Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
1 2 3 4
5 6 7 8 9 10 11
12 13 14 15 16 17 18
19 20 21 22 23 24 25
26 27 28 29 30
A controversional picture
In the past weeks, I have come many times across a
of a modern madonna on billboards along the road.
It was posted as part of an advertisement campain by the KRO,
the Dutch Catholic radio broadcasting organisation, under the
title 'Het gevoel dat je
wilt delen' (The feeling you want to share).
In some cities, it was not shown, but replaced by a messages
stating that the picture was censored. It was censored by the
company that owns the billboards, not because a naked breast is
visible, but because the advertisements gives a message with a
religious connotation. (Yes, we live in a strange country.)
On the picture is a young woman, holding a baby on her arms
while looking up. Her left breast is uncovered. I wrote "young
woman", not "young mother", because the form of her breast
is not that of a woman who just born a child. This makes the
picture rather sensual. I have no problems seeing picture of
a child being weaned by its mother, or with a mother breastfeeding
her child in a public place. But with this picture it is different.
At the same time, I remember having seen paintings of medieval
madonnas displaying this same kind of youthful breasts. But,
I have never felt these paintings to be sensual. What is the
difference, I wonder. Anyway, it is rather disturbing to being
confronted with these kind of images on a daily bases. And I
can tell you, this is really not the only one like this that I
have seen in the past year.
Annabel teaching Li-Xia Dutch
When Annabel was just born,
Li-Xia's mother remarked
that one day Annabel would teach her Dutch. This made Li-Xia
laugh. Yesterday, Annabel was working on a puzzle book which
had on each page several questions each consisting of
a picture with a question, and three smaller pictures
representing the answers. Annabel still is not able to
read the questions, so she asked Li-Xia to read them to
her. Li-Xia did not have problems reading the questions,
but she did not all understand all of them. Annabel often
had to explain the meaning of the questions to her.
Happy Meal Baby Furbies
Today, both Annabel and I took
a Baby FurbyTM with us, which she got with a
Happy MealTM. I put mine, a dark one with blue eyse, on my desk.
When you presses the mouth of this Baby FurbyTM,
it says at random one of the following phrases:
"DoMo eten" (Dutch for "Domo eat"),
"Ga Nu eten" (Dutch for: "Go eat now"),
"Da Oo Pe",
"Nin Na Da", and
Some people have been busy with
the FurbyTM, and there is even a
to make it programmable. For this purpose it gets a RS-232
port. (Yes - UNIX geeks rejoice, your Furby will have a
console port!) They are working on porting a version of Philos
-- a freeware multitasking kernel -- which will be called FurbOS.
Applying for a temporary residence permit
We have decided to request for a temporary
residence permit for my mother-in-law.
When I phoned the police office last week it all seemed so simple.
They would send me a form that I had to fill in. The form indeed
arrived soon, stating that it was to help a quick application of
a temporary residence permit. However, one of the requirements
was that you needed to provide a copy of the passport of the
person you wanted to ask the permit for.
Today we received an email from my mother-in-law that for applying
for a passport she needed an invitation letter with copies of our
This brings back all kinds of memories of our previous attempts of
requesting permits and visa's, which all proved not to be so simple.
I wonder how things will evolve this time.
Applying for a temporary residence permit (Cont'd)
Yesterday, Li-Xia mailed the invitation
letter and copies of our passports to her mother. She also phoned with some friends, and heard
that for a half year temporary residence permit, you also need
These documents need to be legalized by the Chinese
Ministry of Foreign Affairs, which costs 340 Yuan per document, and to do this
it seems you also need to show a invitation letter and copies of the passports.
This whole process takes approximately five weeks.
- a birth certificate,
- a document proving the family relationship, and
- a statement of good conduct from the police.
Applying for a new passport takes about one month. If we would
follow the steps suggested by the form we received from the police,
the rough time schedule could be something like:
In order to speed up this process, I have to phone the police office and
ask them whether the additional documents are needed for each application of
a visa or temporary residence permit. If the answer is yes, we should
apply for them immediately. If the answer is no, we should not apply for
them, because it is so difficult and expensive. My greatest fear is that at
the police office they will no be willing to answer the question, because for
them these kind of questions can only be answered after they have received the
initial application form.
- November 27, 2000: Inivitation letter and copy of our passports arrive in Urumqi.
- November 28, 2000: Li-Xia's mother applies for passport
- December 28, 2000: Li-Xia's mother send a copy of the passport to us.
- January 6, 2001: We send in the form to the police.
- January 20, 2001: We are informed by the police to request for the above documents.
- January 21, 2001: We send a invitation letter and copies of our passports to
our "family" in Beijing.
- January 21, 2001: Li-Xia's mother applies for these documents in Urumqi.
- January 23, 2001: She receives the documents and sends them to Beijing.
- January 26, 2001: They arrive in Beijing.
- January 28, 2001: Our "family" in Beijing brings them to the Chinese
Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
- March 17, 2001: The documents can be send to us.
- March 24, 2001: We receive them, and send the documents to the police.
- May 21, 2001: We receive notice that the temporary residence permit has been granted.
