Array ( [total] => 33 [pageSize] => 24 [page] => 0 [results] => Array ( [5642] => Array ( [iID] => 5642 [tTitle] => Meeting the Roland in Bremen [tSlug] => meeting-the-roland-in-bremen [iTime] => 1477778400 [iUpdate] => 1482162389 [tDescription] => From Hamburg to Delft, it's easy to travel through Bremen, home of another World Heritage Site. Here, it's the town hall and the statue of a 'Roland', the oldest known version of the man. Rolands were used to represent the free trading nature of the host city, something this Hansestad, like any other of its kind, was awarded early on, as Bremen joined the Hanseatic league in 1260. The current Roland dates from 1404, with an earlier wooden one having been burnt down in 1366. It is said that Bremen will remain free and independent for as long as Roland stands watch over the city. For this reason, supposedly, a second Roland statue is kept hidden in the town hall's underground vaults, so that, if the original might fall or be destroyed, it can quickly be replaced with a copy. A Roland statue typically represents a knight with a drawn sword, signifying the town privileges of a medieval city. Mostly, Rolands are found in northern and eastern Germany, but examples survive in places as far away as Croatia, Latvia, but also the US and even Brazil. Roland was a Frankish military leader under Charlemagne who died in August 778. He was a military governor and responsible for defending the frontiers of the kingdom of the Franks against the Bretons and was supposedly killed by rebellious Basques in Iberia. According to a literary tradition that sprung up, Roland was one of the twelve paladins of Charlemagne, paladins being particularly respected warriors at the court of this king. Specifically, the paladins represented Christian valour against the Saracen hordes inside Europe. Though, originally with Ptolemy, Saracens referred to nomads from, roughly, the Sinai peninsula, by the middle ages, Saracens had come to signify muslim Arabs. In the literary tradition, Roland is associated with his sword Durendal, his horse Veillantif, and his oliphant horn, a type of wind instrument and, in perhaps true medieval poetic obfuscation, specifically in Germany, Roland eventually became a symbol for the independence of the mercantile cities and classes from the local nobility, hence the statues in cities like Bremen. Also, musicians Bremen is also known for the 'musicians of Bremen', a fairy tale by the brothers Grimm. In the story a donkey, a dog, a cat, and a rooster are discarded or mistreated by their masters and set out together on the road to Bremen, known for its freedom, to live without owners and become musicians there. Somewhat curiously, they never make it and eventually settle in a house on the road to Bremen to live out their lives. [iCategory] => 12 [tURL] => [iViews] => 731 [iClicks] => 0 [iRating] => 0 [iVote] => 0 [iVoters] => 0 [iRedirect] => 0 [tISBN] => [iLocation] => 1495 [iOldID] => [tCover] => [iAccess] => [iHot] => 0 [tTemplateName] => default [iHideMap] => 0 [iForSale] => 0 [iImages] => 4 [iFullImage] => 0 [fLatitude] => 53.0757 [fLongitude] => 8.80727 [tLocation] => Marktplatz [iPrimaryCategoryFeatured] => 0 [tCategory] => Blog [iCategoryFeatured] => 0 [iPrimaryCategory] => 12 [categories] => Array ( [12] => Array ( [iID] => 12 [tName] => Blog [tSlug] => blog [tDescription] => Find my upcoming travel plans over at Dopplr and a listing of major (and some minor) travelogues over on the travelogues section. [iOrder] => 1 [iActive] => 1 [tType] => article [tTemplateName] => default [iFeatured] => 0 [iPrimary] => 1 ) ) [flickrTag] => 20161030 ) [5622] => Array ( [iID] => 5622 [tTitle] => Natalia in Europe [tSlug] => natalia-in-europe [iTime] => 1458169200 [iUpdate] => 1458169200 [tDescription] => The cause of this European trip, was a conference in Berlin where Natalia was invited to speak. Her trip taken care off, it made sense for me to also visit Europe and, besides Berlin, get ourselves to Delft and say hi to the parents. Playing tourists where possible, after an interesting conference, cheese, apple pie, Escher and Delft blue needed to be sampled. [iCategory] => 12 [tURL] => [iViews] => 1419 [iClicks] => 0 [iRating] => 0 [iVote] => 0 [iVoters] => 0 [iRedirect] => 0 [tISBN] => [iLocation] => 734 [iOldID] => [tCover] => [iAccess] => 1462227452 [iHot] => 0 [tTemplateName] => default [iHideMap] => 0 [iForSale] => 0 [iImages] => 12 [iFullImage] => 0 [fLatitude] => 51.9926 [fLongitude] => 4.35874 [tLocation] => Bot-Boender residence [iPrimaryCategoryFeatured] => 0 [tCategory] => Blog [iCategoryFeatured] => 0 [iPrimaryCategory] => 12 [categories] => Array ( [12] => Array ( [iID] => 12 [tName] => Blog [tSlug] => blog [tDescription] => Find my upcoming travel plans over at Dopplr and a listing of major (and some minor) travelogues over on the travelogues section. [iOrder] => 1 [iActive] => 1 [tType] => article [tTemplateName] => default [iFeatured] => 0 [iPrimary] => 1 ) ) [flickrTag] => 20160317 ) [5483] => Array ( [iID] => 5483 [tTitle] => European Christmas tour [tSlug] => european-christmas-tour [iTime] => 1389135600 [iUpdate] => 1389135600 [tDescription] => Six weeks of Europe in a series of short impressions. Sweden In Stockholm, Wednesday is called ‘little Saturday’. Young students can get into clubs that on Friday and Saturday are off limits to under 21s. Apparently, this started as the night out for domestic maids, young women out on the town on their day off, with he local youth chasing tail. My airbnb host not only was a distant relative of Max Von Sydow, but also has one of the most infamous Swedes as a grandparent. Hungary Instead of Holland’s Saint Nicholas, with his Black Peter helpers, central Europe is more familiar with Krampus, a goat-like creature who punishes children during the christmas season who have misbehaved. Although Saint Nicholas also awards well behaving children, Krampus captures particularly naughty children in his sack and carries them away to his lair. Meanwhile, Budapest is changing into a culinary capital of gastronomic adventures. Germany Cologne is the gay capital of Germany, exemplified by the ubiquitous presence of gay-themed stores around the office of my host in downtown Cologne. This is such a big thing that there’s even a gay-themed weinachtsmarkt in downtown Cologne. Belgium If Brussels still is the cheaper sibling of Paris, I feel sad for how high prices in Paris must be now. Netherlands 12 stores later, I splurged. I’ve denounced non-Apple products and am now an Apple fanboi. All I now need is the upcoming iPad Pro. To compensate for my excessive splurge, I added a 3.45 euro case from Aldi. Ireland A family visit for Christmas with a healthy sprinkling of absinthe jelly. England A day late for the ferry being cancelled due to high winds, I only had some 12 hours to get cosy with old friends. Then, as if the universe was conspiring to tell me something, my bus to Stansted had broken down. English train stations are sad facsimiles of their former glory, sadly dilapidated, a shadow of their former selves. Before flying out of Stansted, I stayed at a friend’s parents’ place in the town of Bishop’s Stortford, birthplace of Cecil John Rhodes. Italy A wonderful reception, a superb house party, and a rave suited to insecure twentysomethings, which should have been avoided. Raw horse meat sandwiches, farinata with blocks of cheese, and just too much good food and drink. Turkey A run through town on a long layover, paid for by Turkish Airlines. [iCategory] => 12 [tURL] => [iViews] => 5629 [iClicks] => 0 [iRating] => 0 [iVote] => 0 [iVoters] => 0 [iRedirect] => 0 [tISBN] => [iLocation] => 1274 [iOldID] => [tCover] => [iAccess] => 1461971427 [iHot] => 0 [tTemplateName] => default [iHideMap] => 0 [iForSale] => 0 [iImages] => 100 [iFullImage] => 0 [fLatitude] => 44.8052 [fLongitude] => 10.3263 [tLocation] => Palazzo della Pilotta [iPrimaryCategoryFeatured] => 0 [tCategory] => Blog [iCategoryFeatured] => 0 [iPrimaryCategory] => 12 [categories] => Array ( [12] => Array ( [iID] => 12 [tName] => Blog [tSlug] => blog [tDescription] => Find my upcoming travel plans over at Dopplr and a listing of major (and some minor) travelogues over on the travelogues section. [iOrder] => 1 [iActive] => 1 [tType] => article [tTemplateName] => default [iFeatured] => 0 [iPrimary] => 1 ) ) [flickrTag] => 20140108 ) [5251] => Array ( [iID] => 5251 [tTitle] => Getting ribbed [tSlug] => getting-ribbed [iTime] => 1309903200 [iUpdate] => 1309903200 [tDescription] => Attending a talk and panel discussion featuring Evgeny Morozov, who wrote the acclaimed The Net Delusion: The Dark Side of Internet Freedom in Amsterdam at Pakhuis de Zwijger, it was nice to meet a few old acquaintances. The talk and discussion, on to what extent tools like Facebook and Twitter really aid democracy movements in repressed societies, was mildly interesting. Morozov's claim is that the net effect of these tools is negative, as these repressive governments are as good or better at abusing the tools, say to identify the ringleaders, as protesters are at using them. Whether this is really true or not is, of course, impossible to prove, but that Twitter and Facebook, or rather, the expertise of using these tools, has advantages as well as disadvantages, is a truism if ever I heard one, which makes it hard to argue against. Later, I also met up with a bunch of Veti, old boys from my fraternity. We went for dinner at the rather excellent Kaat Mossel, in Rotterdam, after going for the RIB experience . I *thought* I shot a video of our ride, but somehow, it was a fail. There's plenty on YouTube, though. Later, a short stop in Ireland saw me reunited with