Archive for June, 2008

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Euro 2008

June 20, 2008

Russia 3, Croatia 1

Russia beats Croatia on Penalty Kicks.

They were tied 1 – 1 when time ran out. The went to penalty kicks, best of five. After three rounds, Croatia was barely hanging on with one goal in three tries while while Russia was perfect a perfect three of three. The next round, Croatia goes first. They missed the goal, just outside to the right. Russia wins.

The pain in the Croatian players faces was overwhelming.

Wins and losses go deep here. In 1991, Croatia declared independence against Soviet backed Yugoslavia, leading to a four year war for independence. Fifteen years after independence, they’re playing the Russians in the semi-final.

Sometimes, it really is more than a game.

(also, ending on penalty kicks sucks)

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Holland vs The Netherlands

June 18, 2008

No, this isn’t a soccer match. It’s a short primer on the difference between Holland and The Netherlands.

The Netherlands is a country made up of twelve provinces. It’s people are referred to as the Dutch. Holland is a region of the country, made up of two provinces, North Holland and South Holland. It’s the cultural and economic heart of The Netherlands, covering about 15% of the area of The Netherlands while containing over half the population. The cities of Amsterdam, Den Haag (The Hague) and Rotterdam are all in Holland.

So a Hollander is always Dutch, but a Dutchman (or woman) isn’t always a Hollander.  Kapisch?

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Dutch

June 18, 2008

I’m confused.

One of the elevators in the hotel is out of order so they want us to take the stairs.

However, apparently the stairs aren’t such a good idea either!

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Delft

June 17, 2008

Delft is a small town a few miles outside of Den Haag (The Hague). It’s a beautiful place, with a traditional town square (Plein), tree lined canals and numerous historical buildings. It’s the birthplace of Johannes Vermeer, home of the eponymous blue pottery and the assassination site of William of Orange.

It’s also the home of Locus Publicus, one of my all time favorite pubs.

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Holland

June 17, 2008

Hello from The Netherlands!

A co-worker and I are here for a 2 week project with one of our clients. Last Sunday afternoon, we flew from Seattle to Amsterdam (via Copenhagen) arriving at our hotel late Monday evening. We’ve put in a lot of time at the office but fortunately, we have had the chance to do some sightseeing.

This is my fifth trip to The Netherlands. I’ve been over three times with friends and twice for work. I never planned to spend this much time here, it just kind of happened. The first trip was planned. We wanted to go to London and Amsterdam so we dug around until we could find affordable tickets and off we went. The next two trips were the other way around. Both times, we happened across cheap tickets to Amsterdam before we had even discussed visiting.

The work trips have been even more random. I was unemployed and went to a going away party for a former co-worker. While I was there, my old boss mentioned some possible contracting opportunities. Two days later I was in Toronto for an extended stay (8 weeks) and just a few days after returning to the States, I was on an SAS flight to Schiphol Airport. That trip lasted three months, giving me a great introduction to life with the Dutch.