Tuesday, 28 February 2006

Early modern Bertman

* How long will it take before you finally introduce me to your friends abroad on this English version of your blog?
* I'm already a distinguished guest on your Dutch blog of course, but I feel there's so much more to discover about the Early modern Bertman for the people outside the Netherlands!
* So go on and tell the world about the adventures of the Early modern Bertman!
* So eventually he will live on forever in the minds and hearts of millions of people all around the world!
This handsome fella on the left is one of my best friends: Bert. On this picture he can be seen with a sign, which he stole from Greece in my car. Greek authorities who are willing to pursue him , please contact me.
Further information about Bert: he is in the prime of his life, 26 years old, has a well paid job as a teacher of history at a christian high school. Has a pimped VW Polo, with everything pssible electric. He has his own apartement, which he currently shares with Arnoud (my other best friend). His hobbies are watching TV, eating, playing the organ and many more interesting things. He has currently no girlfriend, but he was so terribly occupied the last few months, that we hardly saw him. We had to make an appointment if we wanted to see him. He has plans to go to Austria for the summer, so if anyone wants to join him, they are more than welcome. For further info, contact me or him directly.

At the Mayor's office Posted by Picasa

Galina, Luc and Ludmilla in Chisinau Posted by Picasa

Sovjet building, Sovjet sign, Sovjet statue... Posted by Picasa

Tank as object of affection Posted by Picasa

Huge statue and small me Posted by Picasa

Beautiful colours and port Posted by Picasa

Church in the Transniester Separatist Region Posted by Picasa

Seminar room with Moldovan flag Posted by Picasa

Sneaky picture of the Moldovan border Posted by Picasa

The most beautiful picture I took Posted by Picasa

Me in the snow Posted by Picasa

Two Ukraine beauties and I in local clothes Posted by Picasa

Palace of Ceaucescu, Bucharest Posted by Picasa

TNT (3)

TNT called during my training this evening to tell me that I didn't make it to the finals next week. Too bad as the 24 hours of TNT would have been a nice event. What I feared became true: they thought I was a very good candidate with lots of potential and qualities, but I didn't know anything about TNT. I should have checked their website and read more about them, but now I failed to do that and this was considered a big enough flaw to not pass. Well, I can't blame them, as I would like to have motivated people as well, who know what happens in my company. Better luck next time and more checking out the company I am doing the test for.

GPS Navigation

I have GPS navigation software on my phone (TomTom) and my dad also got really into it. So he wanted a navigation kit as well for in his car. He found the displays of TomTom too small so he bought himself a Pioneer 600T II. It is a great system and my parents already tested it on they travel to the Czech republic last week. It brought them right to the frontdoor of our friends and their hotels. The nice things is that it also plays DVDs, but unfortuantely they didn't build in some screens in the headrests, so I won'be profitting from it, the occasional time I ride with them.

DVD navigation package
For those drivers who don 't have any free dashboard space, this is an ideal on-dash navigation kit. Use the stylish wide-screen on-dash touch panel to input your destination, confirm a routeing option with the remote control, and you'll be off and driving in no time. Add this Pioneer combination to your current in-car system to enjoy high-speed, touch panel controlled map navigation.

Key Features AVIC600T-II
DVD Map navigation with 'Europe on one disc'
Touch panel operation
Voice guidance
7 guidance modes
Voice recognition for navigation and AV
Ideal replacement of on-dah stand-alone system

Features AVIC600T-II
Navigation Yes
On-dash display Yes
Touch Panel Operation Yes


Trainings started again for the 2nd half of the outdoor season. So yesterday I stood in Delfzijl waiting for my kids, but all who was present at 16.30: no kids. So I spend the first hour practising my blows and strokes and drinking tea. The second and third hour everyone was present, but the forth hour only 4 guys showed up. Great start of the season...

Sunday, 26 February 2006


Played a match with Bedum today. Lately they can't get enough people to play with them , so I filled in for once. Last time I ended up in hospital, but this time it went fine. Well, fine: we lost with 7-1. The only goal from our side, was scored by me though! :-)

The Constant Gardener

Just watched "the Constant Gardener". Beautiful movie I have to say. With a lot of atmospheric and beautiful images of Africa. The nature, the people, the scenery, just stunning. Really looking forward to this summer to visit it again. Hope to see in Namibia the same as what was shown here in (presumably) Kenya.

Still hear loud music from downstairs. My downstairs neighbor has a party again, which usually goes on all night... :( Didn't move to a studio, to still feel that I live in a studentshome, but ok, it's weekend, and as long as it doesn't happen that much, it's ok. I will fall asleep eventually. :-)

Saturday, 25 February 2006

Still awake

I can't sleep, am still awake. There are too many thoughts running around in my head. Very irritating...

