrated my brother’s wedding in Manila and a post party in Cebu. We slipped in between schedules to Panglao Island, Bohol for 9 days/8 nights and spent the eve of Christmas eating at McDonalds in Tagbilaran City! Haha! But on the 25th, we had a fantastic buffet dinner by the beach complete with torches, flowers, candle lights and program-activities such as tribal dances and fireworks at Alona Tropical Resort’s coastline. Splendid, it was.

We then flew back to the Netherlands at 10:30PM 31 December 2004 (arrived in Amsterdam 6:00AM 1 January 2005) and celebrated New Year - On Board for supposedly 7 full hours. But surprisingly, the kuripot (thrifty) KLM didn’t even pop out any champagne!? Por que? I had red wine instead while the Dutchman was mad complaining why there were no other menu than fish (he is allergic!). HHRRMMPP!


Sunday, January 02, 2005

Nature's Wrath

I am still overwhelmed by the Asia Quake - Indian Ocean incident. Every single day, I am glued watching BBC as the latest tragic news unravels right before my very eyes. It is just so painful and beyond belief to see the unspeakable video footages and pictures. It makes my nerves weak.

Dutchman and I was in a bar-restaurant in Panglao Island (Bohol) on a Sunday early evening drinking our after dinner coffee when we saw the dreadful news. At first, we thought it was just a typical quake, but later that night at around 11pm, we came back to the same bar-restaurant for late night drinks (unfortunately it was the only bar that had the TV on in that area of the beach), then we saw how huge the scale of the catastrophe is.

We could not stop focusing on Thailand: Phuket and Phi Phi Islands, since we have been there. Thinking about the tsunami made us feel vulnerable. Majority of the resort hotels in Phi Phi are housed along the very thin coastline strip, about 200-300 meters in width from end to end. We can just imagine how the waves enveloped the whole place. Unimaginable!

Here is a Thai website: Official Thai Tsunami Information Center. Be warned that the photo's may be very disturbing.
And now, as I look at the Banda Aceh region in Indonesia, words cannot explain how nature can strike. Almost all the population is gone by this tsunami madness.

Death toll has now risen over 150,000 and thousands still missing and unaccounted. Millions displaced. Indonesia was the most hard hit, next Sri Lanka. Sweden also mourns, as the country with the largest foreign nationals (tourists) missing, about 3,500.

Many survivors are dying. Communicable diseases already exist in these places and are or will be exacerbated due to the heartbreaking situation at hand. Outbreaks may be eminent in the affected countries.

Global aid has arrived, but logistic problems pose as the greatest challenge since all the infrastructure (such as roads and bridges) have been washed and turned into a mass of debris, leaving no access on ground for help to pass.

Lives lost, people dying, livelihood washed away, houses wiped out, societies ruined… the suffering continues on what was left over with the tsunami devastation, the biggest in this century. Many are now questioning WHY it happened.

The surviving victims need support and my only hope is that THEY GET IT, not short term but LONG TERM.

Flashback and Dutch Sneak Preview Foto's just updated.

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