Thursday, 26 May 2005

EU Constitution / JOVD

Last week the JOVD (young liberals) were on tour for the EU Constitution and since I am a member of it and they came to Groningen, it was time that I participated for the first time in a JOVD event. I hadn't been able to attend 1 meeting from the JOVD since I became a member 1.5 years ago, as I always have to train or give training (in the evenings) when they organise something. Luckily now I was free from training and could join them. The idea was to play European Twister at the main square here in Groningen, but we had a fair, so the square was full. So we decided to start a pub-crawl. We ended up in "het Feest" which is actually a dancing where you go when you really want to score a boy/girl. But you can dance, it was open till late and around 10 foreigners joined the group, so it was a lot of fun.
The JOVD toured through NL for a week with a bus, with numerous activities and promotional campaigns. This all for the promotion of the EU Constitution and turning the NO-voters to a YES and informing the public. I think that is the main problem in the Netherlands at the moment, that many don't really know what the constitution is about and that the government does a bad job in promotion and explaining. Therefore populistic politicians (like Geert Wilders) have an easy task convincing the public with nonsense arguments and populistic statements. Since Pim Fortuyn and Theo van Gogh were murdered, the political climate in the Netherlands changed and the populists sadly gain from that.
On Friday the campaign ended in Amsterdam with speeches, a map of Europe made of painted paint-cans and distributing food and flyers to the passing public. It was a nice day and I had a lot of fun. The homeless all decided to vote in favour of the constitution as they all got food. :) We had also numerous chats with foreigners visiting Amsterdam about the constitution and most Americans were also in favour. Now only the Dutch voters have to follow... :)
The JOVD also had the great idea to invite young liberals from other (new) EU countries, so we had participants from Germany, the UK, Malta, Poland, Slowakia, Sweden, Lithuania and above all Latvia. :) It was nice chatting to them and watching them trying to convince the Dutch public to vote in favour. Too bad I wasn't able to tour with them all week; it would have been a blast.
After all the work, we went clubbing in Amsterdam till 6!!! I had to get back to Groningen early as I had a visitor from Albania over, so I only got 2.5 hours sleep. But it was definately worth it!!

And internet again

I get really annoyed by AtHome lately, as now I was almost a week without internet. The problem is that I am more or less bound to this provider as there aren't many in the area and I can have DSL, as I don't have a phoneline, so cable is my only option.
I called them again yesterday and they suddenly figured that they could send a modem-update... So after half an hour I was online again. That they couldn't have thought of that sooner.

Tuesday, 24 May 2005

Internet down again

And my internet is down again. Since last Friday morning I haven't been able to get online anymore which is rather frustrating!!!! I need to get my Spanish course finished and all the tests are online, but grammar and listening... I can do the grammar here at the uni, but the listening part is more difficult. Especially as I don't have that much time during the day and the uni is closed evenings...
I also really have to update my blog as I have so much to tell about my weekend, campaigning for the EU Constitution, my neighbours etc etc. Have to go now again, but hope to be posting soon again from home...

Wednesday, 18 May 2005

Summer 2005

This summer I will go to the United States. Although I am not a real fan of the US (and always said that I would never go there), I will go there now for a good reason. I will be a coach at one of NIKE's field hockey camps this summer. I wrote numerous camps and highschools if they could use my knowledge and help for the summer and happily I got a reply. I have to say that I expected more answers, but ok, I guess they were all fully staffed or just not interested. So I will be in the Detroit area for a week beginning of August.
I will fly first to NY, then take the train to Detroit (it's cheaper than flying and I love trains), coach for a week, train back to NY and spend a week there, exploring the city and seeing what the US is all about. I hope that 2 friends of mine will also come and visit me, so it will be a blast. If not, well I have travelled alone before and can handle it. It isn't a big holiday as the ones I am used to take, but I might have a resit in August and this will probably be fun too.
If anyone has tips, advice or wants to meet me over there: just give a buzz. :)


I have been lazy and sloppy lately as I haven't posted for a while. Ok, first I didn't have internet for over a week, than we had Queen's day, Day of the Dead (4th of May, more about that later) and Liberation day (5th of May), but that's not really an excuse. I am just so g.d. lazy.
I just thought of all the things I still have to do for my exams next month and I almost got an heart-attack. It's so much!!! Time to start I guess. :)

