18 January 2014
by Patricia Gonzalez
pictures courtesy of Patricia Gonzalez
January 18 at the Heuvel might have seemed like your average Saturday night; golden light making gezellig restaurants glow, music wafting from bars and good-natured chatter spilling out onto the street. But, it wasn’t the typical weekend crush and the faces that framed the tables in the window of L’Orangerie were not your usual Tilburgse crowd. It was TIC’s Annual Holiday Dinner where thrown into the mix were twenty-two Chinese, Japanese, German, Canadian, American, Estonian, French, Filipino, Lebanese and yes, even Dutch TIC members.
Over unusual pairings of applesauce and frites, cauliflower and crudités, loempia and brie, we shared stories about how we spent the Christmas break. Members who had only just recently moved to the Netherlands talked about how they were settling in to life and work in Tilburg. Members who hadn’t been to a TIC event in a while shared what they had been up to. And, as often happens when people from different parts of the world come together, we laughed about the things that get lost in translation: like how difficult it is to leave a message on an answering machine when the instructions only come in Dutch and why applesauce and fries go together.
Toward the end of the evening, there was even a little gift giving with Anne making sure all the members present had received their TIC umbrellas and copies of “Touch of Tilburg.” It definitely wasn’t Christmas the way any of us traditionally celebrate it but, as we walked home with the “Christmasy” flavor of nutmeg from the Speculoos mousse still on our tongues, memories of pleasant conversation and promises to get together with new friends, we agreed it was a wonderful way to end the holiday season and start the new year.