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News Archive

Who runs the world? “Girl, Woman, Other”

Tilburg International Club Expat Book Club16 Feb 2021. by Estela Highet. I wish we could have had more time to discuss this very interesting book, it has plenty of different topics and they are very related to what the world has been going through lately.

World of Women

Feminism, racism, cultural differences, sex and many more topics in one single book. All this through the million characters and therefore million stories to be told from each of them – which also made it a bit difficult to read. The principal characters were (only) 11 black women and one non-binary living in the UK.

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#FBF Slaughterhouse 5 book review

Tilburg International Club Expat Book ClubOn Monday, we will be meeting for our next book club; a gathering that sometimes has intense debates, but is always a lot of fun. For #FlashBackFriday, let’s take a look at a book club review from 2019.

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3 Sept 2019. by Anne van Oorschot. Our first gathering of the Book Club took place on September 4th – very early in the club year and prior to the tíc Welcome Event. That may explain why we were quite a small group, including 1 brand new member. We had all read the book – not hard since we’d had the entire summer and it was quite a short story.

As a young man and a prisoner of war, Kurt Vonnegut witnessed the 1945 US fire-bombing of Dresden in Germany, which reduced the once beautiful city to rubble and claimed the lives of thousands of its citizens. This atrocious act was a recurring theme in the book, and more horrific details of the bombing aftermath come out as the story progressed. (more…)

#TBT: Book Club review of Maybe Tomorrow

Next week we will be meeting (virtually) for our next book club; a gathering that sometimes has intense debates, but is always a lot of fun. For #ThrowbackThursday, let’s take a look at a book club review from 2019.

Tilburg International Club Expat Book Clubx–x–x–x–x

13 Feb 2019. by Anne van Oorschot 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…

In Boori Monty Pryor’s words, “The other day this little one asked me, ‘When did you start being an Aborigine, and how old were you when you started that?’ Like it was a career path or something. I just cracked up laughing.”

Pryor’s career path has taken him from the Aboriginal fringe camps of his birth to the catwalk, the basketball court, the DJ console, and now to performance and story-telling around the country. ‘You’ve got to try and play the whiteman’s game and stay black while you’re doing it,’ his brother used to tell him. (more…)

#FBF: Book Club Review of We All Begin As Strangers

Next week we’ll meet up for another Book Club.  For #FlashbackFriday, here’s a look back at We All Begin As Strangers.

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12 November 2018. by Melissa Donders. After reading the book, We All Begin As Strangers by Harriet Cummings, an interesting discussion was had at tíc’s Book Club.

The book was set in a small village in England where the inhabitants were frightened when small items in their homes would be moved around, or things went missing. Slightly based on a true story, the book followed the lives of different characters and how the intruder, whom they dubbed ‘The Fox’, impacted their life.

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#FBF: Book Club review “The Coffee Trader”

Next week we’ll meet up for another Book Club.  For #FlashbackFriday, here’s a look back at The Coffee Trader.

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Expat Book Clubby Sondra Grace

14 May 2016. It may have been Venetians who introduced coffee to Europe, but it was Dutch merchant Pieter van den Broecke who smuggled coffee bushes out of Mocha (Yemen), and the Dutch East India Company that cornered the coffee market and supplied it from plantations in Java and Suriname. David Liss sets his historic novel The Coffee Trader in the rough and tumble commodities market of seventeenth century Amsterdam.

One would have thought that (more…)

Book Club review: Before the Coffee Gets Cold

by Anne van Oorschot23 Jun 2020. Since our last book discussions had been virtual ones, it was a special treat to be able to actually get together this past June.

Tilburg International Club Expat Book ClubThere was still a virtual flavor to things as Katie, an active past TIC member who relocated to LA, California 7 years ago, had heard about our Book Discussion evening, read the book, and joined us as well. So the laptop was open on one end of the table which was very fun!!  The weather was beautiful so we sat outside in our back garden and enjoyed the scenery as well. Since the weather was warm, we skipped the hot tea and opted for ice cream…always a good choice!

The book had been suggested by Kelly who was unfortunately unable to attend, but she sent discussion questions and admitted she hadn’t liked the book. Actually, she thought it was terrible! (more…)

We congratulate Anne van Oorschot for receiving a Royal Decoration!

Knight of the Order of Oranje-Nassau
Ridder van de Orde van Oranje Nassau

Tilburg International Club Ridder van de Orde van Oranje Nassauby Hein van Oorschot

April 2020. 

