Memory.. Little threads that hold life's patches of meaning together. ~ Mark Twain

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Going Dating

[updated on 21st May 2007]

Being away for almost 3 months really felt like as if I was away much longer than that. Had a truly splendid day today.

Hubby and I had nasi lemak with big, yummy fried chicken for breakfast. We watched Spider-man 3 in GSC Gold Class. We had Coke floats and shared pancakes for tea. We went grocery shopping together. We did housework together. Had usual Chinese dinner with the in-laws. And then we had drinks at the nearby mamak stall.

I really miss moments like these. Being away for so long makes us treasure these moments, love and appreciate each other more. *smile*

I'm so glad to be home for good. :)

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Honey, I'm Home!

[updated on 21st May 2007]

After a long 12-hour flight from Amsterdam to HK, an hour's wait for transit, 3 hours flight from HK to KLIA, watched Music & Lyrics, Charlotte's Web (3 times!) and Because I Said So, I am excited to announce that I am finally back home!!! YES!!!!!!!!!

I was practically in tears when I saw Inspector at the airport. Tears of joy, definitely. *grin*

Had lunch with my in-laws, and then dinner with my family. I must say, I was overjoyed when I weighed myself.. I gained 4 kgs!!! Not too bad, eh? *hoppity hop* Now my mission is to maintain that weight or to gain more. Hehe..

Going dating with my dear hubby tomorrow.. Yay!!!

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Hello Schiphol

To think that I'm 2 days early to say that. But hey, I'm very excited coz I'm gonna go home very very soon! In less than 48 hours, I'd be on that plane, heading home. Oh I so can't wait!

It's my last day of training today, thus the end of my journey in the Netherlands. Someone asked if I'd be upset having to leave my Dutch colleagues. I might, a bit. I've had the opportunity to work with them throughout these 2 months. I've made friends with them. I've had the opportunity to travel around the country, to visit so many cities, see so many new things, meet many new people. But home is still home. It's where I belong. And I won't trade it for any other place. :)

Holland is having a public holiday again tomorrow, this time it's Ascension Day (40th day after Jesus' resurrection). The other team must be darn jealous coz we have more holidays here than them in Malaysia. *lol* Will be heading up to Amsterdam again tomorrow for some last-minute shopping. The shops had better be opened!

I'll be flying off on Friday afternoon (NL time) and landing in KLIA on Saturday afternoon (KL time). I'm imagining myself seeing Inspector at the airport and running towards him ala Hindi movie. Hehe.. The weekend is reserved for my family and in-laws. Then it's another new journey on Monday, i.e. back to real work! The other team is demanding for a present from each of us. Hahaha! It's funny how we totally did not even know each other before then, came to Holland together and had gotten chummy. Ever since the other team went back to Malaysia, we've been chatting online everyday during our overlapping working hours and they're also counting down the days we'll all see each other again. *smile*

Will not be having any Internet access until I'm back home. So I'll see you all back in Malaysia, kay? Be good and please pray for me for a safe flight home. And to you, Bozo, have a safe journey back too! Till our lunch date! *wink*

See ya, all! *Hugz*

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

1 2 3... Days To Leave!

3 more days till I leave TulipLand a.k.a. ClogsLand, WeedLand, CheeseLand (and what other names?).

OH YES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Cheesy Gouda

First lesson, the city of Gouda is pronounced as "How-da". The 'g' is always pronounced as 'h'. So weird.

Anyway, on a very windy and drizzling Saturday, 3 brave men and woman went on a 20-minute train ride to Gouda, the city of cheese. The wind was so awfully strong that one of the men's cap got blown away and the woman could hardly walk forward.

But they did manage to walk, and walk they did all around the little town. The City Hall and De Waag (the weighing house) at the market square. The Lazaruspoortje gate, the entrance to Catharina Gasthuis Museum.

Howdy Gouda!

When one visits Gouda, one must go see the "Gouda Windows" which are the stained glass windows of St. Janskerk, a.k.a St. John's Church.

St. Janskerk
Gouda Windows

I suppose a Christian should know what the pictures represent... The birth of Jesus.. The bearing of the cross.. The last supper.. The beheading of John the Baptist.. And lastly, Jesus washing Peter's feet.

The bravehearts then went on a search for the De Roode Leeuw windmill as it was also the National Windmill Day but because it was so awfully windy, they chickened out, for the fear of being blown away while they are at the top of the windmill. *lol*

Of course, before the end of any trips, they would always stop by for some souvenirs. Thus more money taken out from the woman's pockets on purchases of a few sets of pot holders, handphone strings, and more fridge magnets for families and friends. Not cheese though, it would be too heavy to carry back home! The woman could not resist the temptation of taking some photos of cute chocolates in the bakery.

Yummy chocolates!
Yummy chocs in all shapes, colours and sizes

By 6 in the evening, the three stooges were safely home, back in the warmth of the heaters and watching Beverly Hills Cops 2 on telly.

