Friday, April 29, 2016

my cousin been tryin out hairdo's on me since '07

When my 4-years-older cousin Anouk came by my tiny apartment, we spent the evening having a delicious homecooked avocado-and-shrimps pasta dinner and braiding our hair. It’s crazy how we keep coming back to doing our hair together, as we have been doing that since like ’07, maybe even before that. As we don’t live close to each other, we don’t see each other that often, but every time we used to have some sort of family gathering, the two of us would go up to our bedrooms, do our hair and make-up (she mainly teaching me stuff), and by the end of the day come back down to show the result to our parents. Now we’re both having our own place but we’re still doing the same thing when we’re together.

Every time we are so astonished about how much our genes caused us to be so alike. Not only do we look somewhat similar and does our hair have the exact same colour (my own sister’s hair is not even the exact same colour) – her hair being the soft and straight edition of mine -, but we also listen to roughly the same music and often have the same thoughts about things and even own the same (kinda) stuff. Of course there are plenty of differences between as us well, and we think our dads, who are not related, are to blame. 

Anouk pretty much taught me a lot of stuff on anything as I was going into womanhood (still am), and as I am an older sister myself, I pretty much looked up to her as if she were my older sister. I don’t know where she got it from as she only has one brother, but it’s probably a natural thing. Not only did she teach me a lot about beauty related stuff, from braiding to eye make-up to fashion, but she also taught me my first few words of English when I was 9-ish years old, which I carefully wrote down in a little notebook, and I collected a nice vocabulary in there after several family gatherings. She was the one getting me on my first Facebook-like social medium (a Dutch medium called Hyves, which unfortunately does not exist anymore) and she was also the one who took me out shopping without supervision for the first time. It’s crazy how someone that you don’t see that often can have such a big influence on you / who you have become. Maybe it’s because we are so the same, from the outside but especially from the inside. Maybe it’s inversed, and maybe I am so much like her because she‘d got a big influence on me. But as we grew up in pretty different environments, maybe it is just genes. Who knows.

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Saturday, April 23, 2016

My grandpa's home

It’s pretty amazing when you meet your long lost grandpa for the first time and it turns out he has a museum for a house. The first time I came to his house, age 8, I declared his house was “full of stuff”, but now I’ve come to truly appreciate his “stuff”, for he has collected many beautiful pieces, each single one of them having its own story of how it came to be in my grandpa’s home. There’s a lot of artwork, especially landscapes, but also many items from long gone times. You might have noticed a weird object on top of a closet that looks like a huge magnifying glass, but that is actually an old lamp that they used to have on bicycles!

Even though his house is full of stuff, it’s not trash, like my other grandpa, who had his closets stuffed full with things he didn’t use anymore or had not even ever used in his life, too scared to get rid of the things he had no purpose for, and that may be well typical for an Indonesian man like he was. But this grandpa, from my dad's side of the family, who probably owns just as many or even more things than my Indonesian grandpa, keeps his things probably for their esthetical and/or historical value. Something that I can appreciate largely as well – I must have inherited it from this side of the family. There are also the photographs that he owns, that I would well like to put my hands on, since he is the only one owning any family pictures from my dad before he became my dad. I’ve seen them, but he’s not so keen to let me have some of them. There are also photographs of my grandpa when he was a young man himself, and photographs of about a dozen Jews who hid in his parents' home during World War II. There are photographs of that time during World War II when paratroopers accidentally landed on the field behind my greatgrandparents' house, when they tried to free our country from the Germans. The pictures they took are now visible in a museum dedicated to this historical event. There are also pictures of my grandma, who I have only known as an old lady, and it was incredibly strange to see her the way she was in her younger years. 

Even though I've always found my family history rather interesting, as well as seeing how much family members resemble each other, I think family is the weirdest thing. It's weird how you can be family to someone you barely know but still they'll always be something to you, something that can't be lost, unlike the thing that unrelated people are to you, even though you are much closer to them. And even though we have not been not so close to our grandpa over the years, I find it rather interesting to learn about his life. Especially since the treasures in his house that he owns represent so many stories that remain untold. Some people don't care for old rubbish and only care for something new, I am fascinated by the stuff that has lived a long life already. 

