Tilburg International Club

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Yearly Archives: 2016

Upcoming Events

  • tícMovie Night 22 November 2019 Cinecitta, Willem II Straat 29, 5038 BA Tilburg, Netherlands
  • Worstenbrood Workshop 26 November 2019 at 7:30 pm – 10:00 pm De Smaeck van Brabant, Kerkstraat 8, 5056 AC Berkel-Enschot, Pays-Bas
  • Book Club: The 100 Secret Senses 2 December 2019
  • Tic event Jess 5 December 2019 at 8:30 pm – 11:00 pm Rentmeesterhof 26n5046 MZ Tilburg, Brabant-SeptentrionalnPays-Bas

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News Archive

Happy Holidays!

happy-holidaysThe holiday season is upon us once again! One of the fun things about being an international is that you get to celebrate not only your own traditional holidays but also those of your adopted country. I must admit, that 14 years ago, I had never even heard of Sinterklaas. Now, I get just as excited as the children when the boat comes sailing in from Spain. I can eat my weight in pepernoten and I try to write (most unsuccessfully) rhymes in Dutch. I even made a speculaas pie for my Thanksgiving dessert this year!

Everything from Halloween and Sinterklaas parties to Christmas borrels, baking Christmas cookies and the annual holiday dinner are included on the TIC “holiday season” agenda! These are just a few of the reasons I enjoy being a part of this great club. It makes me realize how lucky I am to have made so many friends from around the world.

Yolonda van Riel

Also, being so far away from home is a bit easier and a lot more interesting with TIC. I hope you have plans to join us for some of the many things we have planned and that TIC has helped make your life abroad a little more enjoyable. No matter how or where you spend this holiday season, I wish you and your family good health and much happiness for 2017.

Happy Holidays,
Yolonda

Movie review: The Light Between Oceans

by Anne van Oorschot

light-between-oceans-1On Friday, 11 November, we had our first #TilburgInternationalClub movie evening of the club year at Cinecitta to see the film The Light Between Oceans. This beautiful film is based on the debut novel by M. L. Stedman and tells the story of Tom (Michael Fassbender), a Lighthouse keeper in Western Australia and his wife, Isabel (Alicia Vikander). Tom, a WWI veteran, is damaged by the atrocities he has seen as a soldier and feels his past will prevent him from having a happy future, so accepts the job of lighthouse keeper on a desolate island. He is surprised by the affection of Isobel, a lovely girl who lives on the mainland and they are married and head off to the island where they create a solitary, yet happy life together.light-between-oceans-2

To their joy, Isobel becomes pregnant, only to suffer a miscarriage…and then another. Isobel is bereft, but one day, a small boat washes up on shore containing a dead man and a crying baby. Isobel sees it as a gift from God and convinces Tom to bury the dead man and they raise the little girl, whom they name Lucy, as their own. The little family leads a charmed life on their island and Lucy is nurtured and loved unconditionally. Several years later the family returns to the mainland for a celebration, and Tom meets a grieving woman (Rachel Weisz) who is desperately searching for her daughter who was lost at sea in a small boat with her German husband…

light-between-oceans-3The 3 main actors were excellent, giving convincing and emotionally true portrayals of their characters, and the cinematography was absolutely stunning!!

While Tom tries to honor his family, he also tries to secretly reassure the grieving mother that her daughter is safe and well loved. In spite of his best intentions, that – of course – goes wrong and leads to emotional heartbreak and near disaster…

What I found most memorable about the film was a comment made by Frank, the German father of the light-between-oceans-4lost little girl. Via a flashback, we learn about him through his wife as she remembers her lost love. After the war, Frank is very discriminated against and shunned due to his German heritage and his wife marvels at his seeming inability to become angered and resentful of the prejudices he encounters. He tells her, “You only have to forgive once. To resent, you have to do it all day, every day. You have to keep remembering all the bad things.”  A good lesson from a stunning film!

Watch for more TIC movie nights in the New Year and plan to join us for a good film followed by a drink and snacks to start the weekend off in a relaxing way.

Back at home… sort of

gnrnashvilleby George Oeser

In 2013, my husband, Rick, and myself got on a plane and flew to the Netherlands. We had no idea what to expect, we had signed a lease for an apartment we had never seen in person and  we were moving to a city we didn’t know existed a few months earlier. The one thing we knew for sure is that we didn’t know a single person in #Tilburg. We were excited and frightened in  pretty much equal amounts.

