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Yearly Archives: 2015
I was born and brought up in Dhaka, the capital city of Bangladesh. A country that is not only over populated and busy but also conservative. However, growing up in a non-typical Bangladeshi family, my visions and opinions were always different. I wanted to learn and know more; more about the other side of the world. Hence I travelled a bit and have always worked for international organisations in Dhaka. My last job in Bangladesh was at the Dutch Embassy. During my work at the Embassy I made a trip to the Netherlands where I met my husband Thijs. We got married in January 2008 and thereafter I moved to the Netherlands in February 2008 to join him in Tilburg. In 2011 we became proud parents of a gorgeous baby girl.
We found TIC through a friend in 2011 and ever since we have been happy members. It’s a place where I can socialize and connect with so many different people. It’s like experiencing different cultures at the same time under the same roof. Tilburg may not be the most attractive city but it does have a nice mix of cultures and traditions. The Tilburg International club is the best place to experience this through all the fun excursions and activities.
This year I joined the TIC board as Treasurer and I am looking forward to being part of the team that keeps this club active.
Article by Anne
On Sunday, October 25th, 6 hearty TIC members met at the theater in Tilburg for a “Yoga Concert”…a yoga concert??? Yup, this innovative idea is a combination of a yoga lesson + live music and takes place on the expanded stage of the theater in the Muziekzaal. While the 10 am starting time on Sunday is not for the faint hearted, TIC had arranged for the clocks to be set back an hour the previous night, enabling all to get a long night’s sleep in spite of the early wake up hour 😉
Patricia met us at the door with tickets after which we made our way to the auditorium where we grabbed a mat, rolled it out and waited for the lesson to begin. The event was sold out, so there was a good group with participants being of all different levels. I only do yoga very occasionally (i.e. usually 1-2 times per year!) so complicated and difficult poses are not really in my repertoire! Fortunately, the yoga instructor gives a range of alternatives for exercises so I and the gentleman next to me both managed OK 🙂
The music was provided by a piano and xylophone duo and the lovely music flowed and ebbed as we went through the exercises. There was time at the end of the lesson to relax and listen, so I was very refreshed when the hour was over. We then headed over to the Nieuwland café where we all had a warm drink – courtesy of TIC – and sampled their delicious breakfast menu. Yummy!! I thoroughly enjoyed this unique start of my Sunday! The next Yoga Concert will be on Sunday, November 29th, so plan now to join us!
We are All Completely Beside Ourselves – By Karen Joy Fowler, (336 pages)
I am a longtime fan of Fowler’s work going back to Sarah Canary. WE ARE ALL COMPLETELY BESIDE OURSELVES was a continuous surprise—mysterious, comic, nostalgic, smart, and humane. Rosemary Cooke is 22 in what she calls the middle of her story, and gets arrested for throwing milk in her college cafeteria. She hasn’t seen her brother in 11 years and her sister disappeared when she was 5. She doesn’t remember how any of this happened, but she’s about to figure it out. I don’t think I should say more about the story, only that I was laughing almost immediately and crying by the last page. I read this book in 2 days. It just doesn’t get any better than tears, laughter, and amazement.
This novel is probably the best thing I’ve read in over a year, and I am a devoted reader. The main character has genuine bad luck and blames herself for it. She has to get over that. She is born into a life she didn’t choose—just as we all are—and she makes the best she can of that life. That’s also what we all must do.
Article by Patricia Gonzalez
Time flies. So with places as with people. From 1868 to 2011, the Spoorzone was an industrial site – a place where trains were built and repaired for Nederlandse Spoor and “migrants” from Utrecht came to work on the railways. Today, the Spoorzone is home to the Red Cross, an intended hub for entrepreneurs, a skate park for youth and, during Mundial festival or one of the many market weekends (e.g., Bazouq, Swan Market, Pasar Malam), a bustling event space. Three years ago, I was a newcomer to Tilburg meeting other foreigners at TIC’s Open House. On 26th September, I was one of the “old faces” welcoming newly moved buitenlanders and sharing my own stories about living in this city.
Welcome Day began with a tour of the Spoorzone led by Stadsgidserij Tilburg. In the span of an hour, our guide walked us through history, bringing to life tales of railway workers – a smaller segment of the population in the then mostly textile-focused town. He made us smile to hear of the one-cent increase in workers’ hourly wages (big money then!) and how lunches used to be delivered via small pass-throughs in the imposing wall that enclosed the spoor zone. He also told us of the city’s future plans for the area, helping us imagine what’s in store for the space: the new public library, a passageway for bicycles and pedestrians traveling from above the tracks into the city center, and a possible seats2meet venue – all exciting additions to the city.
