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  • Book Club: Slaughterhouse 5 4 September 2019
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News Archive

President’s Summer Send-off – July 2019

I’m sitting with my laptop outside enjoying this beautiful Dutch weather (no – I’m not kidding!) and reflecting on what an amazing club season we enjoyed.

We started with our best ever attended Welcome to Tilburg event to commemorate tíc’s 10th anniversary and finished up with another tícnic where everyone left full of good food and drink ready to start the summer!

And, in between those two fantastic events, we squeezed in borrels, sporting events, arts and crafts, walks, games and a whole lot more. One new addition to our agenda, was a charity walk to help refugees. It was a wonderful way for us to give back to those who aren’t as fortunate and, as a result, the board has decided to look for ways to raise money for a different charity every year. We haven’t made our final selection yet, so if you have ideas or causes that you feel passionate about, let us know. As your club continues to grow and flourish, so does the need to give back to those who could use a helping hand.

We are quite fortunate to enjoy the expat life and freely explore all that the world has to offer! I hope you take some pleasant memories of this past club season along with you as you embark on your summer adventures and I look forward to welcoming you all back in September!!

Wishing you sunny days,

Yolonda

Charity Walk for Refugees

Charity: Stichting Vluchteling (The Refugee Foundation)
tíc Goal: Raise €1000 for Stichting Vluchteling
tíc Raised: €950 raised for Stichting Vluchteling!!

by Dagmara Gielen-Bernacka

15 Jun 2019. This year, between all the fun social activities, tíc members participated in a Dutch charity event — the 10th edition of de Nacht van de Vluchteling (The Night of the Refugee). This event is organised by the Netherlands Refugee Foundation, in which thousands of participants walk in the middle of the night to raise money (and awareness) for emergency aid for refugees worldwide. The team had a goal to raise €1000 for the foundation and we managed to secure €950 in donations!!

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Book Club INVITE: Slaughterhouse 5

Date: Wednesday, 4 Sept 2019
Time: 19:30 (7:30 pm)
Register by: 3 Sept 2019 (registration form below)
Member Cost: Free!
Guests: €5,00 pp (READ about how this can be pro-rated towards your membership fee)

As a young man and a prisoner of war, Kurt Vonnegut witnessed the 1945 US fire-bombing of Dresden in Germany, which… (more…)

Open volunteer position, Secretary/Membership

Interested in becoming more actively involved in the #tilburginternationalclub? This is your chance! We  currently have an open position for Secretary/Membership.

tilburg international club is a “vereniging” and is required to have a Board of Directors to steer activities of the club. Several board positions are essential to running the club including the position of Secretary. Anne van Oorschot just stepped down from the role after 4 years in the position (maximum years allowed according to our club constitution). So, we have an open spot and would very much appreciate some help in this area. (more…)

tícMovie Night – Three Identical Strangers

Review by Anne van Oorschot.

31 May 2019. For our last movie night of the year, tíc members met to see a documentary for the first time, but it sometimes seemed much more like fiction! Three Identical Strangers tells the true story of identical American triplets, born in New York in 1961 to an unwed mother and given up for adoption via a reputable agency that specialized in placing Jewish children with Jewish families. The boys were adopted as six-month-old infants by separate families, unaware that each child had brothers.

It was discovered quite by accident when Bobby enrolled in a local Junior College and everyone seemed to know him, and called him Eddy. When he and Eddy met, both said it was like looking in the mirror. A journalist wrote about the reconnected twins and a third sibling, David, recognized himself in the accompanying photo – thus at the age of 19, the triplets met. Not only were they physically identical, they had similar mannerisms and discovered many shared interests. They became an overnight sensation appearing on many television talk shows and being written about in numerous magazines. They became inseparable, renting an apartment together in New York and doing everything together…but then things started to get a bit strange.

Their parents were furious not to have been told their adopted sons were part of identical triplets. While the agency originally told them they had separated the boys out of fears that no one would want to adopt triplets, another story slowly came to light. The separations were done as part of an undisclosed scientific “nature versus nurture” twin study, to track the development of genetically identical siblings raised in differing circumstances. The study was conceived of, and run by, renowned psychiatrist Dr. Neubauer, an Austrian Jew who had fled to America to avoid the Holocaust.

