Archive for the 'Personal' Category

I need your help guys

Thursday, October 9th, 2014


I’m now well into my thirties

Balding badly


Switching companies


And now I have a drivers license

There is one last step to make, and I need your help




Bring on the mid-life crisis!

Lyon weekend

Sunday, July 29th, 2012

I think the most notable thing about the Lyon weekend was that we didn’t once enter Lyon.

Let me explain.
We were going to Lyon for the wedding of Raph’s cousin. Well, the 2nd wedding, since they got married some time last year in India.
Actually the wedding was outside of Lyon in a small town somewhere, but Lyon is where the airport is and Lyon in the place you guys might actually be able to place on a map. So: Lyon.
I was fairly excited about this because despite being with Raph for 5 years now (give or take) I have not actually met her entire family yet. Now, I’m not sure what I’d do with them once I will have met them, but it seems like something one should do. On a side note, I’m pretty sure the same is true for Raph, I’m fairly sure she’s not met most of my family either. Then again, mine is twice as big, previous generation  consists of double the amount of people, my generation is again twice as big and comparing the next generation would result in a #DIV/0 error. Hell, I’m not sure I could name every child that has spawned from the loins of my generation.
Also, the south of France is where I spent the summers of my youth. I was looking forward to some summery stuff.

Unrelated: There was a radar error in München. Not entirely unrelated: The plane we would be flying in was also in München.
At first there was waiting

Then there was making pictures while waiting

And three hours later they cancelled the flight.

So we went to Berlin instead.
Berlin was not as sunny as I had imagined the south of France.

We saw many famous things.

Briefly, between ducking under shelters.

We did have a pretty sweet hotel, despite our first pick being booked solid due to the Berlin Fashion week. We got to sleep below the water line, just like home.

In a lovely hotel at the Warsaw bridge in the river next to the Berlin wall. This put us in between the hippies of Kreuzberg and a restaurant/bar district on the other side.
Despite having to miss a French wedding, which is about food first, and matrimony second, we had no shortage of great food. All the hippy and veggie options in the south and all the national dishes you would want in the north.
Also, we saw some museums and stuff. But really, we spent far more time in bars and restaurants.

In the end the weather changed for the better and more pictures can be found here.


A problem I have with writing these things is that I tend to write about interesting things that happened to me and funny culture stuff.
And German culture . . . well, it’s just really hard to spin it into something funny. I’ve been trying to write something about the weißwurstequator for two months now, and I can’t get it right. Maybe I should start down writing Bavarian jokes, I certainly hear enough of those. Who needs Belgians if you have the Bavarians to make fun of.
The other thing is that i have a job that fires me if I tell funny stories about them. Well, some of them, I guess.

Something interesting to mention is that our stuff from Korea arrived. So this weekend we found out just how short of closet space we were. (Yet another) IKEA run fixed that though. More on how customs of Germany works soon.
BUT, out house is currently close to complete. And this can only mean one thing, something that Raph is really, really looking forward to.

Time to move out soon!

To end with, just because . . . well, there’s some things I miss about Korea. Gangnam Style!

New York trip

Sunday, June 17th, 2012

So, I’ve been forced out of Germany on 5 occasions during my 4 months here for social occasions one really shouldn’t miss.
I’ve had more relaxing homes, to be honest.

The latest occasion was my sister’s PhD ceremony. I was a bit confused about the whole thing as the defence was before, so she already graduated, but then she graduated on basis of some research papers which will be published (and written) before the end of this year.
BUT, I am not in academia and as such I’m probably missing something.

The occasion was actually more diversified than just the PhD. Apparently it had been 3.5 years since the entire family had sat down for dinner together, so there was that reason to travel across the pond. First family dinner started on my day of arrival at 19:45 local time. Which is about 01:45 time of wake up and approximately 22 hours after waking up that morning. I’m pretty sure the people wanted this to happen badly were mighty happy with my contributions to conversation that night.

And then was the visiting of old friends, culinary sampling and generally touristing around.

All pictures can be found here. But I’ll showcase a few as well.

First off. Osprey! WOOT.
Also, for anyone interested in aircraft/NY combos, I suggest you take in a Mets game. The new stadium is just down from the 13/31 runway. Given the right winds you’ll see lots of aircraft coming in/taking off during the game. You may miss a few homers though.

Mandatory Lady Liberty shot

Eugh . . Old people. They smell funny

This is the new version of those two towers that came down in 2001 btw.

New York, duh. Where else did you think this was?

They’re not related.

Oh right, but I came to the US for a specific reason. Considering this blog it’ll have the be the reason I first mentioned as I don’t think I took any pictures of the entire family together.
Typical. Still, yet more signs of why it’ll be a long time before I can provide an updated Raph&Wally photo for the mantlepieces of interested parties.
Carnegie Hall

Oh right, I wasn’t the only one to fly out for this celebration. I got to see that part of the family again as well. Next to that I got to see my sister’s in-laws, and in fine form I did not take any pictures of them.
Didn’t get to meet my nephews though. Next time I go to the states I will claim my uncle right to pinch their cheeks and burble excitedly on the side of their cribs.

And Applause

I also managed to get in Manhattanhenge, a nice little recurring phenomenon which allows for really good pictures.
Unless you’re in a restaurant on the wrong side of town in which case the pictures are merely alright.

This castle was not on a hill watching over the local populace, it was actually on another building. Pretty cool building.