We ended our tour at Restaurant De Houtloods, the oldest building in the 13-hectare zone. Under the steel trusses and the clear blue skies, Wethouder Marcelle Hendrickx gave a speech that was warm and welcoming – apropos for the day. Afternoon very quickly turned to evening, as happens when you’re having fun. There were drinks and borrelhapjes, old friends to catch up with, new acquaintances to make, and the shared experience of living and working and loving Tilburg to discuss. It was a pleasant way to kick off the club year.
If you couldn’t come to Welcome Day, don’t worry. There are still plenty of activities in store – a whole year’s worth. But don’t blink or you might miss it!
The area above the railway tracks is changing. Spoorzone is steadily becoming Tilburg’s newest live-work-play area.
This September, we’re marking the start of another TIC club year with a tour and a borrel. Join us as we walk through buildings that are normally only open to the public during special events. Learn about the industrial history of the Spoorzone and hear about the city’s plans for this mixed-use development. Afterwards, catch up with old friends and meet some new faces.
When: 26 September (Saturday)
15:15 Meet (Tour begins at 15:30 and runs until16:30)
16:30 – 18:00 Borrel at De Houtloods (Burgemeester Brokxlaan 1041)
Where: The tour will be in Spoorzone
Exact meeting point to be announced the week of the 26th
Cost: The event is free but registration is required
Please email firstname.lastname@example.org before 21 September.
article by Anne van Oirschot
The book discussion group had a very nice evening on Wednesday, September 8th catching up on summer activities, chatting about plans for the coming year, welcoming a new club member and reader to our group, enjoying tea and cookies,,,oh, and discussing Vanishing Acts, by Jodi Picoult. We really had a lot to catch up on after not seeing each other for months 🙂
While I enjoyed the book, it got rather mixed reviews from the rest of the group. The story follows Delia and her father Andrew, who live in a small new England town and starts with the police coming to arrest Andrew for kidnaping 4 year old Bethany years earlier. Bethany turns out to be his daughter Delia, now grown, who knows nothing about her previous life! The book follows Delia, her father, Delia’s fiancé and a chil
dhood friend in the period leading up to Andrew’s trail ,as well Bethany/Delia’s mother. While everyone liked most of the book and enjoyed the story’s telling by alternating between the viewpoints of the different main characters, the ending was found a bit too pat by some. The central question of, “is it ever acceptable to kidnap a child” wasn’t answered the same by everyone either. Sondra had a surprising and crucial tidbit that the rest of us were surprised to have missed…but did we??? All in all, it was an enjoyable evening and we are all looking forward to our next discussion evening! (Our next book is: A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole (a Pulitzer price winner) so mark your calendars for Tuesday, October 13th and plan to join us!)
article by Thijs Busser
June. The sixth month of the year happens to be my favorite month of the year. The weather is usually pretty good, everything looks fresh and green, and it is the month we have the TICNic! The TICNic, that moment where we say goodbye to the club year, look forward to our holidays, and enjoy each other’s company while eating a wide variety of dishes.
As per usual we conveniend at the Tilburg University campus where we have picnic tables, a good place for the grill, and a wonderful field for our (youngest) members to play games and do some sports. Also as per usual we had great weather. The days leading up to the BBQ weren’t that good but on the day itself we had that wonderful weather we’ve come to expect when we bring out our grillmaster Peter to do his thing.
Our event director, Patricia, out did herself and organised many fun activities to keep the TICKids and adults entertained and brought out the competitor in us all. There was one particular game of making the longest line of stuff which inspired some great team work and ingenuitive thinking from our members. Pieces of string, badminton rackets, clothing, and human beings wered used to try and make the longest line.
Of course there was also plenty of time to relax, catch up, enjoy the nice weather, and of course eat. Everyone brought a dish for the BBQ and thus we had a wide range of appetizers, salads and sweets. Each year everyone tries their best to bring something yummy and this year was no exception. I think almost all the food was finished by the time we packed up.
If you were there, thank you for making this one of the best events. If you could not attend, clear your weekends in June 2016 so you can attend and close with us, what I am sure will be, another awesome club year!
by Martina Leonard
Our April book discussion gathering was in Yolonda’s beautiful recently renovated family home, where we were treated to scrumptious cookies and refreshing tea. We discussed the delightful easy reading book The Art of Hearing Heartbeats, by Jan-Philipp Sendker.
This poignant and inspirational love story is set in Burma and spans the decades between the 1950’s and the present. When a successful New York lawyer suddenly disappears without a trace, neither his wife nor his daughter Julia has any idea where he might be – until they find a love letter he wrote many years ago, to a Burmese woman they have never heard of. Intent on solving the mystery and coming to terms with her father’s past, Julia decides to travel to the village where the woman lived. There she uncovers a tale of unimaginable hardship, resilience, and passion that will change her life.