The separated triplets (and twins) were intensely studied in their homes for years, doing a barrage of tests to determine their development. Those carrying out the tests on the boys knew each had 2 identical siblings, but could not let their subjects know. The triplets opened a restaurant in New York — Triplets — selling Eastern European fare and had a ball in the early days, but eventually tempers began to fray as arguments flared over work responsibilities. Eventually, all three struggled with mental health issues for years. The Scientific study was never published. The triplets as well as other twins are – to this day – unable to look at the results.

Needless to say, we had plenty to discuss after the movie! All 6 of us liked the movie, which touched on a lot of human questions and relationships, and enjoyed the surprise element. It had a remarkable number of plot twists for a documentary! We all thought it was so strange that a Jewish doctor who had escaped the Holocaust would carry out experiments similar to those done in Concentration camps. Our discussion brought to light the fact that there was a lot of unethical research (Stanford prison, Milgram) carried out in this period.

After talking about the film for a while, we drifted into other topics: politics, the horrors of Trump, house renovations, the challenges of being vegetarian, getting an education, and how much fun the tícNic is. While everyone who came to the film has a very busy life, all agreed that a night out at the movies with tíc was a fun way to spend a Friday evening!

#TilburgInternationalclub #Expatlife #movienight #threeidenticalstrangers #Cinecitta

Join Book Club!

22 Jan 2019. Are you up for a good discussion with a group of friendly book-lovers? Would you like to expand your reading horizons by reading a book you may not have chosen yourself? Do you want to spend a relaxed evening chatting about a book, and often many other life topics, with a cup of tea, coffee or perhaps glass of wine in your hand? Join tíc’s Book Club where we meet up approximately once every 6 weeks to discuss the latest book pick by the group.

At the end of every Book Club meeting, one member presents three book suggestions to the group. The group votes on their favorite book choice and the group reads that book for the next book club meeting. Someone from the group volunteers to bring the new book selections for the following meeting. Locations and days of every meeting vary to allow the maximum number of book lovers to attend.

New members are welcome to join our book club at any time.  If you are a member of the tilburg international club, attendance is free.  If you would like to attend as a guest, the cost is €5,00 p.p. (READ about how this can be pro-rated towards your membership fee.)

Would you like to join us at our next Book Club meeting?  Let us know!

#TilburgInternationalClub #bookclub #Expatlife #English

Book review: Where’d You Go, Bernadette?

1 May 2019. Reviewed by Anita James. The book is a deceptively easy and amusing read about a brilliant and creative architect, Bernadette, who suffers recurring traumas from the wanton destruction of her revolutionary architectural creation, the move to an alien city, and after repeated miscarriages, the dangerous surgeries on the infant that was finally born.

One can get PTSD for less, and indeed Bernadette shuts out the world except for her immediate family, and then devotes her life to raising her daughter, Bee. Bee is a bright child who sees in her mother not an eccentric woman on the verge of a nervous breakdown, but a fun and magical creature who will always have her back, and would never ever abandon her.

On this basic story line an unconventional and quirky book is developed. It is told in a multitude of voices through mediums from emails, letters, narration, phone calls and even secretarial and hospital bills.

Yet the author nevertheless keeps the tale flowing, guiding it through a bewildering number of topics:  brilliance, creativity, eccentricity, high tech, Microsoft, agoraphobia, misanthropy, architecture, Russian mafia, Antarctica, psychiatric care, modern parenting, American education, snobbery, Seattle, Canadians, family relationships and even self-help groups such as the amazing VaV – Victims against Victimhood, not to mention adultery and leaking roofs.

After a hyperactive beginning, Bernadette disappears but Bee absolutely refuses to accept the vanishing and after assiduous detective work goes all the way to the South Pole to find her mother.

And there she is, happily involved in the challenges of polar architecture. Creativity, her raison d’etre restored, she can face life again and Bee gets her eccentric family back together. Kudos for Maria Semple for a vertiginous ride brought to a safe end.
#bookclub #tilburginternationalclub #expatlife #WheredYouGoBernadette

Book Club review: Educated: A Memoir

Review by Anne van Oorschot

19 Mar 2019. For our March book club gathering, after getting a warm drink, we settled around a crackling fireplace and with a tray of yummy snacks. While not everyone had finished the book, Educated, all agreed that it was a remarkable story and well written.

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Tara was the youngest of 7 children and her childhood looked idylic on the surface – living on a breathtakingly beautiful mountain in rural Idaho with her own goats and horses. Her mother was a midwife and herbalist and Tara spent a lot of hours walking on the mountain, gathering rose hips and mullein flowers that her Mom could stew into tinctures. Tara’s father had a scrapyard and his children were his workforce. But the scrapyard was a particularly dangerous place and the kids had frequent, and sometimes serious injuries, a fact that Tara’s dad seemed unable to understand or react to. Her father’s word was law in their household and since he had a profound distrust of the medical profession, believing that doctors were agents of Satan, ALL injuries were treated with herbalism only.

