Sunday, June 17, 2012

A new record for the Netherlands

Yasu is on retreat with his practicum group so he wasn't able to join me at the Dutch Consulate to see the last game of the Netherlands in the Group of Death. And because Yasu wasn't there this morning to keep me sane, I totally lost my mind and left for the game an hour early. Oh well, better too early than too late, right?

Jenny joined the European football viewing fun instead. There were a lot less people than at the other two games, I wonder if most had already given up hope, and unlike the other games almost everyone was watching the game on the smaller TV screen in the living room setup. Jenny and I watched the action on the large screen though and she really did her best to cheer on the Dutchies and curse at the Portuguese with us. 

While we were watching the Netherlands-Portugal game on the big screen, we kept an eye on the Germany-Denmark game on a small Mac screen, after all it was important that Germans beat the Danes in order for us to even have a chance to advance to the next phase.

Well, the Netherlands scored in the first 20 minutes and we all exploded with cheers and claps and little dances on the spot, but soon the Portuguese took over and basically destroyed the Dutch team. The Germans won and the Portugese won, and the Netherlands broke a new record: losing all three games in the group phase of a championship. 
I really enjoyed cheering on the Dutch team though, and I'm definitely doing it again at future championships. I just really hope to see them win once, I still haven't watched a game they won, and they're usually pretty good at winning.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

The Dutch versus the Germans

Today was the day the Netherlands was going to beat Germany in the European Football Championship. The mother of all football games, because of the longstanding football rivalry between the Dutch and the Germans

Every time there is a big championship funny commercials pop up of the Dutch making fun of the Germans, and the other way around. This year it's McDonald's using the rivalry to promote its burgers, this was the Dutch commercial:
And this was the German reaction:
So not only did we need to win this game to progress from the Group of Death to the knockout stage, but we also needed to win to beat those Germans. Problem was that those Germans are good, but the Dutch are good too, so we were full of hope.

We went to the Dutch Consulate again. We were the first to arrive in the patriotically decorated space and were soon joined by a crowd of orange-clad supporters.
We were all in orange spirits, not just in San Francisco, also at home in the Netherlands. I learned through iMessage that my family was all gathered around the TV to watch the game as well, and believe me that is unusual, especially for my mother and brother. So we all watched the game 'together' and we all moaned together when Germany scored twice, out loud and through iMessage.
My mom was getting bored and when she announced she was going to bed (it was early afternoon here, but evening in the Netherlands) the Dutch suddenly scored! An unimaginable roar of cheers and cries of happiness went through the Consulate, it was an awesome moment and it made everyone hopeful again. Even my mom, who decided to watch the rest of the game after all.

To our dissapointment, no more goals were made and the Germans won this game. It's hard to believe that our national team has lost two games, but we're not giving up hope yet, we'll just have to beat Portugal on Sunday with two clear goals and hope the Germans beat the Danes... It's going to be hard, but not impossible.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Orange cheering

After a great Koninginnedag in San Francisco's Golden Gate Park with a surprisingly large gathering of Dutchies, I've been wanting to go to another Dutch event with an orange dress code.

Right now, the European Football Championship is in full swing and of course the Dutch national team is competing as well. The Netherlands Consulate General in San Francisco invited local Dutchies and friends to come watch the game at the Consulate, and we were happy to attend! We brought with us Yasu's boss March, who is Dutch-American and very interested in anything Dutch and the Euro Cup.
The Dutch Consulate has really beautiful offices on the 31st floor of a building downtown, so it had an awesome view of San Francisco and the Bay.
But we were not there to enjoy the view, we were there to watch football - more commonly known as soccer in the States - and to cheer on the Dutch team. I never really used to care much about my country's favorite sport, but there's nothing like celebrating your nationality and cheering on your fellow countrymen when you've been abroad for so long.
I've only ever watched a few football games in which the Dutch national team were playing and so far I've never seen them win, including today. I kind of feel like their unlucky charm! Even during the last World Cup I didn't see them win, even though they won all games, except the finale, which is the only one I saw (in Japan on a Dutch TV screen through Skype).

Today they lost against Denmark, so now I'm hoping they'll beat Germany on Wednesday. We'll be watching the game at the Consulate again, because it was such a nice place (it kind of felt like being in a Dutch living room) and it was so much fun to root for your team with so many other orange-fans!

Wednesday, June 06, 2012

Robin's House of Art

Ever since Robin first told me about how she makes her beautiful pins, I've been so curious about her workspace, so I was one happy camper when I got to visit her today at her house/art studio. She lives in such a cute mazelike house, with so many rooms and so many things to look at. There's color everywhere, and it feels like such a happy, creative and inspiring place.
She explained to me all the steps of creating her pins, and she warned me I might get bored, but of course it was super interesting! I can never get enough of looking at her pins, they always make me feel joy. They are all little pieces of art people can wear and carry with them everywhere. She has so many different ones, and so far it has been impossible for me to pick a favorite. 
Robin is a painter and besides her pins, earrings and necklaces she also creates the most amazing paintings, and they are all over the place brightening up the house.
Robin has so many interesting tools and supplies at her house, and she has many more creative skills besides painting. I can't wait until next time when she going to teach me all about the art of stained glass!

Saturday, June 02, 2012

Summertime

It's already June, it's already summertime. The older I get the faster time flies. In my country, summer starts at the end of June, but here in California summer weather seems to have arrived ages ago, I got my first severe sunburn weeks ago. In the Netherlands students are still in school until sometime in July, but here school has been out for summer since the beginning of May. It's time for some cool drinks in the sun. Happy summer!