Wednesday, February 24, 2010

A date with my ex-bf :o)

This Sunday, i had a date with my ex-bf, who eventually turned into now hubby. Yes to celebrate the day, my last post was about.

I have been searching for some place different where we haven't already been and then it clicked me restaurant "De Bazar" !
I have been thinking to visit this restaurant for some time now.
When my sister visited us on her Christmas Break, she was actually surprised that we hadn't been there already. In her 9 days stay she visited it two times !
It is on lonely planet recommended list as well.

We loved the place, was thinking to share about it but busy schedule during week didn't gave me much time.
So without writing too much, i will just make you part of our evening taking you there with the pictures.
I loved the interior... very beautiful...lights.

It is a beautiful restaurant with middle-east setting in Rotterdam. There are North African, Turkish and Iranian items on menu.

They have wooden benches and candle stands made out of bottles !

Our starters...
Bon Appetite :o)
I love Olives, these were the yummiest of all i ever had until now. I simply loved marinated olives.

Diverse breads. I cannot just pick one as favourite...loved it all.

They have exceptional service too, after moving to Netherlands we are getting used to waiting time, but this place reminded me of service back home, fast, efficient and attentive.
Main Course...

I felt portion sizes were comparatively bigger than what i have seen here in Netherlands.
We were too full after starters itself, couldn't even do justice to main course and hence no dessert !

Hope you will like it as much as we did.
They also have a chain in Amsterdam. "Bazar Amsterdam".
Have a nice Friday, and weekend following it :o)

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Story of New life - Chapter 1

Note: OK, this really happened but It is obviously a bit dramatized as one would expect !

Warning: This one is one long post!!


Part - 1 Then we met...

How every moment we live leads us to the other moment !

How a sad moment is connected to a lot many happy moments and how a very feeling-low day can be a start of those wonderful days... or years in some cases...!
At least it turned out for me!

Time of mid-February 2004, Nice weather not so cold and not so hot...just perfect !

For me, It is a same normal day full of routine stuff.... woke up late, running to college for a morning class which i am about to miss in my lazy-ness... (Ya but that's everyday !)

Yes but today was different in a few ways, my bike had to break down today only, college is just 15 minutes walk but ohh god am I having those many minutes??? No, me lazy ass.
Even no auto-rickshaws on its stand so I run and run, literary.... even raced with lecturer, slowly walking towards class, to enter the class room first ... but alaaas... that embarrassment, so much part of my everyday routine to eacape from it ...and so here was another morning with that stare conveying "you, late again!!” Grrrrrr

As day progressed, another day of realization how hungry one can feel when you have been all running in the morning, forgot to grab something to eat and obviously had nothing for break-fast... ohh I want break time...I want break time... ohh god when is this lecture going to end?

I want to go out...I want to eat... wada pau... pani puri?? , nah chat, no pav bhaji, no paneer tikka, nah chhole chat, or....... or........ or ........ Or.......

Tin tin tin.... Breaktime!!! Finally...

Who wants to go out and grab something to eat?

Hey come on, we have next lecture in 15 mins, we won't be able to be back in-time, we can go after this lecture as we are free then today with last lecture cancelled.
Ohh huhhh kkkkk, who has got Tiffin?

Seems like none of our generous localite friends, who feed us happily with home cooked food, were around, and whoever were around were trying to compete with us by not bringing any heavenly home-made food, fully convinced on their own that there cannot be anything better than living our life and eating everyday out !!!

Ohh god, who will make these poor guys understand.... may be only time will, if it ever comes for them!!

So after some more time-killing attempts with passing a note to each other with our thoughts in a way making writing conversations and sms chats under the desk, finally lecture ends, Before running to fill our tummies we decide on a movie plan, eat something, go to our respective dwellings, get fresh and again meet at multiplex theatre. Prefect.

Ohh no, going to our respective dwellings??? What does that mean?? Hey wait... i don't want to walk...!! And hey what is it about getting fresh and meeting directly at multiplex?

We all can directly go there... hey come on guys.... but aaah... no one seems to be agreeing with poor me. Now as i stand there with one more spirit like me, one of my generous friend who happens to be non-localite like us appears as an angel, full of understanding for the pain we are feeling and offers a lift to home with a choice to hang out at his place and to go directly to movie from there and as anyway we have no one to report by going home ( ahh home??? Naaah probably a rented apt turned into a mess ) ... we happily agree.

