27 Aug

Spotted sellotaped to the tram stop at Koningspein in Amsterdam:

I foresee two possible outcomes.

One will result in a very touching scene between a father and son a few years from now when the inquisitive young boy asks how mummy met daddy. The proud father will put his paper and pipe down, pick up the young boy and sit him down on his knee. As they sit together next to the fire in the father’s favourite old leather armchair he starts to tell his son a most wonderful story about a romantic search across an entire city to find the girl who had quite unexpectedly taken his breath away one summer day on tram number five. It is the kind of epic love story that poems and novels are written about. It is a story that stays with the young boy. It shapes and forms many of his own thoughts and ideas about love which eventually lead to him meeting his own wife many more years later… and then, a few more years later still, it is a story he tells to his own children about how grandmother met grandfather…

That or a lengthy court case resulting in a restraining order. It could go either way.

22 Aug

My Girlfriend:
(Down on one knee)
“Will you marry me?”

(After a full minute of hyperventilating like a girl)

I just have to hope she stops singing, “All the women who are independent. Throw your hands up at me,” before the wedding. Either way, I guess I made a good impression on that first date.

16 Aug


A family of four enters the Pannenkoeken house and waits by the entrance. They are approached by a waiter. He is a young waiter. He probably works at the Pannenkoeken house part time and goes to college where he studies for a less pancake orientated future. For the purposes of this story we will call him Dirk van Pannenkoek. Dirk van Pannenkoek enquires as to how he may assist the family. The family of four requests a table of four since it is what they require.

Dirk shows the family of four to the requested table with four seats and presents them each with a menu (which totals four). English menus are requested and given. Dirk does this quickly and efficiently as he is a well trained waiter.

With the menu’s arranged Dirk enquires if drinks are desired and four drinks are ordered, one each for the family of four. A short while later Dirk returns with the drinks.


When Dirk returns later once more the family of four has suddenly become a family of three. Dirk suggests that he should return when the three have become four again but the family of three insist that they are ready to order. Dirk takes out his order pad and pen and three orders follow, each of which he writes down. He waits for the fourth order for the missing member but no order is given or seems likely to be given. Confused for a moment Dirk wonders if he imagined the fourth family member or if they are a very unkind family who considers someone to be on their own and forgotten when they visit the bath room. Slightly perplexed Dirk returns to the kitchen.


My father had spent a good amount of time umming and erring his way through the menu’s selection of pancakes on offer. It seems that no amount of ice cream or strawberry toppings could change his opinion of the pancakes nutritional value so he volunteered to go to the McDonald’s across the street. Shortly after he left the waiter had returned.


Dirk returns with three pancakes for the family of three but something else is wrong now. It quickly becomes apparent that a mistake was made in the order. One of the three pancakes is wrong. Dirk apologizes for the mistake but the family offers to pay for the incorrect pancake anyway. Dirk does not know how to react to the English politeness so he puts the pancake down in front of the empty fourth seat and takes a new order with his pad and pen.

Dirk returns to the kitchen more confused than previously. He is confused by their politeness about the error while they showed such disregard for the missing fourth member (he still wonders if he imagine that). And why had he witnessed the young lady hitting the young man in the arm as he had approached the table.


Even with the English menus the pancakes had a lot of unusual names so it was no surprise when my mother got the names mixed-up and ordered the wrong pancake. When the waiter had returned with a pancake covered in chicken instead of a pancake covered in ice cream the mistake became apparent and she ordered a new pancake.

The unusual sounding names were also the reason I had started making jokes at the expense of my girlfriend and her pancake order. I can be incredibly immature at times and anyone who orders a pancake called, “The farmer’s daughter,” is just asking for it.

“Have you had the farmer’s daughter before?”

“Yes. A few times.”

“So you’ve enjoyed having the farmer’s daughter a lot?”

She hit me on the arm when she realized what I was doing.


Dirk returns to the family of three with the new pancake. He is about to put it down on the table when he suddenly notices something that courses him to pause. The family of three has become a family of four again and the fourth member is sitting with a pancake in front of him.

The confusion that Dirk is experiencing is very apparent on his face. A few seconds pass before he realizes he is standing still, staring at the family, holding the new pancake in mid putting it down motion. The fourth family member smiles at him, looking happy with his pancake.

The cogs in his head are trying to turn. A family of four had ordered four drinks only to become a family of three who ordered three pancakes and then ordered an extra one to become a family of four again.

Dirk puts the pancake down. Dirk wishes the family of four a happy meal. Dirk turns around and leaves. Dirk returns to the kitchen. Dirk sobs in the corner of the kitchen while rocking back and forth.


