Sunday, December 24, 2006

23rd of December

We’ve been quite busy lately – we had visitors and will be expecting a family with 3 kids next week. Thus left without any choice we badly need to fill up our cupboards and fridge the necessary food items to feed these visitors, especially the 3 little wild minions.

This might be a bit strange, but we’ve never really had a full fridge in this house. It is not necessary anyway when it’s just the 2 of us... that also happen to struggle with losing weight, ha-ha. So an almost empty fridge, the better it is! With the holiday season, the full fridge is an exemption because I am feeding a bunch of hungry stomachs. I am therefore far from having any form of whatsoever guilt.

Christmas Market disenchantment

A typical Christmas Market when snowed in. Foto from

On other news – yesterday Saturday, we were supposed to go to Germany and visit the German Christmas Markets. Dusseldorf was my plan but I found out they were closed early on the 21st. And although a bit farther, Cologne was the other option I had in mind. The last open day was yesterday. BUT, I had a real huge problem...

Upon hearing - German Christmas Markets, I could see the poor Dutchman’s face twisting in agony, like he just experienced an unexpected heart attack. He does not want to come with me and is sticking to his guns like a spoiled brat on the loose. The usual pointless discussion of why am I tormenting him, dragging him to these “touristy” and “historic” places in Europe; places that doesn’t appeal to him a little bit, nor would he give a freaking care about --- and I know, the locals here, and I mean the natives, would agree with him too. Uh, what can I do???

He is also not looking forward to the looooong drive – yeah, he-he, I will be drinking all the gluhwein (warm mulled wine) there so he doesn’t have much choice but to drive, at least in going back.

But... alas... Saturday was a big disappointment. *Sigh* Although bearable, my heart sank. *Sob*

We never made it to Cologne’s Christmas Markets but I promised myself that come high and low, I will drag the Dutchman to the German Christmas Markets next year, and it doesn’t matter which tail of him I drag along!

I woke up late too; I guess I am partly to be blamed.

As a consolation, Dutchman treated me to a nice movie yesterday evening.

Supporting charity: 30 Million Landmines

It was darn icy cold last night. Dry, but the wind chill makes you shiver like a chicken. Bbbrrr... chilly.

The streets were smoky; the atmosphere of the city center looked a bit eerie with the thick cloud of white luminous (due to the lights) fog hanging suspended above. People were out and about though, and so are we.

The temporary erected glass house in Neude Square, Utrecht that houses the DJ’s raising money for the landmine victims.

We first went to the Neude Square to have a quick look if the fasting DJ’s in the glass house have fainted or what. Serious Request 2006 : 30 Miljoenlandmijnen, daar kun je niet omheen is a charity cause in partnership with 3FM and the Red Cross with the objective of helping landmine victims all over the world.

This is the insurgent DJ that was fired in his previous job. Reason: he hired a prostitute and they did the oral job, believe it or not, while he was on air working and screaming oooh, aaahhh, and ooohhh, lol.

DJ’s Giel Beelen, Gerard Ekdom and Sander Lantinga (just don’t attempt to pronounce their names) are not eating anything for a week, while they are locked up inside the glass house, working, pleading to the public for donations and playing music that will help the landmine victims. The DJ’s will be released tonight from their fasting, after raising about 2.5 Million Euros.

How does this cause work? To request a song, you must donate. A 3-minute song can go as far as 500eu. Companies can be sponsors. They also collect old mobile phones where the proceeds will go to the same pot. As a good citizen, and a trying hard to be a better environmentalist, I gave away and deposited my old Nokia phone 2 days ago at the site.

Harry “Balkenende” Potter, the Dutch Prime Minister, visited the glass house a few days ago too and made a public announcement that the Dutch government will donate an additional figure of 1 Million Euros.

A bizarre film - OBER

The “Ober” film by Alex van Warmerdam, winner of 2 awards.

Anyway, while we walked towards the cinema called ‘t Hoog, which is right in the corner alley of the Neude square, Dutchman suddenly had this uneasy feeling - he is unsure if the film he reserved online earlier was actually shown in ‘t Hoog.

We went inside the restaurant cinema and asked. His doubts were correct. He is indeed wrong, the Dutch film, “Ober” (means: Waiter) is shown in Springhaven cinema which is in the other side of the Centrum.

When I heard this, I was like – “Eh, I am in my damn high heel boots!?” Walking another 10 minutes to reach the other side of the Centrum in this brick and stony roads is near utter persecution. Why do my feet and my boots need to go through unnecessary labor and distress? “Don’t ever make this mistake again!!!” I grumbled with a heavy heart following the Dutchman grinning sheepishly.

Finally we arrived, just in time for a few minutes of coffee moment before the show begins. The 10 minute tip-toe walk (yes, you really need to tip toe a bit, otherwise your heels will fall in between the brick and stone cracks, and may get stuck) and the chilly night made me truly enjoy the hot cup of coffee. I’ve never felt so relieved, relaxed, and filled after the drink.

My “Ober” movie review: I would give it 4 stars out of 5. It is a tragic comedy film, quite special and alternative that you would need to have a distinctive taste in films to really enjoy it, let alone for others, understand it. If you are into the mainstream Hollywood movies, then this is definitely not the film for you.

The setting is a parallel of 2 worlds that reached to a confusing fusion - a writer, writing a story, and while he writes, the words he wrote into his laptop transforms into the actual scenes of the film.

This is the Springhaven cinema where we watched the film. This is not a joke, this is how small and cramped the traditional cinemas in the Netherlands are. Funny thing, the Dutch love them just the way they are and would not trade these ‘gezellig’ cinemas with the large modern ones, although they do exist here too.

What I like with the movie is the strange and whimsical way, albeit quite realistic, how the writer and his characters come alive together. It was amusing when the characters, that are supposed to be fiction, visit him in real life – while writing the story, and demanding that he change the turn of events in the next scene. The plot thickens too. When the girlfriend of the writer tries to intercept and change the story. In fact, she locked him up inside the toilet and hi-jacked his laptop leaving the characters with nowhere else to go.

The movie is in Dutch. So if you want to watch it, you can, but only in the Netherlands and Belgium, and perhaps in other European countries - subtitled.

So, moving forward, t
omorrow is the first day of Christmas (we have two days of Christmases here in Europe) and we are expected at the sister in laws’ for a special dinner together with the whole Dutch family.

Outside is cold and misty. I see nothing a block away from the window but white. It really now feels like Christmas... I hope it snows.
I’m calling my other home, the Philippines, tonight. Enjoy your Christmases everyone.

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