Within just a few weeks we had learned (more…)

Book review: The Heart Goes Last

The Heart Goes Lastby Coree Forman

On 3 Nov, 7 TIC members got together for a cup of tea and a book club discussion of The Heart Goes Last by Margaret Atwood.

Those of us who had read the book enjoyed it, but all agreed it was a bit “all over the place,” with story beginning miles away from where it started: from a dystopian community project gone awry, to Elvis impersonators and sex-robots in Las Vegas. Luckily, Anita had done some research and was able to inform us that the book was originally written and released as an ebook serial, which may explain why (more…)

Donders family says, “so long”

dondersby Melissa Donders


My Dutch husband, my 3 teenage girls and I arrived from Australia to Tilburg in November 2015 to live for one year. Within 2 weeks, I was looking for an English speaking book club and asked at the library, but they didn’t know of any. So I started searching on google and the Tilburg International Club website with all the information about book club, social functions and general help with integration into Dutch life came up.

The first book club I attended was a cold, wet night and as my confidence in driving on the other side of the road had not yet kicked in, I decided to ride my bike. Google maps said a 20 minute ride…..took me 45 minutes battling against the rain and wind. I arrived wet, hot and sweaty to a group of about 15 ladies who were kind enough to catch my breath before allowing me to introduce myself! I believe now, if I had to make the same journey again, 1 year later, I would make that ride in 20 minutes.

Having events at TIC gave me an opportunity to meet some lovely people while trying to navigate my way in a new country. We have enjoyed attending the events as a family and also as a couple or me on my own. TIC gave us a feeling of being included while meeting new, interesting people that we might not have met otherwise.

We are now back in Australia and who knows what the future holds, but if we return to Tilburg I’ll be back at book club!

A dark and stormy US election night borrel

cafe-bakker-attendees

by Sondra Grace

What happened? What’s it all about, Alfie? Misogynistic, feckless, dissolute, 1966-film Alfie ends up all alone, save a stray dog. How did his Donald twin end up with the presidency?

Nothing for it but to talk about the Elephant in the room, and so we did in a cosy corner of Café Bakker in Tilburg. By evening’s end the spirits of true-blue Americans had been restored by Aussie, British, Dutch, and French solidarity.

There will be many a borrel before the one we plan in November 2020 to celebrate the retaking of the White House!

Disclaimer: The writer has a long, Democratic and Green voting record.

Book Club Review: Boys in the Boat

boys-in-the-boatby Anne van Oorschot

The first meeting of TIC readers was at Coree’s home on September 27th.  After chatting about summer vacations (and the first debate of the US Presidential election!) we settled down to talk about The Boys in the Boat.  This non-fiction book, written by Daniel James Brown (not to be confused with the Dan Brown of The Divinci Code) is about the 8 man rowing shell from University of Washington that went on to become the US’s Olympic entry in the controversial 1936 Berlin Olympics – Hitler’s Olympics!

The story is told mainly from the vantage point of Joe Rantz, a teenager without family or prospects, who rows not only to regain his shattered self-regard, but also, to find a real place for himself in the world. At a time when rowing- or crew- was dominated by the elite East Coast Universities, the Washington boat was filled with boys who were the sons of loggers, shipyard workers and farmers. No one expected them boys-in-the-boat-2to triumph over the elite East Coast teams and Great Britain, but they went on to challenge the German boat rowing for Adolf Hitler, winning gold by six-tenths of a second! In spite of knowing the outcome of the race at the onset, the story was still gripping and exciting as the boys overcame huge obstacles to win.

Although none of us know much about rowing, we were much more informed by the end of the book: the 8 man shell has 9 men in it, the ninth man being the small coxswain who determines the pace of the rowers. Each chapter started with a semi philosophical quote by George Yeoman Pocock, Washington’s magical boat craftsman/builder.  Brown interwove a lot of interesting facts about the depression era, as well as the Nazi actions and preparations for the Olympics through the story which all found very interesting. We learned that bringing the Olympic flame to the games was an idea conceived by Leni Riefenstahl, Hitler’s favored cinematographer who was to film the Olympics. Added to the good footage she had already gotten of the gold medal race, Riefenstahl got the 3 top teams to row again the next day with her cameramen in the place of the coxswain and first seat to add close-ups to her overall footage. The resulting film, Olympia, was a masterpiece of innovative filming and earned Riefenstahl worldwide accolades. All in all, everyone liked the book but some thought it was too detailed in the middle and would have been stronger if its 400 pages had been cut down somewhat.

boys-in-the-boatBy happy coincidence, I happened to be in Seattle, Washington this past summer visiting a good friend. She had also read the book and suggested a trip to the University of Washington where the Husky Clipper – the 1936 Olympic 8man shell – hangs suspended from the ceiling in the dining commons above the Shell House.  It was amazing to see the long, light and thin boat and marvel at the history I now knew she contained!