I'm not saying I would ever arrange my home this way, but I labeled this article with "interior" since I think there are a lot of items that I would love to put in my own house one day. The key here is that I would combine it with other furniture and stuff that may be more modern, instead of creating one steady oldish look like my grandpa did. Still his home is inspiring to me, and it fascinates me in both an esthetic and a historical way. So of course I got to share!

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Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Mata Hari in ballet

A while ago, my mom and I saw Mata Hari perfomed by the National Ballet. It was such a beautiful performance, and I felt rather impressed by the creature Mata Hari. For those who don't know Mata Hari, she was a Dutch exotic dancer, mainly in Paris but in other European cities as well. In her dances she undressed herself while dancing, and she became famous for it. She had always been interested in military men (and probably had affaires with several of them), so when World War I began, she was suspected of spying, and later executed for spying for the Germans, although it is not clear if she really was a spy. But she was a free woman in times of war, found attractive by many men, especially in upper and military classes, and that was probably enough to think of her as something dangerous.

Before Mata Hari became an exotic dancer, she lived in The Netherlands and married a captain of the Dutch colonial army. When they moved to Indonesia (Dutch Indies), she joined a local dance group, and she looked at the Indonesian culture with utmost care. This is where she came up with the name Mata Hari, which means "eye of dawn" (a.k.a. "sun") in Malaysian.

Imagine her story turned into a ballet performance. Ballet is just so lovely to watch. Last year I went to see the Swan Lake by the National Ballet, which was also beautiful to see since it's a very classic piece, but I think I found Mata Hari more interesting, at least in a way that made me think it about it even long after the show was over. I think it was so beautiful to see how they turned her story into a dance, without the  use of any words, but still it was all so clear what was happening on stage (although you should always read about the story before seeing it perfomed). I think they did a great job on representing Mata Hari's story in ballet. It was really fascinating. And so is Mata Hari. Just look at all these pictures that I collected of this femme fatale.

Friday, April 15, 2016


Good morning yall :) The Fuzz in Nijmegen is one of my favourite spots for a coffee. These pictures were taken at two separate times I was there, the first time being with a girl from Norway (first picture of a girl) who was doing a semester abroad at my University (there is this program at the school that assigns Dutch people to foreign exchange students so they can help them out or just hang together), and the second time I had lunch with Lies and Janne (second picture of a girl). I like the way that The Fuzz feels like a cosy living room. It's absolutely a lovely place to catch up with friends! 

I'm not quite content about these pictures that I took, because I can clearly tell that at that time I just got my new lens and not used to it at all, and I was only just learning how to use my camera manually. Still I think that they do capture some of the loveliness of this place that I totally wanted to share with you! While looking at these pictures again, I really feel like having one of their coffees again. I am in very hard need of coffee right now as exames cause me to have a terrible lack of sleep lately. At the moment I am not posting on my blog as often as I would want to, but I'm glad that I took a break from all the studying to work on this post! I think that after summer break I will be able to put a lot more time into blogging since I will be a part time student next school year! I made this decision because at the University it's all about depth in theoretical knowledge about just one field of interest, while I am not really looking for depth, but would rather acquire broad knowledge, since I am interested in many distinct topics. Although I am very interested in my major, I am just looking for more knowledge than just all that I learn while doing that major. So that's why I have decided to continue my major at the University next year only partially, so I will have time left to do more creative courses that will be a lot more practical as well. Of course this will take me a lot longer to finish school, but I'm still young and not at all in a hurry to rush through my time in college :) Because you know what they say... college life is the best part of your life! My mom totally agrees on this. This upcoming Saturday we're having a bring-your-parents day at our sorority/fraternity, so we get a chance to show our parents around and everything, and it's so funny to see my mom all excited about it! Really she can't wait. I know she wishes that she was still in college like me, so I'm sure she'll love it Saturday!

