Utrecht Calendar of Events

They have cupcakes

Sadly, Trippist.com closed its suitcase and packed away its passport at the beginning of this year, which meant I no longer was posting about various events going on in and around Utrecht. Still, out of habit, I kept finding events and such that I thought people might be interested in, even if I knew I wasn’t going to be able to go. So, I figured I’d create my own calendar of events here in Utrecht for anyone wanting to get out and about and see all of the culture the city has to offer. Of course, I can’t guarantee that it will be the most extensive calendar, but I’ll try to keep it updated as much as possible. If you know of something going on, pass along the info to me and I’ll add it if I think it’s something right for my readers.

You can find the calendar up at the top of the page, next to the About and Other Expat pages. I hope those of you who are local find it handy.

Waar In Utrecht

Quizmaster and Burgemeester
Saturday afternoon we stopped in briefly at CafĂ© De Stad in order to attend the presentation of the 2011 Waar In Utrecht (Where in Utrecht) calendar. Waar In Utrecht is a quiz in which a photo of a location in Utrecht is posted either on Twitter or through the website — or is part of a calendar — and the player has to guess where that spot is located. It’s player-driven, in that the person who guesses correctly via Twitter is then the one to supply the next photo. There’s usually some small prize such as a free ice cream or stamppot for the Twitter version, and a variety of prizes for the calendar version (a new photo each week).

I’ve played — and won — a few times, and now it seems that one of my photos made the final cut for the 2011 calendar. The quizmaster/organizer e-mailed me last month to see if I had any Sinterklaas photos that he could use, and he found one of mine that he thought would work. I was pretty sure the photo had made it in to the calendar, but got my final confirmation this weekend when I saw this photo. That’s my photo of Sinterklaas! (Appropriately, Saturday was also the day that Sinterklaas arrived in the Netherlands. Unfortunately, I missed the arrival this year. Someone else will have to supply the photo for 2012.)

Alas, the calendar presentation party was packed, and we couldn’t stay long, so I didn’t get to buy my copy of the calendar. I’ll just have to order mine online, most likely. But at least I can say I was at the same party as Utrecht’s mayor. Burgemeester Wolfsen was the first recipient of the new calendar.
Burgemeester Wolfsen

Randstad Rant

Please excuse me while I rant for a moment.

*deep breath*

Why do so few expat/event-related websites recognize Utrecht? There are four main cities that make up the Randstad of the Netherlands (with their surrounding cities, of course), AKA the four main cities: Amsterdam, Den Haag (The Hague), Rotterdam, and Utrecht. You’d never know Utrecht exists to see some of the websites. Even the Democrats expat group has events in the three other cities, but not in Utrecht.

It’s not as if we don’t have stuff going on, either. We’ve got the monthly Cultural Sunday, all sorts of other festivals and theater events, and this month we have the big Uitfeest event, but none of that ever gets mentioned on the websites that tell expats (and others) about what’s going on in the various cities.

We’re not some dinky, backwater city, either. We’ve got one of the major universities, so that means lots of international students and professors. There are big international companies in the general area, with international workers living in the area in and around Utrecht. There are plenty of other random expats in and around town here for a number of reasons. And as I said, we are one of the four major cities. So why do we always get left out of stuff?

I know there are numerous other cities in the country with their share of expats, and they don’t get much attention either, but they’re also not as centrally located as Utrecht. We’ve got the central train station! Everyone has to go through Utrecht! (OK, a slight exaggeration, but not that far off. Anyway, it’s my rant and I’ll exaggerate if I want to!)

Sorry, this is a pointless rant, but I received another monthly expat-related newsletter today with a listing of various events in other cities, and once again Utrecht was not on the list, even though the Uitfeest really should be on there, if nothing else. And yes, I did write to them (politely and calmly) and point out the upcoming event, which they will most likely add to their site’s calendar. It’s the principle of the thing, though.

*calming breath*

Now that I’ve got that out of my system, stay tuned for the boat story that is the continuation from yesterday’s breaking news. They weren’t exaggerating when they said it was an interesting story!