Gone to the Dogs

Sniff
This fluffy little guy was hanging out at one of the carnival game setups with his owner the day we went. It was still early and most of the rides and games were just setting up, so he had room to just hang out and watch. I tried to get a shot of his eyes, because he had at least one beautiful, light-blue eye (I never did see the second eye behind all the fur).
On Guard
He seemed happy just to hang out and watch people go by and seems like he’d be a nice companion to have during the down time. Still, he might be a pretty good guard dog, because he certainly seemed fairly alert. Just after we’d walked past him — and I gave up trying to get a photo of his eyes — something seemed to get his attention, because he started barking. His bark, in turn, set off one of his neighbors in the next game over.
Tough Tiny
This tiny little fellow was determined to speak his mind and obviously wasn’t going to put up with any tomfoolery! Don’t let his small size fool you; he seemed a pretty determined and adorable little fella!

Dogs are a frequent companion at festivals and carnivals like this, for both the workers and the visitors. Dogs, in general, are welcome most places here in the Netherlands. It’s not uncommon to find them in bars and restaurants and shops. We’d love to take our dog with us more often, but he gets super excited when he sees other dogs, so we prefer not to risk a scene and disturb others. Such a shame. Just consider how many more fans he would have if he got out in public more! Oh well, at least when we’re out without him, we can stop and say hi to some of the other lovely dogs we see out and about.
Another Doggy

Brave Hond

Marching Band

Music on Nachtegaalstraat
Sunday, while enjoying the street festival on Nachtegaalstraat, we suddenly heard a band start up nearby. Drums in the lead, there was a tuba and various horns, all approaching us at a fairly quick pace. It turns out they’re the Blaaskinkels, and they seem to be fairly popular, particularly for carnival season and maybe other festivals. After a quick bit of Googling, I’m still not quite clear on who/what they are, but they do have a website. It seems they’ve been around in one form or another since 1973.
Bang a Drum
Ultimately, though, I fully admit that it was the fact that they were wearing klompen (clogs) that truly got my attention. It’s not something you see very often here, despite what you may think, so it’s still a bit of a “foreign” thrill.
Clangs and Klompen

Marching Band

I Love A Parade

High School Revisited

High School Revisited
I don’t know how wide-spread this is, but I’ve been seeing a lot of reproduction American-high-school lettermen jackets around town. It’s one of those strange fashion things that, as an American, gives me a bit of a giggle to see.

Sunday, while perusing the street festival lining Nachtegaalstraat, I saw this stall selling their own version of these classic jackets. It was a trip down memory lane for me, particularly with this blue and white jacket with the letter R. The high school I attended had jackets very similar to this — blue body, white sleeves — except the blue was a bit darker, I think. Even more nostalgic for me was the fact that my school’s letter was, indeed, R for Ragsdale.

I never bought the jacket, but I did earn my letter, although I have no idea what happened to it. I don’t think I’ve seen it in the past 15 years. You usually earn a letter through your participation in one of the school’s sports. Football, basketball, and baseball are the obvious ones, but track, soccer, and in my case, wrestling, were also included. Furthermore, you didn’t have to actually be the athlete to earn the letter. In my case, I was a wrestlette, which meant that I was one of a team of girls who set up the mats for the competitions/tournaments, kept score/time, and helped run tournaments held at our own school. It was its own form of work and was also a lot of fun. I’m glad I got involved and still enjoy watching wrestling. The gym at the school has recently been renamed in honor of the father of one of the girls I was a wrestlette with at the time. He has been very involved in high school wrestling over the years, so it was nice to see our neighbor (they lived on the street behind me) be honored for all of his hard work.

As Strong as a Small Pony

Spotted
We went to the Maliebaanfestival today — more to come on that — and while there we saw ponies! They had a variety of sizes, from ponies to small horses. Sadly, I didn’t get many good shots, since it was particularly crowded, but I did get a few shots off. Of course, we also saw a couple of dogs who gave the smallest pony a run for its money when it came to size!
Ponies!

Pony Rides

Thoughts for Thursday

Daily Scenery

  • I entered a photo contest through Expatica the other week with this photo and I found out today that I won! Many thanks to my friends for voting, especially considering how difficult/unclear the whole process was. My prize is a T-shirt and having my photo entered into a drawing to be included in the I Am Not A Tourist expat fair in October. The latter is the reason I entered.
  • It turns out we have color codes for bad weather here. A Code Geel (Code Yellow) was announced today for the region of Utrecht, meaning that there’s a chance of dangerous weather with high winds and heavy rain. The wind hasn’t seemed too bad, but we’ve had pretty much non-stop rain today. It looks like we’ve got more to look forward to through the weekend. It’s particularly frustrating, as I was hoping to visit the Maliebaanfestival this weekend. At least it runs through the 20th, so hopefully we’ll get a nice day in there somewhere.
  • I’ve done a few Tweets in Dutch the past couple of days. Extremely slow Progress! Whether they were right is another matter, but I did get responses to them without any corrections. (That may have had more to do with the 140-character limit.) One of the tweets had to do with a search for food coloring. From what Google translate would have me believe, the word for food coloring is levensmiddelenkleurstof. It’s times like this I really miss McCormick!
  • Is there any topic you’d like me to write about? Any questions y’all might have, about me, being an expat, or just life general life in the Netherlands?