Friday, 24 February 2006


Wanted to write some stuff, but I have a terrible headache and had some bad mail, so will go to bed early I think. What a start of the weekend... :-(

Thursday, 23 February 2006

TNT (2)

Well, I passed the capacity test, so I am somehow smart. Got a fat 6, but no 7. Was close though, although of the 60 participants only 3 managed a 7 and only 1 an 8. So I wasn't doing that bad. It did disappoint me a bit though, as the things I thought I was doing well, I messed up and the other way around. Got a 5 for explaining words (that, I though, was my best series) and got an 8 for numbers (although I am terrible with math).
So I got into the second round and had a chat with 2 recruiters of TNT for an hour. I thought I was doing quite well until the question came "why TNT and what kind of job would you like?" Really: I was flabbergasted. Not a clue. I just sign up for business courses for the fun of it: to see how far I can get, and to get to know the company. I was out of the country for 3 weeks and didn't check up on TNT, so that question was a terrible one. I don't know it I made it up after that, as they kept on asking deeper into that, but I hope I managed. 24 Hrs non-stop working at TNT does sound like a nice challenge. Next week I will get a call if I can come for the final or not. Pray for me!

Country points

During the seminar at one point, 2 Dutch were starting to count the countries they have been in and were awarding them points for every country they visited. They came to a reasonable 27. As I was wondering how much I visited myself, I also started counting and came to a stunning 42… I was very surprised myself as well. Need some more though as the world is much bigger than that! :-) Sorry Olaf and Luc! ;-)


Well, my new made friends around the globe already checked this weblog of mine and wondered when there would be a post about our adventures and experiences in that country far, far away of western civilization! :-)

Here it is and I hope you will enjoy it. So I had a seminar about the EU and integration in Moldova last week. As I didn t know much about Moldova, it would be a nice experience for me, and I was really looking forward to the trip. Of course, it is a small country in Eastern Europe, former communistic, but that was probably all I knew about it. Although I have been in Georgia, Russia and Mongolia, I didn't know if I could expect something the same. The first thing Moldova reminded me of, was indeed Georgia, but also Albania. The size, the problems, the possible integration in the EU and the mentality were much alike. Though Albania is much more ahead than Moldova, especially the capital in regard to being modern.

Our group of young liberals flew from Amsterdam to Milan (with onboard a small fight with the crew of a radio-station). From Milan to Bucharest, where we had some hours to do some sightseeing, like the former palace of the dictator Ceaucescu. In the middle of the night the Danish participants arrived and we took a small bus to Chisinau, the capital of Moldova. The border procedures were of course extensive and thorough. But we all managed to get a visa and we entered the country where we would have a great week.

The hotel was of the type that I had seen before in Russia, Slovakia and other former communist countries: lots of wood, very old fashioned and with some malfunctions. It was nice and cozy though, so no complaints there. The total group for the week would consist of 10 Dutch, 10 Danes, 10 Ukrainians and 10 Moldavians (although I counted max 6...). We were to discuss different topics, do some research on a topic chosen, to write an essay about it and to make a presentation about the essay.

Besides all the academic stuff, we had some excursions to city hall and parliament (where most of the Moldavians hadn't even been before). We had talks with journalists, members of parliament, locals and experts in different fields. We also had a trip to the Transniester region, a region that separated itself of Moldova after the fall of the USSR. The region is occupied by Russian troops, who act as "peacekeeping troops", but not recognized by the international community. At the same time it does have its own money, parliament, president, number plates etc. The problems for Moldova are that the major (heavy) industries are located in Transniester, it has a long border with Ukraine and smuggling is common among the population. Therefore Moldova would like to regain control over the region, but is afraid of repercussions from Russia. The EU is also lacking interest in the region to help resolve the situation. The region itself is a strange mixture. The capital I found rather clean and more modern than the capital of Moldova (might be because of the money the make with smuggling and the heavy industry). On the other hand was the countryside rather poor and were the roads terrible.

Good things about Moldova: the people (I met a lot of interesting people there and made a lot of new friends), the sights (beautiful old buildings, which do need some paint though), the mentality (that is in combination with the people, but worth a separate mentioning, as everyone was so friendly, helpful and lively), everything is very cheap (used taxis a lot, went to dinner several times, and bought cognac for my parents; it's a pity I don't smoke or drink myself ;-)). Special was also the last day where I got up very early to say the Ukrainian delegation goodbye at the beautiful train station and had a nice city tour, walked along the lake, had dinner in a very nice restaurant and went singing loud back to the hotel. Just felt great, like the sun was shining, like I was in heaven or in love. Ever experienced that feeling?

Bad things about Moldova: the weather (it was rather cold, but ok, that can be expected in such a eastern country), being very cheap (as I now really have to get used to the prices here and shouldn't spend too much (1 coffee and 2 juices in Bucharest were already 9€ again! :( ), and above all the people (I miss them too much, so really want to go back :-)).

I would like to thank everyone for making it a wonderful experience and a superb trip. I hope to get back there soon again (might be even next month and immediately go on for the elections in Ukraine). You are all, also invited to drop by anytime in Holland or wherever I will be at that moment in the world. See you guys! :-)


I have a capacity test and hopefully a selection meeting at TNT in The Hague today for their business course. Hope that I get through the first round, as it would be nice to participate. Will publish some stories and pictures about/from Moldova later on today.

Tuesday, 21 February 2006


Back from Moldova, where I spend 10 days for a seminar about the EU. Lots of new friends, impressions and opinions. Was a really great experience. Will post soon about it, now have to clean up my room and get my normal rythm rolling again...


My personal world map

Visited Countries
Visited Countries Map from TravelBlog