“I'd rather regret the things that I have done than the things that I have not.”
― Lucille Ball

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Kanin Club - Laguna, Sta. Rosa

It is almost the end of my visit to the Philippines today.
Tomorrow, Friday, I will go to my family in-law, north Luzon. It will be a trip of 5 to 6 hours by bus, so I decided to leave here from the hotel at 11 am. On Sunday I will fly back to Thailand, so again 5-6 hours, but I will ask my brother in law to bring me to the airport with our car, a van that we bought early this year.

Just because it is the last day with the IT team on the plant, I have invited them for a lunch meal in a Filipino restaurant in Sta. Rosa. It is called the Kanin Club. My Tagalog language knowledge is very limited, but I believe Kanin is a brand of rice, perhaps it has more meanings, if so let me know by posting a comment.

Let me introduce the team, from left to right around the table:
Jhay, Lolo, Dennis, Tetet, Ida, Nonie, James.

The restaurant is usually very busy during lunch time. You have to book or be in before 12 am. Business people are coming for lunch from many places, as the business population in the direct environment is not too large as it seems.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009


Biking exercise in a park in Malden, Netherlands
Copy of my personal email today to my wife, after a long phone call.

Hello darling,
I am very proud that you can really bike now. You are getting a real Dutch woman. Please make sure you are not getting too much Dutch, because then we have a reversed cultural potential conflict.
It is good that you keep trying and get experience, even if you are sometimes a bit nervous or fall down. You know, if you don't fall while learning to bike, you will never be able to bike relaxed. Everyone is nervous in the beginning and will fall down, that is normal.
When we are together again (I hope it will be soon) we can enjoy together, whether it is in the Netherlands, in Thailand or in the Philippines, it doesn't matter, biking is really nice to do and good for your (and of course my) body.

Sunday, July 26, 2009


One of my Asian projects is in the Philippines, in a factory south of Manila, called Cabuyao. I am here now for 2 weeks, to help local management to prepare for the new way of working with their IT systems.

Despite an awful pain low in my back since last week, I went yesterday, Saturday, to the large shopping center called "Festival Super Mall" opposite of my hotel "Vivere Suites". It's a 31 storey building, with suites of different sizes and a small restaurant on the 31st level with a splendid view over Laguna bay and, if the air is clear, you can see the sky-line of Manila. It is opposite of the hotel were I resided the last time, called "Bellevue", a French word, meaning: "nice view".

The whole area is a business and modern living development area, many new business buildings, shopping malls and sub-divisions for the Philipino who can afford to live in such sub-divisions.

Sunday, July 19, 2009


Some time ago, it was on the bridge over the klong (channel) to enter the Dutch embassy in Bangkok, I saw this creature walking.

Luckily I had my camera with me and could take this picture. I am not sure whether it is a he or she, so I will call it it.

Official name of this creature is centipede, sometimes called milipede, in English respectively hundred-feet or thousand-feet. It seems that there are many variants of it, smaller than this one, but also some are bigger, the biggest one found 30 cm. I guess the size of this one was 8-10 cm.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

My Thanpuying apartment

Almost a year ago, since september 2008, I am living in the Thanpuying Suites building. For me it is really an excellent environment to relax. It is quiet, not many guests, sufficient facilities, clean, a small swimming pool and last but not least in the middle of north Bangkok, but it gives me the feeling of the country side.

It is only 5 minutes walk to the main road (soi 54) in this area and again 10 minutes to the Ngam Wong Wam, opposite of Kasetsart university and close to the Vibhavadi hospital. The area is called Chatu Chak.

Since I am here I have had a room on the 8th floor, 11th and 12th. This year I am on the 12th floor. It is a one bed room style apartment, okay for me alone. Last year I had a 2 bed room type, as I expected some visitors. That one had a better view than this one.

Last year I lived here with my wife, until february 2009. We went back to Europe for a month, then she decided to stay, as the apartment was not her favourite, she likes more the Hong Kong style of living. That is you go down from your apartment and ... wow an awfull lot of people walking around, shopping, walking to the office, always busy and cheap, the paradise she called it.

My paradise is here, quiet, relaxing. Before there was as well a small restaurant near the pool on level 5, but since the number of guests is gone down, maybe it has to do with the economic crisis, they fired the cooking maid and closed the restaurant.