my missus and her family, the return trip to Holland being a bit of a challenge, having to leave the house at 1130 at night to catch a 730 plane from Dublin to Eindhoven, Bus Aerann running on a limited schedule during the night. Back in holland, during the few days before our journey to Hungary, Delft, Rotterdam and Amsterdam were enjoyed with, in Amsterdam, a lovely reunion between ourselves and Fe, on a short stopover in this nation's capital. [iCategory] => 12 [tURL] => [iViews] => 2910 [iClicks] => 0 [iRating] => 0 [iVote] => 0 [iVoters] => 0 [iRedirect] => 0 [tISBN] => [iLocation] => 734 [iOldID] => [tCover] => [iAccess] => 1462151919 [iHot] => 0 [tTemplateName] => default [iHideMap] => 0 [iForSale] => 0 [iImages] => 30 [iFullImage] => 0 [fLatitude] => 51.9926 [fLongitude] => 4.35874 [tLocation] => Bot-Boender residence [iPrimaryCategoryFeatured] => 0 [tCategory] => Blog [iCategoryFeatured] => 0 [iPrimaryCategory] => 12 [categories] => Array ( [12] => Array ( [iID] => 12 [tName] => Blog [tSlug] => blog [tDescription] => Find my upcoming travel plans over at Dopplr and a listing of major (and some minor) travelogues over on the travelogues section. [iOrder] => 1 [iActive] => 1 [tType] => article [tTemplateName] => default [iFeatured] => 0 [iPrimary] => 1 ) ) [flickrTag] => 20110706 ) [5225] => Array ( [iID] => 5225 [tTitle] => The great escape [tSlug] => the-great-escape [iTime] => 1307743200 [iUpdate] => 1307743200 [tDescription] => When I returned from Salone to Europe in November last year, I primarily felt relief for being back in civilization, for all its amenities, despite all its drawbacks. Now, coming back for the summer, the primary feeling, at least the first few days, was bewilderment. Over the last six months, the dire state of Salone affairs has really sunk in. Sitting in the bus from Heathrow to Brighton, I realised that any one square kilometer of the UK will have at least scores, but more likely hundreds or even thousands of features that all, individually, would be considered extraordinary in Sierra Leone. Metal meshed fencing, identifiable bus stops, manicured lawns, traffic signs, cultivated trees, let alone the variety and cost effectiveness of what's on sale, or anything that's related to service delivery, or the regular trappings of a developed society. Count your blessings. Our biggest event over the last two months was the (excellent!) fishmonger Fish Meets Land opening shortly after I came back from Uganda. Now, at least, we can by good, cleaned, fish at a decent price. Standing in downtown Delft, there are perhaps a few dozen places, within a radius of 1km, where you can buy good, cleaned, fish. Todd and Felicia let me sleep on their couch for a few days in Brighton (which, incidentally, was more comfortable than our bed in Salone) and, like last year, I was salivating over the speed of their internet connection. For 13 pounds per month, they get a connection which is consistently reliable, but nothing fancy at European standards, and is 24 times faster than what Niamh's organization, Goal, pays 200 times as much for. Indeed, that is not a typo. Goal pay 200 times as much for a connection that allows for only 4% of the speed. And they are not, at Sierra Leonean standards, being overcharged. In Brighton, at the discounter Primark, similar to H&M, but for both sexes, I bought two (cheap) pairs of pants as hand washing in Africa kills clothing quickly, for about 8 pounds each. Late last year, clothing stores don't really exist in Salone, I bought a pair of pants *on the street* for about the same price. My seller actually had a small stand on the downtown's outdoor market, but if you have the time, you can keep your eyes open when driving around town. Sooner or later, some bloke will walk by with a few dozen jeans stacked on his head. I *suspect* that some of these sellers get their goods very cheaply from China, somehow, but I *think* that the pair of pants I bought actually were a second hand (European?) pair, one of the very few of the seller's stack that appeared to fit me (and turned out to be both too short and too wide). I left my pair in Brighton and it will be recycled yet again, probably returning to Africa in the future and being resold yet again on the streets of some sad capital. For a price at which I can get a decent enough pair of pants in Europe. Zambia misses out Not being able to read the news in Salone, it turns out that one of the casualties of the Dutch right wing's government's refocusing and culling of development aid is Zambia. Not only will they now lose out on a yearly 43 million euros of development aid, Holland is also closing its Lusaka embassy next year. It seems Banda, Zambia's president, claiming he's a big boy now, has its consequences. I'm blue The Delft tourist bureau not only runs a foursquare special, they also have a sweet gizmo that puts your head on a plate.
I'm blue
I haven't indulged yet, even though I got to town today, a market day. I did get a decent amount of cigars but, very sadly, my favorite tobacconist, Th. van Domburg, closed up shop only a few weeks ago, after the owner passed away late last year. Sound quality In this world of iPod docks, I was ready to now also chuck my 43cm Kenwood stereo set components and Bose speakers bought a painful, what, twenty years ago. I hauled them from my parents' basement to check whether they were still working before putting them up for sale (or giveaway) on eBay, only to discover a sound quality making any iPod dock I've ever heard into a total and utter farce. Maybe I should hold on to them slightly longer. Hm. What is left for me to get rid of? Chip in Japan Shortly after the Japan earthquake, Pixel8 released an excellent compilation of chip tunes where the generated income went to support the relief effort in Japan. Supporters could (and still can) give as much as they wanted and as the takings slowly increased, more tracks were added to the collection of songs, currently totaling an impressive 700MB of songs. Chip tunes are songs made with 8 bit computers, such as the Game Boy or Commodore 64. Indeed, listening to a decent chip tune is like discovering the unreleased vaults of Rob Hubbard. [iCategory] => 12 [tURL] => [iViews] => 3403 [iClicks] => 0 [iRating] => 0 [iVote] => 0 [iVoters] => 0 [iRedirect] => 0 [tISBN] => [iLocation] => 734 [iOldID] => [tCover] => [iAccess] => 1462201799 [iHot] => 0 [tTemplateName] => default [iHideMap] => 0 [iForSale] => 0 [iImages] => 4 [iFullImage] => 0 [fLatitude] => 51.9926 [fLongitude] => 4.35874 [tLocation] => Bot-Boender residence [iPrimaryCategoryFeatured] => 0 [tCategory] => Blog [iCategoryFeatured] => 0 [iPrimaryCategory] => 12 [categories] => Array ( [12] => Array ( [iID] => 12 [tName] => Blog [tSlug] => blog [tDescription] => Find my upcoming travel plans over at Dopplr and a listing of major (and some minor) travelogues over on the travelogues section. [iOrder] => 1 [iActive] => 1 [tType] => article [tTemplateName] => default [iFeatured] => 0 [iPrimary] => 1 ) ) [flickrTag] => 20110611 ) [5036] => Array ( [iID] => 5036 [tTitle] => Coming up for air [tSlug] => coming-up-for-air [iTime] => 1290726000 [iUpdate] => 1290726000 [tDescription] => The Casablanca airport looks like any other European airport, but though the girls working there are clearly Moroccan, the men could easily be confused for Italians. Unfortunately, though overall quite efficient, getting through customs and immigration for departure was awfully slow. Because of the sizable Sierra Leonean population in the UK, flights on BMI, around Christmas, going against the flow, come at a discount. Flying at the right times will get you from Freetown to London, and back, for 700 USD. Unfortunately, my desired dates didn't fit and I had to go through Morocco, to save because of Niamh and mine upcoming holiday there, the total cost of my journey, from Freetown to Amsterdam, ended up being around 850 euro. Add to that the cost of getting to and from the airport in Freetown, a cool 40 USD each way, and you're well on your way to bankruptcy. And the Royal Air Maroc flight leaves at... 430am. With the last shuttle leaving at 11pm. The joys. Outside of the airport terminal in Casablanca, arriving in the early morning, the morning was bright, blue and shrouded in a crispy cold. After the singeing heat of Freetown, a welcome change. Holland, on the other end, was cold and wet, with the cold getting into my bones immediately after disembarking from the AirArabia flight. First stop: Burger King, to wolf down a Whopper. In Holland In Holland, though cold, after only three days of work, I was able to do more than what I would have been able to do in some three weeks in Freetown. Overall, the excellent connectivity, as well as the availability of whatever I fancied, made me realise I was mentally re-inflating during my first few days back. Then again, having done the bulk of the work, I also quickly started to long again for warmer climes, resulting in my getting a cheap ticket to Malta for a few days. Freetown online in 2012 Getting conclusive information about the future is challenging in most of Africa and more difficult in some places than others. Whenever the 'new' undersea (internet) cable will come online for Sierra Leone, no-one seems to really know, and trying to search for that information online, while in Freetown, is like wading through a barrel of honey. And not even tasty. So perhaps that should be like wading through a barrel of sludge, which also sums up the joy felt with browsing the web in Sierra Leone. Nevertheless, the current estimate for Freetown coming online, unequivocally, is the second quarter of 2012. More here and in the image below.
