Archive for July, 2005

Sunday, July 31st, 2005

Against all weather forecasts, the 21st Zomercarnaval again became a wonderful sunny day!

Queen of Carnival 2005: Imara Thomas (21 years old)

Approximately 900, 000 people ( visited this yearly returning event and besides the beautiful costumes and cars/trucks of the 47 participants, also a lot of delicious South American food could be tried this day. For me this day existed mostly out of taking pictures with the Pro’s (Indah, Ids, Ferry, and Nur) and later on tasting some of the good food that was supplied at the party:)

Average Rating: 5 out of 5 based on 154 user reviews.

Friday, July 29th, 2005

Wow! It took me some weeks, but finally I managed to make a selection of all the pictures we shot on that sunny day in July.

Thanks to Rose (The lady on the pictures) and Agit, we managed to have a great day (spending most of our time on the terrace, drinking coffee and wine)! You can see the result in the photography section under People and then Rose.

Tomorrow (July 30) the yearly returning Zomercarnaval will be held in Rotterdam. Hope the weather will be great, so lots of new pictures can be added. Everybody who is going, have lots of fun, and maybe see you there!

Average Rating: 4.6 out of 5 based on 231 user reviews.

Wednesday, July 27th, 2005

Actually I have been running behind the facts about the music and the TV scene for years now. Well, to be honest I do not care about the TV scene very much, but how could I ever missed the hype around The O.C? In different reviews I read it is the most appealing ‘soap’ since years. It is called the “Surf, sand, sex and scandal… soap” (Amazon)! And I missed it… Damn! But then again, I saw two episodes of 90210 and missed out completely on Melrose Place and others equivalents.

But fact is that Jason Mraz scored a hit back in 2002, named “The remedy (I Won’t Worry)” for The O.C. . A fantastic way to get noticed as a young singer (1977) from Virginia. And so Jason did. Strong lyrics and different styles of music, varying from acoustic, blues, soul, and folk. If you like John Mayer or Maroon 5 you might give it a shot and try his new album, called Mr. A-Z.

Average Rating: 4.8 out of 5 based on 259 user reviews.

Tuesday, July 26th, 2005

Today I noticed that a youth friend of mine started his weblog and website some weeks ago. It is really nice to see through a weblog what is on a friend’s mind and what keeps him or her busy nowadays. Not that I am too lazy or to ignorant to ask, but people just do write different things in their weblog than they talk about.

Same goes for the new generation friends I currently have collected on MSN, Y! and ICQ. In the early days it was kind of expected to chat to each other in a formal way and constantly. Now it serves as an informal channel to say hello from time to time, even though their names sit and wait in my tray everyday. It feels a little like people sitting in a bus that passes by everyday, but only very rarely a window is opened to actually start a conversation. And to be honest; I don’t blame them – I sit on the same bus, everyday!

Average Rating: 4.4 out of 5 based on 289 user reviews.

Friday, July 22nd, 2005

Isn’t it incredible? Those tiny fingers, hands not much bigger than my thumbs, and a skin as soft as a peach.

Two days ago a friend of mine and his wife got their first child. It all went so fast – only two years ago they met each other, not even one year ago they got married, and now they have their first child. And of all couples I know, they are still the most ‘in love’ ones.

Seemingly it is important to bring something new from time to time to your relationship and keep it exciting in this way. Every new step you take is something new to explore, and this time don’t do it alone, but you do it together. And this will most probably make the bonding stronger. It is good to see how they handle the relationship and still manage everything surrounding them, while you often read in newspapers that researches about relationships of higher educated people learn us that having children is something that does not fit anymore in this new life pattern and society.

So, what kind of relationship does fit in our society of today? A relationship where both people are very ambitious and work on their career, while trying to manage their relationship if there is time left for it. Everything is done very coordinated and planned – dating for a period, having a relationship for years while living apart (since we don’t want to rush things of course) and finally moving in with each other. By the time you live together it all of a sudden seems you don’t share the same thoughts anymore or maybe even never did. Have you been living besides each other for years, or is it just you are not made for one another? What to do now? Keep trying with a chance you may fail sooner or later, or both accept your losses and see what else the world has to offer? It is not an easy question to answer, and I think many people tend not to answer the question at all, and ignore the second option.

I am neither a fan of researches nor a fan of statistic numbers, and especially if it comes to living your life. Also I am not a pessimist, but the divorce rate does say something. So, guess my friends are actually doing a great job by ignoring the research and do it the traditional way. And for the others – make your decision if you want to live according the expectations of our society nowadays.

And for my friends and the little one – their story has not come to an end by their first child as they have just bought a new house with five bed rooms…

Average Rating: 4.6 out of 5 based on 270 user reviews.

Thursday, July 7th, 2005

Back in the times when I was a little kid (quite a long time indeed) I did as most children did – trying to be the brilliant kid and get your parents to pay you a certain amount of money every week. I can’t even exactly remember the precise amount I was receiving, but it must have been around one guilder (approximately forty euro cents) a week. Of course this amount increased over time, as the favors I did in exchange. Since this was the only income I had at that time, I had to spend it wisely and consider every expense very carefully. Over time the amount I received increased and every consideration before a purchase became less… Since I knew there would always be a next week.

This must have been the incentive of Professor Muhammad Yunus to start the Grameen Bank and to provide micro credits to the poor in rural areas instead of providing the money for free. His idea is based on mutual trust where the borrowers are organized into small homogeneous groups, where the advantage of a group is the social bonding that creates a responsibility towards the other members. By using the combination of this social system while providing credits, the Grameen bank has been able to help almost four million people while maintaining one of the highest payback rates in the world.

