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Yearly Archives: 2017

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

Save the Date! TIC Annual Holiday Dinner

It’s time once again for the annual TIC Holiday Dinner!!!
Mark your calendar for Saturday, 20 January 2018.
 
It will be a fun evening filled with good cheer, food, drinks and great company!
Details to follow soon.
We look forward to seeing you in the new year!

 

Book Review: The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead

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by Anne van Oorschot

Our book club met to discuss our latest book, Pulitzer prize winner The Underground Railroad, by Colson Whitehead. It is the story African American slave, Cora, and her flight from slavery on a plantation in Georgia. While most people are familiar with descriptions of slavery on cotton plantations in America in the early 1800s, the author gave a good picture of the horrible conditions and ruthless behavior inflicted on the slaves. Running away should have been an attractive option…but the horrible death you would suffer if you were caught and brought back served as an effective deterrent for most. Caesar, a recent and less battered down addition to her plantation’s slave population, talks Cora into fleeing to a contact of his with ties to the Underground Railroad. The two set off and are initially successful, the book following their escape route through states to the north.

The first surprise was that the Underground Railroad was an actual railroad – built in tunnels under the ground. Why had the author chosen to portray it so literally? If you hear aboutthe Underground Railroad as a child, you do imagine it to be a regular railroad; did Whitehead decide to remain true to his initial image of the secret network of individuals who helped slaves escape? Another aspect that I found surprising was the big difference in attitudes and laws in the different states Cora went through. While there were laws in place to “lift up” colored citizens in South Carolina (with somewhat dubious motives), North Carolina wanted to rid their state of ALL blacks and made entertainment out of hanging any they found + those residents who helped them. After several near misses, things seemed to end well when Cora arrived at the Valentine farm in Indiana, a community made up entirely of colored residents, and found her place in the group. As the small community grew, their white neighbors became increasingly hostile and decided to take matters into their own hands. It remains shocking, the things people feel justified in doing to others who are “different”.

The opinions of our group about the book were quite varied: some found it too slow paced with a confusing story line, others felt it moved along at a good pace and found the story line clear. I really liked the book and found the language used beautiful – such clear images and spot on descriptions. My favorite impression was from a section mid-book that was a bit random to the main story line. A young man is studying medicine at a small Boston college and supplements his income by going on raids to find cadavers that students can practice on. This involves going out in the dead of night and stealing the bodies from new graves. Since white graves were often guarded by family members to prevent removal of the body, that was generally not the case for black graves. Thus, more and more medical cadavers were blacks: “Yet when his classmates put their blades to a colored cadaver, they did more for the cause of colored advancement than the most high-minded abolitionist. In death the negro became a human being. Only then was he the white man’s equal.”

(I was excited to hear that Colson Whitehead would be giving a talk about the book in Amsterdam at the John Adams Institute. Though the tickets were sold out, my daughter managed to find 2, so I’ll be going on December 6th . Come to the next book discussion to hear what I learned… ) We ended our evening with a book exchange and several members brought good books they had already read to share with the group. There were a few of our past reads among the books – good books, but not ones in line to be re-read. Especially nice for new members of our group, but I went away with a couple of books as well.

Memory Lane: 2016 Christmas Cookie Workshop

Our 2017 Christmas Cookie workshop is just around the corner.  Here’s a quick look back at last year!

by Sondra Grace

‘Twas ‘bout a week before Christmas when all thro’ Verhalenhuis

Not a creature wasn’t stirring in butter, pecans or muisjes;

The potholders were hung by the oven with care;

In hopes that the cookie doughs soon would be klaar;

When all was baked and nestled snug into tins,

Wine and music and friendship had we all to our zin

Visions of jam thumbprints and ting-a-lings danced in each head

We left ‘gainst a winter’s night, glove and scarf gekleed

And Anne in her apron, with smile tinsel bright, called

Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good night!

