Tuesday, 29 March 2005


'Weer' is a Dutch word used both for 'weather' and for 'again'. I think I understand why Dutch people love to talk about the 'weather' -- 'again and again' -- dat was mijn ezelsbrug ;)

Sunday, 27 March 2005

Dutch Christians

I have a tip if any of you want to know whether your Dutch Christian friends are Protestant or Catholic. Of course you can always ask them, they are very blunt anyway. But I amused them by saying 'Based on your vocabulary I can conclude that you were raised in a Protestant family.'

I'll start with a historical fact. In the past, in order to have a 'peaceful' community, Dutch society was divided in such a way that Protestants and Catholics does not have any contact at all. There were Protestant cities and Catholic cities. For those who like bridge there were Protestant clubs and Catholic clubs. There were even Protestant television and Catholic television. A Protestant lived in Protestant city, their children attended a Protestant school. They joined a Protestant sport club. They watched a Protestant television, and so on. The same can be said for Catholics.

They were totally unaware of the others that they even developed a different way of saying 'Merry Christmas' or 'Happy Easter'. A Protestant will say 'Vrolijk Kerstdag' and 'Vrolijk Pasen' while a Catholic will say 'Zalig Kerstdag' and 'Zalig Pasen'.

The unawareness is as far as if today you ask a Dutch Christian friend, he/she will only tell you one version. So for fun, during Easter Conference I asked some of them: how do you say 'Happy Easter'? And then, after the answer, stated, "Based on your vocabulary I can conclude that you were raised in a Protestant/Catholic family."

They were so unaware of this difference in vocabulary that all were asking me how do people from the other background will respond to my question, and moreover: how could I know?:D


Happy Easter! Vrolijk Pasen! Zalig Pasen! Selamat Paskah!

In Middle East countries, on Easter Sunday, people will greet each other with 'Christ is risen!' and others will reply: 'Indeed He is risen!'

I just back from Easter Conference. This year there are more people than last year: 89. I really enjoyed it. It's so good to meet my friends from Enschede. I missed them, missed the atmosphere in their Bible study group there and all. Doesn't mean that I don't enjoy Amsterdam, I do like it. Hehehe ... I'm just human being, I want all while I can't have it all.:D

The theme is: Entering the Global Village, we discussed a lot about multicultural issues and being in foreign country. All are nice discussion.

So, I will end this by saying, "Christ is risen!"

Friday, 25 March 2005

Good Friday

Yesterday I had a meeting with both my supervisors - everybody was happy about what I've done so far.:-)

But today I have to work! Come on people, this is Good Friday, it is a national holiday (just check your calendar). Why do I have to work today? Still couldn't believe it, and I only knew it two days ago. :(

Tuesday, 22 March 2005

Back from Paris

I'm back from Paris. It is a nice, beautiful but ... I still don't understand why Paris is known as the most romantic city. Maybe we were there with the wrong person.:p

One thing for sure: I wouldn't recommend a girl to go to Paris alone, banyak cowok iseng! Kata Lonely Planet sih co2 Perancis suka 'ramah' ke ce, tp buat mrk itu bukan sexual harassment ... anyway I don't like a stranger 'accompanying' us (he said: 'I just finish my dinner, and now I just walk with you') and asking a lot of questions about us (my suspicion: he was trying to figure out how thick our wallets are).

Stories will be posted later. I went to: Musee du Louvre, Church of Notre-Dame (and its treasury room), Eiffel Tower (all the way up), Arc du Triomphe, Champs-Elysees, Musee d'Orsay, Centre George Pampidou (lunch at Flunch -- best lunch I had there), Eglise St. Inglese.

Friday, 18 March 2005


I'm going to Paris tonite!

Thursday, 17 March 2005

Maart roert zijn staart

It's a Dutch saying, meaning: March wiggles its tail. You might ask me then: tail? What's the tail? Let me remind you that the top two topics by which you can get a 'lively' conversation with a Dutch are 'weather' and 'holiday'.

It's so hot topic that when my supervisor was back from 2 weeks holiday and I asked, "How was your holiday?" All she talked about was the weather!

Two weeks ago, it was VERY COLD here. It even hits the record (it became the coldest time ever since they started their measurement). The record was set on -20.7 C, somewhere in the North. Here in Amsterdam, it was around -15 C.

