Categories for World


The Action shop, a shop only 50 meters away from my house, i don’t visit that much. Only last week, some people i walked by and smiled to said to me it was good i lived so close to it. I shrugged.

I had this post as a draft for a couple of weeks. And yes, i didn’t use it. I just remembered. So i will delete that draft and keep this one in place.

I did buy two bedsheets in the past year. The ones i had were torn. I tried fixing them, but it all got loose once more. So i bought new ones. I did do a search for the cheapest ones i could find. The ones in the HEMA were 10 euros. The ones in the Action were 6,95. So yeah. Action.

A few months ago there was a television program on Dutch television about discount shops. That was what woke me up. I never thought people would buy so many things in there. But yes, they do. Whole houses filled up with things bought there.

Jinek interview with Roland Duong about discount shops (Dutch)

Earlier I bought plastic containers in the Action. Like a year and a half ago, not sure. But that is it. I did go into the shop once before, but i left a bit flabbergasted with nothing. So many things, all very cheap.

So today i went in specifically to make photos. I did worry a bit beforehand. There could be guards there, that could try to prevent me from taking the photos. Not that i will do anything with them. But that didn’t happen. Some people saw me taking the photos, but nobody said anything.

I was actually taking in everything that was there. I liked the paint brushes, the paint, the papers, the insect hotels, the coloured feltpens, the metal boxes, the plastic containers, the glass containers, the toothbrush sets for electrical brushes, the hair colourings, the candles, the gardening gloves, the underwear, some of the the food, like the bio nut paste. More than i had imagined.

Ooh, the name. Action. Another bolt in my piece about language. Remember!

Anyway, here are the photos. Enjoy!

Published on April 5, 2017 at 6:00 by

Dutch elections

Next week, Wednesday 15 March, the Dutch elections will be held. In this election all 150 members of the House of Representatives, the Tweede Kamer, are chosen.

No single party has ever managed to win a majority of the votes, good for 76 seats in the house. The Dutch government has been a coalition of several parties for more than a century.

I grew up in a left wing labour family. We had a Vara tv magazine, we listened to the Saturday radio show In de Rooie Haan. We watched the VPRO on Sundays and had the newspaper Het Vrije Volk, the Free People – which no longer exists. The first party i ever voted for was the Communistic Party. I was eighteen years old.

I never was terribly interested in politics. For convenience, i settled for the Dutch Labour party, the PvdA. I did vote most of the time. I might have skipped a few. I don’t remember.

The past two years i have changed, my life has changed. My thoughts about many things, like politics, have sharpened. These last weeks before the elections the debates and discussions on television are on almost every night. I don’t watch them all. The one thing that stuck was a question somebody in the audience asked Pechtold (D66) about his death wish. He was only in his late 50s.

We are all born free in this world with our own responsibility for our lives. The government has nothing to do with how somebody would like to end his or her own life. I’m really baffled by the question, as if the man was waiting for approval for his going away. The answer uses the word dignity. Death is simply the end of your life. I’d love it to be dignified for everybody, but i do see that it is not the case. To me, this drives the responsibility of our government too far. You can simply slit your wrists and be done with it. Not that i wish anyone to do this. But if you want to go, simply go.

I’m also thinking about the importance of money and economics. The way the future is projected. Plans of the parties are calculated through with an horizon of 60 years. So many things can happen in that time. It is impossible to know everything, or rather anything about these events. But it still goes through. Most parties parade the apparently good results.

Once i have a little money myself, i will donate some to the Peace garden. I will try to find people who are working on school gardens. I think every school, for children aged between 4 and 12 years old, should have a school garden system. With gardeners working with the children.

These are my personal dreams. If ever i get the money of course!

As for our country, my vote goes to the Partij van de Dieren. I like their thinking about economics. We do need to find a way to change the buying habits of so many people, buying all this nonsense junk in the shops. We do need to take care of our planet. It is a magical place with so many animals and plants sharing this world with us. We need to take care of all of it. Not kill and pollute.

Plan B (English)Plan B (Dutch).

I am still thinking about who i am going to vote for. Marianne Thieme is the main front person of the Partij van de Dieren. But i am also following Ewald Engelen on Facebook and Twitter, he is on number ten of the list. So my vote might go to him. Still thinking!