After a successful trip to the McDonald’s my father had returned. He had sat back in his unoccupied seat and was slightly confused by what looked like a chicken covered pancake we had ordered for him in his absence. Once we had explained the mix up he was less confused than our waiter looked when he returned. My father gave the waiter one of those awkward British smiles as if to say, “It’s alright. This kind of thing happens to us a lot.”

10 Aug

This is a completely improvised, written as it happens blog post. I’ve never done one of these before so it is a bit of an experiment. I am currently sitting in the front room of a friend’s house in Amsterdam. He’s not here. He’s in Australia. Don’t worry. I’ve not broken in. I’m house sitting for him. It is 11:45 at night. My girlfriend is asleep downstairs and for the last 15 minutes I have been listening to someone in the street watching a very loud movie while I try to write another not so improvised blog post.

At least I assume they are watching a movie. Maybe they are just having a shoot-out/car chase/military incursion going on in their living room. Either way I have become too intrigued in trying to work out what movie they are watching to write what I was originally writing.

I’ve not worked out much about the movie so far but the plot seems to be something along the lines of; “Argh!” Bang! Bang! “Go, go, go!” Bang! Bang! “We have a situation here.” Bang! “Argh! Go, go, go!”

In fact, for the last 15 minutes someone in the movie has been shouting “go, go, go” every few seconds. It must be a very exciting action movie or they really have to go somewhere. Maybe they are very late for a meeting.

I think someone just gave a motivational speech but it’s hard to make out the words. The music was very motivational though and there was a lot of cheering at the end. Could it be Brave Heart? There was a very motivational speech in that movie. Were there any shoot-outs or car chases in Brave Heart? I’ve not seen it.

No wait… That was a roar. I just heard a roar. It must be a monster movie. That or I just heard a drunk tourist in the street… No, I think it is definitely a monster movie. Maybe dinosaurs if I had to make an educated guess.

Someone is shouting “go, go, go” again. They must be really late for that appointment.

I could swear I just heard the voice of Jar-Jar? It’s hard to tell above all the gun fire and screaming. It could have been Shawn Connery. Were they ever in a movie together? Maybe some kind of buddy cop movie?

There was a loud crash but that was not the movie. Someone just fell off their bike in the street.

Now I hear emotional music. I think someone just died. I hope it was Jar-Jar and not Shawn Connery.

And now a car alarm has been going off for the last 10 minutes. There is no way of me knowing how the Brave-Heart-Buddy-Cop-Late-For-Meeting-Monster-Movie ends now. It will be a mystery that will go forever unanswered and torment me till my grave. At least they were nice enough to let me and the rest of the street hear their movie.

I bid you all goodnight.

(Posted at 1:00am. This is what happens when I try to write when I should be sleeping)

3 Aug

Every summer my parents come over to Holland to visit. This is always great fun because I get to show them around the areas of Holland that I have discovered as well as be a tourist myself and discover a few new areas. This also tends to lead to a few funny stories. During an active week of theme parks, zoos, boat rides and more I have:

  • Proved myself as a man by winning a fluffy giraffe for my woman at the Efteling fair ground.

  • Experimented with live twittering from the queue of a rollercoaster (live twittering ‘on’ the rollercoaster did not go as smoothly even with the help of predictive text).

  • Drove my parents around in my girlfriend’s car. They had not ‘experienced’ my driving for 15 years but it seems the fear was not so easily forgotten. Every time my girlfriend handed me the car keys my father would ask, “Are you sure that is a good idea?”

  • Ended up with a few ‘patches’ of sun burn were I was not very ‘thorough’ with the sun screen.

  • Met my nemesis, a small monkey criminal mastermind at Apenheul who used his cuteness to lure me in so he could attempt to steal my camera. When that did not work he bit me and ran away. He shall be known as; Moriarty.

  • Witnessed my father empty a sashay of mustered into his tea when he mistook it for a sashay of milk and still drink the whole thing even after he realized his mistake. Apparently it was, “not too bad.”

  • Managed to completely confuse a waiter at a pancake restaurant (Full story here).

  • Head-butted a mosquito. It had been buzzing around my ear all night and when I suddenly threw my head of the pillow in frustration I felt the tiny blood sucker bounce off my fore head. It was unintentional but it had it coming.

  • Visited the city of Den Bosch and went on a canal trip that went ‘under’ the city. It felt like something out of a Dutch version of a Dan Brown novel (but less confusing and much more suitable for a movie adaption).

  • Bumped into blogger VallyP in a way that probably has her now worried that I am stalking her (standing outside her boat while my mum took photos).

  • Sailed the waters of Leiden with the most terrifying crew to ever raise anchor in Holland; my father in a pirates hat and my mother in a life jacket.