I was actually looking for someone else, but I came across this guy. Pretty cool I guess:P
There’s a bunch of other rooms in this museum, some of them with pretty descriptive names like the “Hall of African Mammals”. This hall is on a completely different floor than the “Hall of stuff long dead” where one can find the dude pictured above.
In the Hall of African mammals I came across a lovely lady, who pointed at the elephant in the middle of the room yelling at her daughter “Look honey, more dinosaurs”
I did not roll my eyes as hard as her “MOM, you’re embarrassing me” daughter.

A good neighbourhood, you can tell.

Good food, good company

I only had a week of New York, where my parents and assorted other family-members went on to burn in the American deserts, but I enjoyed my trip. Got to see some nice things, meet some nice people and I incurred a horrible jetlag. Travel, huzzah!.

New life in Hamburg

Saturday, February 4th, 2012

Greetings all,

It has been a while since I last wrote, but I have a good excuse. I promise.

I’ve moved across the world, almost back to where I started. The start to Japan, Korean, America, Australia or a variety of other destinations.
I am not back in the Netherlands, though I was for 2 days. I’ve moved to Hamburg. I started working for Airbus 4 days ago and they required me to physically be here. So I’ve been busy moving here.

When I heard I was moving here I was excited of course, looked Hamburg up on the internet and started to educate myself. One thing that stood out was the it was 13 degrees here. Quite the difference from the -10 conditions of Seoul, South Korea. Everyone that feels jealous of this, let me put your mind at ease: It was below zero when I arrived and it hasn’t gotten any warmer since then. Snow too. At least I have a river I frequent which is quite pretty this way.

I’ve moved to the section of Hamburg that Airbus is also located at, which means I’m south of the River. Apparently, all the cool kids live north of the river. I can deal with that as I’ve only booked a month at my gasthaus. What I’m having a harder time with are the things the gasthaus doesn’t offer. This includes a washing machine, a freezer and THE INTERNET. This would be manageable if these things were offered in close proximity. This morning I took a 30 minute bus-ride to get access to the  first two. In a country where “having over 20 ms latency is a National disaster” –Some German; I can’t find free wifi in my entire city section. What backward hell is this? I do think I’ve found a laundrette closer to home though, but the combination I used this morning of laundry and café with wifi this morning was kind of nice.

Now, as mentioned I started my work with Airbus this week and I’d tell you about it, but . . .
I signed some kind of non-disclosure agreement, and it was in German. So I haven’t been able to figure out what I can tell you.
What should be OK is the rough location of my office building. Mine is next to the airstrip on site. This means I hear planes take off every hour or so. This includes first flights and stuff. If you’re not an airplane enthusiast this probably sounds like a nuisance, but for those of you that are . . . . well, lets just say that the majority of my colleagues still scoot to the window every hour or so, regardless of how long they’ve worked there.
Also: Stress Engineer on Vertical Tail Planes/Vertical Stabilizer. Something something project management something something composite engineer something something Long range. I’ve yet to get a precise title of what role I fill but there is lots of room for variety in the department apparently.

Anyway, I am currently benefiting from the free wifi at Starbucks for international communication and to help look for a permanent place to stay. I will take recommendations on city districts and affordable rooms if you have them. But for now, my cup is empty and I will stop being such a leech and get on with my first weekend in my new town.


Year’s End.

Thursday, December 29th, 2011

A quick update regarding our goings-on this month. Last you heard of me I reported on the Christmas market marking the true celebration of St Nicholas (non of this fat-jesus-with-a-beard nonsense). Since then I attended Raphaëlle’s Messiah concert, been sick and gotten a job.

Also, we became those people.

Putting our pet in the Christmas card . . . how low we’ve sunk.

I worked during the concert.  Manning the door during, but a host of other logistic things beforehand. As such I got to see and hear the concert over the video/sound system of the church. As such I only got to take 1 picture. I hope I can add some to the album when I manage to get a hold of other peoples’ photographs.

There was a professional recording at the church and the first CDs have been released. I’m sending some to a couple of people, but if you’re interested in a copy, let me know.

Then there was Christmas dinner. It involved a pumpkin (Oh wait, was that supposed to be for Thanksgiving?)

A pumpkin filled with cheese (who would do such a thing) baked to a fondue style.

Luckily there was also a persimmon pudding.

Which, topped with crème Anglaise, is fabulous.

After that there was coughing, drugs, beds and hot drinks.

And I’d like to end this blog post (because we are those people) with this.

Orion’s dog crate. In which we will transport him somewhere one day.


Monday, December 5th, 2011

Although I should say “European Christmas Market” I suppose.

There was, over this weekend, a “European Christmas Market”. Now, I’ve been to these before and they’re quite fun. You may imagine this:


Important to realize though, that this is Korea. There is a christmas market here, it’s just not quite that scale.

What we had instead was this.


Dutch stand

8 little stalls, passing off Chili con carne as European (or Christmassy for that matter) and the Dutch saying “Fuck you, we’re doing Sinterklaas instead”.

So, here’s from me. Fijn Sinterklaas gewenst.


Completely unrelated by everything other than it happening on the same date was the Camarata Music Company’s Chamber Singers’ Christmas concert, or CMCCSCC (That’s a lot of capitalization).

Notable songs include the English version of Shchedryk, one of my favourite Choral numbers. I enjoyed my first exposure to the English version though I think someone should have pushed the lyricist for something more varied.

The start of the concert was good. Toward the end though . . . look at those noobs, you can’t get good volume looking down at your sheets like that, blocking off your windpipe. Almost better off having the audiance participate.

More pictures can be found here.