Tuesday, December 26, 2006

:: my x'mas ::

this has been a 2nd time in a row that i am 'celebrating' christmas in the netherlands...it didn't snow this year....unlike last year (even though it's just for one night of sheer white christmas)....

despite what i wrote earlier about non-gift-practice in the dutch christmas earlier, look what santa has brought me under the christmas tree...

From Blog Stuff

From Blog Stuff

- among others: bathrobe, dutch dictonary, bicycle accessories, chocolates, candies, truffles, photo frames....thanks santa! ;)

then, its time for christmas dinner with my new-found family here...

From Blog Stuff

- luckily there's good gun control here, else, i might be shot!-

the mistress of the house was waiting...she's 16 years old...really old for a cat! i hope my sumoki will live this long, even longer...
From Blog Stuff

what's the use of festivities without great food, my host is an excellent italian cook!

- guests are hidden to 'protect' the innocent ;)

and i returned home feeling very much like a santa....terribly full from all the food and drinks! which explained why the photo was blurry....hehe

From Blog Stuff

hope you had a great one too....cheers!

Sunday, December 24, 2006

:: merry christmas ::

From Blog Stuff

after a long 13 hour flight - which is not full for the first time from singapore to amsterdam, thanks to christmas holidays.

and waiting for longer-than-expected train schedule from schipol airport to the hague due to christmas eve (and sunday), i have returned to holland.

From Blog Stuff

it's quiet this christmas eve, which is expected here (more or less) due to the freezing temperature outside and its the time to spend quality time with loved ones.

and being heavily jet-lagged did not help, since my return to singapore last week.

and to all, happy christmas and enjoy the holidays!

aGent X!

Friday, December 22, 2006

:: where's my christmas gift? ::

Don't be disheartened by the lack of Christmas presents in the Netherlands, there is a hidden advantage to the Dutch version of Xmas.

even now i understood the 'harsh' reality of the dutch version of x'mas, this question suddenly appeared once more in my mind - as i battle the armies of christmas shoppers back home in singapore.

this article
articulated this idea well enough.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

:: always bring the weather with you ::

it appears that whenever i go, it always rains - whether its back home in singapore or in europe.

my memories of my return trips are often of the wet and dark clouds, nothing cheery.

just my luck, that of all the day for me to do my last-minute shopping downtown in orchard road, the rain has been non-stop for almost 48 hours (it rains more in the western part of singapore, where i live) - and it is a record of highest rain-fall over the past 75 years!

another part of history that i am not proud to be associated with, but at least, it could have been worst!

From Blog Stuff

Saturday, December 16, 2006

:: straight from airport, and on with a new toy ::

as i am back in singapore for just one week, now it is the time to stock up with my gadgets and christmas shopping, of course!

always the impulsive shopper, i could not wait for the samsung sgh-600i as the launch, i presume, will be way too late.

i have decided to invest in dopod c720w instead (aka HTC Excalibur and T-mobile Dash) - and while i could save the GST (just SGD50 though) by making a reservation at the changi airport (since i'm returning to holland again this saturday. i just decided to buy immediate, less than 3 hours after i finally reached home after a tedious and lack-of-sleep 13 flight from amsterdam.

i just have to say that i really like this new gadget of mine - the greatest appeal to me is its sleek and slick design, followed by its wi-fi capabilities.

i'm going to be a very happy man this christmas with my new toy....

From Blog Stuff

From Blog Stuff

Sunday, December 10, 2006

:: the making of a x'mas tree ::

in a land where REAL christmas trees are of abundance (and cheap too), it's hard not to put up a tree, even though i'm not a christian (i'm just being festive, so sue me)

1) put up a real tree, this one is about 2 metres tall

2) put up the lights,about 200 of them for this one

3) add up the balls (courtesy of the landlord)

4) and viola, here you have the tree....and nice scent of the real tree too...

happy christmas and enjoy the holidays everyone...

Thursday, December 07, 2006

:: seasons change ::

it's already been more than a year since i have been working/staying in holland.
what supposed to be just a 3 months' assignment, well, let's just say that i will be here a little bit longer.

perhaps the view from my apartment summed up the change of seasons here, so long summer, and welcome back winter...

summer 2006

fall/winter 2006

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

:: sinterklaas ::

Sinterklaas or Sint Nikolaas in Dutch or Saint Nicolas in French, is a holiday tradition in the Netherlands and Belgium (both Dutch and French speaking parts), celebrated every year on Saint Nicholas' eve December 5 or, in Belgium, the morning of December 6. The feast celebrates the name day of Saint Nicholas, patron saint of children.

In the Netherlands, Saint Nicholas' eve, not Christmas eve, is the occasion for gift-giving. The evening of December 5 is called pakjesavond ("evening of packages"). Traditionally, presents are ingeniously wrapped, and are therefore called surprises. Also, each present is accompanied by a poem from Saint Nicholas

more information

in OUR part of the world, the idea of christmas presents and red/white santa's costume (thanks to coca-cola ads). i was lucky to be part of this dutch tradition at a party hosted by dear friends.

here are some pictures to share...

it's great to know that some things never change, these twins still believe in sinterklass and his little helpers (black piet as known here)
From Blog Stuff

the gifts that we brought - 3 per person, but i ended up losing all in the game and went back empty handed :(
From Blog Stuff

what are festive parties without the gifts...
From Blog Stuff

ps: i will be back in singapore for a party on 22th, but no more losing of gifts, i'll tell y'all.

Saturday, December 02, 2006

:: a singaporean dreaming ::

i am back in holland once more.

and its strange that despite being back for almost 1 month, i really did not have the mood to blog at all. no need to share about my mundane and uninspiring reservist duties (george bush was in town, then), how the shopping experience in singapore has changed (for the better), and if there's anything that i miss back home (the usual suspects - loved ones and my cat).

perhaps its the bleak and gray autumn skies in holland that make me in better mood to continue blogging, oh well....drama-mama!

anyhow, one of the best things about flying SIA is the krisworld entertainment systems. i like to watch those art movies, ie: non-commercial-hollywood types, and i'm glad to say that i am really happy to have watched singapore dreaming.

i've watched it twice during the 13 hour flight to amsterdam, and i must say that this is the best singaporean film that i've ever seen.

it's real, authentic and moving- without the artsy-fartsy/drama-mama art-film wanna be directed by other singaporeans before.

it's the joy of real story telling, coupled with great actors and excellent job in marshing singlish-hokkien and mandarin dialogues. kudos to the excellent production team, directorship and scripting.

i love it! and i know that i'm late to catch it much earlier on - despite its excellent reviews.

go on...watch it and didn't say that i told you so.

cheers...for now