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News Archive

#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. Review 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.

(more…)

Join (virtual) Book Club!

Expat Book Club

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. (more…)

#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?

#FBF: Book Club review of The Last Kingdom

Next week 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, here’s a review from 2015!

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by Leni Hurley. 15 Mar 2020. The tíc Book Club met 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. (more…)

Tour of LocHal and WWII Expo review

by Mala Raman

07 Mar 2020. Right behind the Tilburg Central Station in the Spoorzone, is an old industrial locomotive hall that has been transformed into a cutting edge library, The LocHal. The repair center from the 1930s has been converted into a modernist design filled with glass, stunning wooden staircases and light-filled, open-plan spaces all housed within the steel beams of the original locomotive center.

Our group of tíc members met here to explore this innovative building. The World Architecture Festival named the LocHal “2019 World Building of the Year”.
(more…)

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