TICMovie Review: Loving Vincent

by Yolonda van Riel

Loving Vincent was chosen for October’s movie night. A nice group gathered, all curious about what to expect from this film. There was actually quite a bit of discussion before it even started. “How in the world can they make a decent movie using paintings?” “ I wonder if it will have a cartoon feel?” “I’m sure I’ll either love it or hate it!”

Loving Vincent is the first entirely oil-painted animation feature film in history. One tends to get caught up in the beautiful backdrop rather than the story itself. The story revolves around the year after the death of Vincent van Gogh with the son of a postmaster trying to deliver a letter Vincent wrote to his brother, Theo. He goes on a search for Theo van Gogh and, in the process, speaks to many that knew Vincent – each with a different view on the man himself and how he died.

In general, the group enjoyed the film and there was a lively discussion afterward. Some, like myself, were totally moved by the sheer beauty of the animation while others were curious as to the different theories surrounding the death of Vincent van Gogh. If you haven’t seen Loving Vincent, it is definitely worth the price of a ticket. I, for one, will be going again … just to enjoy the beauty.

President’s Holiday Greeting

It’s that time of year again! The holiday season is upon us and as I sit here writing this message, my mind keeps wandering back to all of things I need to do in preparation for the upcoming festivities. Like most of my fellow TIC members, my planning involves multiple countries and lots of traveling. Expats are a unique group – we embrace the many different traditions there are to enjoy and realize each one broadens our world and opens us up to new and different perspectives. TIC is here to help you enjoy some of these traditions as well. We will again be hosting the annual Christmas cookie workshop, borrels and, of course the holiday dinner in January to celebrate a new year. Your board is also planning the second half of the club year so be sure and visit the website for all the fun activities we have in store for you. Whether your holiday plans include traveling abroad or staying in the Netherlands … I wish you all a joyful time with family and friends and look forward to seeing you at a TIC event soon!

Happy Holidays!

Yolonda

Book Club review: A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman

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by Anne van Oorschot

TIC members braved the road construction around Tilburg north and found their way to book club…whew!! Inside, all was cozy with fresh tea and cookies and a nice book to discuss, The Man Called Ove, by . Ove, the main character of the book, seemed like the grumpiest man in the world. He is very unhappy with his life and tries different methods to kill himself, but he is unsuccessful in his attempts each time. “No great loss” the reader may initially think, but as the story progresses, more information about Ove’s life is shared: the loss of his parents at a young age, the lack of friends, his hard working-no nonsense nature, how he teaches himself one trade after another, the beautiful and effervescent woman he falls in love with and marries – only to have her crippled by a bus drivers careless actions and later lose her to illness. One realizes that all of Ove’s grumpiness hides a profound loneliness and a sense of responsibility for many of the unhandy people around him. Ove has a heart of gold, but swears that idea is absolute rubbish.

We all enjoyed the book tremendously! I think we will all look at the grumpy people we encounter in life a bit differently after meeting Ove. And, we will certainly NEVER take the choice of what brand of new car to get lightly. If it were up to Ove, it would, of course, be a Saab…”and that’s all I have to say about that!”

TICKids: Maisdoohof (Corn Maze)!

Getting ready for the hunt!

Getting ready for the hunt!

by Mala Raman

For the first TICKids outing of the club season, 4 TIC families met up at ‘t Fazantje Maisdoolhof (corn maze) in Dongen to complete a challenging quest within the corn Successmaze. After a week of rain, we were very lucky with the weather and were able to enjoy very pleasant, sunny temperatures the entire afternoon.

The instructions were simple: walk through the cornfield looking for letters and pictures of emojis. The letters, when combined, form a message. Sounds easy? Not quite. Both kids and adults entered the corn maze armed with pen and paper to find all of the hidden emojis within the tall corn stalks.