We leave happily, discussing senseless serious stuff nothing of which makes any sense.

As soon as we are in the parking, I notice ohh hell where is my cell phone... ohh no!! And looking at my image of never to be seen without a cell, both of my friends are shocked, Not with the fact that I was not able to find it but with the fact that actually it was away from me for that much time to be missing !!
So then begins the search mission inside car, below car, under the car seats, we try calling on the number but it is only ringing and we can't hear or see it, we go back to college, search in college parking, class....alaaas, but it seems like it disappeared ! It left me !

We again call on my number and now it doesn't ring anymore!!

Ahh what a day, now I don't want to do anything...please leave me home.

I am home sitting thinking about how I had bought it from my savings from part-time job I did while preparing for entrance exams. How I have loved it. How I never left it alone. How nice it looked, how so many people complemented it. How it has a special place being first big thing I bought from my self-earned money !

Ohh... here I sit gloomy...

No, I don't want to watch movie.
I just want to sit, and feel the emptiness which it has brought.
I don't have a cell phone; I am cut off from the whole rest of the world.
I am left all alone.

No one will be able to contact me.
I will be just sitting like this alone, thinking about nice time with my cell and how it never let me feel alone, always keeping in touch with everyone!

Then I hear a knock on the door and here enters the creator of our movie plan... And before i say a word he goes on board...

What is this? I came to know you said you are not coming for a movie...
Yes, I don't want to...
Hey, come on... so what are you going to do then ? Sit here and cry over the lost phone??
Get ready, you are coming and I am not leaving you here alone to cry on your mobile!!

Aaah, how cruel friends can be at times!!! No one understands!!!

So I have to go to movie, to celebrate my loneliness which came with the lost of my cell, which appeared only mean of connection with the world at that time!!

We are late for the movie... a few guys are already waiting for us and so we run as movie is already started!!

Now let me be clear here, we are late not just because of me, ya my crying baby stance might contributed a bit but also because of my dearest friend who thought he needs to change and get fresh before we go, he won't come in same college dress, so we had to make a stop at his home ! Ahhh and they say girls are more look-conscious !!! Grrrrr...

When we reach we see some unfamiliar faces with us in a movie, apparently friends of some friend, and we just ignore until we get free popcorns and cola from those unknown faces!
Yeah but who cares, free popcorn n cola doesn't make anyone nice, right?

As movie is ending we again run, yes to the exit as we don't want to queue up as all start leaving....
And alaas we stand outside for other friends waiting for them to come out...
1 min, 2 min, 5 min... We don't see them
Apparently what we had assumed the end and had run out wasn't "the end".

And then I hear a "Bye"

I look up and turn to that direction and see one of that unknown faces leaving...talking with other unknown face that they will see each other next day, May be feeling too bored to stand with us, some random unknown faces, waiting for our friends, some more random unknown faces, who were not coming out !!

And then we hear one more generic "Bye" toward us while he turns his back to go. And that is when I notice that face ... big eyes, a smile i can say sweet, very polite voice and just and a glare which didn't rest on us for more than a fraction of second while turning his back and before i know it slow voice sleeps from my mouth "Bye" which apparently goes only to his back which was already stepping away from us, and I stare at his back while he goes walking to parking, never looking back for once.

And so that was my first conversation with him... BYE... never knowing that "BYE" can be not an end but the starting of a life-long bond!!

Yeah, you guessed it right... that is how I met Ashu!!

I never knew that time how this ordinary day was going to lead me towards most memorable days of my life!

And today we complete 6 years of that first "BYE".
Happy 6th Anniversary to us of being togethr :o)

P.S. Did i say that movie was "Lord of the Rings"!

P.S.S. Now this will explain atleast a first line over HERE i had written in my Birthday Message for him :o)

Image Courtesy :
In the order of appearance;

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Mondays - Not My Days !

I never thought i will ever say this but now i have to, it is official now, yeah... Mondays are not my lucky days. Sigh. ( No kidding, look at my last Monday )

Lesson 1: Car keys can be in my purse when I search it in whole house. And no, Table is not always where it is suppose to be !