Sunday, July 12, 2009


When I want to go for shopping or visiting one of my favorite restaurants, I have to walk a few minutes to the main road (soi) thru the area where I live.

One of the buildings that I pass by, was an unfinished apartment building of 5 storeys, when I settled here in August 2008. Only the walls and floors were done, but since half a year suddenly they started to finish the building. The people who are doing the work are living in the apartment with their families, I guess it are 4-5 families. Also the women are doing construction work like mixing cement. It is now almost finished.

Opposite of the apartment where they temporarily live is a small area with grass and dirt, and between 5.30 and 6.30 pm, just before it gets dark, the guys are playing there a game. It is like volley ball, but in stead of using their hands, they use all other parts of the body, except their hands. The ball is rather small, very light and it looks like it's made of bamboo.


When I was waiting July 4 at Schiphol airport for the gate to be opened for my flight to Bangkok, I looked around in one of the bookstores and found a best seller titled: "Haar naam was Sarah" a dutch translation of the original title: "Sarah's key".

As the cover told me that it was about the holocaust in 2nd worldwar in France, I was interested. I read a lot about this period in history, remember I was born just after the war, but was not familiar with what happened in France those years.

And indeed what was said by several criticasters, "you can't stop reading" or "very emotional, you can't keep your eyes dry", is really true, it happened to me.

Paris, July 1942: Sarah, a ten year-old girl, is brutally arrested with her family by the French police in the Vel’ d’Hiv’ roundup, but not before she locks her younger brother in a cupboard in the family's apartment, thinking that she will be back within a few hours.
Paris, May 2002: On Vel’ d’Hiv’s 60th anniversary, journalist Julia Jarmond is asked to write an article about this black day in France's past. Through her contemporary investigation, she stumbles onto a trail of long-hidden family secrets that connect her to Sarah. Julia finds herself compelled to retrace the girl's ordeal, from that terrible term in the Vel d'Hiv', to the camps, and beyond. As she probes into Sarah's past, she begins to question her own place in France, and to reevaluate her marriage and her life.
Tatiana de Rosnay offers us a brilliantly subtle, compelling portrait of France under occupation and reveals the taboos and silence that surround this painful episode.

Source: readinggroupguides


I don't like to cite other sources, but in this case I do. As I am not a historian of the old Latin and Greece histories, I prefer to put here a brief history description of the site we have visited during our Athens visit. It is easy to find more and detailed descriptions on sites like Wikipedia, which I used for this summary.

Acropolis (Gr. akros, akron,[1] edge, extremity + polis, city, pl. acropoleis) literally means city on the edge (or extremity). In Greek, Acropolis means "Highest City". For purposes of defense, early settlers naturally chose elevated ground, frequently a hill with precipitous sides. In many parts of the world, these early citadels became the nuclei of large cities, which grew up on the surrounding lower ground, such as modern Rome.
The word Acropolis, although Greek in origin and associated primarily with the Greek cities Athens, Argos, Thebes, and Corinth (with its Acrocorinth), may be applied generically to all such citadels, including Rome, Jerusalem, Celtic Bratislava, many in Asia Minor, or even Castle Rock in Edinburgh.
The most famous example is the Acropolis of Athens,[2] which, by reason of its historical associations and the several famous buildings erected upon it (most notably the Parthenon), is known without qualification as the Acropolis. Although originating in the mainland of Greece, use of the acropolis model quickly spread to Greek colonies such as the Dorian Lato on Crete during the Archaic Period.
The Acropolis is a flat-topped rock which rises 150 m (490 ft) above sea level in the city of Athens, with a surface area of about 3 hectares. It was also known as Cecropia, after the legendary serpent-man, Cecrops, the first Athenian king.

Saturday, July 11, 2009


My work in Asia Pacific is so hectic that I even cannot really plan a holiday as I was used to do when I worked in Europe. The only opportunity I could think of to have a short holiday break was end of June. In July I have to complete my project in the Philippines and in August I have to start a project in Malaysia and one in Thailand.

Just 2 days before I would land in Amsterdam I could call my wife to tell her that I was coming back for two weeks and that we had to find a last minute trip to Greece. I had never been in Greece and she either. My children and mother visited Greece already, my son even two times. So we were excited.


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