(On a side note, Riefenstahl’s Olympia is still considered a classic film and it’s available for rental at Cinnicitta (Willem II straat). I plan to organize an evening for those interested to watch together – be on the lookout for an invitation. )

Focus on Communication and Membership Development

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Mala Raman

After a two year hiatus, I’m happy to be back on the TIC Board taking over our online activities from Thijs and spearheading some much needed initiatives in the areas of Communication & Membership Development.

Tilburg International Club has come a long way from its start in 2007.  Over the years I’ve contributed in various capacities and have enjoyed seeing the club from all different perspectives. I’m back now in a new role to help further develop our online presence and support the growth of our membership base.

This year, one our priorities is to create a stronger online awareness of our club, events, goals and attractive membership benefits through Facebook (feel free to visit now!), Twitter @tilintclub and, of course, our own Tilburg International Club website. We would love the help and encouragement of our members and club friends.  You can help us by:

  • frequently visiting our website
  • joining our Twitter feed
  • “liking” our Website and Facebook posts
  • commenting on posts
  • sharing posts on your timeline
  • sharing posts on the timeline of friend who would enjoy reading about our activities

Another major effort will be in the area of recruitment to reach even more internationals in and around the Tilburg area.  Our club has improved the quality as well as the variety of its events.  We pride ourselves on offering a well-rounded assortment of workshops, outings, social gatherings and Dutch-oriented, cultural and educational lectures.  As such, we would love to be able to share all of this with expats who may not know about our club yet.  You can help out by:

  • spreading the word about TIC to friends and co-workers
  • distributing the club business cards
  • referring your acquaintances to our website for more information

As we continue to offer fun events to our existing membership group, we will be looking to provide our members with additional benefits.  Members should look for even more activities offered free of charge or very attractively priced with additional “extras.”

This is going to be another great club year full of fun, laughter and strong friendships, don’t miss the opportunity to see what the club has in store for you! Whether you’ve been a member for some time, you’re a new member or you’re interested in joining the club., I look forward to seeing you at one of our upcoming events!

October RAW Borrel

raw-borrelby Anne van Oorschot

The Borrel in Back! Thanks to TIC member Coree Foremen, the TIC borrel is back, with 10 TIC members meeting at RAW in the Spoorzone on Friday, October 21 to kick off the weekend. TIC provided the first drink and lots of tasty snacks and members provided lively conversation.

It was such fun to unwind and talk about events of the week and random subjects that came up. Even though Hein and I had another commitment at 8:30, we didn’t want to leave, so we ordered a delicious dinner and kept right on chatting! What a great and fun evening and a wonderful start of the weekend! Many thanks to Coree for volunteering to plan the monthly borrels – hopefully you can join us at a new and fun location next time!

TIC Borrel – Special US Election Edition

bakker

Welcome to the Heart of Brabant Event

welcome-eventby Yolonda van Riel

We had another beautiful day on September 24, 2016 for our annual Welcome Event that officially opens our club year! This year’s theme was the Puishaven Quest where we had to search the area for answers to questions about the many sights and scenes around the Puishaven in Tilburg.

To start the afternoon, everyone gathered at the eclectic HeAVENs Kitchen for coffee and apple pie as we were welcomed to the city by Tilburg’s vice mayor, Erik de Ridder. After the warm welcome, we divided up into teams and headed out for the adventure! As the teams made their way back to the final destination, Undici Keukens, (some still with chocolate on their face from the free bon bon at Huize Geers Chocolatier!) they were welcomed by a cold beverage and turned in their answer sheets. We had a lot of fun socializing at Undici while enjoying drinks and snacks provided by the biological restaurant, Eethuis Twentig while waiting for the winners to be announced. The winning team was “Team Ellis” and each team member received a gift certificate for ice cream at Porto Koffie en Ijs – an adorable little shop in the Puishaven selling specialty coffee and ice cream.