Sub-saharan Undersea Cables in 2012 - maybe (version 23)
Indeed, no chance of connectivity getting better while Niamh and I are still based there. Pesky foreigners Talking to the owner of the gym I go to in Delft, he mentioned that since they installed a video surveillance system which included coverage of the bicycle parking area, they caught four guys stealing bikes. "And it's always these foreign looking individuals." ("En het zijn altijd van die buitenlandse types.") Was that an invitation to pick up an extra bike? [iCategory] => 12 [tURL] => [iViews] => 2725 [iClicks] => 0 [iRating] => 0 [iVote] => 0 [iVoters] => 0 [iRedirect] => 0 [tISBN] => [iLocation] => 734 [iOldID] => [tCover] => [iAccess] => 1462214523 [iHot] => 0 [tTemplateName] => default [iHideMap] => 0 [iForSale] => 0 [iImages] => 0 [iFullImage] => 0 [fLatitude] => 51.9926 [fLongitude] => 4.35874 [tLocation] => Bot-Boender residence [iPrimaryCategoryFeatured] => 0 [tCategory] => Blog [iCategoryFeatured] => 0 [iPrimaryCategory] => 12 [categories] => Array ( [12] => Array ( [iID] => 12 [tName] => Blog [tSlug] => blog [tDescription] => Find my upcoming travel plans over at Dopplr and a listing of major (and some minor) travelogues over on the travelogues section. [iOrder] => 1 [iActive] => 1 [tType] => article [tTemplateName] => default [iFeatured] => 0 [iPrimary] => 1 ) ) [flickrTag] => 20101126 ) [5001] => Array ( [iID] => 5001 [tTitle] => One generation [tSlug] => one-generation [iTime] => 1287352800 [iUpdate] => 1287352800 [tDescription] => My father died in late 2005. He had been in Iran for some 26 years, while I wasn't, only occasionally having been in contact over that period. Because I was born in Iran, though having a Dutch passport, my Iranian legal status was a bit murky. As this specifically related to my potentially having to enlist in the army, upon entering the country without the proper paperwork in place, 'just' going over for a visit wasn't much of an option. I started getting the paperwork in order a few years before my father died. This required, first, having a pre-revolution Iranian birth certificate converted to a modern one, then acquiring Iranian identity papers, which then allowed me to get the right papers for visiting Iran, minimizing the risk of being detained upon arrival or, indeed, having to enlist. After I was set to go, having planned my trip for January 2006, my father's aunt called me in November 2005, saying my father had fallen ill and had been admitted to hospital. I bought a plane ticket and went to Iran, arriving a few days after said call. My father died the day before I arrived and I effectively went over to bury him, which was probably the most emotional event in my life. During this period and for a while after, I wrote a series of letters to my father, in Dutch. Amongst my father's few possessions were a few hundred photos, almost all rather old, dating back at least to his own military service, with a few possibly even older. Most of the photos were shot during the 1960s, though there were probably quite a few shot during the 1970s. A lot of the photos I uploaded together with the 'letters to my father'. Additionally, I also added the photos I took myself during my four week visit in 2005. The photos from 2005 I have now, finally, moved to Flickr (or rather, my current slow internet connection allows me to upload a few per day), complementing some of the first photos I ever put up on Flickr, being pictures from my second trip to Iran in 2006. Almost all the photos my dad had I have now incorporated into the matrix you see below.
One generation
Asking the few people I could, it was rather impossible to make heads or tails of my father's eclectic collection of pictures, though quite a few of them contain identifiable landmarks and some contain recognizable individuals. Most of the pictures were slides, with many of the slides never having been put into a frame. The quality of many of the slides had deteriorated significantly. For the matrix of photos on this page, I took the collection of pictures and constructed something of a narrative, putting the photos in rough chronological order, starting with, what I think is, my father's time at school, or perhaps university, followed by his military service, being greeted by Shah Reza Pahlavi. This is followed, first by some photos of my father's sisters and then by a large series of group photos. This is followed by pictures from some kind of world fair in Iran and touristic images of Persepolis and Esfahan. The focus then shifts to work-related images. My father was a civil engineer, and several of the images relate to waterworks, seemingly both in Iran and, probably, in the Netherlands. Then, images of my father with, what might have been, a Dutch love interest, not my mom, taken in, probably, Rotterdam and, perhaps, de Keukenhof. This is followed by photos of my mom and dad at Madurodam. After this, there's a series of images taken on what seems to have been touristic outings to Scandinavia, Hamburg, Berlin, Saarbruecken and London, before the story returns to Delft. Most of the last row is taken up by photos of myself as a kid, pictures sent to my father after my parents' divorce. The last photo was taken in Saarbruecken. Next to me are one of my father's brothers, his wife and their kid. The 484 photos, from start to finish, roughly run through one generation. Starting with my dad and finishing with myself, both roughly at the same age when the first and last photos were taken. [iCategory] => 10 [tURL] => [iViews] => 3764 [iClicks] => 855 [iRating] => 0 [iVote] => 0 [iVoters] => 0 [iRedirect] => 0 [tISBN] => [iLocation] => 1018 [iOldID] => [tCover] => [iAccess] => 1462232521 [iHot] => 0 [tTemplateName] => default [iHideMap] => 0 [iForSale] => 1 [iImages] => 1 [iFullImage] => 0 [fLatitude] => 8.47522 [fLongitude] => -13.27 [tLocation] => Home [iPrimaryCategoryFeatured] => 0 [tCategory] => Photography [iCategoryFeatured] => 0 [iPrimaryCategory] => 10 [categories] => Array ( [10] => Array ( [iID] => 10 [tName] => Photography [tSlug] => photography [tDescription] => All my photos worth looking at reside on Flickr. Check out what Flickr thinks are my more interesting products and notice that most of them are of a sexual nature.