Today, only two weeks after, the temperature was around 15 C! Imagine, 30 degrees difference in two weeks!.

Well, I can only say: 'Maart roert zijn staart'.

Tuesday, 15 March 2005


When did people start using surname? Surnames became obligatory in The Netherlands during the time of Louis Napoleon. He was appointed by his brother Napoleon Bonaparte in 1806. As their way of protest, many Dutch chose a strange, meaningless (or rather: words with funny meaning) surname.

Some common surnames: de Boer (means: farmer, some surnames were derived from occupation), van ... (from ... followed by a city name, i.e. : van Deventer), there are also surnames derived from adjectives, i.e.: De Groot (the Big).

But many are not that willing to choose a proper surname, hence nowadays we can find a television reporter named 'de Hond' (means: the Dog). Remember the football player Koeman? FYI, koe = cow. Somewhere I read there's someone whose surname is Koe-Melkman (melkman = milkman).

So, how important is surname? VERY! Not only because in every form there are separate fields for surname and given name(s), surnames are very important that my bank only have my surname and initials. No where in the paper they even asked what my first name is.

Something tickled me: how long have batakese been using surnames? Anybody knows? I have some kind of estimation, does anyone know for sure?

Monday, 14 March 2005

Fingerprint billing

An article caught my eyes:

Reminds me of Rev 13:16-17

The end of days is getting closer.

little wonder

Just wonder, if I consider Amsterdams Historisch Museum as too much, what will I think of Louvre? :p I'm going to Paris this weekend! woehoe!

Jewish Historical Museum

Hehehe, it's History weekend, guys. This afternoon I went to Jewish Historical Museum. The Jewish community in Amsterdam has been there for quite a period. They say, some words in Amsterdam dialect could be traced back to its Yiddish origin.

It is housed in the former Synagoge. The interior was kept to help visitors imagine how it would be when it was still used as a Synagoge.

The Torah arc -- where Torah was kept, with the curtain to separate it from the rest of the room, the 'everlasting' lamp nearby, reminds me about Tabernacle in Catholic church.

The 'yad' -- means 'hand' -- the stick they use to point the position they're reading in Torah, fact that they don't touch it with their hand but rather with 'yad' reminds me with Moslems (correct me if I'm wrong).

There I also see media presentation about their life, their important days. Bar mitzvah, Shabbat, wedding, etc. One interesting thing that I saw in the wedding video: the wedding ring is inserted by the groom to the bride's fore-finger then the bride moved it to her ring-finger. The same thing happened when the bride gave a ring -- first to fore-finger then moved to ring-finger.

Upstairs there's an exhibition about Amsterdam's Jewish history -- I skipped that and went to children's exhibition, titled 'Where Mokum is Home' or 'In Mokum staat een huis'. Mokum is the Jewish name for Amsterdam. I can't see how a kid cannot enjoy such kind of exhibition. There are many interesting things presented in a simple way -- very nice exhibition.

There's a 'kitchen' display, where in the drawers you can see how they have separated dish for milk (blue) and meat (red) and why do they do that. In another drawer, there are small animal toys of 'kosher' food, and on another drawer about 'non kosher'.

One nice thing about being in Amsterdam: all things in museum are presented in English as well as in Dutch. And the English version is just the same version, not a 'resume type'.

Amsterdams Historisch Museum

Yesterday I went to Amsterdams Historisch Museum. Temporary exhibition about 'city animal' was nice. It's about animals that lived in Amsterdam through the time. What kind of animals could be found in the past and when they disappeared as human moved in. There's also a show about how do they keep the birds away from Schiphol (it's dangerous as they cannot fly away from plane's engine, yet if they got stuck there, the plane is in danger).

Oh and one nice thing: I saw what it'd look if a bike is taken from the bottom of Amsterdam's canal.

Permanent exhibition was quite boring. OK, it's even in Lonely Planet's itinerary for one day. The idea is nice and all. But personally I think it is too elaborative for history of one city only. This permanent exhibition has nothing to do with more general history, it is exclusively about Amsterdam's history.

I like the media presentation about how they build Amsterdam. How the map looked like in 1600. Where they started the city, how it grew, etc.