A great initiative, in my opinion, that only works because they make the borrowers aware of their responsibility. Because of this responsibility, it triggers their creativity on spending the money wise and effective.

But what do we get presented today from Live 8, to do in favor of the poor countries?

  1. double the aid sent to the world’s poorest countries,
  2. fully cancel their debts,
  3. change the trade laws so that they can build their own future.

Of course a great gesture I can only and will applaud. However, knowing the above and looking at the second point, leaves me with some serious doubts. Do we really help and stimulate them to take more responsibility and creativity with this gesture? And besides, is it fair to countries that have been working really hard to pay off their debts? I am not so sure…

Average Rating: 4.9 out of 5 based on 155 user reviews.

Tuesday, July 5th, 2005

As now being among the thousands of other people with a weblog, I feel I should follow the tradition and start sharing more! So the idea is to start sharing one of my favorite hobbies – listening to music.

The Dutch formation Zuco 103 with the lead singer Lilian Vieira, has done it again. In May of this year they published their 3rd album, called “Whaa”. It is labeled as world music, and I must say, the various styles they are using in their songs, do indeed come from all over the world. Their numbers are very lively and full of rhythm, and the various styles they are using could roughly be divided into latin, electronica, jazz and drum ‘n base. I have no idea what Lilian is singing about, but whatever it is, it is very pleasant to listen to.

Average Rating: 4.5 out of 5 based on 238 user reviews.

Monday, July 4th, 2005

The world we are living in nowadays changes fast and can be tough to keep up with for an increasing amount of people. The expectations from the society are not easy to live up to!

Starting off with a good education is not enough for most companies. Besides your study, you should be participating in all kind of activities like being in the board of management of some study organization, been on an exchange program, perhaps do a second or even a third master course, and the list continues. Of course, social skills and personal development is a must, so activities as sports, participating in a student organizations and maybe even play a music instrument are not necessary but very much appreciated. When leaving your university at an early age, you are ready for the job market. At least, that is what you would expect. But what experience do you have in the business field? Right! None! So, you start at a basic salary while a trainee ship is all you could get at this stage of your career. Another two years of study, and you’d better pass all the exams, otherwise you are out!

Finally after two years, when you have proven yourself and getting that contract and salary raise you have been working so hard for, you realize that turning to the age of twenty five years should not be passed by silently. Besides, it is a good occasion to announce to your friends that you are going steady for a while now and that you and your partner are ready for some serious commitment. So, reasons enough to throw a huge party!

The day after the party you start wondering how you could not have seen it coming. The news was huge and you are still not sure whether you are ready for it or not. You feel happiness, but again also the pressure you have been facing ever since… you can’t even remember. But nobody blames you. After all, becoming a dad is not an easy job!

Sad but true, but today I read in the newspaper (Volskrant, 4th of July) that being in the age range of twenty five till forty five, means you are in the ‘risk’ group where the number one causes of dead is suicide. We live in a country with so many choices and opportunities and still we reach the amazing amount of 1.514 suicides a year. That is an average of four persons a day…

Average Rating: 4.6 out of 5 based on 178 user reviews.

Monday, July 4th, 2005

Whenever the weather in Holland allows it, I instantly drop the things I am working on at that moment, and slip into my inline skates. Since my skates are quite old, and I am a very fashionable aware person, I always tend to dress accordingly my skates. So my outfit exists out of old torn jeans, cheap sun glasses (probably a model from the eighties), and final but not least, an oversized shirt from H&M.

Finally when dressed properly, I take off and stroll along the promenade and try to smell the ‘freshness’ of Rotterdam. My destination is always a small lake near the city center, where people come to escape from the hectic life in the city. And honestly, it is a beautiful spot for relaxation. So, as being a true citizen of Rotterdam, I do as other people do – sit, relax and listen to what the neighbors have to say to each other.

Today is one of those tropical days we lately have in Holland, and one should not stay too long in the sun or especially leave young children too long in the sun. Already being amazed by the many buggies being dragged backwards by their moms, I continued strolling along the lake to my relaxation spot. Probably because of the heat, there were not many neighbors to listen to, but just an old lady desperately trying to get a tan.

Before I continue, you should know that we Dutch people hold our privacy in high esteem and people meddling with our business are often being chased off by the phrase “Mind your own business”.

Before I even start wondering why the lady that just passes me, does not drag her buggy backwards, the old lady next to me starts meddling and tells the mother that she should protect her children against the sun. Finally I got to realize why all other moms where dragging the buggy instead of pushing it. As expected, the mother threw the known phrase to the old lady “Mind your own business old lady”, where the mother stubborn continued pushing the buggy and the old lady minded her own business again. Ten minutes later, when I was gaining some speed to pass yet another buggy being dragged backwards, I realized the mom looked really familiar…

Average Rating: 4.5 out of 5 based on 273 user reviews.

Sunday, July 3rd, 2005

Whether it be political or personal blogs (‘web log‘ for the ones that just start using the internet), it seems that nowadays everybody has something to say that, apparently, should be heard by the public. Back in the sixties one would go on the streets and express one self in what he or she believed and stood for. Or concerned a personal log, a so called dairy, was strictly personal and meant for one person only.

But not today! Political expression is done anonymously and personal dairies are done in public.

Even after having read so many blogs from friends over the past years, it never occurred to me to start one myself. Maybe it was because I never really felt that strong necessity to share my thoughts with other people, or maybe it was because I just could not find the time to start writing, or maybe it was just because I thought I would not have something to contribute something worthy enough to the blog community. Whatever it was, it is gone now and I am willing to take the chance of sharing my thoughts in public.

Average Rating: 4.5 out of 5 based on 215 user reviews.