Also check out my blog listing the world's photomarathons. [iOrder] => 4 [iActive] => 1 [tType] => article [tTemplateName] => thumbnailed [iFeatured] => 0 [iPrimary] => 1 ) ) [flickrTag] => bf:blogitem=5001 ) [4894] => Array ( [iID] => 4894 [tTitle] => iPad, therefore iAm [tSlug] => ipad-therefore-iam [iTime] => 1279922400 [iUpdate] => 1279922400 [tDescription] => Booyeah! Baba has an iPad. And he saw it was good. Even though T-mobile, when the sim card I was given didn't work, didn't even consider helping me out, directing me back to the store where I bought the device. There, we discovered that, at least for using the T-mobile prepaid sim card in an iPad in the Netherlands, you need to set the APN to 'internet' and the username and password to 'tmobile'. It's possible that if you leave your iPad connected to iTunes long enough, it might automatically update the settings, but out of the box it won't work otherwise. I first virtually flagellated myself for buying a corded Apple keyboard, last year, in stead of a cordless, but I was able to stop the flagellation soon after. I didn't by the cordless because that one is smaller, more compact, and it's nice to be able to type on a full fledged keyboard. Turns out I managed to get my five, or more, year old foldable bluetooth keyboard working with the iPad. It even has a stand, designed for a smartphone, but who cares, which I can use. More booyeah! I wasn't very happy with the cost of sleeves Apple has on offer. I ended up buying a nice sleeve in the shape of a manilla envelope for 10 euros at the TU Boekhandel Prins, as opposed to the 45 euros, and up, Apple tries to charge its customers. Even more booyeah! Taking the opportunity of being in town, I scored more noms in the shape of fried, as well as raw, fish and ice cream. Surprised at the  high cost of a cone at possibly one of the Netherlands' best ice cream parlors, van Bokhoven (who don't have a website!), I decided to show them who's boss and try out De Delftse IJssalon (though their official name seems to be IJslokaal l'Acrobaleno), located on the market square. The price turned out to be pretty much the same and it was their whipped cream, not their ice cream which was their best asset. But even that didn't top the whipped cream from van Bokhoven. Though decent, it had a, only slightly, unpleasant aftertaste. In the last week or so, yet another ice cream parlor opened in Delft, also on the market square. This one called Otelli, it has its ice cream buffet inside the store, which probably means they don't stand a chance in the long run. [iCategory] => 12 [tURL] => [iViews] => 3167 [iClicks] => 0 [iRating] => 0 [iVote] => 0 [iVoters] => 0 [iRedirect] => 0 [tISBN] => [iLocation] => 734 [iOldID] => [tCover] => [iAccess] => 1462144425 [iHot] => 0 [tTemplateName] => default [iHideMap] => 0 [iForSale] => 0 [iImages] => 0 [iFullImage] => 0 [fLatitude] => 51.9926 [fLongitude] => 4.35874 [tLocation] => Bot-Boender residence [iPrimaryCategoryFeatured] => 0 [tCategory] => Blog [iCategoryFeatured] => 0 [iPrimaryCategory] => 12 [categories] => Array ( [12] => Array ( [iID] => 12 [tName] => Blog [tSlug] => blog [tDescription] => Find my upcoming travel plans over at Dopplr and a listing of major (and some minor) travelogues over on the travelogues section. [iOrder] => 1 [iActive] => 1 [tType] => article [tTemplateName] => default [iFeatured] => 0 [iPrimary] => 1 ) ) [flickrTag] => 20100724 ) [4856] => Array ( [iID] => 4856 [tTitle] => Tourists in Delft [tSlug] => tourists-in-delft [iTime] => 1277589600 [iUpdate] => 1277589600 [tDescription] => The brochure accompanying visits to the old and new church in Delft comments on the mausoleum of Prince William of Orange, the father of the fatherland who was murdered in the Prinsenhof in Delft: "[The bronze figures on the corners of the prince's mausoleum] represent the four ideals which predominated in our country from the beginning of the seventeenth century. Freedom of thought, freedom of religion and a system of government without persecution or violence." These two sentences define exactly why the Netherlands is such a great country. Or rather, was, though the brochure continues with "Even in later centuries, these values were characteristic of our country". Be that as it may, this is currently most certainly not the case, with the sad man that is Geert Wilders and the extensive support he received in the most recent elections. Niamh and I were in Delft, enjoying the excellent weather, visiting some touristy sites as well as eating some excellent foods, including Persian at Coco Bango in The Hague and Surinamese at Warung Mini in Rotterdam. After nearly breaking a leg in Tanzania, I did manage to get Niamh back on a bike and we cycled all over town, including through the suburb that has all the TU Delft faculties. To my great surprise, the main road going through the area has been taken out, having been replaced by grassy knolls running almost the whole stretch from town, along the campus. In the early summer sun, an extremely pleasant vista. Also the Delftse Hout has been considerably remapped since the last time I visited. On our last night, we did the customary drinks at 't Klooster, though only three die hards showed up. We had the barman surprise us with beers of his choosing, which resulted in several very strong brews and a broken homecoming. A good thing our flight left rather late the next day. In fact, having misremembered our departure time, we were extremely early, for a change, allowing us to bask in the sun in front of the Eindhoven airport terminal. Ryanair is now charging 15 euros for checked in luggage, so we saw most travelers walking around with only hand luggage. Not that Ryanair is flexible with that either, though, allowing a maximum of 10 kilos and only one bag to be taken on board. Then again, this is, in turn, better than Transavia. Though they allow for 20 kilos of checked in luggage, only allowing 5 kilos to be taken on board as hand luggage. It must be the joys of European low cost air travel. After our debauchery at 't Klooster, a snackattack was in order. We stopped at Alev's, where Niamh could satisfy her love for kroketten before we shared a recent invention from Rotterdam, the kapsalon. A kapsalon is a layer of chips, fries, a layer of donner meat and a layer of salad, topped with grilled cheese. It was my first time and I was not impressed. Particularly the meat was too dry. Then again, the kapsalon also probably saved me from a nasty hangover the next day. [iCategory] => 12 [tURL] => [iViews] => 3536 [iClicks] => 0 [iRating] => 0 [iVote] => 0 [iVoters] => 0 [iRedirect] => 0 [tISBN] => [iLocation] => 994 [iOldID] => [tCover] => [iAccess] => 1462143175 [iHot] => 0 [tTemplateName] => default [iHideMap] => 0 [iForSale] => 0 [iImages] => 15 [iFullImage] => 0 [fLatitude] => 52.0119 [fLongitude] => 4.3593 [tLocation] => De Markt [iPrimaryCategoryFeatured] => 0 [tCategory] => Blog [iCategoryFeatured] => 0 [iPrimaryCategory] => 12 [categories] => Array ( [12] => Array ( [iID] => 12 [tName] => Blog [tSlug] => blog [tDescription] => Find my upcoming travel plans over at Dopplr and a listing of major (and some minor) travelogues over on the travelogues section. [iOrder] => 1 [iActive] => 1 [tType] => article [tTemplateName] => default [iFeatured] => 0 [iPrimary] => 1 ) ) [flickrTag] => 20100627 ) [5521] => Array ( [iID] => 5521 [tTitle] => Memes [tSlug] => memes [iTime] => 1264633200 [iUpdate] => 1516123941 [tDescription] => One-off gags and jokes. [iCategory] => 6 [tURL] => [iViews] => 6511 [iClicks] => 488 [iRating] => 0 [iVote] => 0 [iVoters] => 0 [iRedirect] => 0 [tISBN] => [iLocation] => 1140 [iOldID] => [tCover] => [iAccess] => 1462144575 [iHot] => 0 [tTemplateName] => sparse [iHideMap] => 1 [iForSale] => 0 [iImages] => 19 [iFullImage] => 1 [fLatitude] => 0.29893 [fLongitude] => 32.6227 [tLocation] => GOAL apartments [iPrimaryCategoryFeatured] => 0 [tCategory] => Own stuff [iCategoryFeatured] => 0 [iPrimaryCategory] => 6 [categories] => Array ( [6] => Array ( [iID] => 6 [tName] => Own stuff [tSlug] => own-stuff [tDescription] => Erich Fromm said that "creativity requires the courage to let go of certainties" and, without giving freedom to my creativity, I'd die. [iOrder] => 2 [iActive] => 1 [tType] => article [tTemplateName] => sparse [iFeatured] => 0 [iPrimary] => 1 ) ) [flickrTag] => bf:blogitem=5521 ) [4301] => Array ( [iID] => 4301 [tTitle] => [tSlug] => j-walk-co-za [iTime] => 1234825200 [iUpdate] => 1516123619 [tDescription] => J-walk is a multi-level interactive tour of Johannesburg, which incorporates a walking tour, mobile phone tour and online tour of the city. J-walk bridges the gap between the physical and virtual worlds, with the objective of making locally relevant information accessible from a single repository. Multi-level refers to the fact that the tour will be available through multiple channels and platforms: + Walking tour, + Interactive mobile phone based tour using 3G technologies, + Interactive online tour using state of the art mapping tools. For the mobile phone based tour of the city, QR codes will be distributed around town in the locations highlighted by J-walk. A QR code is a two dimensional bar code. With a small bit of software installed on a cell phone which has a camera and internet access, taking a picture of the QR code will direct the user to a web page with information about the location. You can read more about J-walk on the blog. J-walk will be on show at the Johannesburg Art Fair Special Project - Art for Online Spaces. It's also listed on a website focused on internet art in the global south (as is Soweto uprisings . com by the way). J-walk was dreamt up by myself, and Ismail Farouk. Update (6 Apr 2015): Discontinued.  