Six Degrees of Internet Separation

They Asked
Yesterday after the Netherlands’ match against Slovakia (we won 2-1), I was upstairs taking photos of some of the celebratory crowds out on the streets. As I was leaning out the window to get some shots, these two guys stopped and offered themselves for a quick photo shoot. (Honestly, all I heard was photo, so who knows what they said, but they posed anyway.)

Afterward, one of them did say something else, but I didn’t catch it and didn’t feel like doing the whole “I’m sorry, my Dutch is crap, do you speak English” thing, so I sort of shrugged and they moved on. Still, it would be nice to pass the photo on to them, so I figured I’d try to use the power of the internet and see if I can find someone who knows them or at least ask others to spread the word until someone does find one of them. I’ve tweeted the photo, I’ve added it to an Utrecht Flickr group, and now I’m blogging it. So, if you know someone in Utrecht, pass this along to them, retweet the post, do whatever. I’m curious if it’s possible to find at least one of these guys through a bit of internet word of mouth.

Woordenboek Woensdag

We’ve been without phone and internet since Sunday afternoon. The reason? I like to think of it as the modern version of “the dog ate my homework”: my cat vomited on the modem. Mijn kat braakt op de modem. Echt! (Really!)

So that’s my new word for the week: braken (to vomit). I’m not sure if it was Luna or Lola who tossed her kibble, but regardless, it fried the modem. Being both a Sunday and a holiday (and Monday, Tweede Paasdag/second easter, also being a holiday), it meant that we couldn’t get anyone from Ziggo (our cable/phone/internet provider) to come out until today. We also learned through this latest misadventure that you can’t buy modems through a regular store, as you can in the US. It must come from your internet provider. We had thought to go to MediaMarkt or one of the other computer shops in town and just buy a new one, but soon found out that was not an option here. Another one of those small differences!

It turns out that was not the worst of our troubles this weekend. The electricity in the laundry/water heater room went out. At first we thought it was just a blown fuse. Of course, this problem was also discovered on Sunday and we were out of fuses and being a holiday and a Sunday, there were no shops open. Fortunately, it wasn’t too cold (since our heater is related to the hot water heater — the heater that broke recently), so we just bundled up a bit Sunday night and hoped to get a new fuse at the grocery store the next day. At the grocery store, though, we found out they no longer carried fuses. Argh! On the walk home, G thought to stop by the Potdeksel and ask if they had a spare fuse. They did! Unfortunately, it turned out that that was not the problem. The power still didn’t work!

So, yesterday, we called an electrician, and the news is that we’ll most likely have to tear up floors and/or walls in order to fix and update the wiring. Maybe the word of the week should have been “to cry”. That, or I could teach you some swear words in both Dutch and Italian.

On the bright side of things, last night was the monthly Quiz Night at the Potdeksel, and thanks to M (a Dutchie) being on our team, we came in 11th out of 14 teams. Our best finish yet!

On the downside of things (as seems to be the norm these days), I’ve had a debilitating sinus headache all day, and Pippo braakt in de slaapkamer (bedroom). Hopefully, we’ve come full circle.


De Ramen

Pippo and I took a walk today down Nobelstraat, past Janskerkhof, and then back home via Voorstraat. Despite the constant pulling on his part, he was actually quite the good boy and put up with me stopping constantly to take photos. He even let me have a bit of fun with him. I didn’t mean to end up on Voorstraat, since it’s a street I already know quite well (one of the Albert Heijn groceries we go to is there), but it did give me the chance to photograph the building you see here. It’s one of my favorites (more of the building can be seen in my Flickr photostream). These red and white shutters are fairly common around town and just seem so very Utrecht to me for some reason. Café Tilt, at the end of our street, also has some which I’d like to photograph. Maybe that will be our destination tomorrow.

While we were walking on Voorstraat, we also went past Stein, an interior decorating sort of store. They have some lamps vaguely similar to the one we saw in Nisha, so I might have to go in and give their lamps a closer look. They’re a bit cheaper than the Nisha lamp, although ultimately, they’re probably a bit heavier and not as nice as the Nisha one.

I also did a bit of online exploring today, looking for expat groups. I’m feeling social and wouldn’t mind meeting some more people.  One I’m definitely interested in is the International Women’s Contact Utrecht, which seems to be quite active and involved in a variety of activities. Also of interest is SENSE (Society of Native-English-Speaking Editors), which could prove to be a valuable resource professionally.