I am following my own dreams, my own thoughts, my own ideals. I’m happy i found a good party to place my votes with.

I do hope you will find a good place too.

Published on March 7, 2017 at 6:00 by

Life is wonderful

“It’s amazing what you can get if you quietly, clearly and authoritatively demand it.”

Meryl Streep

This quote from Meryl Streep i saw this week, most likely on facebook. It stuck in my mind. Quietly. Clearly. Authoritavely. Demand.

We are all born in this world, changing continuously. Some of us are lucky. Some of us are not. Some of us don’t even get born at all. Some die from a disease. Some from violence. The lucky ones? They get an education. They get a job. They get children, reasonably happy.

Our world is actually doing better. The past century the worldwide average life expectancy has risen from 32 to 70. Infant mortality has dropped from 19,5% to 3,69%. We earn more, averagely. We read more.

On the other hand, temperature is rising, the ice on the poles is melting, sea water is rising. Rain forests are being cut down. Animals loose their life habitats.

It is simple, we should control ourselves and our actions a bit more. Not consume that much anymore. Buy things only when really needed. Don’t throw away so many things. Be careful with plastics. Don’t buy that many clothes.


I do try to do this as much as possible. I separate my garbage into paper, glass, plastic and the rest. I bring my compost to the garden compost heap. I make many things myself: toothpaste, detergent, cleaning liquids, body butter. I work in the garden two days a week and get vegetables through that.

But i do understand i’m still part of a rather small group of people doing this. I read the blogs, i watch the videos. I love to see people tone down their life. Doing the things that makes them happy. Not for money.


This is my life now. I have set out this course myself. Nobody is forcing me to do any of this.

And i am thinking. Watching this world pass by. Watch the news, not the whole time, but a little bit at a time. Read the newspapers, not every single day, only once a month or so. Read blog posts, facebook, twitter, watch youtube videos.

There are so many sides we can pick. It seems like it doesn’t make a difference what we choose. But set all together, it does change the world.

I can only do my bit here. And talk about it on this website, of course.


So, what about my life?

Once i had a talk with someone at the garden. I said to him i didn’t feel it would go all wrong and bad with me. I said i felt too stable for that. I still believe that.

I am not sure of why i have picked this path for myself. I’m not even sure i picked it myself. It is just, i talked about it here in an earlier post, i remember around two years ago, i felt a sledgehammer hit me so hard. And shortly after that i was busy posting on That was not my choice. That happened to me. It is like, when you give up fighting yourself, fighting this thing beckoning you. Then there comes an easiness in you, a way to work, a way to communicate. I do feel i was conflicted before, and less conflicted now.

I am not saying that things are easy now, that i make no mistakes. I do make mistakes, and things can be really hard. But inside me, there is no innner conflict, not anymore.

So yes, my life is wonderful. Magnificent. Glorious.

“You’ve got to tell the world how to treat you. If the world tells you how you are going to be treated, you are in trouble.”

James Baldwin

My best wishes to you.

I will see you again in 2017. Enjoy your final days in 2016.


Published on December 23, 2016 at 6:00 by

The world of finance

Yesterday i watched the VPRO Tegenlicht documentary about the truth of the financial system. The main person being interviewed is Joris Luyendijk. Luyendijk is a journalist whose book “Dit kan niet waar zijn” (Swimming with sharks – the English title), about the financial world, was a huge success in the Netherlands.

So today i watched some more. I collected most of the clips i had seen in this post. Most of these clips are about the financial crisis and its aftermath in 2008 – a wikipedia article i still need to read carefully. Truthfully, i was hardly aware of this crisis when it happened. I was working at the time, i had a monthly paycheck. I read the newspaper, i watched television talking shows. But it was very distant, it felt like it hardly had an impact on my world here in Rotterdam.

I do feel different now. More open. More aware of things going on. I also know i need to learn so many things. There is no way i can have an informed opinion about the specifics of things going on. The world is extremely complex. It has always been this way, but with globalization and the news and facebook and twitter and whatever new technique all stories move in dazzlingly fast ways all around.

Well, i do enjoy watching these videos. I have no idea how you, dear reader, will like these. Truthfully, i only watch around one in two or three clips in a blog post. Still, i do hope you will like some of these. Enjoy!

Most of the clips are in Dutch.