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While Tara’s Mother homeschooled all the children, “there was not a lot of school taking place. We had books, and occasionally we would be kind of sent to read them. But I never took an exam, or never wrote an essay for my mother that she read or nothing like kind of getting everyone together and having anything like a lecture. So it was a lot more kind of if you wanted to read a book, you could, but you certainly were’t going to be made to do that.” Through her older brother Tyler, she discovered a love for classical music, as well as the fact that she had a gift for singing. Her horizons broadened when she became a part (and often the star) of local musical productions and she first felt a desire to learn about something no one in her family could teach her. After self-teaching herself enough to pass the A.C.T. tests, she was accepted at the Mormon Brigham Young Uiversity (BYU) and stepped into a classroom for the first time at age 17. She soon discovered she was clueless about much of what was common knowledge for everyone else. She kept her head down and made good use of the college library and the internet to fill in the many holes in her knowledge. The path of her education and intellectual broadening took her from BYU to Cambridge to Harvard where she ended up earning a PhD. But every step outside the expectations, the rules came at a cost. Do something different and lose a piece of connection to your family. And family was extremely important, particularly for a person whose entire life had been defined by family.

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The break with her family came not through her increased education and intellect, but due to her relationship with her older brother, Shawn. He could be kind and understanding, but had a reputation as a fighter, sometimes turning his rage on Tara and her older sister. Possibly even worse was her family’s denial about it, even when it occured right in front of them. It is this denial that was hardest to bear. If your own parents would betray you by not believing you or looking out for you in the face of such blatant attacks, then what was the value of the family you held most dear in the world? Her refusal to “admit” she made up the stories of Shawn’s violent behavior is what ultimately led to the split with her parents and 3 of her siblings. Tara struggles with the yin and yang of her upbringing to untimately led her to find her true self. It was truly a remarkable story!

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Not only is she one really smart lady, small snippets of online interviews showed her to be relaxed and poised, with great insights. See part of an interview with Bill Gates: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a7Y6Udf_Nzo . Not only that, she can really sing, as you can see in the following short clip: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MIO_QKq9cE  We – along with President and Michelle Obama, Bill Gates, Oprah, and Maarten t’ Hart – all found Educated to be a great and thoughtful read and we highly recommend it!

 

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#bookclub #Tilburg #tilburginternationalclub #expatlife #Educated

 

Book Club review: Maybe Tomorrow

review by Anne van Oorschot

13 Feb 2019. Even though the weather outside was cold, the atmosphere at Book Club was warm and friendly. We were welcomed into the beautiful home of one of our members and offered warm drinks and tasty Valentine treats! 🙂

We had a lively discussion of Maybe Tomorrow by Boori Monty Pryor and Meme McDonald and compared its descriptions of the Australian Aboriginal’s plight to the discriminated minorities in other countries. While many shocking things were done to Australia’s indigenous population in the past, harder to understand are the many injustices and predjudices they still face. A good book, but hard to think it portrays a positive future…

 

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#bookclub #Tilburg #tilburginternationalclub #expatlife #MaybeTomorrow

tícMovie Night review: Green Book

01.02.2019. Review by Elaine Ferguson. The film is loosely based on the friendship between Tony “Lip” Vallelonga (Viggo Mortensen) who is a night club owner/bouncer and Dr Don Shirley (Mahershala Ali) a talented black concert pianist

The film takes place in 1962 when Dr Shirley hires Tony as a chauffeur to drive him on a concert tour through the southern states of American which were at that time still segregated. Before Tony sets off he is handed a small book entitled “The Green Book” which is a travel guide providing helpful information for black travellers. This gives us a clue as to what we can expect from the rest of the movie which is more of a story about the struggles imposed on the blacks in the south rather than a true friendship.

The music and the company made it an enjoyable evening.