Update (18 Apr 2010)Delft is now also on j-walk. Next time I'm in town, I'll guerilla market some 2D barcodes around the city. The j-walk for Delft also replaces the city tour for Delft I created in 2004. Update (16 Aug 2009): You can now use your cellphone to get a guided tour of Chiang Mai, in the north of Thailand. Of course, a web interface is also provided. [iCategory] => 6 [tURL] => [iViews] => 10321 [iClicks] => 602 [iRating] => 0 [iVote] => 0 [iVoters] => 0 [iRedirect] => 0 [tISBN] => [iLocation] => 911 [iOldID] => 3945 [tCover] => [iAccess] => 1462238099 [iHot] => 0 [tTemplateName] => sparse [iHideMap] => 1 [iForSale] => 0 [iImages] => 0 [iFullImage] => 1 [fLatitude] => -26.1407 [fLongitude] => 27.9941 [tLocation] => The Buxt residence [iPrimaryCategoryFeatured] => 0 [tCategory] => Own stuff [iCategoryFeatured] => 0 [iPrimaryCategory] => 6 [categories] => Array ( [6] => Array ( [iID] => 6 [tName] => Own stuff [tSlug] => own-stuff [tDescription] => Erich Fromm said that "creativity requires the courage to let go of certainties" and, without giving freedom to my creativity, I'd die. [iOrder] => 2 [iActive] => 1 [tType] => article [tTemplateName] => sparse [iFeatured] => 0 [iPrimary] => 1 ) ) [flickrTag] => bf:blogitem=3945 ) [727] => Array ( [iID] => 727 [tTitle] => Spead freak [tSlug] => spead-freak [iTime] => 1208642400 [iUpdate] => 1208642400 [tDescription] => The past week, visiting Holland, I've been running around more than the squirrel Hammy from Over the Hedge on a good day. Both work, HDN as well as my own, and then meeting old friends because, when you visit your home country once or twice a year, there really can be a lot to talk about. Last year, a childhood friend tracked me down with whom I'm now in quite regular contact. Just a few weeks ago, a second childhood friend tracked me down. Obviously, these mega popular social networks are at least good for something. In both cases, we'd hung out a lot, as kids, but lost track some 20 years ago. Twenty years! Obviously meaning that I'm really an old man, now. What's possibly more surprising, in both cases, is the ease with which communication and, I suppose, mutual understanding, was picked up again. Apparently, our early years have a strong effect on defining who we are as human beings. We might give shape to our values and our way of life during our teenage and early twenty-something years, but it seems the underlying emotional landscape acts on a more basic level and allows for stronger and more understanding connections. Crab walk! Taking a crab walk back to Bangkok, I'm flying through Johannesburg, threefour times, before heading back out east. First to get to Harare, then to get to Lusaka, then to get back to Harare and then back to Bangkok. I'm supposed to be giving trainings for HDN in all three locations, but will also spend some time on my own projects. Specifically, in Johannesburg, I'll do some work on, a social news portal, which is set to be launched on May 5th, Karl Marx' birthday. And in Harare, I'll do work for SAfAIDS. And, of course, I'll be visiting Rouzeh in Harare. In Harare, I'm set to stay at the the Small World lodge. Indeed, the same lodge/hostel where we stayed in 2004. A night's stay currently comes in at a respectable Yes, that's two billion Zimdollars. Well, that was the price a week ago. Meanwhile, in Zimbabe, they started to recount the presidential votecount yesterday. Mugabe seems to hope that, as the election process drags out, it will be given less and less coverage in the international press and he'll be able to get away with whatever it is he's planning for. Which could be quite something, as a Chinese ship with arms, destined for Zimbabwe, ended up being stuck in Durban, South Africa, yesterday, after local dockworkers refused to offload the ship's cargo. So far, Zimbabwe has remained surprisingly calm. Let's hope things stay that way. [iCategory] => 12 [tURL] => [iViews] => 3556 [iClicks] => 0 [iRating] => 0 [iVote] => 0 [iVoters] => 0 [iRedirect] => 0 [tISBN] => [iLocation] => 126 [iOldID] => 1100 [tCover] => [iAccess] => 1462224066 [iHot] => 0 [tTemplateName] => default [iHideMap] => 0 [iForSale] => 0 [iImages] => 0 [iFullImage] => 0 [fLatitude] => -17.8031 [fLongitude] => 31.0296 [tLocation] => Small World Backpackers Lodge [iPrimaryCategoryFeatured] => 0 [tCategory] => Blog [iCategoryFeatured] => 0 [iPrimaryCategory] => 12 [categories] => Array ( [12] => Array ( [iID] => 12 [tName] => Blog [tSlug] => blog [tDescription] => Find my upcoming travel plans over at Dopplr and a listing of major (and some minor) travelogues over on the travelogues section. [iOrder] => 1 [iActive] => 1 [tType] => article [tTemplateName] => default [iFeatured] => 0 [iPrimary] => 1 ) ) [flickrTag] => 20080420 ) [553] => Array ( [iID] => 553 [tTitle] => (No) vindication [tSlug] => no-vindication [iTime] => 1182808800 [iUpdate] => 1182808800 [tDescription] => There's a pub quiz on Thursdays in the 'UN Irish pub', here in Chiang Mai. So far, we've tried in twice and on both occasions didn't do too badly. Then again, our asses were kicked on both occasions by teams who did much, much better. So we figured we'd try out the Tuesday quiz at 'The Olde Bell'. Certainly more mellow, we were unpleasantly surprised when three of the stronger teams from the Thursday also turned out to participate here. Again we didn't do too bad. But we came in last. And I've been vindicated a tiny little bit. The local newspaper Delft op Zondag, in which, incidentally, I've by now been mentioned several times, most recently in relation to my trip to Afghanistan, ran a small article mentioning that the planned online database with public art in the Dutch city of Delft had already been 'done' on my website In the words of Cuba Gooding Jr.: "Show me the money!" Google docs overhaul I'm an avid user of Google docs, to the point where I practically never use a desktop office suite anymore. Already years ago I moved from MS Office to, but for the last year or so, I 've been all over Google's office suite. Last night, I was working on a document in Google docs. Just now, I was going to continue and found the Google docs interface completely changed. It's smokin'! But still no presentations (like Powerpoint). [iCategory] => 12 [tURL] => [iViews] => 3735 [iClicks] => 0 [iRating] => 0 [iVote] => 0 [iVoters] => 0 [iRedirect] => 0 [tISBN] => [iLocation] => 548 [iOldID] => 924 [tCover] => [iAccess] => 1462105530 [iHot] => 0 [tTemplateName] => default [iHideMap] => 0 [iForSale] => 0 [iImages] => 0 [iFullImage] => 0 [fLatitude] => 18.7847 [fLongitude] => 98.9947 [tLocation] => The Olde Bell [iPrimaryCategoryFeatured] => 0 [tCategory] => Blog [iCategoryFeatured] => 0 [iPrimaryCategory] => 12 [categories] => Array ( [12] => Array ( [iID] => 12 [tName] => Blog [tSlug] => blog [tDescription] => Find my upcoming travel plans over at Dopplr and a listing of major (and some minor) travelogues over on the travelogues section. [iOrder] => 1 [iActive] => 1 [tType] => article [tTemplateName] => default [iFeatured] => 0 [iPrimary] => 1 ) ) [flickrTag] => 20070626 ) [550] => Array ( [iID] => 550 [tTitle] => Grumble [tSlug] => grumble [iTime] => 1182204000 [iUpdate] => 1182204000 [tDescription] => we had an earthquake today. Nothing fancy, the walls only shook a little bit. Art My mom