Pilates

Crossing country boarders often means crossing your own boarders as well. It only took me one night in Kigali to realize that I am not even 10% as flexible as the locals. We went out with my colleagues and some of their friends… and oh man can these people dance! So in order not to make a fool out of myself at the Halloween party this Friday I decided to work out a little more. An instead of my usual 5K run I crossed a personal boarder by joining my colleague for my first ever class of Pilates today.

And participating in the class wasn’t actually the biggest boarder crossing; it was the stretching my muscles until they ached that was the real eye-opener here. I am as inflexible as concrete and as stiff as a board.

I am guessing that even walking will hurt tomorrow and as Kigali is built on hills and my office on the 2nd floor I cannot wait. There is another class scheduled for Wednesday morning at 7am. But I will have to sleep on it if I will actually make this class or if I will stick with my techno moves to African Beats. White girls can’t dance and that will be scary enough for Halloween. I’ll keep you posted 😉

Travel light

9412_659177897455505_2127025677_nI am writing this blog while sitting on the edge of my seat. I am excited yet nervous at the same time. So my feelings are mixed, and that’s a first when it comes to traveling the globe. Tomorrow I am leaving for a 5-week business trip to Kigali, Rwanda. And although this seems like a dream come through there is something that makes me nervous like going to high school for the first time.

First off, my preperations weren’t as smooth as usual proven by the fact that I still need to pick up half of my medecins tomorrow at the airport pharmacy. But my suitcase is packed and my passport ready to be stamped again.

In addition, for the past three weeks I have been partying if I would leave Amsterdam forever. And this is one of the reasons why I am not as at ease with travelling as I usually am. For the first time since leaving my parents house – 10 years ago – I feel like I have found myself a “home” with new family and friends and the changes of getting home sick are much higher because of this. So, I celebrated my birthday and I didnt feel that much older, I travelled to Brussels for some quality time with my parents, partied like there would not be a tomorrow at Amsterdam Dance Event and as a new edition to my non-existing love life I met up with a boy twice. I feel like Sarah Jessica Parker in SATC.

Judging by the “survival” gear I just put in my suitcase I am definitely  not Sara Jessica Parker, but more Plane Jane about to go into the jungle. Luckily enough I was in Rwanda last year and got to see the a little bit of the beauty this country has to offer. And since I am going for a longer time I will actually get to see a bit more of the country than just the hotel.

So like always I am going to travel light and leave my worries behind. I guess it will be a great adventure to my list and I will probably write about not wanting to go home in 5 weeks time. Time to check-in. All  a board!

Ps. Send me a message every once in while 😉

ticket to paradise - visual statements.

Als ik later klein ben

Willem, one of my best friends, big brother, my Hitch when it comes to boys and very important to know for the ladies he still checks the box single. Today I am posting one of is stories. Even though it is in Dutch I cannot not share it with you. It is sincere, filled with love and extremely recognizable if you are about to hit the wrong side of your 20ies.

Enjoy!

Zeker weten;
Willem en oma Rietje is bang. De zestiende van november negentienhonderd éénentwintig kwam ze op deze wereld. Mijn oma is bang om oud (!) te worden, doodsbang. Vanmiddag zag ik haar voor het eerst huilen. Onze tweede moeder die jarenlang bij ons in huis woonde, toen de wereld voor mij nog niet veel verder reikte dan de achtertuin, vanwege het feit dat mijn vader een zeer lang ziekbed heeft gekend en moeders voltijd werkte. Weende ze omdat ze op deze schijnende herfstdag met twee van haar drie trotse kleinkinderen op het terras tomatensap aan het drinken was, uiteraard met verse peper, met een buiten proportionele punt appelgebak in het vooruitzicht. Dat is namelijk wat je hoort te doen met grootouders, appelgebak eten. Of was het toch dat besef dat ze sinds kort niet meer zonder rolstoel langere afstanden kan afleggen. Ze vroeg om een zakdoekje. Hield onze handen kort, hard vast.

 Je hebt dus een ietwat hectisch en besproken, doch kort leven achter je liggen kijkend naar mijn grootmoeder die snel haar 93ste levensjaar in zal inluiden. Het leven gewoon nemen, ondergaan, accepteren. However you want to call it. Dat is iets wat haast niet meer te doen is voor deze twijfel-generatie. We twijfelen massaal. Welke helse vakantie te boeken voor volgende zomer, 14 verschillende soorten yoghurtdrank in de schappen, het effen shirt of toch met all-over print en laten we het maar helemaal niet over de verkiezingstijd gaan hebben. Vlak voor aanschaf toch nog dat vergelijkend warenonderzoek checken om de boel weer overhoop te donderen. Besluiteloosheid…de moord!

Je kunt niet alles controleren en dat hoeft ook niet. Klinkt als een suffe blauwe tekst op het toilet. Ook al zo’n aangename plek bij uitstek om te gaan twijfelen. Bovenaan mijn curriculum vitae kan beroepstwijfelaar gezet worden inclusief uitroepteken. We zijn een bed geworden van 120 centimeter breed.