Lesson 2: Colleagues asking me if my house roof was alright when i reach office early are right. I am supposed to be late and last to enter in the Dept, however hard i try, if everything is alright and normal at home.

Lesson 3: It is indeed easier to walk in snow when i am not wearing my office shoes as i had done HERE.

Lesson 4: It is not always his house keys which we use, I use mine when he is not home. I need to carry it with me next time i go out without taking it as granted that it's always in my purse, secure and meant to be used in some lost key emergency.

Lesson 5: Don't try to be romantic when you do mistake saying "See, this is what happens when you are not around". That can upset him.

Lesson 6: It is really boring to cook when I have to cook only for myself.

Lesson 7: Days end for good.
Quite a day, full of learnings though.

Do you have your lucky days and not so lucky days as well?
Do you also feel this sudden rush of saying this is not my day?

Sunday, February 14, 2010

What else can we be...

It's raining outside.
How noisy it can be with no one around... rain, wind and trees !
Gate cracks outside, may be it's her.
May be she finally decided to visit me.

But there is no one.
Same wind playing game with me... again.

I don't know how long will it take her to understand.
May be she didn't recieve my messege... bt what if she did !

Why can't i just get lost in all these sounds, all these channels in the tv playing something which just seems like some more different noices to my mind.

Colours, so many colours, screen fulll of colours and yet nothing reaching me...
May be my mind stopped reacting else how come nothing reaches me...
I want to close my eyes and get lost in darkness where peace visits.

Ohh i hear something, what's that? Beats yeah... beats my heart beats, seems like trying to complete the marathon.
Wish i can just be sane for a moment closing windows against it. I wish.

I don't exactly remember how long i have been sitting like this, closing my eyes, trying to get lost in the darkness.

All I feel is her soft hairs, that sweet fresh smell she carries... i open my eyes and look around.
Is she really here....or is it a dream !

I try to speak...

I know...
what ?
Which date is today...
which date is today?
14th why?
14th of??
14 of February...
Don't you want to ask me something?

She looks up... spots that smile on my face...
She smiles and tries to punch me but instead that ends her up in my arms.

I can feel her hair, her smell, her soft skin and before that feeling wraps me i have to say it...

Ammm arrr....mmm Will you be my Valentine?
What??.. will you?
Don't kill me...
yes ... always ... what else i can be !
ya, what else we can be !

Happy Valentines Day to you all !

Image : A Painting by Viv :)

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Drive-o-phobia !

I hate driving!

That's what my Monday's last tweet read, (ok, a part of that tweet) didn’t realize that in a few mins I would be face to face realising how much I do!

I usually don't drive until I have to, ( Many reasons... to sum up an accident while was in college, scared mom, resulting in a long gap that i was allowed to touch car again ) but then I realize I have to as I cannot just rely on others, and specially on those cold days when it is impossible to walk!

That day (Monday) I didn't feel like driving, but I had to as now my all time rescue Ashu cannot drop me anymore, Monday is a day he is attending lectures at the same time at a different location, yeah MBA classes Monday evenings!

I thought to call one of my classmates, who offer me a lift sometimes, but then I thought why? I should drive, right? (That doesn't make me love driving)

Ok so where were we... yeah I tweetted from iPhone while leaving home
"Time for Painting... I hate driving :( "

Apparently I hadn't been driving since last two weeks and there was a bit of snow fall in between.
Doors were jammed and it was -5 °C. I gave door a jerk and it opened.
I sat, tied my seat belt and ignited engine.
It gave me some weird noises...
Yeah alright, I get it, we haven't been using you much, sorry, can we go now?

Blip blip.... an indication that Door was open.
Thanks sweety, I stopped, opened the door and closed it again and started driving.
Again blip blip...what now?? All four doors are open !
What? How?
No way, I even didn't open others, just ignore.

Sometimes machines go wrong as well, after all it's just machine right?

