Monday, 28 May 2012

A week in Sing

Even before my best friend had moved to Singapore, I'd already booked a flight to visit her and her family. So last week was spent in hot and humid Singapore, pretty much just when summer decided to show its face in the Netherlands as well.  Having caught sinusitus pretty much on the way to Sing, it turned out a very quiet week. Still, I had a lovely time seeing E, getting to know her kids better, and catching up with a few colleagues. I lost most but not all of my appetite, so still managed to eat some of the great food the city has to offer. Next stop: Vienna, in two weeks time.

Wednesday, 28 March 2012

Travel bug

After my hols down under it took me a while to get back into the swing of things in the Dam. But I think I got there. Spring so helps. My balcony is full of flowering plants. When I work from home, I can do so with the balcony doors wide open, surrounded by flowers. And my travel bug is back well and truly.

In the past week I booked a ticket to visit my friend Marianna in Vienna, and another one to visit my friend Lira in Boston and a bunch of Dutch, British, American, French and Australian friends in New York. This on top of the ticket to visit a friend in Singapore I booked last month. plans till end of September sorted. Although I might sneak in a trip to London soon as well.

Monday, 13 February 2012

Beautiful Amsterdam. After a tough week at work, I was so happy to go out and play on Saturday! Blue sky, not too cold, and a beautiful walk on the canals. First time I could do so since I moved to the Dam in '98. Loved how so many Dammers decided to sell mulled wine and hot choc in their stalls on the canal. One of those perfect days when everybody seems happy.
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Thursday, 9 February 2012


My cunning plan didn't quite come together.... Rather than skipping the winter, I skipped some weird extended autumn. The past week it's been minus something, with a max of minus 18 one night last week.

And I love it! It's white everywhere, it's properly cold and it's been sunny most days. People are ice skating on the Amsterdam canals, which I don't recall having seen before in the 10 years I've lived there. In Leiden some cafe had even put some tables and chairs on a frozen canal: al fresco hot chocolate! Now all I can wish is for it to be sunny until Saturday so I can take my camera and capture the wonderful sights.

Friday, 20 January 2012

Country nr 3

Petronas Towers by Gypsy Saskia
Petronas Towers, a photo by Gypsy Saskia on Flickr.
Guess where I am? ;-)

The last day of my hols. One more night in KL before I start my 18 hour journey home. It's a good thing I've been to KL before as I feel incredibly inactive. I start my mornings in the pool, walk to one of the malls for lunch, laze in my hotel room with iPad and books in the arvo and walk somewhere for dinner. That's it. And man, it's nice.

Just taking in the scenes, drinking an iced coffee while watching the world go by and reading are the most relaxing thing. And the food, oh, the food. Bebimbap, Laksa, butter prawns, nasi rames, I've had all sorts of great Asian dishes. Even tried durian ice cream but just like the fruit, it's not for me.

Though I hate malls in the US, I love them here. So many nice cafes, food courts, and Chanel and Dior window shopping is a good way to spend some time. Behaved reasonably well: did some Uniqlo shopping simply because we don't have them in NL, got one of Chanel's limited edition nail polishes and bought Aesop creme that is actually cheaper here than in Oz.

So...last day tomorrow before heading to the airport. If all goes to plan I should be drinking a Melburnian coffee in my Amstie apartment by 7am on Sunday. Nice.

Friday, 13 January 2012


When I first started travelling, I did the proper tourist thing and bought very generic souvenirs. I still have my Zimbabwian wooden giraffe and my Darwin didgeridoo, but most souvenirs are long gone. These days, I hardly bring anything but food home. When I spent two months in Cape Town in '09 I brought home loads of (desert) wine, as well as chilli garlic peri peri from a winery, syruppy balsamic from another winery and some other bits and pieces. In my bagpack here in Mebs sit a kilo of coffee beans (an ideal Melbs souvenir plus I've run out at home and will need coffee pronto on my return), a bottle of white port from a NZ winery and two desert wines from Victorian wineries. Plus some spices and stuff from a Vietnamese shop in Abbotsford. These souvenirs won't last forever but with every flat white and every cheeky glass of desert wine before bed, I will remember my wonderful holiday. And isn't that the purpose of a good souvenir?

Friday, 6 January 2012


My last day in Auckland already. Time flies! Having a wonderful stay with the most amazing hosts. Brien and Lynn, whom I met in '98, have gone out of their way to give me a great time. Island trip, Parnell, Mission Bay, fancy supermarket (I am a foreign supermarket junkie), nice food all the time, just fantastic. Oh, and I should mention the wine. These people can drink! Great chance for me to try loads of beautiful kiwi wines.