I know I post a lot of articles on hotspots in my own town Nijmegen up here (mostly because I have dedicated myself to try every single one in town), but that doesn't mean I am not interested in trying out hotspots in other cities as well! I am all over the country a lot so I'll have plenty of opportunities to try new hotspots, so if you know some really good place to have coffee / lunch / dinner at PUT IT IN THE COMMENTS! I really want to extend my list of hotspots that I have to try, simply named my "To Eat At" list. Do you have a favourite hotspot? Let me know! Seriously. Don't hesitate. I'm up for anything.  

Sunday, April 10, 2016

First-years formal dance at Ovum Novum


1 & 2. The very first group pictures in which all members of my year club are present. A miracle :-) 3. My year club and most of our dates 4. Year club + our 'patron'. A patron is nothing formal, it's just someone we, as a year club, keep a good acquaintance with 5. Me and my formal dance date

Ovum Novum is my sorority/fraternity and some say the first year at Ovum is the best year at. One of the reasons may be that for first years there is this competition throughout the year, where you can get points by doing all sorts of stuff that will help you to get to know other members but also to get others to know you. Although sometimes it can get really competitive, it usually includes a lot of fun stuff. Another reason may be that it’s just your first year, like many first years are most fun. Wasn’t your first year high school the most fun out of all six of them? I recall my first year in high school to be my best. Perhaps it was because we were still so childlish at that age, at a school full of pimply teenagers who were probably a lot more confused about life and stressed out than we were in that first year. School was a fun thing back then (at least that’s what it seems to have been like now) and I remember how me and my friends had a lot of ‘adventures’ at school, doing sneaky and random things, and our teachers were more like these characters that we liked to make fun of. I remember the other years to be a lot less fun and a lot more boring, maybe because by that time we had hit puberty ourselves and we started to care less and have more boring sass overall.

Another reason that the first year at my sorority/fraternity is really fun, is because of the first-years formal dance that is held every year by one of the first-year year clubs, and older members are only allowed to attend the dance if one of the firstyears takes him or her as a date (usually guys ask girls but leap year is the only year that girls ask boys and this year happens to be a leap year). Traditionally dates go with their date’s year club out for dinner before going to the dance (which, unlike the ‘big’ formal dance, is held at our club house) and although I couldn’t make it to dinner, I thought the dance was one of the funnest things so far! The year club who got everything ready for the dance did a great job, decorating the entire club house according to their theme (“Full of stars”). I think it was enormous succesful & we enjoyed such a fun night! I can't wait for the big formal dance, that is held every year to celebrate the sorority/fraternity's Dies, or Birthday. 

Being a member of Ovum Novum is one of those choices that I had doubts about at first, but now I do regret it not a single bit! For those who don't know Ovum Novum, I think I should mention that we are not a traditional sorority/fraternity as the ones that are probably better known among students. Although we do have a lot of the same traditions, we ditched all of the traditions that are not (like, the hierarchical structure, high contribution funds, and unreasonable obligations like obligatory attendance), which makes it the perfect sorority/fraternity for those who want to join one, but like me don't understand the fun of some of the more traditional stuff :-)

Of course the parties and activities we have at Ovum are great fun, but what I love most about Ovum is the fact that it is a great opportunity to have a vivid social live during your time in college. I have found it quite hard in college to make new friends as I have to be at school only a few hours a week, often together with different people each time, so I don't find that exactly a great situation for making a lot of friends. A sorority/fraternity, on the other hand, is a great way to get involved in typical college life and to get in touch with a lot of people from different majors. At Ovum there is a year club structure which means everyone will eventually form a year club, consisting out of around 10 people (who joined in the same year), and since you'll spend a great amount of time with them, they'll most likely become your friends for life. So far I have experienced that these people have enriched my life greatly :-) Beside that, there are also options to get more in touch with members outside of your year club, like you can get involved in groups that consists out of members form different years and year clubs to hang out with, or committees and do stuff for the sorority/fraternity (the organization is based on voluntarily input from members), for example, I am involved in the photography committee which is responsible for all the picture taking during events, but there is also a committee responsible for the bar, there is a kitchen committee and a promotion committee, and many more. So, in short, I would recommend anyone to join a (non-traditional) sorority/fraternity, if you want to get the best out of your college life! (and your time in college will be the only time that you'll be able to join one... So grab your chance!) If you have any questions, don't hesitate to ask me anything!