I was near the high-way, I took a sharp turn and boooom... driver seat door stand there open, yeah fully open !
I couldn’t even reach handle to close it, that cold wind and cars behind me.... Arrrr did I tell you I hate driving? :o/

I slowed, looked in the mirror, no more cars behind, I was standing in between the road. Tried to close the door.
No still couldn’t.
Opened seat-belt, reached for it and close it. Checked in the front mirror, No car near-by, good. Could see a few cars in distance, getting closer very fast but I am already starting, no reason to stand here....

Ok, so can we go now? No still all four doors are open.
I open and close it again, and I press a button for centre-locking.
Ok we are good now.

I start driving again, and then I feel cold wind again, yes, my door was opening, again. I caught it with my left hand before it’s out of my reach and i have to stop in traffic !

Back to driving, with one hand holding door, one hand on steering, one eye on road, traffic and signals and one eye on other 3 doors !
What if that blinking signal is right, and they all are open as well. Arrr what will I do then? All those who know me know that I don't have four hands right?
Arr sorry five with one needed for steering and four for doors.
What do i do then? Am I supposed to use legs, like animals do with their legs ! ( Their legs are their hands right?)
Arrrr no no no, I cannot do it, no way.
And not to get in that position, I kept pressing center-locking and child-lock and whatever button i could see which meant "lock", whenever i could afford to free my hand from whatever it was busy holding !

Glad all the tricks remained in mind and planning or dreaming phase and I managed to reach for Painting. Parked the car in parking place.

What, you didn't think I will miss painting for stupid car, did you?

Anyway so i parked and clicked that button in my hand to lock it, nop doesn't work.
Lots of kicking on door, ok now it closes completely but still can't lock nop.
No way, it is not happening that I am already in the parking and I cannot go in!

Aaaah, I don't need to lock it using this stupid button right? I can use the key, yeah I can....oooops and it worked, no need to leave it open in the parking! Come on, who will want to take away a car which doesn't lock! Or will someone?

So are we good now?
Yeah, guess so, I am still alive!

Image Courtsey :

Monday, February 8, 2010

Do you love your Boss ?

Nog een week en dan is het Valentijnsdag... (Still a week to go, and it will be Valentine's Day...)
The day that gives you full permission to express your love for anyone you love :)

Ok how come i think about that suddenly when it is still a week to go?
Isn't that obvious looking at so much of mention of the day around? :o)

Ok ok, that's not the only ting, actually i was reading news letter ( Arrr news mail?? ) from Talen Coach and came through this article.
How to express your love in Dutch.
It says "Certainly if you have a Dutch partner, you should have heard it more than once"
Ok honestly i knew how to say it and no i don't have a Dutch partner.

I have this habit to keep bugging Ashu with messages about whatever is on my mind. On one of such incident it came to my mind how to express it in Dutch ! So i googled and i sent him sms.

Obviously he didn't get it... hehe and so to make sure he finds out by himself i kept saying "Ik hou van je" never replying what does that mean.
And then he replied "Ik ook".
Yeah, he googled it too, My IT man :o)

Anyway what had caught my attention that i wanted to blog about was this part :
" You can say: Ik hou van mijn kat en Ik hou van chocola en Ik hou van winkelen (shopping). Every one will understand that you are not in love then...
However, if you want to say: I loooove my boss or I loove my colleague, what should you do then? Yes... you could say: Ik hou van mijn baas or Ik hou van mijn collega.

But then, many Dutch people may automatically assume that you are in for a romantic relationship. So what to do, if you want to express your love, but no other physical activities?"
Interesting, huh? Actually that made me think :o)
If that makes you think too then you can check out the answer :o)

The answer for the newsletter :
I LOOOVE my boss or I LOOOVE my colleague is not something that you should always translate with Ik hou van mijn baas of ik hou van mijn collega. However, if you want to make clear that there is no romantic desire involved, translating it is really easy.

The word enorm will get you out of trouble. Ik hou enorm van mijn baas sounds positive.

Another option that you could use is to say: Ik vind (I find)
Ik vind mijn collega/baas geweldig/fantastisch/ronduit super!

Another miracle verb is mogen. Ik mag mijn baas/collega enorm graag!

Now you know how to express your love.... for anyone or anything or for your Boss, in Dutch :o)
Spread your love for your Boss then ! hehe :oD


Saturday, February 6, 2010

First Expositie

I keep mentioning my love for Painting on this blog so those who have been reading it knows about my it and how i wanted to learn Oil painting !