- June 10, 2001: Li-Xia's mother goes to Beijing.
- June 12, 2001: In the early morning Li-Xia mother lines up in the queue for the
Dutch Ambassady in Beijing, and after four hours of waiting she can
finally receive the permit.
- June 15, 2001: Li-Xia's mother arrives in Enschede.
I just realize that it is too late again to phone. They are only open in the
morning. I did think about it this morning, but then it was still too early,
and when it was the right time, there were so many other things asking my
attention. Bummer! I'll have to wait for tomorrow morning now. I have been so
wise now to set an alarm on my computer. Li-Xia is not going to like this when
I tell her this.
White Baby Furby
I finally analyzed the phrases made by a white Baby FurbyTM.
It speaks one of the following six phrases at random:
"O tju ma",
"Ma nula wa",
"Ma ma ma" (singing),
"Ma e e nu nai", and
The last phrase is also made by the dark baby Furby with blue eyes.
Dark Baby Furby with brown eyes
I finally analyzed the phrases made by a dark Baby FurbyTM
with brown eyes. I only found three new phrases compared to the other two.
This one speaks the following six phrases at random:
"Ga Nu eten" (Dutch for: "Go eat now"),
"Mien mea ga", and
"Min to lu".
The first three of these are also used by the dark
Baby FurbyTM with blue eyes,
the one that is still standing on my desk. All of them
This evening we had a dinner in the honour of the 40th
wedding day of my parents. Actually, it is tomorrow that it is
40 years ago that they got married. But what is one day?
We went to Grand Restaurant Savarin located in the Market Dome of
the "Het Heijderbos" CenterParcs
park, where we are staying for this weekend.
As a starter, I ordered: Salad of fennel and wine flavoured saurekraut,
braised mushrooms and marinated tomato, finished off with cranberies.
Although the saurekraut was missing, it was a very nice salad. It has
been a long time ago that I had some fennel. I even tasted some cinnamon.
As a main dish I ordered some fried lamb meat which was cooled down with
red wine, and with some thime and laurier. It was served with sjalots,
carrots, and paprika.
It was nice, although I never saw the sjalots and the paprika.
When the bill came, the restaurant offered to give those two dishes
for free, because of the missing ingredients.
Li-Xia started with a tomato soup and had a
fish dish with a variaty of
fish. During the dinner, I took a picture of my father
and my mother.
Today, seems to have been a day of rare accidents.
First, when I went walking with Andy, and on the way back, I met
with my brother. Not a strange accident, because the park is not
that big. But within minutes we met with a brother-in-law. Making
it a little more accidentially.
Then around nine, I decided to go swimming in the Aqua Mundo, a tropical
swimming pool. Just outside the villa in which we were staying, the others
were coming back from the restaurant. (We had left early, because
Andy was causing troubles.) My little nephews were walking ahead,
busy talking, not recognizing me. I could not keep myself from
In the swimming pool, I tried out all the slides, including the wild
water course. Then, when I came back, I noticed that I had lost the
key of my locker. Then when I asked, it turned out it had been found.
But this still was not the most accidential thing. When, I walked
out the pool, a man and woman were talking about a small doll that
was laying near the enterence, discussing that it looked like
a cuddly toy of a child. When, I looked at it, I remembered
that one of my nephews also had one like this, and I also recalled
that I had seen it in the pool when all of us were there earlier
on the day. I decided to take it with me. When I arrived at the
villa, I showed it to my sister and brother-in-law, and the looked
very surprised. What an coincidence that I had found it. There
little son, already had complained about it being gone. It was his
Today we went to the Jungle Dome. There we met with my parents and the rest of
the family. We had a hard time leaving, because every time somebody
was gone. There is so much to see and play there that it is difficult
to sit and wait for the others to come back. Together with my father,
I climbed about halfway the central tower. With Annabel, I climbed
to the top. But finally, we managed
to get everybody together. Afterwards, some went swimming, I went
back to our villa, and watched TV the rest of the afternoon. (It was
more of taking a nap, because Andy had given us some trouble during
This evening we did not have dinner with the whole family together.
My parents went for a pizza. My youngest sisters with their family
went to the Market Done Restaurant, and my eldest sister and I with
our families went to "Harold's Family" restaurant.
As a starter, I ordered nacho's and Li-Xia
had some tomato soup
again. She said that this soup was better than yesterdays. The
ordered a fish dish again. Yes, she likes fish very much.
I ordered a Fajitas de Carne. This is a dish that consists of
soft tortilla's, which you fill with the meat (beaf in my case),
and some of the three sauces that are served with it. The three
sauces are advocado (green), cream (white), and pepers (red).
When we were feeding Andy, he suddenly
looked around, saw my father and said very clearly "Opa" (Dutch
for "Grandpa"). This is the first time, Andy said
"Opa" to his grandfather.
When everything was ready, I decided to go for a swim
again, just like yesterday. It was after nine that I left
for Aqua Mondo. There were not much people. I took the
wild water course. It really feels nice to let yourself
go with the water. Afterwards, I felt very relaxed and
wished that I could do this every evening.
October 2000 |
December 2000 |