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Yearly Archives: 2014
article by Emerald Clump-Busser
Who says Halloween has to be scary, when it can also be fun and merry!
Like many of TIC’s fun events, Halloween was one of them this year. On the 1st of November TIC arranged a kids event at the Heyhoef Reeshof. Every year the Heyhoef organises a Halloween lantern parade night with music and some fun activities including tricks and treats for the kids.
The TIC kids arrived at the Heyhoef dressed in cute and cool outfits. We had a pirate, a policeman, a knight, a fairy princess and three witches. The kids then got their first treat, a goody bag from TIC with different kinds of candy, or snoepjes, as they call it in Dutch. The weather was just nice for the time of the year and we were all ready to join the lantern parade except some of the kids didn’t have their lanterns yet. Thanks to one of our TIC members who knew where to find them, everyone soon had a lantern. As everyone was free to go their own way and enjoy the evening, some of our members went off to join the parade while the rest of us decided to just watch the parade walk by.
The Heyhoef shopping center was turned into a street theater. There were small tents where you could get a temporary tattoo or a face painting, hair makeover offer (frizzy hair), photographs taken, discounted stuffs from the stores at the Heyhoef and free cotton candy. There was also some whimsical, steampunk-inspired puppet carts. The music was no halloween music but country western and a few Beatles songs. But nevertheless it was a festive and lively atmosphere.
The lights, the decorations, the costumes, all the fun and laughter and the kids enjoying themselves is all you need to make a great TICKids event. Therefore stay tuned for the next TICKids event coming up next month, 3rd of December: the Sinterklaas event!
Article by Anne van Oorschot
On October 28th, 6 TIC members met to discuss the best-selling book by Haruki Murikami – Norwegian Wood. This book, written in 1987, propelled the author to literary stardom – much to his dismay! Fame was one thing, but the craziness of superstardom sent the author to the anonymity of Europe to live until 1995. Norwegian Wood is still the one Murikami book that “everyone” in Japan has read, and now we have read it as well!
Our views were varied, with some of us liking the book and the author’s style of writing, while others thought it too slow moving;”it didn’t pull me in”. All agreed that the book is very different from Murakami’s other books in that it was “normal”; no fantastical characters or occurances as in Kafka on the Shore which was the first book we read in our group.
The story follows Toru and Naoko, who are joined together by the tragic suicide of their best friend years before. While the serious Toru begins to adapt to campus life in the tumultuous 60’s, Naoko retreats further and further into herself. She is Toru’s first love and a clear contrast to the independent and sexually liberated Midori, whom he meets on campus and begins a friendship with.
The story is told by the grown Toru when hearing the Beatles song, Norwegian Wood sends him back in time to his student days. We were left wondering what he was doing in life and who he was with, if anyone? While the story seems autobiographical at times, the author denies this. At any rate, we had an enjoyable and lively discussion around the fireplace, with tea and cream puffs 🙂
After reading the book, I was curious about the text of the Beatles song – had I ever heard it? While it didn’t sound familiar, I searched for it on YouTube and once the music began, I recognized it. The text is surprisingly fitting for the book:
Norwegian Wood – The Beatles
I once had a girl, or should I say, she once had me…
She showed me her room, isn’t it good, Norwegian wood?
She asked me to stay and she told me to sit anywhere,
So I looked around and I noticed there wasn’t a chair.
I sat on a rug, biding my time, drinking her wine
We walked until two and then she said, “It’s time for bed”
She told me she worked in the morning and started to laugh.
I told her I didn’t and crawled off to sleep in the bath
And when I awoke, I was alone, this bird had flown
So I lit a fire, isn’t it good, Norwegian wood.
Dictionaries translate this very Dutch word as a drink or a round of drinks. So when you say you’re going to a borrel, it usually means that you’re attending an informal social gathering, often involving alcohol, with a few borrel hapjes (snacks) to accompany the wine or beer.
Going by the strict definition then, what TIC did on a Saturday morning in October wasn’t a borrel. There was no wine, no spirits in sight, not even an Irish coffee. Judging by the amount of food on our table – almost outnumbering rather than merely complementing the drinks – it looked more brunch than borrel.
But if you think about it, it’s not really the drinks that make a borrel. Instead, it’s gezelligheid – that cozy, inviting feeling that tells you that you’re welcome, in good company, among friends. And that was certainly how it seemed to those of us who had gotten out of bed and pedaled, walked or driven to Buut Vrij. Over coffee and breakfast, we talked about what we had done in the weeks since we had last seen each other – the last book club evening, the more recent 3D workshop or the cycling tour that begun the club year – and we shared news about exciting new developments in our lives: a just-celebrated birthday, temporarily moving house, getting one step closer to completing a dissertation, planning an upcoming vacation. In the end, no one questioned whether our borreltje was in fact, a borrel. Not even the Dutch among us.