Year 2010 started with a new joy as that meant we were going to have our first Oil painting lesion finally.
We started it in a traditional way, the way Oil paintings were done in 17th century.
Ok i didn't mind how and which way, as far as i was learning how to do it!

Two weeks and two lessons after we were ready with our canvas preparation, drawing of composition and base colours and it was the day we were going to put the Oils, finally.
So happy i was since morning ! Finally, yes finally we were there !

But alaaaas, Not yet.

Our instructor/ teacher Derek had something else in his mind. He informed us that he would like to put our half-done paintings on display in the coming Exposition. He had thought over it that it would be nice to display our work as well with others even though it was work -in progress.
So nice of him !
But wait, Doesn't that mean we have to start over again ! Ohh ya, it did.
Best thing that atleast our work got a place beside so many other nicely done works.

This Monday evening, during the Painting class a classmate, Ruud, was taking pictures of whole class. I thought he is taking the pictures just like that, as many times we take pictures to remember our compositions when we have to continue same in the next lesson.
But his e-mail arrived as a surprised as it contained the link of his website where he had uploaded them all along with pictures of our half-done paintings displayed in our institute's Exposition 2010.

I liked his idea and so though to share a link to his website.
If interested, you can check the photos of our "half -done" paintings displayed in Exposition and work-in-progress photos of class here.
CKC Expositie Schilderen 2010

Images in this post i have taken from the same website, courtsey: Ruud Zwijnenburg
Thanks Ruud for sharing this :o)

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Sometimes all you need is to move on....

One of the worse experiences to go through are formed by separation, or to say split up or Divorces.
The trauma once passes through that is truly painful and equally stressful.

There is a contrast which life brings, while a few of the friends are still single not ready to commit, the score of divorce will reach 5 with two of my very good friends going on the path of splitting up this year, and no it has nothing to do with what everyone conceives of India "Land of arrange Marriages"

When we were in our teenage, we thought break up was "the end of the world", at least for us, at least it felt that way for sometime until we learn to move on.
But it wasn't, right?
And so even divorce isn't.
It is just when one is not married, it is a bit easier to separate things than when one is married. * ( yes conditions apply and exceptions are always there )
I remember the times when every Indian used to think "Divorce" as "Unthinkable".
But now i see the change coming. And i am happy for this more accepting society.

So what's actually happening here?
People are being more open minded to accept it or people are becoming more intolerant and too stiff to make a little necessary adjustments needed for a relationship work?

I keep hearing it that "Life is too long if you are with a wrong person" , I would defer a little bit here, it is not a wrong person, it is an incompatible person resulting in a wrong relationship. Someone not compatible with xyz might be compatible with abc. There is just no comparison, every individual is different !

There are lots of debates blaming it on women liberalisation, Women getting more career-oriented than before and changed priorities ! But is it really?

Every relationship has some problems, even one with which we grow up. One has to try to work it out, and each of us does that. But what when a relationship starts to suffocate you and you start feeling like living as a fish out of water !

I can see the change coming in how people perceive things, and I am happy that people are more open to the fact that everytime it is not necessary that compromises work and sometimes just leaving and moving on can be a better option !

While i always wished for my friends that things will work out for them and there will be some kind of miracle out there, bringing their life back to happily ever after, now i see more clearly that sometimes moving on is a better option.

Now as they have already made a decision for themselves i see that with everyday stress gone, they look more serene.
That peace obtained with acceptance within, reflects as a peaceful and happier glow on their faces.
I feel happy looking at them as at least now they look happier than before !

Bravo girls, there is a new world awaiting for you, a new tomorrow ! Make most of it.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Beautiful perks with this Expat life !

I wanted to complete this tag post during the weekend, but surprisingly I don't get much time for writing in the weekends as much as in week days! So here I am ! :)

When I was checking comments on my post here . One particular one from Isabella from A Touch of Dutch made me happy and then boooooom... same day other comment here... by Tiffany Jarman Jansen from Clogs and Tulips: An American in Holland.

It was about ...
A Beautiful Blog Award!
Thank a lot Isabella and Tiffany. You made my day, it really means a lot to me!