Anne van Oorschot is one the founding members of the  tilburg international club.

She established the club in 2008 and served as its first president for 6 years.

She recently received a decoration from the Royal House of the Netherlands (Ridder van de Orde van Oranje Nassau) in April 2020!


What is the Ridder van de Orde van Oranje Nassau?

The Order of Orange-Nassau is a civil and military Dutch order of chivalry founded on 4 April 1892 by the Queen regent Emma, acting on behalf of her under-age daughter Queen Wilhelmina.

The order is a chivalric order open to “everyone who has earned special merits for society”. These are people who deserve appreciation and recognition from society for the special way in which they have carried out their activities.

Anne’s many years of contributing to Dutch Society

Anne was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA. She moved to The Netherlands in 1981 and married Hein van Oorschot in 1982. She became a Dutch citizenship in 2003. They have 3 children (all in their 30’s) and Anne took up many volunteer jobs which led to the Royal recognition. (more…)

Book Club review: Flight Behavior

by Anne van Oorschot. 08 October 2020. With the Netherlands adopting stricter Corona rules – 3 guests per household – having our regular book discussion gathering was impossible.

Tilburg expat Book ClubFortunately, there are numerous online meeting platforms that make holding a virtual meeting easy to arrange and attend and I was happy to have a total of 9 attend our evening on October 8th. Two of those who attended were new to our small group and, while they hadn’t read the book, they wanted to get a feel for how our discussion evenings go. (more…)

#FlashBackFriday: Pub Quiz / Annual General Meeting

Tilburg International ClubNext week we’ll have our rescheduled Annual General Meeting and Pub Quiz from last May. For #FlashBackFriday, let’s take a look back one of our past pub quiz evenings!

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by Yolonda van Riel

14.05.2015 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!

tíc Board of Directors hard at work!

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.

Pub Quiz competition was fierce!

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!

Book review: Not Before Sundown (Do trolls really exist?)

Tilburg Expat Book Club

by Essi Koskela

27 Aug 2020. tíc book club’s summer reading Not before Sundown by Johanna Sinisalo is a reimagined story from a classic Finnish song, The Goblin and the Ray of Light.

We started our discussion session by listening to this sweet and melodic piece, before we immersed ourselves into the darker themes portrayed in the book. is a dark satire of Mikael, or Angel, a freelance photographer working in advertising, who adopts a young, abandoned troll from the streets of Tampere city. It turns out that trolls do not make good pets. Pessi, the troll, secretes intoxicating pheromones which produce an insidious effect on Mikael and everyone around him. The symbolism behind the power-battle of Pessi‘s influence and the civilized world around Mikael made an excellent discussion point, as Mikael starts to struggle with the beast within. With the words of the author herself: ‘the book deals with themes bigger than life: the relationship between man and nature; the problems of different kinds of otherness; and how our biological ancestry as hierarchical pack animals still affects us.’

Although the book is classified into science fiction or fantasy, only the existence of the endangered and rarely seen Tilburg Expat Book Clubtrolls separates the world in the story from reality. In fact, the writer has constructed such convincing pseudo-scientific biological origin for the troll species accompanied with numerous (real) references to Finnish literature and folklore about the trolls that it was easy to believe in the existence of trolls. Arguably trolls have been very much real in the Finnish way of life before modern civilisation finally reached all the far corners of wilderness in the country, and remnants of those beliefs are still reflected in the language and children’s imagination. One of Sinisalo’s reference books, “Memories from Lapland” by Samuli Paulaharju, from 1922, which I happened to have by chance, dedicates a whole chapter to trolls. From this book, I shared the divine origin story of trolls, fabricated in the typical half-pagan way of the Finns. As it turns out, trolls are the secret children of Adam and Eve, which God condemned to live underground after Eve wrongfully hid them.

The creation aside, religion is another prominent topic in the book, already given away by the heavenly name of Angel. I dare to say, the writer creates a juxtaposition between chaste protestant tradition and the biological beastly nature of human beings. We were not sure what to make out of this, as the story does not seem to resolve in favor of the other. Although in the case of Mikael, nature takes over.

Those of us who had completed the book agreed that it was an odd but delightful reading experience. Deceptively short with only 214 pages, Sinisalo’s story seemed to contain yet another layer in chapters unwritten. What happened to Mikael in the end? Why did the trolls take him among them? Was Palomita (the human-trafficked mail-order wife of Mikael’s neighbor) rescued? And most importantly, are trolls real and where can we find them?

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