Month: November 2005

November 29, 2005

Le chat et la souris

Filed under: — Natasha @ 10:23 am
Cat and Mouse

That was a real cat I saw playing with a real mouse!

I wonder if dogs play with mice…

The pet shop owner even sells rat poison and had tips on how to catch mice more efficiently, which got my attention. I used to think it was so cute how all the cafe owners in the Netherlands had cats, but I now I know better: they’re just hired paws for catching mice.

(Photo: Yuri)

November 28, 2005

Some Sunday afternoon

Filed under: — Natasha @ 11:33 am
Fiat Topolino

Just going out the door to get some fresh air on a Sunday afternoon can turn into quite an adventure! Once again, mice were a part of it. First, I visited an outdoor display of old Italian cars, including the Fiat 500 Topolino, or ‘mouse’. It’s a very small car!

Then later, attracted by a bulky bunny rabbit in the window of a pet shop, I went inside to find a whole bunch of mice going about their business in cages, wondering why people buy them for home while I want them out of mine. Then, amused by the antics of a really big mouse, I saw the shop cat, which incidentally had only three legs, playing with a mouse. What a life-like mouse, I thought. Hey, wait a minute, it’s real! The cat would catch the mouse with its mouth, then put it on the ground and wait for the mouse to take off again. The mouse was used to the whole ordeal. “It’s her toy,” said the pet shop owner.

November 16, 2005

4th Karate-do Goju-kai World Championships

Filed under: — Natasha @ 9:14 pm

On Monday, after having the chance to train with Goshi Yamaguchi, the ‘Grand Master’ of the style of karate known as Goju-ryu, from which Goju-kai stems, I reflected on everything I photographed and wrote about during the three days of the World Championships, which recently took place in Rotterdam. As a yellow belt with a karate exam in less than two weeks, I now understand that when karate is done right, it is really nice to watch. I also figured out that when I do something right, it is motivating enough to travel a total of three hours early on Saturday morning to get to karate class and back. Imagine, I used to live 10 minutes away from the dojo (training hall)! If someone had told me I would be doing karate as a thirty something, I never would have believed it.

November 7, 2005

The ‘A’ train

Filed under: — Natasha @ 11:01 pm

When I was living on the south shore of Montreal, Canada, running to catch the last bus back home was the most irritating yet crucial part of going out on the town. I spent so much time and energy chasing after the last metro, the last bus, the last whatever, I vowed at one point never to live anywhere that gave me that dependent teenager feeling.

Amsterdam has bare bones public transport after midnight on weekdays and after about 1 a.m. on weekends. Nightbuses are more expensive and full of drunk teenagers trying to get home outside the city. City folk usually get home walking or by bike. You cannot ride your bike if you’re drunk, it’s illegal. Taxi? Nope, they’re either full or non-existant and terribly expensive (the most expensive in Europe). Car? Nope, drinking is an issue, never mind parking. Now that I live closer to downtown, walking home is usually an option, although winter is coming up.

I need to be at the airport to meet people coming from Indonesia tomorrow at 4:30 a.m. It’s just 15 minutes away by train. I have to get to central station first to catch the night train, which only comes once an hour. How do I get to central station? As I write this, I’m still not sure.

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