Published on December 8, 2016 at 6:00 by

The paper

This morning i went to the Coffee Company on the Meent and bought myself a medium latte with an extra shot of espresso and a piece of cheesecake. The cake is divided up into twelve pieces. Twelve! I would have divided it into eight pieces. Man, these companies really want to make a lot of money. I did say something to the girl helping me, but of course she can’t do anything about it. She only works there.

I sat inside drinking my coffee, watching out onto the Meent. I started to read the paper, the NRC Next. I used to have a subscription to the NRC, but stopped a couple of years back. The primairy reason is the lack of money, but hmm, i’m not sure now. Reading this news, every single day, all these parts of the world stacked next to each other, all these headlines, all these articles. Not every day is the same, not all the news is equally important, but in the paper they all seem to glide into each other.

But, it is still my favourite newspaper in the Netherlands. So when i go out and treat myself to coffee, i do read it. Not every article, but still. Today, i made some photos of the paper. Yes!

The main front article: Thanksgiving, with a focus on politically divided families. To be honest, i don't know why this piece takes up such a big part of the front page. Not that i'm not interested, but it is a difficult story with many different sides to it. Also on the front page: Geert Wilders, our Dutch populist politician who had the last word yesterday at the lawsuit going against him for what he said a few years ago: Minder Marokkanen! (Less Maroccans!). Also an article about television programs providing help to people who need it in many different areas. The inset paper has I Daniel Blake on the cover.
An article about the meaning of the word populisme. The title: Rather do not use the word populisme anymore. A bit lackluster really. Why not try to define the word with the help of dictionaries and etymologists. The title uses a very simple tactic, stop using the word. Which is an easy way out.
Another article about language. This time about the use of the word black, zwart. In the Netherlands for some years there is an upcoming fight against Zwarte Piet, Black Peet. Slowly this will most likely be faught out of our Dutch custom of celebrating Sinterklaas with his Zwarte Piet, on 5 December. I'm still not sure how i feel about this myself. I haven't celebrated a Sinterklaas with a Zwarte Piet for around thirty years or so, and i don't have a small child. Still, i should give this a bit more thought.
The outcome of a European process: research about pesticides needs to be made public. Good one.
Another article about Trump. Conflicts of interest surrounding him, his company, his family and other people he has given jobs in his upcoming government. Maybe one day i will write a bit more about Trump and his upcoming government. I am worried, yes.
A process against wearing a burka, the islamic way of clothing for some women, which also covers the face. Really, the covering of the face, making a person anonymous, unrecognizable gives me a very icky feeling. I don't like this at all. I know that in the Netherlands there are only a couple of hundred women who wear these coverings, but still, i find this going against everything i believe in.
An extensive article about television programs made with people who need help in some area. This article is critical about these programs. Not everyone is helped by participating in a program like this.
Around one million watchers for a program.
Bad Santa, the new Christmas movie for this year. The death of the Christmas movie. Terrible really.
The article about I Daniel Blake, directed by Ken Loach. Five star review! This article made me very mad, extremely pissed of. How our society has so little freedom for people to try to live their own life. Even with all the little differences between the western European countries, most of these countries are similar. The way bureaucracy depersonalizes people doing their work as they they should, with managers behind them makes me sick.
Published on November 25, 2016 at 6:00 by

A grey Sunday

Today, Sunday, it was a clouded day. Not wet no. But cold and grey. Only a few people turned up at the garden. It was still good. Further on we went with the wood chips. I filled a path between the rows. Soto filled the bit at the compost heap and the newly dug path at the side, between the hop and the newly planted raspberry plants. It was warming. I did keep on my fleece sweater, but it did get warm while working. I do feel my body right now, yes. Nothing that hurts much, it’s a good feeling.


Last week many thoughts crossed my mind. I finally went through the party program of the Party for the Animals, Partij voor de Dieren. I still need to read it more carefully. But i do think this party is closest to my own thoughts about our planet, about us humans, about all the animals and plants living here. Our current economic system is too much focused on making a profit. We humans, we are clever, we are knowledgeable. We have our science, our desire to learn everything about all the details of life, of the inorganic world around us, of the universe and the stars surrounding us. But i do think we need to learn how to control ourselves. How to take care of ourselves and everything around us on this still beautiful planet.

