Wednesday, March 08, 2017

Lessons on being a more considerate person #2

This afternoon, I had lunch at an Italian restaurant on the ground floor of an office building. It was a casual dining restaurant, meant for the office workers and the prices were very reasonable. While I was waiting for my food, a man seated at the table next to mine behaved quite inconsiderately...

Lesson #2: Don't snap your fingers or clap your hands for a waiter's attention

This may not apply worldwide, but I'm betting in most places, waiters (and waitresses) would dislike being "summoned" by finger-snapping or hand-clapping. Yes, sometimes they're too busy to notice a raised hand or a wave, but they are people too, and everyone deserves some respect. In an office environment, if your colleague is trying to get your attention, you would expect him to get up and walk to your desk, or call you by name if you're nearby. I doubt many people would appreciate being called with a snap of the fingers.

Tuesday, March 07, 2017

Lessons on being a more considerate person #1

Ever since my daughter was born, I've been a lot more sensitive towards my surroundings and how it affects her. Most of this will be related to noise (as she is a light sleeper) and just generally being around your fellow man.

I guess many of these "lessons" on being more considerate can be seen as common sense to some, but these lessons come from my personal experiences of getting frustrated when faced with someone being insensitive or inconsiderate.

Lesson #1: Don't honk your car horn before 9am

Much like house renovations or DIY work around the house, this noise affects the people around you. Not everyone is up and getting ready to head out. Many people are still in bed, perhaps ill, recovering from the night shift, or, like me, trying to keep as quiet as possible so that my daughter doesn't get up before she's ready to.

Anyway, honking your car horn in front of someone's house is just rude. If they aren't out yet and you're running late, send them a message, call them, or get down from your car and ring their doorbell.

Friday, March 27, 2015

My new year's resolution for 2015 is to see more of the area I'm living in. So far, I've made it to Oslo for a quick but fulfilling weekend trip. And as of today, I've completed all the bookings for the Loire Valley in June. Gonna be awesome!

Thursday, October 30, 2014

A wedding and a geometric-inspired party!

Yes, Rik and I are officially married under the law of The Netherlands since 1 October 2014!

Although our big church ceremony and celebration with both families will be in January 2015, it still feels different knowing that you are permanently connected to this other human being you didn't grow up with.

Here are a few pictures from the signing at the Rotterdam city hall.

Trying to reach my family on Google Hangouts so they can "be there" during the signing.

The moment we made our vows to each other.

After lunch at the swanky Michelin star restaurant in the Wereldmuseum, we took some "official" wedding photos, taking advantage of the beautiful weather we were blessed with.

A few days later, we threw a party for our friends, to celebrate the wedding as well as Rik's birthday. Here I am, preparing food for the geometric-themed party.

Riri very kindly offered her services to create the food menu for the night, as well as preparing all the sweet treats.

Everyone seemed impressed by those 3D geometric shapes! They weren't difficult to make, just a little tedious with the cutting, folding and sticking.

The complete party table.

It was fantastic that we have so many friends who wanted to celebrate this occasion with us. And some who even travelled from other cities to be here.

Time to cut the cake.

Sunday, August 03, 2014

I "own" Blaak. Antique shopping in Delft. And someone has a new bicycle.

Last weekend, Rik and I decided to be productive and proactive about the wedding, so we headed to Delft to see if the antique shops and market had anything we could use.

But first, let me show off my larger-than-life designs currently gracing the city centre of Rotterdam (Blaak).

Yes, that's right, I designed these huge wall stickers for Oude Haven (the yellow bit) and CitizenM hotels (the black bit which is cut off). Following their respective house styles, of course, but most of the time was spent searching for appropriate images and technical bits like measurements and cutting off and joining the images and text at the right spots.

And now we return from the promotional break...

Do you see my brand new bright yellow New Balances? A month ago I had zero sports shoes, and now two New Balances have popped up in my shoe cupboard. Life always works that way, doesn't it?

I love all the green on the surface of the canals in Delft.

Soooooo Dutch. Definitely not for the locals.

I love these colours!

Just a random picture Rik felt like taking, I guess.

And Rik's new bike! Some of you who know us on Facebook will have seen this already. It's a chrome/champagne Sparta and it looks super hip and cool (more so without the bike bag). Rik's trusty old crappy orange bike had been involved in one too many accidents and was pretty much beyond repair. At least it would have cost almost the same amount of money to fix as to buy a new one.

Maybe you're wondering, did we manage to find anything good in Delft? Well, we did! We walked into a small antique shop (no pics of it) and tried to haggle the price of copper spoon box down, but we only got € 2,50 off. We wanted to use it for the rings in the church, and € 20 was over my budget for such an item, but I figured, it's not easy to come by these things, so what the heck. No pics though, let's save it for the big day :)

Monday, July 21, 2014

Things we get up to in Hoorn

Rik grew up in Hoorn and his parents still live there. I don't often take photos of our everyday activities there, but here are a few that give you a peek into our suburban lives.

