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Archive for the ‘Netherlands’ Category

What a difference a snowfall makes. Actually, it’s our third of the winter. I’m from upstate New York so we don’t count flurries or dustings or even light coatings. If it doesn’t stay on the ground and can’t be measured in inches, sometimes feet, it doesn’t count. So with a good six+ inches of unspoiled […]

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Glancing at the calendar this morning, I realized it’s been almost three months since leaving the Netherlands. Twelve weeks from when I strapped myself into my assigned airline seat, Daughter to my right, our pets Oli and Ava beneath us in the acclimatized pet cargo hold. Eighty nine days since I watched the plane rise […]

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Well, well, well. Look what the cat dragged in. Yours truly, sheepishly shrugging while simultaneously cringing at how pathetic this looks. When last I posted several weeks ages ago, I dropped the bombshell we were moving back to the US this summer. That news was indeed incendiary on a personal basis as we had fully expected […]

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I’ve often wondered what I would say in a post like this. I’ve played it out in my mind before, I just never thought I’d be writing this now. You see, it’s time for that kind of post. Not the kind where you tell everyone you’re moving on to another expatriate experience, although there were a […]

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We’ve been having a pretty cool cold spring this year. The sun hasn’t really wanted to shine more than a day or so, here and there. The mercury hasn’t crept much above 50 degrees Fahrenheit more than a time or two over the past two months. We’ve had days where it poured cold rain for hours […]

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What I find fascinating about living in another culture is discovering how things are done differently than in my home or other countries. An example is when people are required to wait in line. One culture will queue up neatly – with near military precision – while another culture’s line resembles a full-contact rugby scrum. […]

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Today was Queen’s Day, the biggest national holiday in the Netherlands. They’ve been celebrating the monarch’s birthday since the late 19th century, and this marks the fourth Koninginnedag festivities we’ve observed. I mentioned in another post that it’s a lot like a mix of New Year’s Eve, Fourth of July and Mardi Gras (with more […]

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Last night I was all set to go with a humorous blog post today when Husband called down the stairs, telling me to turn to CNN.  Something about a suspicious explosion in Boston. My heart sank just hearing the words. I turned the channel and together we sat, eyes glued to the television, listening to […]

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Right now, I am soooo excited I cannot tell you! Yes, I do realize that I will now be revealed for the nerd that I am, but I simply don’t care. Not a whit. Just. Do. Not. Care. Why? you ask. Because I have finally scored the one, the only, my beloved new tea kettle. […]

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I first met Tamara 14 months ago on the sidewalk in front of our neighbor’s house. It was a cold, late Sunday afternoon in December, the air heavy with moisture off the frigid North Sea. The weak sun had managed to emerge briefly from behind large swaths of gun metal gray clouds. Husband and I had just left the house to […]

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Yesterday was Halloween, and it was a smashing one indeed. It began dry and sunny (two big pluses during autumn here) and remained so throughout the day; Halloween night was, well, amazing. Halloween is HUGE in the United States, and every year, more and more Dutchies and other internationals join Americans in celebrating this fun-filled holiday. Cross-culturalism at its […]

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When the doorbell rang late Sunday afternoon, it took a moment to register in my brain. Lounging lazily in the family room with my feet propped up on the coffee table and the Sunday Times Culture magazine section spread across my lap, I suddenly felt my shoulders tense and the hair on the back of my neck stand […]

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I must confess that it still astounds me how, in this day and age and in the comfort of my own home here in the Netherlands, internet connectivity and the various social media venues it has spawned allow me to maintain contact with friends and family and build associations with others. Like the old Bell […]

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Today is the first Monday in September. For many, it’s merely the start of yet another work week. Whatever ‘work’ means for you. Getting the children off to school before running a long list of errands and volunteering in the classroom. Pulling into the factory parking lot with a double shift ahead. Trading stories at […]

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  Walking home the other day I happened to look up, as I am wont to do, and realized that they were back.           I saw what has now become an annual sight, worthy of mention: the graduation backpacks are up the flagpoles again.                 […]

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(Updated 14 June 2012) She’s baaaack. Catarina, that is. She of An International Trade Representative’s Got Nothing on Her and Head of Delegation Written All Over Her fame. My cute little nine-year-old neighbor has already been to the house two times in the past week. Euro 2012 is underway, and you know what that means: […]

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When we think of crossing cultures, what immediately comes to mind? It might be art, music, theater, dance. Perhaps it’s religious differences or religious similarities, the minaret or the church steeple. For many it’s traveling far and wide, or immersing yourself in one place, one culture, for an extended period of time. It can be […]

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Two confessions up front. First, credit where credit is due. A comment about my post on Bridge-Building in the city of Peace and Justice, left by fellow expat and talented writer/blogger Russell VJ Ward*, served as the impetus for this plea post. Second, I am a self-confessed policy wonk and international affairs junkie. I’ve studied it, worked […]

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One of the most interesting aspects of living in The Hague is its international flavor. Today I’m not referring simply to the large number of people living here who come from other lands. I’m talking about its strong ties to global issues. The Hague is known as ‘the City of Peace and Justice’ for a reason: […]

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When this week began, little did I know that by the end I would be writing what has essentially become my own personal Trilogy to the Dutch. I’d enjoyed all the excitement and revelry of my third Queen’s Day, stuck again by how virtually everyone gets involved in what is essentially one big party. There’s something about an entire […]

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