So yes, teaching our children about nature, having them learn by working in a small garden themselves, is one thing that crossed my mind. There are already schools doing this, there are already people working on getting this done and working. I’m also thinking about schooling older children and young adults get. I’m not sure, but i do think it is too much focused on making children learn skills they could use in our current working environment, not make them learn their own specific skills and broadening them with the help of their teachers and other students. Make work less taxable and make profit of companies more taxable. Return our working culture back to a more regional area, make all farmers work ecological, make communal vegetable gardens all over the country. Those are simply first thoughts in my head. Nothing is fixed yet, and so many things are already being worked on by so many people.

This is all so much a bunch of loose ideas, tumbling over each other. It’s good, thinking these thoughts. They will settle down a bit more over time. I’m happy i am thinking them.

More later. Salute!

Published on November 14, 2016 at 6:00 by


The past months i experienced this extreme dislike of the entire expedition to Mars. Elon Musk, one of the main initiators said the following:

An asteroid or a super volcano could destroy us, and we face risks the dinosaurs never saw: an engineered virus, inadvertent creation of a micro black hole, catastrophic global warming or some as-yet-unknown technology could spell the end of us. Humankind evolved over millions of years, but in the last sixty years atomic weaponry created the potential to extinguish ourselves. Sooner or later, we must expand life beyond this green and blue ball—or go extinct.

I do understand this. An asteroid can always hit us. It hit the dinosaurs, and it wiped them out. Atomic weaponry can wipe us out, yes. Global warming can wipe us out, yes.

If we continue the way we do right now.

The odds are against us. We have a large written history of being selfish, greedy small people fighting to get the best out of life, no matter what. We have an even larger unwritten history with those exact same characteristics. Times of peace have been rare. Times of humans living in harmony with the world are rare.

There are many, many people fighting against this scenario. The people in the garden, the people i work with twice a week, are doing exactly that. One of them i called a warrior, one of the coordinators. Not a fighting knight, no, but still, fighting each day to make this world a little bit better. And there are many more people like that. In the Netherlands, in Europe, America, Asia and Australia.

I don’t know precisely who is at the other end. The Kochs is one family which my eye fell on. There are a few more of those: Here Are The Corporations And Right-Wing Funders Backing The Education Reform Movement. Dark Money, a book written by Jane Mayer:

Mayer believes that the Koch brothers and a small number of allied plutocrats have essentially hijacked American democracy, using their money not just to compete with their political adversaries, but to drown them out.

I don’t know enough about all the people in the world to pinpoint a certain group. I do think some people in this world don’t care about our earth, about the animals living here, the plants living here. But mostly it is people simply not thinking things through. People too busy with their own lives. And it is hard. Yes.

I am 52 years old. I have worked around 20 years, earned my own keep, paid for my own computer. And now i’m thinking. Thinking hard. Thinking about what we do, in this time. Thinking about where we are going to, where this world will lead us.

So yes, war.

Not a wild fight, not a massive battlefield with dead bodies. Not that, i hope. I do hope for a getting together of like minded people prepared to fight for this planet. Like so many people are already doing right now. I feel like i’m the last person to join this fight. Which is not true, of course. I’m in the middle part.

So yes, minimize your waste, try to work at a vegetable garden close by, and if there isn’t any close by, try to start one. Eat good food, with little already prepared meals. Eat less meat. Compost. Don’t buy clothes each month. Don’t buy much at all.

For me, i would like to travel a bit more. Get to know people trying to make things work right. Get to know other gardeners. I would like to have my own garden, grow my own vegetables and herbs. And some flowers too! I don’t know where. I have no idea.

For me, my future keeps shrinking. My life is becoming richer. For me, i feel happy now. Terribly happy. With everything that worries me, everything i think about, everything i know i should know about more, with all that, i feel happy. And sometimes sad, and sometimes mad, and sometimes angry.

So yes, war! Wake up all the sleepy people! Gather everybody! Make them all shout NO! Not any more! We love our planet! We love our earth! We love our animals! We love our plants!

This willful destruction of our plains and our woods and our oceans stops here!

And yes, i actually mean this. And i can say it here, on my website, with no shame at all. Yay!


Published on November 4, 2016 at 6:00 by


No one can build you the bridge on which you, and only you, must cross the river of life. There may be countless trails and bridges and demigods who would gladly carry you across; but only at the price of pawning and forgoing yourself. There is one path in the world that none can walk but you. Where does it lead? Don’t ask, walk!