Once in the maze, there were no signs to orient us, to remind us which paths we’d already trodden, which letters we’d already found. Even the tallest among us couldn’t see above the corn stalks and he was almost six feet tall! That didn’t faze the children at all. Each took a turn leading the group as we wended our way through the trail, peered through leaves for those elusive clues, walked along and doubled back down pathways. The maisdoolhof proved a challenge for children and adults alike. Each family moved at their own pace answering most, if not all, of the questions.

ne by one, families emerged from the corn having successfully completed their “speurtocht” (trailhunt). After all that running around, we sat down together for a drink and lots of chatting. Finally, dinner bells starting ringing and one by one everyone said “tot ziens” until the next TICKids event!

Check our website for upcoming TICKids events!

 

 

 

Book Club review: All The Light We Cannot See

reviewed by Jessica Lipe

29 Aug 2017. While no one is happy to see the summer holidays come to end, one benefit of the end of summer is that the TIC book club meets again!  Before the summer holidays, we had chosen a novel with more pages than our typical choices since we would have the whole summer to savor the book. However, this book turned out to be far more intriguing and suspenseful than expected, such that many of us couldn’t put it down.

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TIC President’s message – July

Yolonda van Riel

What a whirlwind TIC season we had this year! It seems like I was just sitting down to write the “welcome back” message. We had so many fun excursions this year such as concerts, dinners, tours of local “gems”, borrels and movies just to name a few. And, of course, we ended the club year on a high note with one of our most popular events – the TICnic!

The ever revolving door of TIC is always bittersweet as we said some tearful goodbyes to some as they moved on to new adventures and happily welcomed new expats and their families to TIC. Even though the club season has officially ended, your TIC board is still busy behind the scenes planning September’s Welcome Event and filling up the rest of the club season with new and exciting events. Wherever your summer travels take you, I wish you lots of fun, sun and relaxation with family and friends. I look forward to welcoming you all back in September!

Warm regards,
Yolonda

2017 TICnic Review

by Mala Raman

This year we had perfect weather for our annual picnic. To our regular participants, our once a year, springtime gathering is known as the TICnic. In a not too warm, not too cold outdoor venue, a big crowd of TIC members and guests came together to once again help bring the club season to a close. In the middle of a lush green park on the campus of Tilburg University, everyone happily sat at the new and improved picnic tables or on the grass to enjoy a good old-fashioned cookout. Thanks to Andrew, our grill master (who received many compliments on his handiwork), there were hamburgers, veggie burgers, chicken drumsticks and steaks to be gobbled up.

It was great to have so many families join this year’s outdoor festivities.  On this Father’s Day, TIC presented all of our TIC father’s with a take home gift basket of a Trappist Dubbel bier with nuts and a commemorative Trappist Brewery glass.

No TICnic is complete without some fun group activities. This year we had a “TIC-athalon” that had 5 teams racing around trying to accumulate as many points as possible in the Great Egg Race, TIC Tac Toe darts, Obstacle course, Mini golf, Jump Rope, TICpic, Bowling, Bean Bag Toss, Pass the Parcel and Air Guitar.

All in all, we had a fantastic day. To all who attended: we hope to see you again in the upcoming club year. To those who stayed home or couldn’t make it this year: come by next year and share in the fun!

 

tíc Annual General Meeting and Pub Quiz

by Anne van Oorschot

If you missed TIC’s Annual General Meeting (AGM) on 18 May 2017 at the Grand Café Esplanade on the grounds of Tilburg University, you missed a great time! A great time at an AGM? Yes, you read correctly!

We had a nice turnout and, after a welcome introduction to our members and guests, we began the evening as we do every year, with a short presentation over the club and how we are performing. 

TIC is doing well and we can look back on a very successful year full of many fun and interesting activities, with attendance being up from last year. With the Event Director position vacant for most of the year, the remaining Board members have shared the event planning and hosting duties which has been a challenge at times. We are thrilled that Andrew Kelly stepped forward to fill this position and we look forward to having him on the Board.