Teveel keus, zo verklaart oma het. Zogezegd zonder twijfel! Wat een onmisbaar leven, het geheel meemakend. Duitse soldaten marcherend door de straat, maanwandelaars Aldrin & Buzz, fokking de hele rise, fall, comeback & fall van ene Elvis Aaron Presley, het miljarden medium genaamd…. (tromgeroffel) televisie! Kalm is wat ze blijft. Uitproberen te leggen aan een vrouw die al 26 jaar 65+ korting krijgt dat ze niet bang hoeft te zijn voor de tijd. Dat ze geduld moet hebben en de tijd mag nemen. Het gaat simpelweg niet en dat weet je allebei, dus wordt het voor heel even treurig stil.

Later als ik klein ben. Dankjewel lieve oma voor het wegnemen van een paar procent twijfel.

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The burden of getting older

bdayMy on the verge of 28 just turned into a real big fat 28 today. I can already smell the big 3.0 around the corner and that scares the shit out of me.

It is not so much the getting older, because I still need to show my ID when buying a bottle of wine. Which either means the boy at the cash register wants to know my name or truly believes I am not  even 20 years old. I, of course, like to believe the latter. But it is more the meeting the number of expectations that apparently grow as you grow older.

If you would have asked me 10 years ago what my life would have looked like when I would turn 28 I probably would have described so much different then it is now. Oh and I would have probably told you that 28 is old, whereas of today I like to believe that I am still young and I have my entire life ahead of me. Ok, ok I am no longer a student and I have a lot more responsibilities than when I embarked on the beautiful journey of my twenties, but I still like to believe that I can go out until dawn and hook up with good looking boys without feeling anything of a nesting urge.

And this is the first expectation that I don’t meet for a 28 year old girl. Because the number of times people look weirdly at me when they ask me if I have a boyfriend and I say no. Apparently, people believe that there is something fundamentally wrong with you when you are single at this age. The discussion if their in fact is something fundamentally wrong with is of course an entire different story. But, I like to believe that I am loveable enough and that I am single by choice.

Another thing that you are supposed to have at this age is a proper living situation. My living situation is not average. In fact it is more a real-life Will & Grace, but living with my brother and gay room mate literally is the cherry on top of my birthday cake today. The boys make me smile, no…make me laugh until I pee my pants, make me dinner (provided that I do the groceries) and clean. What else would you be looking for the person/people you are living with. Even if I would be able to afford an apartment in Amsterdam I wouldn’t change my roommates for a cat anytime soon.

The not being able to afford an apartment in Amsterdam is because 1. houses are way overprices and 2. I did not opt for the booming corporate career which people expected of me when I went to study an international master at an international business school. Instead of making the big bugs I am doing something that I love which in the end contributes to my happiness.

bday with friendsCause yes I am 28, nowhere near where I expected to be, yet I am happy and enjoying my life to the fullest. My friends a great, my family supportive and my non-existing love life off line. It all looks very promising. Hurray! Forever 21!

online adventures

brett at schipholIt has been a while since I blogged something for all kinds of reason, but mainly because I was busy with other things that got my attention. In general I get distractedly easily and even more so when it involves boys.

On the verge of turning 28 and still being single one of my friends thought it was a great idea to invite me to the Inner Circle. Described as a private international network where single professionals with similar backgrounds and interests meet. In other words another ordinary dating site, but somewhat cooler because you need to be invited and get accepted into this circle.

After a very “painful” 2 days – Yes I almost questioned myself if I would be hip enough – I got accepted and the fun could begin. And I mean fun because the scrolling through “hot” boy profiles became an evening filling activity for me and my friends. Profiles basically consist of 1. personal description – the worst to write about yourself 2. your favourite city – Amsterdam, Barcelona, Buenos Aires in my case 3. your favourite place in the city – unanswered 4. your next holiday destination – Rwanda, which is actually not even true because I am going there for work. Oh yes of course the pictures in which you look most favourable and Q&A about your background and body type. You can view peoples profiles and you get a message when yours is being viewed and by who. It a mordern way of “check if he is looking and if you see he is watching pretend you are not”.

r-TINDER-large570The same friend who invited me to the Inner Circle introduced me to Tindera fun way to break the ice – right… The app merely consists of just swiping people pictures into the category hot or not. If one of the boys you swiped into the category hot thinks you are of the same standard your mobile gives you a way to jolly sound and pushes you the wonderful message “you have a new match on Tinder”. You have the ability to chat with your match, but this is usually the point you find out that you cannot judge a book by its cover and that you made a huge mistake by liking this boy. Thank god for the block option.

So, after a two week digital boy hunting adventure I realised it is just more fun to go out and meet them in real life. Because boys in actual boys do set the “bar” for anything 2 dimensional. And as addicted as I am to my mobile phone and online life the online dating is getting a big fat no for me. I am pretty sure I can meet a prince charming on a actual horse!