Hockey ends here

My days as player for Hochey Club Winschoten are over since last Friday. We had 2 men teams, but due to exams, studies and other reasons people are leaving and there aren't enough players left for 2 teams, so 1 team will be formed with a lot of players. As I don't fancy sitting on the bench a lot (as everyone has to play and not only the best) or even staying at home (as you can only bring 15 men to a match), I am leaving the club where I have played since I was 6. With a few years leave at Daring (Veendam) and Germany, I have played all these years with the same people, shared the same showers, mocked on the same opponents and enjoyed all those great victories and stupid losses. I will miss them.
I have no idea what I will do next season. I have an offer still open to coach a season in the US, but I will miss too many university courses, so it isn't a real option. I will probably play in Groningen at one of the 4 clubs we have here. Might try to get into one of the 1st teams there, but that will be a lot of work. There is also still the idea to become a national referee. Well, it's more than an idea and I will probably do that, but I am not sure if I can miss and want to miss the game. I still am so in love with it...

Thursday, 12 May 2005


I love quizzes. It doesn't matter what they are about, but I just love to test myself and see what I know and expand my knowledge and gain everlasting wisdom. LOL ;-)
Found a cool site with European quizzes and photos. Take a look and try for yourself how good you are...


Finally I am back online! God, that took a while!

Saturday, 7 May 2005


My internet has been down for a week now and I haven't got a clue why. This explains why I haven't posted for over a week. I'm sitting in the university library now and had to fight to get a pc here (even on Saturday!!!). Sorry for all of you who's emails I haven't replied yet, but there are just too many.
I paid my bills, still have the same settings, so don't really know what's going. Due to Queen's Day, Liberation Day etc, I also haven't been able to call them, to ask what is going on (ok, I'm also a bit lazy as well...). Well, that's all for now, I have to run to do some late shopping to be able to eat this evening... :)

Monday, 2 May 2005

Last Match

Well, today my team played it's last match for this season. We beat Kampen with 2-6 and I have to say that it was a nice match with a nice opponent and beautiful weather. Might have been a little too warm, but if I say that, I sound like a typical Dutch person complaining about the weather: that it is never right! :) As the title says: this was my last match this season, our team ended 2rd which is quite good considering the team consisted largely of A juniors and only three 18+ seniors. Ok, it's the lowest division we can play, but you have to start from crap with such a young team and when you just formed a new team.
It might have also been my last match for HCW. There are not enough people remaining for 2 teams (as we have now), so it isn't clear what will happen. I might go to another club and play my final years at a high level, as I still have the energy and spirit to do that. this was nice in between, but not long lasting. I might also drop hockey at all and take up the course for national referee, which will keep me at the hockey fields on Sunday, but from a different perspective. I don't know yet. Perhaps even both is possible. Will see...

Fun facts about the Netherlands

Did you know that……….

* "the Netherlands" and "Holland" are used to describe the same country?

* one quarter of the Netherlands is below sea level?

* the International Court of Justice is at the Peace Palace in The Hague?

* the Netherlands has approximately 480 inhabitants per square kilometre?

* with only 0.008% of the world's area, the Netherlands is the world's third largest agricultural exporter?

* the Netherlands was one of the European Union's founding nations?

* the Netherlands has at least 15,000 km of cycle tracks?

* Dutch is also spoken in Belgium, northern France, Suriname, the Netherlands Antilles and Aruba?

* the Netherlands still has about 1,000 traditional working windmills?

* the Dutch are the tallest people in Europe?

* Amsterdam is entirely built on piles?

* the Netherlands always has a coalition government, which makes it a country of compromises?

* the Netherlands has nearly 1,000 museums, with 42 in Amsterdam alone?

* almost every Dutch person has a bicycle and there are twice as many bikes as cars?

* the Netherlands is the world's eighth largest exporter?

* people in Holland eat raw herring with onions on top?

* about 30% of all Dutch babies are born at home?

* you can see 22 paintings by Rembrandt and 206 by Van Gogh in Amsterdam?

* the Netherlands has the highest number of part-time workers in the EU (four in ten people)?

* the Netherlands' highest point is 323 metres high and is therefore called a "mountain"?

* you'll find a bunch of flowers in almost every Dutch living room?

* Amsterdam is the capital of the Netherlands, but The Hague is the seat of government?


Links for Queensday! (explanation what it is all about) (some really nice pictures)


My personal world map

Visited Countries
Visited Countries Map from TravelBlog