Ok so here are the rules of this tag :
1) Thank the person who gave you the award.
2) Paste the award on your blog.
3) Link the person who nominated you for the award.
4) Share 7 things you find to be beautiful around you.
5) Nominate 7 bloggers or less (i will do more)

Most of the blogs I read who have done this tag have decided to blog about 7 Beautiful things about country of their residence, so here "Netherlands". Now whatever I write about it, most of it is going to be a repetition.
So I am going to write about myself, to be precise random 7 things I find beautiful about moving here !

1. I feel "Zen".
Not literally. But I do feel enlightened. There are so many things that I have learnt moving here.

I have learnt more about differences all cultures offer and yet how beautiful all of them are in their own .

I have learnt to accept everything as it is without having a struggle of what is better.

I have learnt why we should never laugh at someone for their funny accents or funny pronunciation, but to appreciate the effort and the fact that it makes him knowing one more language than us!

And so ON, list goes on... living a life of expat is itself a big and enriching learning experience !

2. I love it being "compact".

Netherlands is a very small country and I love the fact that how whole country is easily accessible. When I look back at my own country "India", I am really not happy with the fact that I haven't seen all of my own country!

I love this fact that one can travel from north to south in 2-3 hours ( *Traffic Conditions apply ), and still there is a lot of different experiences this beautiful country has to offer from North to South and from East to West !

3. Let's go for backpack.

Ok, this is related to my earlier point, but still.

I love how easy it is to travel across the Europe. We have had those moment, in the evening we think about going somewhere and zoooom, we are on the road.
I remember December 2008; we were planning to do a road trip to Black Forest, Germany.
We did all the required shopping for a road trip and then were checking weather forecast for the coming week. It was going to be cold and we decided on the spot, NO, we want to go somewhere warmer. Let's leave black forest for summer and next day we were on the way to Spain!

An extended weekend trip to Luxembourg was wonderful. I have come to realize that we often enjoy more what we don't plan too much than very well-planned trips; we are more of those impulsive kinds than planners!

We have touched France, Belgium, Spain, Germany, Luxembourg, Switzerland, Italy, and Czech Republic! It's not that long a list but what is amazing is that we did it all in just 1 and half years that we are here!

4. Like it? Do it!

I love the fact how I can spare time for my hobbies. I loved writing, reading, painting since I was a kid. And I always tried stealing some time for them, ya until college was over.
As soon as I started with my first job, I hardly had anytime. I remember 3 years in between; I hardly did any of what I loved.

Then we moved here, and I feel rejuvenated.

I could start this blog, to write whatever I like and whatever is on my mind. As a kid I used to keep my personal diary, but now I have a blog to share with the world!

Now life is more balanced than it ever was and I have more time for myself, for my hobbies, reading and painting. I could even start with Painting lessons to fulfill my long time wish of learning oil painting!

5. Yeyy, spring is here!

One of the most beautiful things is experiencing spring!

Back home, we never noticed that big difference when spring or autumn approches, we never waited for summer and we loved winters! Not even my dreams I thought that someday I would long for summer ! :)

But I do now, it is so beautiful to see spring approaching, how beautiful whole country looks and the fact that there will be summer then soon when we all can dress up in most comfortable cloths that we all love. Every time we open our wardrobe, they peep from behind and we want summer more than ever!

I love to wait for spring and i love the fact that soon it will be there. ( A few weeks guys !)

6. Hey, Nice to meet you!

This new medium of blogging has brought me closer to so many wonderful people ! Some new and some whom i knew from years.... It provides a platform to connect, to know more about different cultures, different people sharing our unique and not-so-unique experiences !

I am happy that i met you all. You all have touched my life in some or other way. And I am happy that you did.

7. Home, Sweet home!
Last but not the least Our Home.

Never knew how much it takes to make a house call HOME! And it is indeed one of the most beautiful feelings to own something, to have everything as you want and to call it OUR HOME!

Never knew this far away country will offer us something which will become so much of a Home making us not to feel "at home" anywhere else!

That's my list of 7 things guys, and now it is really difficult to pick other 7 people to tag as most of the people around have already done it.

So I tag everyone who haven’t done this tag and specially those who have been away from blogging for some time now!

Guys get back to writing :)

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