Monday, 31 March 2008
One of those perks in living in Europe is a smooth and care-free
travelling around with European trains. That is if they are not
on strike or repairing some tracks on weekends. One can either
book tickets directly per internet with especial discounts for
holders of special discount for frequent travellers or the so-called
Bahncard which gives 25% to 50% cut on the regular fares, or for
bookers for holiday tariffs as advertised by almost all European
German trains offer as low as 19Euro
for one-way ticket to Amsterdam or even as low as 39Euro to
some European capital cities like Paris, Milano and Copenhagen.
I have a return ticket to Amsterdam which would
expire this last weekend of March and so despite the
not so encouraging weather forecast for Holland and the
return text of my girlfriend Herms who is, in turn,
spending her weekend in Belgium, I took the early ICE
train to this land of tulips and cheese with a bit
of frustration though as I found out that this super
fast train would be rerouted and definitely would
be encountering delays as good, industrious
Dutch railway technicians or other guest workers are repairing
Dutch tracks this weekend.
Reaching the main station of Utrecht, I have never fail to
do the first act of my visiting rites...go to the nearest
French fries (should be Dutch fries right?) and get myself
a normal serving with peanut and mayonnaise dressing. Yes,
even for breakfast! If I would get my good share of my
bad cholesterol, then it should come from a genuine
source and not the copied fries in Germany.
The rest of the short day would be spent in window shopping
checking the latest fashion worn by these mannequins. It always
amuses me to see that in Holland, the boundary of fashion
between let us say grandmas and their teenage granddaughters is
just also a cross-generation dressing. Wear anything as long as
you enjoy wearing it or simply anything goes seems to be the
fashion dictate in this land of Gouda cheese, Delft porcelain and
Even for a rainy weekend, the flower market is worth
a visit to complement a day tour of the market taking
photos of how these honey waffle cookies are made or just
feasting one's eyes on all all sizes and shapes and colors
of fish, cheese, nuts,candies leather bags, skirts and shawls,
fruits and locks, screws, bolts and toys for cats
On my way back, the ICE train would be again rerouted
but this time, I have a bagful of giant-sized pindas
(peanuts), cashew nuts, crab salad, honey waffle cookies,
and cheeeeeeeeeese! A real Dutch treat, right?
Monday, 24 March 2008
Thursday, 20 March 2008
"And in green underwood and cover
Blossom by blossom the spring begins."
We received today an email from our Iranian friend and his
family greeting us for the coming Easter and at the same time
sharing with us his wish for peace just in time for
the celebration of the traditional Iranian new year
holiday of Newroz.
Newroz is celebrated throughout the countries of the Middle
East and Central Asia as in Iran, Azerbaijian, Afghanistan,
Pakistan and Turkey.In Kurdish legend, the holiday
celebrates the deliverance of the Kurds from a tyrant, and
it is seen as another way of demonstrating support for the
Kurdish cause. The celebration is commonly transliterated
Newroz by the Kurds and coincides with the spring equinox
which falls mainly on 21st March. See the complete text
This morning, I received also an sms from my sister:
"May All Good Things Come Ur Way as D Sun Rises.
Have a Meaningful Holy Week. God Bless!"
While all the greetings are about new start and new
beginning with the official start of Spring 2008,
media has been covering about the recent protests
in Tibet and the 5th year of War in Iraq.
What a waste of human resources!
I am posting here for this especial day of
"Since wars begin in the minds of men, it is in
the minds of men that the defences of peace must
Unesco, Constitution, adopted 16.Nov.1945
No to War!
Without the light and the fire of Love
Without the Designer and the power of Creator,
We are not able to reach Union.
(Light is for us and dark is the night)
This fire massing and washing the Heart,
My heart claim after it.
And here come Newroz, and the New Year,
When a such light is rising.
from Melaye Ciziri (1570-1640)