All board members are still in term, so no need for a vote but our treasurer, Emerald Busser, has vacated her position and we are in search of a replacement.  Due to her departure, we do not have an updated financial overview to present this evening. We will communicate that to our members at a later date.

Anne van Oorschot, Secretary/Membership, gave an update on the club’s membership. While we have lost some members, we have gained 9 new members this year, bringing our total to 31, up slightly from last year. While that may not seem like many, when adding in member’s partners and children – who are also TIC members! – the total number of expats we serve as a club is 66. We have 20 different nationalities in TIC so we are truly an international club! The vast majority of our members work full time and while Tilburg University is the employer for about a third of our members, the remaining members are employed by a variety of companies, or self-employed.

Mala Raman, Communications and Outreach, has worked hard this past year to increase our online visibility. With a big increase in postings on our website, the number of hits we have gotten has greatly increased! Mala is active on the TIC Facebook and Twitter accounts and we recently added an Instagram account to make our club activities more visible and easier for expats to find. We continue to have partnerships with Sligro, Holland Expat Center South and P&D Care, and have added Theaters Tilburg to our list of partners to improve the expat experience of our members.

Mala also reported on the activities we have organized in the past year – a whopping 34 events – up from 26 events last year! Member Coree Forman has breathed new life into our monthly borrels, and TICMovie group has met more frequently as well. The TIC Book Club continues to have a strong and consistent membership and will have met 8 times by the summer. We visited 2 sporting events this year – the DESTIL Trappers ice hockey, and Willem II soccer and both teams won specially for TIC!? 😉 We have a number of annual events – Sinterklaas party, Annual Christmas Cookie Workshop, Annual Holiday Dinner and the TICnic – and many new outings and events, such as our visit to a cheese farm, a chocolate making workshop, a ballet performance and a lecture on the Dutch Parliamentary election, to name a few. Next year will mark TIC’s 10th Anniversary and we have already started planning some great events for the new club year. We closed with an encouragement for members to let us know what they’d like to do – after all, it’s YOUR club.

Then came the fun part! Three teams battled it out in the chance to be crowned the Winners of The Pub Quiz.

Winners of the Pub Quiz!

Presented by Andrew Kelly, the questions were challenging and informative, complete with drinks, and snacks. Questions flew 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 Intermezzo, while the Losers of the Pub Quiz went home with a “beautiful” magnet.

 

TIC at the Tilburg Hap Stap Festival

by Tanya Ahern

The weather was perfect for an evening of munching and kletzen at the 22nd annual Hap Stap Festival. Sixteen local restaurants showed off their best tapas-style dishes and the tempting aromas of gourmet dining blanketed the revelers. The event was was made up of dozens of tents dotted throughout the Interpolis’ courtyard (near the Spoorlaan). TIC’s own crafty Corey secured the perfect cozy table right in the middle of the action and attendees sampled dishes such as fish and chips, steaks, burgers, friets and more.

Like every Tilburg International Club Borrel, the first drink was provided by the club and iced Schrobbeler with lime was the drink of choice for several attendees. Many club members danced to the 1960’s R&B sounds of the live band The Motown Marbles. The summer daylight extended to 10pm and the group enjoyed the lekker weer until the late evening.

Book Club review of The Japanese Lover, by Isabel Allende

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by Anne van Oorschot

On the last day of May this year, loyal members of TIC’s Book Club met to discuss our latest book, The Japanese Lover, by Isabel Allende. We were fortunate to have nice weather, which allowed us to sit outside and enjoy the peaceful spring evening.

In keeping with the theme of the book, Sondra brought Asian treats: Sake – which we warmed and had out of beautiful, white porcelain cups – and mix of wasabi rice crackers and nuts. While our back garden, does not approach the beauty of the Japanese gardens described in the book, it still helped to complete our Japanese experience. A hot air balloon even floated silently high overhead during our discussion which added to the special atmosphere!