Rik testing out his nephew Camiel's birthday present. We were at Camiel's home to celebrate his 7th birthday. Isn't it awesome to have a canal in your backyard and your own bloody boat??

Rik making some acrobatics with his niece, Yelena. And there's Camiel by the side waiting to play the walkie talkie (another birthday present) with Yelena again.

This is from many months ago, but it's Rik and his dad challenging each other in planking. Guess who stuck it out the longest?

Monday, June 30, 2014

Homemaking with photo frames

For a couple of years now, my original drawings have been displayed on the small area of wall next to the window, just bare paper unprotected from the sunlight, hanging only by blue tack on the four corners, the ink fading and little bugs dying behind them, flattened by the quick as lightning paws of Lucy the cat.

Finally, though, we've decided to do something about it. About three weekends ago, we headed to IKEA to buy some frames to slow down the decaying level of my artwork. And finally, yesterday, we started putting them up.

Long story short, we discovered we only had two photo-hanging hooks instead of the eight we needed. So... only two frames are up, and the rest is to be continued...

Every successful project starts with careful planning.

Every successful homemaker has a cat who watches over everything.

We eventually got tired of squatting and standing up, and we needed to know exact measurements compared to the wall. So we did what every tech geek and designer does. Take photos and start designing in Photoshop.

Lucy wanting to give us her input on the layout.

Rik at work on Photoshop. This isn't the final layout, by the way.

After the planning comes the realisation of the plan. Here are the two proudly on display, waiting for their brothers and sisters to join them the moment our Tesa Powerstrips arrive in the post.

Lucy just can't resist a good piece of paper to sit on.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Dag van de Architectuur 2014 Rotterdam

Every year, we take the opportunity to visit private buildings that are open for just one day a year, on the Dag van de Architectuur / Day of Architecture.

Our itinerary this year included:

  • The new library at Erasmus MC
  • De Rotterdam
  • Maastoren
  • Delftse Poort
After three very hectic weeks, we found ourselves too tired to wake up in time for the 11am tour at the new library, so we skipped it and went for pho instead.

Deli Tasty is a cute little Vietnamese-Asian restaurant that just opened on Meent. The food is delicious and reasonably-priced, but service is extremely slow. We only go there when we are eating at off-peak times. Lunch at 11.30am or dinner at 5.30pm, for example.

After lunch, we biked over the Erasmus bridge – with my thighs burning as usual – to De Rotterdam, the latest skyscraper in the city. It's a very impressive construction consisting of 3 huge towers of residential, office and retail lots.

Classic tandem bike found parked outside.

De Rotterdam was the only stop on our self-made tour that didn't require registration, so we had to queue to get in.

Very nice photo in the lobby. De Rotterdam is seen in the photo (the three towers side by side).

View from the full-length living room windows on the 30th floor. Amazing.

We are very high up, but the HAL cruise ship below us is also very large. So it's difficult to see just how big the distance is. You can get an idea by looking at the size of the deck chairs onboard.

These rubber stickers were found all around the apartment and I thought they were really cute. Just to show you how the room might look like with everyday things scattered around. There were also slippers, handbags and... chickens.

En route to Maastoren (behind me) and on my first outing with my new New Balance shoes!

Spent some time queueing to the registration desk till we found out that I needed my ID card, which I don't bring with me ever since getting pickpocketed twice (and paying 500 euros to replace it twice).

So Rik went up on his own and I went in search of a drink. Found a dodgy-looking eetcafe just across, but the owner was very friendly and helpful, so I felt a little better.

The cappuccino was disgusting.

But the view made up for it.

Then to the Douwe Egberts cafe at the Nationale Nederlanden building, aka. Delftse Poort, for real coffee and a saucijzenbroodje / sausage roll. I was craving pasta, but there wasn't any on the menu.

While waiting for our coffee, I spotted true Holland sprinkles – orange, blue, white and red – and we asked the barista what drink they use that on. And the answer was: "Actually... nothing!". Guess it's a leftover from some other event like Kings Day. So we requested it on my Lazy Noon. The barista was MORE than generous!

Rik helped me with the mountain of whipped cream, which turned out to be a volcano.

The tour of the Delftse Poort building was guided by a cheerful local architect. Here she is, showing a maquette of the final design choice for the building. There are 4 others next to it of proposals from other architects.

We were brought down to the car park for explanations of underground metro tubes and other boring things.

That is one long escalator, and very quick too. I like speedy escalators.

Colourful visitor's meeting area at the top of the escalators.

Recreational basketball court.

Stationsplein. The central station.

View from, I think the 31st floor.

A high-speed train pulls out of the station below.

I was still craving pasta, so we stopped by Vapiano opposite Delftse Poort for some shrimp pasta.

We ended the day with the Germany-Ghana game (2-2) on the red boat with Anselm.