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Friday, April 8, 2016

friends fly faraway

What sometimes happens when your high school friends have moved to another city, 45-ish minutes from yours, to go to college, is that sometimes you take the train up there to go out at night, then take the first train back at 6 in the morning.

As Janne was leaving for her trip to the USA in a few days, we decided to have some sort of  a goodbye party in Utrecht with some of our high school friends who live there now. What I like most about being with my high school friends after a long time of not seeing them is that it suddenly all feels so normal. Just like right. Being around them is like coming home, like going back in time. It’s as if no one ever left to have a new life in a new city. It feels like one of those nights we used to have regularly when someone wanted to just ‘chill’ that night and everyone would just go over his place and just ‘chill’.

Maybe it's because these people come from where you come from. We didn't just grow up together, we went through the hardest time in a lifetime together, and followed the path to adulthood side by side. My 'normal' is their 'normal'. I know most of their parents and they know mine. I don't think you'll ever have friends like your high school friends so that's why I treasure mine a lot. I hope that, even though we don't get to see each other regularly anymore, we will never become estranged.

I really like having some friends who even though I don’t see them often, will always be my friends. Seeing them again is never awkward or weird, it always feels familiar, but it always makes you wish to see them more often than only once in a while. 

Janne is a whole different type of friend. Even though we know each other since high school (actually even before that, since our moms used to be colleagues and we sometimes came along with our moms for a visit), we have started hanging out together more after high school. Maybe since a lot of our other high school friends moved out of town, and we stayed around. But maybe also because I feel we have a lot in common, as in, we like similar kind of things that a lot of my other friends are not interested in at all (like, I’ve always liked classic reads and my fav book is Wuthering Heights but none of my other friends are really interested in reading, let alone classic reads, but when I found out Janne is interested in that kind of literature as well, I decided to give a copy of the book, basically a little piece of my soul, to her for her birthday last year, as I didn’t think that anyone else would appreciate it let alone that I would want to share that precious stack of paper with someone random) but also music and people we hang out with and of course blogging. So I’ll certainly miss her in these two months that she’s gone to the USA! But I know she’ll have a blast for sure :-) byeeeee girll byee! Have an amazing time & Tell the USA I said Hi.

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Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Lovely Amsterdam: a photo collection

Oh, Amsterdam! I love you and I hate you. I love wandering through your streets and look up to your typical houses which were build in the golden age of our country, and breath in the history. I love strolling along your canals, and I can't help but think of how people used to dump their shit in there in the 19th century. I like all the little boats and bridges everywhere, the trams going up and down the road. I like the small stores full of weird or beautiful stuff, and I could spend days just going around and looking in all those windows. I love your cute neighborhoods with their bars and restaurants and everything else that makes me feel as if I would long be dead by the time I would have been everywhere and done everything. But you are so big, and you make me feel so small. I feel like I'll will drown in the huge crowd of people that swarm through your streets like ants between the tiles on the sidewalk. You are a city of the crowd, who all are looking for profit at the expense of your authentic beauty. So I'll come and visit you once in a while, but you'll never be mine.

I took these pictures when I spent the day in Amsterdam with Lies. Us and the rest of our year club would go out that night together with some guys from an Amsterdam fraternity, but Lies and I decided to arrive early so we would have some time to spend in the city. It was a beautiful day and we surely enjoyed it a lot. I can't help but love Amsterdam more the more I come there. Thank god we live in this tiny country so Amsterdam is not too far for a regular visit :)

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