Saturday, May 05, 2007

Heineken & Liberation Day

We went up to Amsterdam again. The main purpose was actually to buy souvenirs to bring home. Tee hee hee.. Since we were there, might as well go do some visiting and oh, it's Liberation Day today!

Upon arrival at the Centraal Station, we took the tram #24 to Heinekenplein where we visited the Heineken Experience. Once in a lifetime, of course must go and visit the local brewery mar! It was really worth the visit, I tell you. For EUR 11, you get to :-

* understand the history behind Heineken
* climb the beer glass staircase
* be your own DJ and make your own music
* see the huge copper brew-kettles
* take videos and photos and send it to your friends
* play interactive games
* be your own coachman where you are 'virtually' sitting on the coach and the horses bring you around Amsterdam
* experience how it feels like to be a bottle during the bottling process. Very fun!
* see the real Heineken horses - The Shires
* get 3 free drinks
* get a free gift which was a Heineken Experience can opener in a Heineken bottle metal casing

Heineken Experience
The Heineken Experience - truly an experience!

Definitely worth the money and time la. But if you do decide to visit, try to go there in the mornings (less crowd) and you must allocate at least 2 hours to visit the entire brewery.

After that, we walked around and took photos of the Rijksmuseum, Van Gogh Museum, Stedelijk Museum, Concert Gebouw, Coster Diamonds, a few to mention. There were performances going on at the Museumplein for Liberation Day festival but we were hungry so we took the tram back to the city centre.

After lunch, we walked down Damrak street and bought as many souvenirs we could - fridge magnets, keychains, tee shirts and whatever we could bring back home. We reached Dam Square and saw the wreaths that were laid on the foot of the war monument. When we watched the live telecast on tv last night, thousands of people were there on Dam Square itself. As I stood on the square, I really couldn't imagine the crowd! Really very patriotic la, the Dutch!

Remembrance (4th May) & Liberation (5th May) Days
National War Memorial at Dam Square

Now that I'm back in Utrecht already, I'm worried my luggages will exceed the limit! Darn!

Friday, May 04, 2007

Remembrance Day

Every year today is Remembrance Day for the Netherlands.

On this day, flags are flown at half-mast. Wreaths are laid on the foot of the National War Memorial monument in Dam Square, Amsterdam. Church bells ring for 15 minutes. Then at 8pm, the entire nation observes a 2-minute silence in remembrance of the Dutch lives lost in the 2nd World War and any other wars after that.

And then tomorrow is Liberation Day where the entire nation celebrates freedom. We are definitely lucky to be in the Netherlands at this time. To be able to witness this 2 very important dates in the Dutch history. And guess what, we're coincidentally heading up to Amsterdam (yes, again!) tomorrow. Weeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!

Wednesday, May 02, 2007


Sometimes I can't believe that I've been in Holland for 2 months now. Just 2 more weeks and I'll be leaving for home, to where I belong. The more I think about it, the slower time seems to pass by. Especially now.

There had been so many occasions of breaking down when I prayed, asking that I be home fast. To think that after being here for 2 months, I should be well adjusted and not be as homesick now. But frankly, I just want to go home. I want to hop onto the next available plane and be home.

I remember when I discovered that I was having chickenpox, I prayed and cried that night. Alone in the hotel's attic room, I asked why. Why the change of plans for making me stay for 10 weeks when it was initialy only 6. Why chickenpox in Holland when I am so far away from my husband and my family. Why did I take this job in the first place. Why this. Why that. I prayed for strength, that I could hold on and be strong. That I could do it. And it sure didn't help when everyone keeps telling me to be patient and that time will pass by very quickly. Sometimes I just wanna scream at them and say "For the thousandth time, YES I know! How many times do you need to remind me??". I prayed for kindness, that I would not suffer so much from chickenpox. Having it in a foreign country was definitely not a fun thing.

2 months now, and I am still as homesick as when I arrived at Amsterdam Schiphol Airport. I try to be happy as much as I can, to travel just to keep myself occupied and not think about it. *Sighz* It's so hard. The irony is that I've done this before. I've spent 2 years in Sheffield but at that time, I had my 'heng tais' with me. Life was still bearable then. It's not to say that I'm having a tough time with my teammates here. They are ok, but they're the ones where colleagues should just remain colleagues but not as friends, you know.

But I guess, I'm still blessed. I had it easy with chickenpox, health and foodwise. Not too much of scars but they're still slowly healing. The weather hadn't been too terrible here especially when I travelled around. Moorish and Bozo are currently in Houston and Saudi respectively, both also counting down the days when they land in Malaysia. I'm not alone in that sense. Someone up there does actually listen to me after all. :)

I wonder if it is too much for me to ask that the clock be sped up. Just a wee bit, perhaps.