sent me a copy of an article from a local Dutch newspaper today. The Delft municipality is paying for an online user driven database of art in public spaces. Have you heard that before? Well, if you've known me for a while, you should have:, where I added Delft in March 2003! No doubt, they're spending thousands of euros to get a website up and running which, according to the article, won't be going live until October this year. I'm a bit annoyed about this since this is the second time I'm being passed over for supplying functionality I've already created which, as a result will be recreated from scratch at what, undoubtedly, will be several times my cost. Years ago, at the time when went live, I discussed the possibility of facilitating the municipality of Rotterdam with a system like this. They were very non-committal and 'kept me on a leash' with a lot of maybes. I decided to build my own when, shortly after, it turned out they had payed for their own system. Sure, it's a nice system, but that's mostly because of their access to the right information. Now, for Delft. A few years ago, I started of a discussion with several individuals in very different positions inside the municipality, all somehow related to public art and/or culture. I suppose to hedge my bets, in the hope that at least one of them would lead to me being able to expand for Delft, properly, and being payed for it. But then, too, a lot of maybes, postponements and whatnot, until I gave up. And now this. What's the lesson here? [iCategory] => 12 [tURL] => [iViews] => 3648 [iClicks] => 0 [iRating] => 0 [iVote] => 0 [iVoters] => 0 [iRedirect] => 0 [tISBN] => [iLocation] => 537 [iOldID] => 921 [tCover] => [iAccess] => 1462019007 [iHot] => 0 [tTemplateName] => default [iHideMap] => 0 [iForSale] => 0 [iImages] => 0 [iFullImage] => 0 [fLatitude] => 18.7942 [fLongitude] => 98.9928 [tLocation] => Tri Gong guest house [iPrimaryCategoryFeatured] => 0 [tCategory] => Blog [iCategoryFeatured] => 0 [iPrimaryCategory] => 12 [categories] => Array ( [12] => Array ( [iID] => 12 [tName] => Blog [tSlug] => blog [tDescription] => Find my upcoming travel plans over at Dopplr and a listing of major (and some minor) travelogues over on the travelogues section. [iOrder] => 1 [iActive] => 1 [tType] => article [tTemplateName] => default [iFeatured] => 0 [iPrimary] => 1 ) ) [flickrTag] => 20070619 ) [398] => Array ( [iID] => 398 [tTitle] => Brushes with fame? [tSlug] => brushes-with-fame [iTime] => 1137366000 [iUpdate] => 1137366000 [tDescription] => First of all, a belated happy new year. I know, I know, I'm not that active anymore on my blog. I suppose the main reason is that I don't have that much to say. Let's call it a "Blogger's block". Having said that, I *have* been putting my thoughts on paper (well, screen) in relation to my father passing away in November last year. I think it could be interesting enough for a book, were it not that I should put more thoughts on paper or screen to make for a reasonable amount of pages. Then again, maybe I'll publish it online instead, the big advantage being that, then, I can combine the text with many of the pictures. Pictures I took myself, but also some of the 700 or so I took with me from my father. Meanwhile, back in Delft, I already knew that Polle Eduard works out at Jan Koster, my fitness hang out for over ten years. Now, it turns out that yet another 'famous' musician from Delft also works out there. No other than Jodie Bernal! The poor guy doesn't even have a website, even though there's a totally crappy fan site out there. 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[iOrder] => 1 [iActive] => 1 [tType] => article [tTemplateName] => default [iFeatured] => 0 [iPrimary] => 1 ) ) [flickrTag] => 20060116 ) [381] => Array ( [iID] => 381 [tTitle] => Paris, Mons and home [tSlug] => paris-mons-and-home [iTime] => 1124402400 [iUpdate] => 1124402400 [tDescription] => A quick visit to Mons on the way back from Paris to Delft. Already in Paris, rain and clouds had convinced the sun to stay away for the day. An ingenious system of parasols and flexible gutters made sure we stayed dry even when staying out on the terrace on the grand place of Mons. I suppose compensation were the inflated prices of the moules-frites. [iCategory] => 12 [tURL] => [iViews] => 10447 [iClicks] => 0 [iRating] => 0 [iVote] => 15 [iVoters] => 4 [iRedirect] => 0 [tISBN] => [iLocation] => 375 [iOldID] => 723 [tCover] => [iAccess] => 1462175763 [iHot] => 0 [tTemplateName] => default [iHideMap] => 0 [iForSale] => 0 [iImages] => 0 [iFullImage] => 0 [fLatitude] => 48.9454 [fLongitude] => 2.47603 [tLocation] => Formule1 hotel near the northern peripherique [iPrimaryCategoryFeatured] => 0 [tCategory] => Blog [iCategoryFeatured] => 0 [iPrimaryCategory] => 12 [categories] => Array ( [12] => Array ( [iID] => 12 [tName] => Blog [tSlug] => blog [tDescription] => Find my upcoming travel plans over at Dopplr and a listing of major (and some minor) travelogues over on the travelogues section. [iOrder] => 1 [iActive] => 1 [tType] => article [tTemplateName] => default [iFeatured] => 0 [iPrimary] => 1 ) ) [flickrTag] => 20050819 ) [376] => Array ( [iID] => 376 [tTitle] => Hundreds of pictures and a new trip [tSlug] => hundreds-of-pictures-and-a-new-trip [iTime] => 1123970400 [iUpdate] => 1123970400 [tDescription] => Yeah. After 'struggling' in Afghanistan for over two months, I deserve a holiday, don't you think? So today, Betsy and I are driving to Bretagne and Normandy, in France. Just a couple of days to soak up some sunshine, get some cultures and enjoys some megalithic structures along the way. These past couple of days, I have been busy. Not so much with work, which I actually was hoping for (the work is there, but the clients aren't as, ehm, productive), but with getting the pictures from my tour in Afghanistan online. Early on, my card reader broke down (or more accurately, Lev somehow trashed it, didn't you Lev ;), so these past two months must have been very hard on my readers, all two of you. Off to Normandy We started driving late, the main reason being that I wanted to make sure I had done all the work I could, before leaving. It wouldn't reflect all that well on the clients if I, after being back in Holland for under a week, I would immediately run off again to some other country. After a quick stop, and an amazing brownie, in Brussels, we went on to France, after deciding we were going to try and make it to Caen, a village in Normandy. Years ago, I had just quit working for Procter & Gamble, but I was still living in Brussels, I had a temporary roommate, a student doing an internship at P&G, who told me I just HAD to visit Caen, on a weekend trip I did with my girlfriend to Le Mont Saint Michel. We never stopped in Caen, there are only so many days in a weekend, so I wanted to see that 'famous' city on this slightly longer trip. Traffic wasn't all that bad, also because we circumvented Paris, and we arrived in Caen at a reasonable time. Only to find all, and I mean ALL, hotels to be full. Asking one girl at a hotel reception, "Yes, all hotels along the Normany coast are booked". That didn't sound good. I called the youth hostel and they turned out to have some beds still available. If only we would show up before 9pm, less then half an hour away. After some racing, screeching to a halt in front of the gendarmerie to ask for directions, we found the place, arriving only five minutes late. [iCategory] => 12 [tURL] => [iViews] => 16567 [iClicks] => 0 [iRating] => 0 [iVote] => 48 [iVoters] => 17 [iRedirect] => 0 [tISBN] => [iLocation] => 5 [iOldID] => 718 [tCover] => [iAccess] => 1461976302 [iHot] => 0 [tTemplateName] => default [iHideMap] => 0 [iForSale] => 0 [iImages] => 0 [iFullImage] => 0 [fLatitude] => 52.0109 [fLongitude] => 4.33628 [tLocation] => Home [iPrimaryCategoryFeatured] => 0 [tCategory] => Blog [iCategoryFeatured] => 0 [iPrimaryCategory] => 12 [categories] => Array ( [12] => Array ( [iID] => 12 [tName] => Blog [tSlug] => blog [tDescription] => Find my upcoming travel plans over at Dopplr and a listing of major (and some minor) travelogues over on the travelogues section. [iOrder] => 1 [iActive] => 1 [tType] => article [tTemplateName] => default [iFeatured] => 0 [iPrimary] => 1 ) ) [flickrTag] => 20050814 ) [336] => Array ( [iID] => 336 [tTitle] => Warm weather [tSlug] => warm-weather [iTime] => 1114898400 [iUpdate] => 1114898400 [tDescription] => Celebrating the queen's birthday on Saturday, we tried to catch a glimpse of her at Scheveningen, were