After a lovely summer break, our first book discussion of the new club year was held at my (Anne’s) home on a Tuesday. We discussed the newest book by bestselling author Khaled Hosseini, the Afghan author of The Kite Runner which we had read in the Club’s first year.
This book was written very differently than Hosseini’s previous books, as the story was told from the vantage point of different characters, and in different times, spanning from 1952 – 2010. We wondered if the author was experimenting with a new style? At any rate, while most found this new approach a surprise from this author, once you got used to it, it was interesting to have different perspectives on the tragic event that befalls siblings Pari and Abdullah at the beginning of the story, as well as other situations the characters found themselves in.
The book raised many questions about the wavering line between right and wrong and the nature of the sacrifices made by different characters for a variety of reasons. Sometimes good intentions had a good effect – but not always! – and selfish motivations could have a positive effect. The writing was beautiful and Hosseini can really create vivid images through his descriptive writing. The epigraph of the book, a line from a 13th century Rumi poem, was a fitting thought: “Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing, there is a field. I’ll meet you there.”
Imagine, if you will, a nice warm summer day. A blue sky, a few small white clouds and a lush green park. You sit on the grass, enjoying the good weather as you suddenly smell beef being grilled. You can already taste the burger on a nice bun slathered with BBQ-sauce. Idyllic, isn’t it? Do you want to know where to find this magical place? It was at the UvT grounds on a perfect day last June.
To our regular participants this is known as TICNic and we visit this magical place once a year. As always we had a couple of great grill masters and everyone who attended brought something great to eat for everyone else.
No TICNic is complete without some activities planned by our event coordinator. This year we did some koekhappen, a scavenger hunt, orange hockey and for the kids there was a nice surprise they could take home.
In between the activities and the BBQ-ing we also found time to play badminton and soccer. That certainly helped to burn off some of the calories we consumed.
All in all we had a fantastic day. To all who attended: we hope to see you again this club year. To those who stayed home or couldn’t make it last year: come by this year and share in the fun!
I have spent almost a third of my life outside of the Philippines, the country where I was born. I grew up as an expat child in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia in the 80s then returned to Manila where I subsequently met and married Michael. Together, we have lived in Manila, Edinburgh, Newcastle and London. In 2012, Michael became a PhD researcher at Tilburg University and we added Tilburg to the list. What I have learned from all this is that anywhere in the world can be home. And the new friends you make, the community you become a part of – they often turn into a family of sorts.
At not-yet forty, I have been a teacher, a law student, a wannabe archaeologist and a cook in a restaurant kitchen. Despite all of these “adventures”, I keep returning to my main passions: anthropology and heritage – fields I have worked in and in which I hold Master’s degrees. Deep down, I think the world is a lot larger than we imagine and all the more fascinating for its diversity.
I am curious about Dutch culture and easily captivated by art and creativity. Consequently, during my time with the Board, you can expect events that delve into the customs and idiosyncracies of this country we all call home and the people that make it so. I see Tilburg, Brabant, in fact, the whole of the Netherlands as a place that’s just waiting to be explored. Let’s discover it together through TIC.
by Patricia Gonzalez
It’s amazing how far you can go on a ship that has been moored for the last ten years. On our two-hour tour, we were transported to the ‘50s and ‘60s – to days of steamship technology when transatlantic journeys were run on turbine engines and stabilizers, boilers and condensers; to glamorous evenings when women in full-skirt silhouettes and stiletto heels wended their way through mid-century modern furniture aboard La Grand Dame. And, it being the first joint outing between the Tilburg, Breda and Eindhoven clubs, we met people from different parts of the world for whom the Netherlands is the current port of call. Our group included expats from Mexico, America, Spain, Australia, Germany, Lebanon, the Philippines, even a Dutch couple originally from Tilburg who migrated as far afield as Thailand and are now back in the Randstad.
What was it about the 38,645-ton ship that so fascinated us that we signed up for the outing? Maybe the SS Rotterdam appealed to the adventurer in us. We all left the safe, comforting haven of home to make a new life in a country not our own. Perhaps the many transformations of this colossal ocean liner spoke to us. A ship that has spent 12 years as a trans-Atlantic vessel, more than 20 as a cruise ship (when long-distance commercial flights replaced sea travel), and 4 as a hotel, restaurant, museum and visitor attraction is the epitome of adaptability. We, who’ve packed up our lives, our families and careers and adjusted to initially unfamiliar cultures, know that transitions are an inevitable part of migration. They have to be welcomed, embraced. But then again, maybe what brought our group together that Saturday morning was just the allure of looking out over the water, gazing at the Rotterdam skyline, sitting down to lunch on a sunny poolside deck or snacking on high tea petit fours, with the added convenience of being transported from our city to the Rotterdam port and back again.
Some journeys take you great distances. Others, like this one, are only a city or two away. But both can make you question how far you’ve come and appreciate where you are now.