All of us had enjoyed the book – then the conversation paused… When we got past our initial assessment and talked further about the book, it was clear there were many small details and story lines that had been introduced…but never really went anywhere. We were actually left with a lot of questions: Could Irina really enter into a relationship with Seth without going through therapy to deal with the horrors of her past? There were many different stories of religion and spirituality – what message was the author trying to pass along? Why was Alma’s brother only ‘brought back from the dead’ in 2 brief instances and their relationship not developed further? Why did Alma choose to abandon her beautiful home and comforts when she lost her lover?

The information about the internment camps that Japanese Americans were forced into during WWII was disturbing. The injustice of locking up fellow citizens based on their ethnic background and the indelible effects that resulted were profound. All of us around the table were Americans, and we agreed that little had been said in our history lessons about this dark page in America’s past. (The comparison with the present treatment of American Muslims seems too close for comfort…)

As usual, the good book resulted in an interesting discussion – which led to conversations about chicken pox and walking toddlers, a Wedding with family visits, trips to Japan and Rome, months in Milan, and how distressing that every day seems to bring incredible new low points in the constant stream of embarrassments from the US President. In short – it was a fun evening. A good close to this club year for the group.

TICMovie Night review of the Jackie

bmovie-nighty Anne van Oorschot

Cinecitta was again the location for our movie night where we saw the film, Jackie, about First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy in the days following the assassination of her husband, President John F. Kennedy. We were a small group of 4, but that had the advantage of making for a more intimate discussion of the film over drinks and snacks afterwards. We all enjoyed the movie and felt it gave a good impression of Jackie, flaws and all. Natalie Portman did an amazing job portraying her!

The film showed a televised tour she gave of the White House and we were all curious if her rather breathless way of speaking was accurate, as well as other details of the tour shown. I was so curious that when I got home, I searched on internet and found the tour on internet: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T7XabXENChE

Ms. Portman was spot on!

Dutch Elections: Why Nexit didn’t happen

elections-1by Sondra Grace

On March 8th , shortly before the Dutch were due to go to the polls, Hein van Oorschot, formerly the
Mayor of Delft, gave an excellent TIC Talk on the Dutch electoral process. Today, the day following
Theresa May’s comeuppance, here’s what I remember: The main law making body, the House of
Representatives, is the Tweede Kamer (Second Chamber). Representatives are not elected to it by
gerrymandered district like in GB and the US, but instead nationwide and at large. You choose a
candidate from a tiny-tiny- print list, although in fact, your vote will go to the political party of which the candidate is a member – except in the case of Wilders as he is the sole member of the Party for Freedom (pretty name, not so pretty party). All the votes for every qualifying candidate are tallied. This total is divided by 150, the number of seats in the chamber, with each party receiving its proportionate share. The parties send the representatives from their list in the order they appear on the Ballot. (There are
complex rules to determine who gets leftover votes — there being no partial seat.)

electionsUnlike the British first-past- the-post system and the American Electoral College one, both of which are virtual road blocks to smaller political parties, the Dutch proportional system encourages a proliferation of parties. Last March there were 28 of them on the ballot, including ‘50 PLUS’ that looks after the interests of pensioners, and ‘D66’ founded by a group of young intellectuals. (Much to my chagrin there is no party for pensioned intellectuals.) With such an extensive menu of parties to choose from, it is almost impossible for any one party to get a majority sufficient for passing laws by itself, so the parties have to negotiate with one another to form a coalition. The bargaining typically proceeds at a leisurely pace—talks are still going on now, three months after the election. Winner-take- all systems lead to things like Brexit, but the need to form a coalition and to then to keep it intact by getting along with the other partners means that in the Netherlands extreme parties are usually frozen out. The chances of Nexit were probably about the same as in this age of global warming there ever being another Elf-Steden Tocht ice skating race, that is, when Hell freezes over.

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