For those of you wanting to know more about the meaning behind the Green Book:

https://publicdomain.nypl.org/greenbook-map/

#TilburgInternationalclub #Expatlife #movienight #greenbook #Cinecitta

Book Club: Review of Gabriela, Clove and Cinnamon

14 Jan 2019. Reviewed by Anita James. This book is a favorite of mine and I hoped to share it more widely but whether because of the season or because nobody liked it – we ended up with a small intimate group (any more intimate and we could have held it cozily in bed with baby, Eleanor! (note: Those could/could not attend who read the book, highly recommend it! It is an easy read and a great story so do keep it on your “to read” list 🙂

Gabriela the woman-child glides through the Brazilian town of Ilheus, capital of cacao country, at a time of profound change. The gun slinging ‘colonels’ who carved out plantations have had their day and modernity is here, with roads, street lights, bus services, a real port and even an elevator at the hotel…. No longer can a ‘colonel’ kill his wife and her lover and be a hero, nor can the old timers shoot their way to winning an election.

Jorge Amado serves up a rollicking historical tale, poking gentle fun at the bombast of small town notables, at eccentric inhabitants, at immigrants and migrants, and at the love story of two of those, enmeshed in the transition roiling all around them.

Luckily Ilheus sorts itself out, as does the love of Gabriela and Nacib, after finally getting over their ill-advised and unfortunate marriage. Again is Gabriela a happy cook, Nacib naps after a delicious lunch and they meet for torrid nights in the back servant room.”

 

#bookclub #Tilburg #tilburginternationalclub #expatlife #GabrielaCloveCinnamon

#TBT: Movie night: Far From The Madding Crowd

Tomorrow night we’ll meet up for another Movie Night.  For #ThrowbackThursday, here’s a look back to 2015’s movie night to see “Far from the Madding Crowd”!

by Michael Dizon

On a warm Friday evening, tíc 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.

#tilburginternationalclub #expatlife #movienight #farfromthemaddingcrowd #cinecitta

A Merry Christmas Borrel at Café Bakker

by Mala Raman

21 Dec 2018. On a cold, but clear night, our members once again met up at Cafe Bakker.  For most, it was the end of work for the year, so everyone was looking forward to socializing and snacking during our traditional Christmas borrel.  Every year we ask attendees to wear their best “ugly sweater.” It was interesting to see what our members’ ideas were of an “ugly” sweater.

Despite the overcrowding around the Korte Heuvel along all the terraces, it was pleasantly cozy inside the cafe where members shared their happiness of starting the holiday season and discussing Christmas and New Year’s plans.

A borrel was the perfect way to bid everyone a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

 

#Expat #Tilburg #borrel #happyhour #Cafebakker

tícMovie review: Bohemian Rhapsody

by Christoph Hörner

30 November 2018. For the second movie night, tíc’s cineastes went royal and watched “Bohemian Rhapsody”, the movie about the British rock band “Queen” and their extravagant and flamboyant lead singer Freddie Mercury.

“Bohemian Rhapsody”, named after one of the most famous songs by “Queen”, follows the band’s history from their origins to their celebrated Live Aid performance at Wembley Stadium in 1985. Mainly, the movie focusses on the turbulent biography of Farrokh Bulsara, better known under the name he gave himself later: Freddie Mercury.

The impressive and moving movie portrays Freddie Mercury as a self-confident, but vulnerable and admired genius who made “Queen” into one of the most influential bands in music history while his airs and graces could be challenging for the people surrounding him.

Although the movie is sometimes rather loose when it comes to historic accuracy, “Bohemian Rhapsody” received overall positive reviews and could also fill the “Queen” fans of our group with enthusiasm and some of their eyes with tears. Particularly the movies’ casting was praised by our own tíc jury over the traditional post-movie drink. Moreover, the biographical movie motivated us to share and discuss our biographical and personal connections with “Queen” and their music. Hence, it was a great evening to learn more about “Queen” and tíc’s members.

 

 

#tilburginternationalclub #expatlife #movienight #BohemianRhapsody #Cinecitta

#TBT: Christmas Borrel 2017

Tomorrow we’ll meet up again for our annual Christmas Borrel.  For #ThrowbackThursday, here’s a look at our “ugly” gathering from last year!

x—x—x—x—x—x

by Mala Raman

Once again, we had a great time socializing and snacking during our traditional Christmas borrel.  This year we met at Cafe Bakker with everyone charged with wearing their best “ugly sweater.” It was interesting to see what our members’ ideas were of an “ugly” sweater.

Despite the overcrowding around the Korte Heuvel that we were expecting, it was pleasantly cozy in Cafe Bakker where members shared their happiness of starting the holiday season and discussing Christmas and New Year’s plans.

A borrel was the perfect way to bid everyone a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

#Expat #Tilburg #borrel #happyhour #Cafebakker

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