Book Happy

Friday morning, I got up at 5:45 am to shower, get dressed, make tea, sit on the couch and call America. The phone rang four times before I heard a familiar voice pick up. I was soon on speaker phone listening to my girlfriends cheering because I had “joined them” for book club night. Seeing that I’m nowContinue reading “Book Happy”

A time bomb detonates

The content of my current Dutch lessons is starkly different from any other language course I have taken. We cover topics like subsidies available through the government, dealing with the belasting dienst (tax office), whether or not it is okay to embrace unemployment as a lifestyle, assimilation, asylum seekers in the Netherlands, etc. These andContinue reading “A time bomb detonates”

I Promised Snow

When we had made our decision to move to the Netherlands, we developed a game plan on how to best acclimate our almost four year old to the world changing news: He would soon be leaving the land of his birth, his American family and friends, and the sunny central coast of California, home toContinue reading “I Promised Snow”

Ezra learns about the Helaal

I remember being in a classroom as a child, but I don’t remember school wide projects focused on one theme. Perhaps those early years in college spent with the reggae band Jah-Bone had a blurring effect on my early childhood memories. Yet this memory of Ezra’s school is clear and fresh, so I’ll write aboutContinue reading “Ezra learns about the Helaal”

Commuting by Bike in Holland

Upon arrival, one of the first things our Dutch family provided for us, besides a ride from the airport and a place to sleep, was a pair of bicycles. Nice bikes. Not a gift, but bikes on loan until we had our own. It seems a Dutch man without a bicycle is like an AmericanContinue reading “Commuting by Bike in Holland”

Dutch Friends, Dutch Sandstorms and Buurvrouws

This past weekend we visited friends in Amsterdam. I was especially looking forward to our visit, as I like the way Arie Jan settles into a rhythm with these friends, despite a gap of a year or so between visits. Gonnie and Arie were in the same philosophy program together, and there is something special about having friendsContinue reading “Dutch Friends, Dutch Sandstorms and Buurvrouws”

Noordermarkt, Proust and Overhead Lamps

This past Saturday, we headed to our old digs of Amsterdam to go on a walkabout and  meet up with friends. As we left Central Train station and headed into the city, I excitedly pointed out old landmarks: “There’s the street I would take to bike to Dam Square,” or “this is the canal that has that little vegetarianContinue reading “Noordermarkt, Proust and Overhead Lamps”

Thoughts on Egypt and their Military

Over the past few weeks, I have skimmed articles in Dutch newspapers about Egypt. The pictures speak a thousand words, but in this case, I had one thing wrong; I had envisioned the high number of injuries as a result of brute military force. Yet, the pictures did not show a line of soldiers withContinue reading “Thoughts on Egypt and their Military”

An Ugly Crack in Dutch Hospitality toward Asylum Seekers

Wednesday in Dutch class, the teacher circulated copies of a daily newspaper, and in pairs, we chose articles to read from the paper. Each pair was to give a summary of the article to the class and share five words they found moeilijk (difficult). Sounds straightforward enough.  Although two women chose a harmless article about aContinue reading “An Ugly Crack in Dutch Hospitality toward Asylum Seekers”