Everyone enjoyed the read and most had an opinion of events shared through the storyline. The possibility of one true love was debated(!) and the twist of Julia discovering her roots and extended family. The pace was slow, intermingled with characters that in the finale come together. A touching and heart-warming story that was both moving and enlightening. As always we learned more about different cultures, the impact of obedience and family values in other countries.
One of the nicest parts of our club is hearing different interpretations, and being made aware of points missed in the story line, giving an explanation to what may have seemed like a thread missed by the author. Looking forward to our next discussion night when we will travel to a different country and culture!
article by Rick Tillman
This past week TIC had yet another successful and enriching outing! In order to more appreciate what our province of Noord-Brabant has to offer, we took a half-day trip to Kasteel (Castle) Heeswijk which has been deemed as one of Brabant’s top monuments. The castle is striking and majestic, but also has been an integral part of local and European history. We learned from our very knowledgeable and fun tour guide, Jos, that when the American paratroopers landed to liberate The Netherlands, they (mistakenly) dropped into the surrounding grounds and some right into the moat. They meant to land at a castle around 40km away, but I guess from the air, they all look the same!
After viewing a few rooms that were beautifully appointed, such as the dining room which contains some of the best preserved Chinese wallpaper in current existence, we learned that the family to inhabit the castle for a large portion of its existence in the last few centuries were no strangers to scandal and family troubles that you might see on a current “reality” show. There was a mixture subterfuge, disinheritance, mistresses, abandoning the house for many years, reassertion of ownership, and some really odd collecting habits of some of the family members. But thankfully, the final owner upon his death willed the castle and grounds to an association that has since renovated and kept the castle running by hosting tours and events, such as the wedding where everyone in our group had to stop and admire the happy couple. We are very thankful indeed that associations in The Netherlands and Brabant have decided to try their best to preserve parts of history so that many future generations can enjoy and reflect on the rich history of the area.
Although a lot of the collections and furnishings were sold off long ago by some family members not so eager to preserve history (but to cash in on valuable things such as Rembrandt paintings and priceless artifacts), there was no lack of splendor in each of the rooms we visited. Kasteel Heeswijk contains an abundance of wooden staircases (my favorite were the tiny hidden ones!), ornate bookcases, and interesting wall coverings of paper, silk, and even leather. The main staircase with the beautiful blue and white Portuguese tiles still intact was one of the highlights of the tour. There were even replicas of the chainmail and armor suits that Jos insisted that one of our members wear! Our guide Jos helped bring each room to life as he explained what the room was used for and helped us imagine life in those times when the castle was filled with (only slightly more than our group’s) nobility. The end of the tour showed the definitive hierarchy of life surrounding the castle where the local villagers could not even look into the kitchen when they brought the goods, or one particular (jerk) nobleman designed a rotating table where he would not have to see his servants. Thankfully, some things have been left in the past. As Jos was a former teacher, he was able to make the tour appeal to children and adult alike (and older “kids” like myself!). It was interactive and a most enjoyable time for all those who were with us.
Because we had worked up such an appetite climbing up and down stairs and through long passageways, we went into the center of the Heeswijk village for some sustenance. We found what looked like an ice cream shop (not a bad thing!), but they ended up having an extensive food menu. Other than food envy that invariably comes with watching each dish come out, everyone enjoyed their food and most of all the company of the members. I like the attractions that we’ve traveled to as a group very much, but my favorite part is being able to sit and commune with our fellow members and reflect on the sights of the day as well as connect with each other.
Alas, we had to retire for the evening, so we returned with the people that were so gracious as to offer their time and cars for everyone to easily get there. I know we all look forward to our next adventure!
article by Michael Dizon
On a warm Friday evening, TIC members descended on Cinecitta to watch a film adaptation of Thomas Hardy’s novel “Far From the Madding Crowd”. Before the movie started, we had time to lounge in the courtyard, have a drink and enjoy the still bright late spring sun.
Compared to the big cinema houses, catching a movie at Cinecitta felt comfy and pleasant. The theater only seats a limited number of people and the intimate size gives every seat a good view. The film itself was quite engaging and the climax elicited emotional reactions from the crowd. Some of the loud comments (and shouts) at the end from people who got really involved in the characters and the story came from the chairs occupied by TIC.
Afterwards, we headed to the resto-bar to talk about the movie over rounds of drinks and borrelhapjes. Inspired by the film, we had interesting conversations about love and loss and all things in between. It was a perfectly gezellig way to start a long May weekend.
article by Yolonda van Riel
If you missed TIC’s Annual General Meeting (AGM) on May 14th, you missed a great time! A great time at an AGM? Yes, you read correctly!