We ended the afternoon with the grand prize drawing of a 50 euro gift certificate to restaurant Bij Vermeer. It was a great afternoon meeting new people, catching up with old friends and just having fun!

Visit TIC’s Facebook Page to see more great pictures from this fun event!

President’s Message, Oct. 2016

From Yolonda van Riel

Yolonda van RielThe TIC board is hard at work planning many fun events for you this season and can hardly wait to get started! To add a “twist” to the events this year, we are asking members to plan some of the events (with our help of course). The first one will be a borrel hosted by Coree Freeman and I can’t wait to sit back and enjoy an event as a member!!

We will also be stepping up our marketing and recruitment this year in hopes of reaching even more internationals – not only to expand our member base but to add more fun to the mix! You can help out as well by spreading the word about TIC and the many diverse things the club has to offer expats and internationals.

On another note, I would also like to welcome Mala Raman back to the board. Mala will be taking over the role previously held by Thijs Busser as well as spearheading membership development. We thank Thijs for his valuable contribution as well as Mala for stepping in to fill this position.

Welcome back TIC members and I hope to see you (and a friend) at a TIC event soon!!

TIC’s October Borrel

oct-borrel-big

TIC visits Alphen’s Guild Day

Article by Anne van Oorschot

IMG_9973On Sunday, June 11th a small group of TIC members stepped into the past in Alphen at an annual festival day for Dutch and Belgium Guilds. Members Sondra and Jean Francois have lived in Alphen for many years and enjoy the unique charm of this village. When they learned that the local St. Willibrordus Archery Guild in Alphen would be hosting the national Guild festival, they invited TIC members to come and join the fun. Since Sondra and Jean Francois’s beautiful home is on the main street – which was also the parade route for the guild celebration, TIC members would have a front row seat!

After a simple lunch, we carried chairs out and admired the different Guild groups as they paraded by. 45 different Guilds participated and it was a treat to see the different costumes and flags  from  each group. Sondra had invited their neighbor (a former Guild member) to watch with us and he was a wonderful source of information regarding the history and customs of the Guild. There were small and large groups in the parade, but all had a group of drummers and a pennant carrier. Many of the groups were named after Saint Sebastian, the patron saint of archers, but there were references to other saints in the Guild names as well.  The bigger groups had more drummers, Clarion (kind of trumpet) players, flag flourishers, a “ royal Couple” and the “Emperor” wearing much medieval silverwork. The most impressive groups also had a beautiful horse to carry their pennant and they walked in a zig zagging manner down the street at the front of their group. Very impressive!!

Some of the guilds are very old – the oldest I noticed dated from 1394!!! – and their origin stems from archers who provided defensive military support for the local civic authority. The members were expected to buy their own weapons and uniforms. (A very Dutch approach: the citizens were responsible for the defence of  the city and keeping the peace, without cost to the local government. ) While there is no longer a practical function for the Guilds, their members enjoy meeting to participate in the ancient skills of archery, drumming and clarion playing, as well as flag-flourishing.

After the parade, the groups all went to a large open field on the outskirts of town where there was a marching up of the combined mass of the group, followed by a day full of competitions in all the Guild’s ancient arts. It was such a treat to see observe the festivities! Thank you Sondra and Jean-Francois for your fun and hospitality!

Bookclub: The Elegance of the Hedgehog

By Anne van Oorschot

eleganceFor our last book discussion gathering of the club year, we met at Anne’s to discuss the French best seller (well translated into English of course!) The Elegance of the Hedgehog, by Muriel Barbery.  The weather Gods even smiled on our group of 7 so we were able to sit outside  and enjoy the garden and the mild evening.  While not everyone finished the book, all who did said they had a bit of a hard time getting “into” the book. One comment made was that the author, who has studied philosophy, was trying too hard to be deep and meaningful in the beginning, succeeding more in being a bit pompous and confusing. Fortunately, that tendency disappeared and the story that was left was interesting and captivating.  


A 12 year old girl and a middle aged woman. Two very different characters – from different generations and social classes – discovered each other as kindred spirits. They both found someone who truly saw beyond the stereotypes surrounding them to the real person within. While a tragic occurrence cut their contact short, knowing that there had been someone who truly saw THEM, made a lasting impact.  An interesting read!

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