she was supposed to show up. It appears she did, but we didn't notice. We DID enjoy several good games of Dancing Stage Fusion, which finally has made it to the game hall inside the Palace Promenade. Well, only, what, five years after its introduction. Betsy and I kicked a little bit of ass, but this one slim pre-teen kicked a lot. Today, we did some chillin' at the Delftse Hout, where Data had a lot of trouble finding Benno, Betsy and myself, lounging on the grass, taking sneak peeks at the boobs around us. Afterwards, Vahid and Karen showed up for dinner, where Betsy tried another of her interpretations of Afghani pilau. She did very well, indeed. [iCategory] => 12 [tURL] => [iViews] => 3054 [iClicks] => 0 [iRating] => 0 [iVote] => 0 [iVoters] => 0 [iRedirect] => 0 [tISBN] => [iLocation] => 231 [iOldID] => 612 [tCover] => [iAccess] => 1462049629 [iHot] => 0 [tTemplateName] => default [iHideMap] => 0 [iForSale] => 0 [iImages] => 0 [iFullImage] => 0 [fLatitude] => 52.0247 [fLongitude] => 4.37702 [tLocation] => Delftse Hout [iPrimaryCategoryFeatured] => 0 [tCategory] => Blog [iCategoryFeatured] => 0 [iPrimaryCategory] => 12 [categories] => Array ( [12] => Array ( [iID] => 12 [tName] => Blog [tSlug] => blog [tDescription] => Find my upcoming travel plans over at Dopplr and a listing of major (and some minor) travelogues over on the travelogues section. [iOrder] => 1 [iActive] => 1 [tType] => article [tTemplateName] => default [iFeatured] => 0 [iPrimary] => 1 ) ) [flickrTag] => 20050501 ) [333] => Array ( [iID] => 333 [tTitle] => The problem with me [tSlug] => the-problem-with-me [iTime] => 1113775200 [iUpdate] => 1113775200 [tDescription] => Being back in Holland, I figured it out. Although this might not be the first time I did, I did figure it out. My problem is that I want to live 10 lives. Well, maybe not 10, but 100. Ehm, maybe not 100, but many more. I think I've accepted life as temporary. I know I've had to accept youth is temporary. Yes, 31 is not old, at least to most 'modern' people in the world, but it's not 26, let alone 21, or even younger. But if life is temporary, our opportunities aren't limitless and our possibilities not endless. I won't be able to do at 60 what I'm able to do now, and even now, I can't do what I could 10 years ago. Hell, last week's party and alcohol proved that yet again. I can only do as much as possible in the time I am given (nice and poetic, innit?). So I go to Mongolia, I go to Zimbabwe, I go to Afghanistan, I hope to go to Iran. Because I can, but because I want to. Because if I wouldn't, I'd miss out, and going would mean I am able to get a glimpse of more lives, not just my own, the only one I would be enjoying if I would stay at home. I NEED to see, because I need to KNOW. What are these other lives I'm not living. What am I NOT experiencing? I can not live 10 lives, let alone 100. Some people try to live two, and don't even manage. At least I try to SEE all these lives. It is like getting a small glimpse of what is out there, the problems people face, the joys people have, the lives that are lived. Glimpses, fractions are almost nothing, but slightly more than nothing. Being back home in Delft, I'm happy to see my family again, to chill with my girlfriend. But at the same time I'm also already missing Kabul: The weather, the people, the streets and the mountains. [iCategory] => 12 [tURL] => [iViews] => 4902 [iClicks] => 0 [iRating] => 0 [iVote] => 0 [iVoters] => 0 [iRedirect] => 0 [tISBN] => [iLocation] => 5 [iOldID] => 599 [tCover] => [iAccess] => 1461977629 [iHot] => 0 [tTemplateName] => default [iHideMap] => 0 [iForSale] => 0 [iImages] => 0 [iFullImage] => 0 [fLatitude] => 52.0109 [fLongitude] => 4.33628 [tLocation] => Home [iPrimaryCategoryFeatured] => 0 [tCategory] => Blog [iCategoryFeatured] => 0 [iPrimaryCategory] => 12 [categories] => Array ( [12] => Array ( [iID] => 12 [tName] => Blog [tSlug] => blog [tDescription] => Find my upcoming travel plans over at Dopplr and a listing of major (and some minor) travelogues over on the travelogues section. [iOrder] => 1 [iActive] => 1 [tType] => article [tTemplateName] => default [iFeatured] => 0 [iPrimary] => 1 ) ) [flickrTag] => 20050418 ) [296] => Array ( [iID] => 296 [tTitle] => Only hours left [tSlug] => only-hours-left [iTime] => 1107471600 [iUpdate] => 1107471600 [tDescription] => Only hours left before departure, I could have known time wouldn't be on my side. Although I did decide to leave one week later as planned, I STILL have too much to do, most notably during these last two days. (I'm writing this quickly, so please excuse my spelling mistakes.) The long saga that is... Yes, indeed, I also spent time getting my Iranian passport, again. This time, however, it was very fruitful. I managed to hand over all the required documents, for a meagre 200 euros and three hours of my very precious time. Now, these documents will travel to Iran and somehow, magically transform into my passport. By the time I get back, my Iranian passport -might- be waiting in my post office box. Last minute thingies Only today did I finally hand over It has become quite a decent site. Now let's hope it'll make some money. Also, as if these people somehow know, I got a call from a client I haven't done business with for years, asking me questions about the services I delivered a long time ago. And then my uncle (from Germany) called, with some new business he's been working on for several years. He thinks it's now time for me to step in. Food Yesterday, Betsy and I had dinner at an Ethiopian restaurant. I LOVE Ethiopian and this time, too, it was gooood. More food today, when, tonight, I had a roti and, during the afternoon, a 'broodje speciaal'. Can you believe it: Google image search doesn't show ANY useful results for that query!? Also, I raced around town today to get a 1GB SD card for my newly acquired and very cool Qtek9090 (MDA III). It rocks. During my race around town, I stopped for a minute at the Beestenmarkt, and checked the BBC news through the built-in WiFi card. But the one main reason I got it, to be able to make notes and write reports anywhere, anytime, still is a problem. I need a compatible (wireless) keyboard for that, but NOONE has one to sell me. Yesterday, I drove down to, but all the compatible keyboards they had were sold out. Today, calling around, and checking several stores in person, I had no luck at all. Now, I hope to find the right keyboard at Schiphol airport or in London. Flight Which brings me to my upcoming trip. I checked Ariana's website today. Turns out, they now fly straight from Frankfurt to Kabul! I could have saved a LOT of trouble, using that route. Then, I wouldn't have to pull an overnighter in Dubai. Then again, I also wouldn't have a nice stopover on my way back. And, of course, to make the folks back home a bit worried, as you might have noticed, a Boeing (probably) crashed, just outside of Kabul (link). Don't worry, it (most probably) was due to a snowstorm and it was KAM air, not Ariana. [iCategory] => 12 [tURL] => [iViews] => 5708 [iClicks] => 0 [iRating] => 0 [iVote] => 0 [iVoters] => 0 [iRedirect] => 0 [tISBN] => [iLocation] => 5 [iOldID] => 524 [tCover] => [iAccess] => 1462156887 [iHot] => 0 [tTemplateName] => default [iHideMap] => 0 [iForSale] => 0 [iImages] => 0 [iFullImage] => 0 [fLatitude] => 52.0109 [fLongitude] => 4.33628 [tLocation] => Home [iPrimaryCategoryFeatured] => 0 [tCategory] => Blog [iCategoryFeatured] => 0 [iPrimaryCategory] => 12 [categories] => Array ( [12] => Array ( [iID] => 12 [tName] => Blog [tSlug] => blog [tDescription] => Find my upcoming travel plans over at Dopplr and a listing of major (and some minor) travelogues over on the travelogues section. [iOrder] => 1 [iActive] => 1 [tType] => article [tTemplateName] => default [iFeatured] => 0 [iPrimary] => 1 ) ) [flickrTag] => 20050204 ) [294] => Array ( [iID] => 294 [tTitle] => Small things [tSlug] => small-things [iTime] => 1106607600 [iUpdate] => 1106607600 [tDescription] => Slowly, I'm starting to begin to slowly commence with preparing for my trip to Afghanistan. Slowly, my projects are wrapping up. I'm now more than halfway with my Farsi lessons and Vahid presented me with a small exam today. I did reasonably well, but not too great. Meanwhile, I finished up a quick redesign on North of France, the last travelogue that needed retouching. Also the very first real travelogue I ever created. Extensions Also, you might have noticed the Flickr 'thing', down on the right. It's something I'm experimenting with at the