Sunday, 13 March 2005

anonymous caller

Yesterday I got 5 anonymous call. Private number, that's what the display said. Normally when it happened, it means I got an international call. That's why I didn't reject it. But this time, it's not funny. Every time I answer, the caller suddenly hang up. Even one in midnight!

So, if any of you guys happened to try to call me yesterday, please drop me a line, let me know.

Saturday, 12 March 2005

Hot Chocolate

Should I stop drinking hot chocolate?

There is a machine at work where we can get coffee, tea, chocolate, etc. for free. I started to drink quite hot chocolate quite a lot. Then I realised something wrong happened with my stomach -- or rather, my digestive system. OK, I'm not going to use all my Dutch word here (believe me, I know a lot of Dutch words to express this thing).

Digestive system is always my problem (it's in the gene though), so in the beginning I didn't really pay attention. Only yesterday I realised that something change. It's not only about cold anymore (yes, cold has something to do with me and the loo). Thinking, then I decided to try to reduce my amount of hot chocolate and see whether it helps.

Today I only had a cup of hot chocolate (can't resist to have it) and my stomach was perfectly fine. Phew, maybe indeed it is the problem. Poor me, I can have free hot chocolate and I cannot take it! :((


Yesterday I was pissed off. Felt like being treated like a baby. I wanted to shout: Stop babysitting me!

Wednesday, 9 March 2005

In His Time

One of the song that has been my favourite and reminder to wait for His time.

In His time,
In His time,
He makes all things beautiful,
In His time,

Lord, please show me everyday,
As You're teaching me Your way,
That You do just what You say,
In Your time.

In Your time,
In Your time,
You make all things beautiful,
In Your time.

Lord, my life to You I bring,
May each song I have to sing,
Be to You a lovely thing,
In Your time.

Tuesday, 8 March 2005


Aduh biyung ... kapan sih kita boleh punya kondisi yg kondusif buat membangun bangsa dan negara? Ini pemerintahnya masih berusaha diplomasi, rakyatnya udah mau perang aja.

Women's Day

Happy International Women's Day :-) (whatever that might mean)

Indonesia is in premier position!

From http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/4325619.stm

Larks and midnight oil for Asians
More people go to bed later and wake up earlier in Asia than in any other region, a sleep study has found.

The poll of 14,100 people in 28 countries and regions found 40% of people in Asia go to sleep after midnight.

Half of the 10 places with the most early-risers were also in Asia, with Indonesia, the world's most populous Muslim nation, in premier position.

But Australians sleep the longest - 31% average more than nine hours a night.

Taiwan is Asia's most nocturnal country, according to the poll conducted by AC Nielsen, where 69% of people said they go to sleep after midnight.

In Indonesia, on the other hand, 91% of people said they got out of bed by 0700.

In Japan, a nation famed for its long working hours, people appeared to get the least sleep - 41% saying they got six hours or less a night.


Dulu pas baca bukunya Laura Ingalls yg blg di seluruh negara hari Senin mencuci, Selasa setrika, etc aku pikir: strange, masa iya seluruh negara follow the same schedule.

But wait a minute, here I am in NL, 21st century, yet similar things happen. Today, like any other first Monday of the month, at noon, alarm kebakaran bunyi. Nggak di Enschede, nggak di Amsterdam, first Monday of the month at noon itu waktunya untuk ngetest apakah alarm
kebakaran msh berfungsi dg baik.

Blm lg fakta bhw Sabtu itu harinya semua org belanja, Minggu itu hari libur, kecuali koopzondag -- normally first Sunday of the month (and it only starts at 12.00). Trus hari Senin pagi itu semua toko tutup -- waktu untuk inventory checking. Semua org kerja di waktu yg sama --
imagine how can you go to the bank if banks only open during your time at work!

Blm lg ada yg bilang bhw Wednesday is gehakt dag -- almost everyone in the whole country eat gehakt (daging cincang) -- krn all butchers sell gehakt for cheap on Wednesdays (unfortunately I don't buy my meat at butchers, and supermarkets don't follow this rule).

Trus ada lg hari apa gitu yg jgn makan ikan -- hari Senin kalau gak salah, soalnya stock ikan datangnya tiap Selasa -- yg beli ikan hari itu can only be tourist (who obviously don't know the rule).

Sunday, 6 March 2005


What does the Bible say about love?

1 Corinthians 13:4-7 (NIV)
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.