Sunday, 31 December 2006

The year 2006 - a review

The year has passed with a speed, so fast, I can hardly recall what I all did. A short overview and review from my side.

During New Year, I was in Reykjavik, Iceland with Christina and I have never seen such a deserted, but beautiful country. End of January, I went to France to organise the Dutch Student Skiing Championships and it was a blast. Imagine: 850 students packed in a small french village, drinking every night till late, making the slopes unsafe and having superb competitions. It was a blast and I hope the new board will do a terrific job this year too. In February and March, I went to Moldova for 2 seminars and it was a blast too. I combined March with a election observer mission in Odessa, Ukraine. You can watch the movie here. Kiev, Ukraine was my next destination in May and I had a blast there with my superb guide Irina. July/August meant coaching in the USA again and I want to go again!!! I am really looking forward to this summer to visit my kids and coach again. My parents invited me and my brother for a 4 week trip to Namibia in August for their 30th Anniversary. The magnificent pictures of that trip and those from the USA, can be found here. After August, I haven't been abroad anymore and I am craving to go somewhere again.
Besides all the trips, Christina broke up with me, met a gorgeous other girl, worked my butt off, stopped with coaching hockey in the Netherlands, setup a new institute regarding democracy in eastern Europe, drove the Finnish president on her visit to Groningen to open a new exposition of the Groninger Museum, still haven't bought a car, still didn't graduate, applied to the military (the national reserve), missed a couple of birthdays (happily no weddings this year) and in general some amazing experiences.
The prospects for 2007 are fairly OK. Financially I am getting on the better side, university is progressing rather well, possible trips/EOMs coming up to Armenia and Russia, going for sure to the USA again in July/August, a wedding to attend in Albania in summer, HAVE to visit Ukraine and hopefully Georgia and am thinking of buying a car and finding a good paying job. All in all, not so bad, I would say. Anyone who would love to come over, or have me over: just let me know.

Looking back, I can't really say that my life has been that bad. Actually, I has been a blast and I have had the opportunity to visit a lot of new countries and have gained a lot of new friends. I thank you all for that and hope that more and better things will come this year.

Saturday, 30 December 2006

Elections / Tolerance

You probably heard all about the devastating elections in the Netherlands last November. Far left and far right won and the center parties lost. We now have cows in parliament (the animal party), have socialists who had theories of Marx in their programme just 10 years ago (socialist party) and a party who wants to kick out all Muslims (party for freedom...).

I don’t have a clue what is wrong with my lovely and once so tolerant country. The last 4 years we had to come out of an economic depression, but everyone gained and all is fine. Unemployment is at an all time low, social security is one of the best in the world, we have a stable currency, are respected all over the world and have liberties some people in other countries would love to have. No clue why our country so suddenly polarized. I fear that our budget deficit will increase, due to extra expenditure from the government and we will turn (even more) away from the EU, and may become the outcast of Europe.

Perhaps the time has come to thing about moving... Read the links if you are interested.

New Year's Eve

My life is strange. This year, for the first time in 4 years, I will be in Holland with New Year's Eve. Lack of money causes my obligatory stay at home, although I have invitations from friends to come to Barcelona, Munich and other places. What is even worse, is that I have to work in the 1st of January at 8am (!!), so I will watch some fireworks and go to bed. Can it get worse?
In 2003 I celebrated NYE in Rome/Italy, in 2004 Cape Town/South Africa and in 2005 Reykjavik/Iceland... Looking back I have to say that I had rather exciting places and days there and it was marvellous. Thanks Christina for accompanying me there.
Next year I will have to find an original destination to go to and I will make sure that I am able to go abroad. Not only do I find NYE here a bit boring, but being abroad makes it extra special and thrilling for me. Any suggestions? :-)

Tuesday, 26 December 2006

Söhne Mannheims

On Saturday the 13th of January the Söhne Mannheims will have a concert in the Melkweg, Amsterdam. I have 2 tickets and will go there. Anyone wanna join me to enjoy some superb (German) music?
For more info check their site.

Monday, 25 December 2006

Merry Christmas

First of all: merry Christmas to you all and may it be a happy event with your family and loved ones. I, myself, had to work today and will have to work tomorrow as well, so I had my family gathering yesterday already. Good thing is that they pay 200%, else I probably would have declined.
On the left the (digital) Christmas card I sent to most of my friends (some I don't have an address of...) and I got quite some comments on it. It was never my intention to let you believe that the picture shows you Groningen. Not at all, as my province is one of the flattest in the whole country. It was more as an example of a nice winter scenery and with a little Christmas touch. The photo is actually made in Moldova last February, when I was there for a seminar. So to all those who told me: thanks, but I know. To all the others: just an explanation and some more blog-filling. Enjoy your dinners, enjoy your friends, family and lovers and don't get too fat and drunk. Yours truly from a lovely, grey, flat Groningen!

Saturday, 23 December 2006

New Years Eve

The last 3 years I spend New Years Eve abroad in some of the most fantastic countries in the world: Rome/Italy, Cape Town/South Africa and Reykjavik/Iceland. Unfortunately, I don't have the money this year and am not together with Christina anymore, who was my travelpartner the last 3,5 years.
Anyway, I am not going to be abroad this year, so who would like to spend NYE in Groningen at my place? You are more than welcome!!

Thursday, 21 December 2006

Wednesday, 20 December 2006

Medical Test

Went to the Naval Base in Amsterdam yesterday for a medical test. Yesterday evening the medical tests: ears, eyes, physio, complete health check, blood, urine, dental, etc. I'm still trying to get into the National Reserve, but the process takes a while. There appeared a glitch on my heart scan, so they weren't sure to let me participate in the sport test and I had to stay the night at the base and get up at 5.45 this morning... Then the doctor told me in a 2 minute chat (!!) that I have to go to the military hospital in Utrecht and be examined by a cardiologist first, before I am allowed to participate in the sport test! So another month passes, before I am finally in... You really have to be patriotic and crazy to want to join the army...

Monday, 18 December 2006

Work and my brother

My brother didn't get the job he was first told to get... They suddenly decided to hire someone with more experience, although my brother was first assured that he got the job. There was some miscommunication within the company it appeared. Big bummer, but I hope he will find something new soon.

Wednesday, 6 December 2006


My brother got himself a job in Amsterdam as a database manager/ office manager for a telecommunications/training company. It will be his first real job, so he is rather excited and he will need to search for a place in Amsterdam, where prices are not funny at all and where space is limited.
Redmer: good luck with both your new job and finding a place!


I am rather furious right now, as my employer hasn't transferred any pay lately... To be honest: I am rather broke and have a pile of working days that still need to be paid! No clue how I am going to pay for my bills, as the company says they passed on the hours and the payment agency says they didn't received them. GRRRR

Tuesday, 5 December 2006


Last Friday, I was supposed to have some meetings with 2 friends, but the first sent me an SMS, that she couldn't come for dubious reasons. The second friend I had to SMS myself as he was 30min late (which he usually is), to hear that he was still in a meeting, and that it would take another 4 hours. So I had a rather free afternoon. Crap...

Sunday, 3 December 2006

Work (2)

Work is crap, not fun and boring. Not work in general, but what I am doing at the moment. Surrounded by nitwits and idiots I have to do the same job, listen to people's complaints, listen to my co-workers weekend stories and somehow survive it all. God, wish I was done with it all and had a good, decent job. A year of my life for that to happen anytime soon. However, guess it's my own fault, so I shouldn't really complain. Should have done more in the first years of my university-career, but not much to do about that now. Life goes on. If some day my braincells have died out of boredom and stupidity, you know why. This is my legacy.


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