moment. Another way of including pictures in this blog. And possibly a more convenient method when traveling around the globe. We, as they say, shall see. If anything, including pictures through Flickr also gives my blog more coverage through the tags Technorati supports. If this is gibberish to you, forget it. Police state Meanwhile, the Dutch minister of Justice, Piet Hein Donner, is trying to change Holland into an authoritarian state. Now, police can search anyone, anytime, for whatever reason. Currently, this, luckily, only applies to Schiphol airport and, soon, other international airports in the Netherlands. What's even worse is that, if the minister gets his way, and most likely he will, persons who MIGHT have contact with people with fundamentalist views can be blocked from having access to Schiphol airport, parliament or 'certain' people. What's more, a person can get bugged if there's a slight notion he might be planning a (terrorist) attack. It's been said often, and has been proven time and again. Holland, indeed, is the most American country in Europe. Goodbye personal freedoms, hello police state. According to Wikipedia, the term authoritarianism is used to describe an organization or a state which enforces strong and sometimes oppressive measures against the population. Having to report, weekly, to the police, only when you KNOW someone who's a 'fundamentalist' easily falls under authoritarianism in my dictionary. It might even be totalitarian. And what's one step up from that? Yes, fascism. You might see I'm probably better off in Afghanistan. At least there won't be many fascists there. Books? Oh, not to forget: the interesting sage that is the (not) receiving of books from Amazon. In the comments section of one of my recent blog updates, this morning, I found a message from an employee at the library of the Technical University Delft (my alma mater). They had received a shipment from Amazon with my name on it. Well, that is, my first name, not my last. The library's post office box is number 92. Mine is 1082. A bit remarkable, but not impossible that a mix-up somehow resulted in 92 changing into 1082. And since I recently ordered several books from Amazon, the shipment could actually indeed be mine. Not so. The shipment contained two books, worth some 70 USD, on Java servlets. I don't 'do' Java servlets. I was puzzled, but let it be. Then, later in the afternoon, I talked this over with Vahid, a friend and my Farsi teacher. Turns out, he actually knows another Babak, studying at the University and working with Java servlets. He's also working at the library. These people... 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[iOrder] => 1 [iActive] => 1 [tType] => article [tTemplateName] => default [iFeatured] => 0 [iPrimary] => 1 ) ) [flickrTag] => 20050125 ) [284] => Array ( [iID] => 284 [tTitle] => Death of a prince [tSlug] => death-of-a-prince [iTime] => 1102806000 [iUpdate] => 1102806000 [tDescription] => Yesterday, Bernard, royal prince of the Netherlands, was buried in Delft As with the two most recent royal burials in Delft, one of which I attended, the casket was driven from The Hague to Delft, where Bernard was going to get his final resting place in the royal catacombs of the Nieuwe Kerk (new church) in Delft. Earlier this year, his wife princess Juliana (formerly the queen of the Netherlands) was also buried here. It is the same place William of Orange (Willem van Oranje) was buried. Betsy her father had come down for the occasion, all the way from Friesland, and although we arrived on the town square around 10 in the morning, some two and a half hours before Bernhard's procession would arrive there, we already had no choice but to look at people's backs, six rows deep. Later, we learned that the first of the 50.000 spectators had arrived around 6am. It was a good thing Betsy had brought a small plastic crate to stand on. It also allowed me to take loads of pictures of the many important national and international figures attending the funeral. Unfortunately, many of the pictures didn't work out well since I had to work with a large shutter time because of the gloomy weather and since I was trying to balance myself with one foot on Betsy's crate and another on the side of another crate of the girl standing next to us. Just before Bernard was carried into the church, three fighter jets and one spitfire flew over the market square in the 'missing man' formation. It was a good thing it wasn't that cold. Today, we went back to the town square, hoping we could enter the church and watch all the flowers on display for the funeral. Already mid-morning, 13.500 people had visited the church and such a large queue of people was waiting to get in, waiting times were two to three hours. In the cold, this was way too hellish to enjoy. Instead, we drove to The Hague to visit the Souterrain. Food and drinks Friday night I spent with friends, first drinking at Loos, then eating at Zinc and finishing off with some vodka at the Westelijk Handelsterrein. The drinks were on Stevie, for him buying a new home, the food was on Zwan, for him clinching the business deal of his life so far. 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[iOrder] => 1 [iActive] => 1 [tType] => article [tTemplateName] => default [iFeatured] => 0 [iPrimary] => 1 ) ) [flickrTag] => 20041212 ) [2273] => Array ( [iID] => 2273 [tTitle] => CityTour [tSlug] => citytour [iTime] => 1097791200 [iUpdate] => 1516117907 [tDescription] => Delft, as you should know, is a beautiful city. There's loads to see and the Delft tourist board offers several walking tours of the city. I took the liberty to cut up these tours and put them in a format that allows for users to tour the town, using a GSM, at any time of the day. I built the backend such, that it's easy to set up similar tours for other cities. I even created the preconditions that would make it possible to make the site multilingual. Also, this format would make location based advertising a breeze. Note (April 2010): This tour has been replaced by a cellphone based tour on j-walk. [iCategory] => 6 [tURL] => [iViews] => 6118 [iClicks] => 692 [iRating] => 0 [iVote] => 0 [iVoters] => 0 [iRedirect] => 0 [tISBN] => [iLocation] => 170 [iOldID] => 1469 [tCover] => [iAccess] => 1461975516 [iHot] => 0 [tTemplateName] => sparse [iHideMap] => 1 [iForSale] => 0 [iImages] => 0 [iFullImage] => 2 [fLatitude] => 52.0119 [fLongitude] => 4.35968 [tLocation] => Market square [iPrimaryCategoryFeatured] => 0 [tCategory] => Own stuff [iCategoryFeatured] => 0 [iPrimaryCategory] => 6 [categories] => Array ( [6] => Array ( [iID] => 6 [tName] => Own stuff [tSlug] => own-stuff [tDescription] => Erich Fromm said that "creativity requires the courage to let go of certainties" and, without giving freedom to my creativity, I'd die. [iOrder] => 2 [iActive] => 1 [tType] => article [tTemplateName] => sparse [iFeatured] => 0 [iPrimary] => 1 ) ) [flickrTag] => bf:blogitem=1469 ) [234] => Array ( [iID] => 234 [tTitle] => African Festival Delft [tSlug] => african-festival-delft [iTime] => 1091743200 [iUpdate] => 1091743200 [tDescription] => Betsy and I spent the evening at the African Festival Delft, a yearly festival that has seen more then 20 editions. And indeed, I recognize the festival's logo as something from my early youth, coming to Delft when I was only 4. The day I spent at a conference, related to the festival. One of the subjects was going to deal with how to involve the African diaspora in development projects. And since I've just returned from Zimbabwe and spent three months in Ghana in 2001, I was mildly interested. Of course, the free meals and the free ticket to the evening's shows helped too. Quickly after the conference began, I realised I had to be somewhere else. Indeed, the conference felt very African: We started 30 minutes late; Just after we began, an African was offering pencils from the doorway, making suggestive moves with his head, as if he was actually selling them on the streets of any African city; One of the speakers kept on repeating he wants to 'zoom in on this' and another speaker broke the world record for repeating the word 'remittance' 57 times in what felt like 10 seconds. After the morning's introductions, I had a (very good) lunch, went home, came back for the day's conclusion, had a reasonable dinner, where I ate half a VERY hot pepper in one go, cried, enjoyed a bit of the show, where one band decided not to show up, and went home. 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