Friday, August 18, 2017

My Daily Life in the Netherlands #001

I am going to start a new series on this blog, which is really born out of a personal need to document a part of my normal daily life in the Netherlands. It is a promise to myself you know. Something that I hope to look back to with amusement and contentment when I am old, gray and cranky, haha.


Having my favourite gelato flavours, pistachio and lemon in the city centre of Utrecht in March of this year.


We are driving to Friesland here (last June) to visit friends.

From the very beginning, like more than a decade ago (2004!), this blog was really created to journal my then new (expat) life in the Netherlands. I posted about my observations, my struggles adapting to Dutch culture and much more, but over the years, I have become so seamlessly weaved and integrated into the Dutch life and society that I began identifying myself as a local.

The shift of the theme of the blog as well has been made to accommodate my hobbies which are about travel, the love of food and the good life. But I still want to keep a part of the organic purpose of this blog alive, hence the new series.

These posts in the new series are mainly visually driven by pictures. I tend to carry my pocket camera with me all the time so I take snapshots of my daily life as I go along.

I will be posting random pictures about places, activities, things and what have you that I specifically will not be creating a separate blog post about. Many of them are not travel-related at all, they are probably more lifestyle directed in this case. Basically, a peek into someone else's life. Mine, LOL.

The baked goods I made. Attending a family birthday party. Having coffee in the city center. Shots of cool architecture or design of something. It can be as random as it can get. But nothing to worry, I will not be posting something too personal to help fodder up the gossip mill, if there is. I will also not be posting work-related pictures, although food and the places I have been whilst working will definitely go on the blog. They are my career life souvenirs and I post them for posterity's sake when I retire.

Anyway, I call these posts MY DAILY LIFE RUN RATE.

[To read the rest of the post and to see the rest of the pictures, click the READ MORE link below]

Hopefully, some readers will find some inspiration in these pictures.


Late last year I went to the Leersum Golf club. It is a nicely designed golf area. 


The restaurant's terrace was my work place for the day. Not bad at all since the sun was shining and it was all blue skies. Perfect to be working outdoors, don't you think? #workcanbenice


Amandelstaaf (also called Banketstaaf) is an almond paste pastry bar that is very popular during the holiday season in the Netherlands. I received this for Sinterklaas from work. Best eaten when it is warmed in the oven with coffee or tea in the afternoon.


Ah, braving the winter to sit outside =)


I went for a little walk in the neighbourhood with the Dutch mother and took these photos.


Yup, I baked all these goodies for the family. They are all vegetarian hearty quiche-like pastry tarts. I was just getting ready to bring them to the car.


One weekend, Dutchman and I watched the movie Trainspotting at the newly opened movie theater, Kinepolis in Utrecht Jaarbeurs.


Just beside the movie theater is this big cafe - bar - restaurant which does not only cater to the movie goers but also to exhibition attendees of the Utrecht Jaarbeurs exhibition complex.


Having afternoon tea with biscuit and strawberries at home with the Dutchman.


The Bijenkorf department store in Utrecht has a newly renovated cafe restaurant. Check out the stunning glass walls. I love it. Came here for coffee after a bit of needed shopping.


Having coffee here in the Vismarkt of Utrecht city centre.


The new Utrecht Centraal Station. Utrecht Centraal is the main hub of the Dutch railway system (called NS - Nederlandse Spoorwegen) in the country. 


Do you know the Dutch artist, Mondriaan?


Literally what I call window shopping. Just looking, not buying.


Marilyn Monroe strikes a pose in the new Hoog Catharijne shopping mall during the opening of the newly renovated mall. 


The newly renovated Hoog Catharijne shopping mall. It is not yet complete and the whole mall is still a work in progress until 2018 I believe. 


Having lunch in Utrecht after picking up girlfriend Bubbles at Schiphol Amsterdam Airport last April. It was great timing as I have a scheduled job interview with the senior director of this multinational company in a hotel in the airport just 2 hours before Bubbles deplaned in Amsterdam. Perfectly timed appointment haha. And yes, I got the job, but not after another round of interview with a different person several weeks later. I started the new job last June. Bubbles would like to think she was my lucky charm =)


Our lunch sandwiches at the Oudaen Restaurant on the Oudegracht of Utrecht. The restaurant is the only remaining castle in the city, which is also a brewery by the way.


When you order coffee or tea in the Netherlands, you will always get a cookie with it. This is very standard in this country and hoping as well that hospitality places in other countries adopt this. It is just nicer to drink your coffee and tea with a little munch on the side. This cafe on the Oudegracht has a small indoor lemon plant.


Some evening nibbles after dinner...


Visited Castle de Haar in Utrecht with Bubbles. I promise; I will be posting a separate entry about our visit. I have visited this place MANY times!


Having some coffee and snack here at the cafe restaurant on the mezzanine of Utrecht Centraal Station before taking the tram home. Nice view, huh. Bubbles and I just came back here from our more than 2 weeks Balkan road trip. We flew via Eindhoven Airport and rented a car in Bosnia & Herzegovina. From Utrecht we took the train to Eindhoven and back.


I let Bubbles taste kibbeling (with chives mayo sauce), deep-fried cod fish, a speciality in the Netherlands. She loved it so bad, she wanted to come back and eat more!


I also let her try our famous applebol in Utrecht. Bubbles went gaga, haha. This is always a good hit for people visiting. Order them at Graaf Floris at the Vismarkt in Utrecht. They serve coffee and tea there as well the traditional way.


Then it was King's Day at the end of April.


Bubbles and I hit Utrecht city center during King's Day and we partied a bit, dancing with these crazy people before a podium of musicians. Beer was thrown all over the place. Bubbles was shocked at the amount of alcohol freely consumed on the streets as well as the mountains of trash. She suddenly felt lucky to be living in civilized Canada. I told her not to worry because the government cleans up all the trash before we even lift an eyelid in the morning. And yes, this is Europe and the Netherlands, we have alcohol freedom among many other (taboo) things, haha.


Birthday of my niece. Time for the family to gather again.


My cake and the Dutchman's. Dutchman always prefers the apple tart while I always go for the easy-to-make home-made monchou tart (which is originally a French recipe by the way). I prefer them with strawberries. Light and fresh.

That's it for now. Until the next batch of daily life run rate pictures!

Ciao =)

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Happy Travels! Enjoy Life =)

All pictures were taken by a point and shoot pocket camera or a smartphone.

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