We had a nice turnout and, after a welcome coffee with sweets, we began the evening as we do every year, with a short presentation over the club and how we are performing. All board members are still in term, so no need for a vote but our treasurer, Yiyi Bai, will be leaving us at the end of the club year and we are in search of a replacement. Next, Anne shared our membership numbers which are slightly up from last year but still considerably lower than when we had the first influx of university members. The board is working hard by visiting companies, international schools and using social media to attract more members. We have also printed new flyers and business cards with our new logo and are busy handing those out as well. Yiyi then presented the financials and showed that we are doing well keeping within our budget and still offering many incentives to our members. Lastly, Patricia gave an overview of all of the events so far this club season complete with photo’s. You can view the presentation here for the complete details.
Then came the fun part! Our originally planned speaker had to cancel due to illness so, at the last minute, we improvised and held a reception complete with drinks, snacks and a pub quiz. We divided up into three teams while Patricia asked questions over 4 rounds of play. What a drama!! We had bartering for partial points, we had contesting of the answers (even though they were right there in black and white), we had debating amongst the teams and we had to do all this without looking at our phones for help! In the end, after much laughter, eating and drinking, a winning team emerged and went home with gift certificates from Bagels & Beans, while the losing team went home with a “beautiful” magnet. But everyone went home with homemade macaroons from Patricia which – I must say – were absolutely delicious!!
One last note: If you or someone you know would be interested in filling the board position of treasurer, please let us know. This is an integral part of our board and we would love to welcome you to the team. We realize these positions are voluntary and, while participation is vital, we try to keep the commitment to a level that is “doable” in our busy lives!
by Leni Hurley
The TIC Book Club met in March 2015 in Cafe Restaurant No Sikiriki, and the atmosphere was great. The book under discussion was The Last Kingdom, first volume in a series written by Bernard Cornwell. We all loved the book. This may seem odd, given that we were all women and that this historical novel describes a pretty brutal man’s world. In the book we followed a young warrior’s epic adventure of courage, devotion, treachery, duty, battle and love. The time is the middle of the ninth century AD; the place – the British Isles. The action – the invasion of the Christian Anglo-Saxon world by Norsemen; men who came with their own, very vibrant gods. All in all, the book lent itself to a spirited discussion: how did the two religions compare; how does this epoch of violent turmoil strike you? Are there similarities in our present day world? And what about the remnants of an earlier, much more advanced civilization? When they left in about 410 AD, the Romans abandoned their amazing structures and roads and not a Briton, so it appears, cared to imitate or inhabit them. Yet many centuries later, the Anglo-Saxons made grateful use of these roads, especially in times of war. Yet they continued to use mud and straw to engineer their civic landscape. What does this say about the original Britons, the Anglo-Saxons that took over, and the Romans that came in between? And could such a thing happen again? Perhaps it did happen, many times over? All in all, it was a great night!
It was yet another twist to our borrel outings this month. We met at De Pont museum in Tilburg for a beverage and to take advantage of the museum’s being open late, which occurs on the third Thursday of the month. It was quite a nice turnout as we gathered in the café to enjoy a drink, some light snacks and began to catch up on the what was going on in our busy lives! After the borrel, we made our way into the museum to enjoy the exhibits. Some the featured exhibitions included the films of Isaac Julien, the video works of Emma van der Putt, the paintings of Toon Verhoef and several other interesting works.
The description of the films of Isaac Julien are described by as “a blend of fact and fiction, aesthetics and critical reflection. In his films he has told stories about ethnic origins and social vulnerability, about sexuality and gender, about beauty and economic capital. Julien’s film installations can be compared to musical compositions in which various voices are brought together”.
Emma van der Put graduated from the AKV St. Joost in 2010 with Scenes uit een avond (Scenes from an Evening) as her final-exam project. For one of her most recent videos, which is what we had the pleasure of viewing at De Pont, she took her camera to the notorious Brussels train station Midi/Zuid. There she filmed the loud advertisements, hurried travelers and sleeping homeless people.
My favorite exhibition of the evening was the work of Toon Verhoef. The paintings of Verhoef are described as “they resist definition; the words to describe what they show usually remain at the tip of one’s tongue. Each painting is based on a drawing that the artist has selected from dozens of small sketches and preparatory drawings. That is the drawing which ‘hits the nail on the head’ due to a certain detail or because of some incongruity that intrigues him”.
If you have never visited De Pont or it has been awhile since your last visit, you definitely owe it to yourself to stop in and take a look. There is always something beautiful, thought provoking or just different to enjoy!