Month: October 2005

October 29, 2005

I’m OK, you’re not OK

Filed under: — Natasha @ 10:25 am
cornered mouse

“You boarded up the bottom of the cupboards in the kitchen? Aren’t you afraid they can get out but not back in?” I paused. “Nope, I doubt it”. Well, this morning I was at my desk, psyching myself up for working on a Saturday and I heard some rustling in the kitchen, thinking, they’re baa-aack! A mouse was staring at me as if it had been sent by the others to check if the coast was clear. It ran off through the only place that was badly boarded up.

I made me a pot of the office coffee, as opposed to the smooth espresso I brew on the weekend, got down on my knees and sealed that sucker shut. The score is even again, topolini, just try me.

October 27, 2005

Creatures are stirring

Filed under: — Natasha @ 4:46 pm

“It’s normal,” people say, “you live in Amsterdam, what did you expect?”. Don’t I feel stupid! There were no mice in Rotterdam, Nijmegen or Delft when I was there! Wait a minute… there were mice at my workplace in Amsterdam back in 2000, and that was one of those downtown mansions that companies buy because nobody else can afford them.

Tell the landlord? They visit him too, he lives upstairs. So I boarded up that space between the kitchen cuboards and the floor that had mouse-size holes for their midnight snacks and hid my edibles in a closed cupboard. Just try me, topolini! (Topolino is Italian for Mickey Mouse, so topolini is my made up plural of it). Get a cat? The landlord doesn’t allow animals. The dog downstairs is being evicted in two months, but that’s a whole different story.

October 24, 2005

Cultural weekend

Filed under: — Natasha @ 11:50 am
Rustavi choir

Saturday afternoon, at the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam I attended a wonderful performance of the Rustavi choir, a male choir from the Republic of Georgia. I had been looking forward to it, and it was even better than I expected. I used to buy and sell their records when I was the manager of a classical music shop some 10 years ago. And to paraphrase the man who provided a general introduction to Georgian musical culture, probably one of the only reasons why Georgia is suddenly of interest in the Netherlands is because the president of Georgia married a Dutch woman.

On Sunday I was invited to visit a recently opened exhibition of Michelangelo’s drawings at the Teylers museum in Haarlem, featuring 90 drawings of the master together for the first time. It was very enlightening. There were very few drawings of women, and when there was one, it looked like a man with breasts penciled in as an afterthought.

October 21, 2005


Filed under: — Natasha @ 10:25 am

Ah, Liège. All the directions I got were polite and precise, but upon closer inspection I noticed that even on a bright sunny day, the grey colour was just the general mood of the city. The architecture wasn’t the problem; people’s gloomy disposition was. I admire the people there trying to be as civil as possible amidst a quiet yet underlying chaos fuelled in part by recent union talks going sour and the obvious lack of joie de vivre other Walloon cities boast. Every mobile phone conversation was depressing: a student being evicted, a dog being mistreated, someone gravely ill and anything else that could fill the back pages of a tabloid. Even the fun fair with all its music and colours was dingy. To top off my day, my mobile phone was stolen. Luckily I have another one, which is more than I can say for the poor bastard reduced to stealing mine.

(Photo: the city’s idea of public art)

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