Source: Nietzsche on How to Find Yourself and the True Value of Education

The real value of a real education [has] almost nothing to do with knowledge, and everything to do with simple awareness; awareness of what is so real and essential, so hidden in plain sight all around us, all the time, that we have to keep reminding ourselves over and over:

‘This is water.’

‘This is water.’

It is unimaginably hard to do this, to stay conscious and alive in the adult world day in and day out. Which means yet another grand cliché turns out to be true: your education really IS the job of a lifetime.

Source: This Is Water: David Foster Wallace on Life

Published on September 1, 2016 at 6:00 by


Food has always been important to me. When i lived at home with my parents. Especially when i lived by myself.

I remember going to the Gimsel in the center of town, opposite the supermarket De Gebroeders De Jong, now called the Jumbo. The Gimsel is an organic vegetarian store. I bought the corn bread and loved it. It was compact, yellow and tasted great. I’m so sad they don’t sell it anymore.

When i was still working full time it was hard to keep track of everything i ate. I did sometimes buy a ready made meal from the supermarket, usually the Albert Heijn. I was never very thorough with what i bought. I like good food, i like salt, i like sweets and cream. So i might have cooked some recipes from the macrobiotic cookbook i have, but i have many others from which i cook too.

The past two years i started going to the market again. I found a good vegetable stall and got my veggies and fruit there. I also went to the Gandhi garden for a few times to work there.

I go less to the supermarket. I get cat’s food there, dried chick peas, tahin. At the Marqt i buy butter, eggs, flour for bread, sometimes a bit of meat.

I work at the Vredestuin, the Peace Garden, twice a week. I meet different people there. Most are in their thirties. I love to learn more about vegetables, weeds, insects, feeding the vegetables, planning the garden. I love to work there, even though i’m not the hardest working person. I love to sit there, feel the earth, look at the worms, listen to the humming of the bumblebees, and hear the droning of the cars and the trains in the background.


Yesterday i stumbled on the following post about Adrienne Rich: Arts of the Possible: Adrienne Rich on Writing, Capitalism, Freedom, and How Silence Fertilizes the Human Imagination.

We have become a pyramidic society of the omnivorously acquisitive few, an insecure, dwindling middle class, and a multiplying number of ill-served, throwaway citizens and workers [resulting in] a kind of public breakdown, with symptoms along a spectrum from acute self-involvement to extreme anxiety to individual and group violence.

This quote is an example of the multitudes of words, sentences, essays, books written by artists, scientists, all sorts of people from the past century about our current culture.



Its advocates support extensive economic liberalization policies such as privatization, fiscal austerity, deregulation, free trade, and reductions in government spending in order to enhance the role of the private sector in the economy.

Sounds familiar?


A few weeks ago i went with my mother to a supermarket in Leusden. Walking through the store, i started to see the enormity of produce in it. The wall of butter and margarine. I felt it. It must have been the fact i do not know the supermarket very well. When i go in a supermarket here, in Rotterdam, i’m more used to how it looks.

That feeling kept coming back to me over the past weeks. In the Marqt supermarket there is less produce. Butter and margarine is only one shelf. Today i went to the Gimsel and walked past all the shelves and looked at all the produce. The two blocks of self-serving big jars of dried beans, nuts, cereal, dried fruits.

The supermarket Marqt and Gimsel are expensive. I checked for the other end, the cheap ones, Lidl and Aldi. I just decided to go out and get to the ones closest to me. Still not in the center, but walkable. Simply to see what they have, how it looks.

I remember watching the show Keuringsdienst van Waarde, the one about fish, broadcasted 2 June 2016. Vegetarian fish grown in tanks in a Belgian industrial area.

In that show people are using the argument that we need to be so efficient to be able to feed all the people in the world. In 35 years time there will be 9.3 billion people on this planet. With 800 million people now already being hungry, we need to be terribly smart in making all the food necessary.

This is simply not true.

In the list of articles at the end of this post, you will read several articles saying that there is plenty of food right now and for the future. The division of food is unbalanced. In the rich west we, the consumers, the shops, the agriculture, waste around 30 – 50 % of all the crops. It may be not compliant with our demands for cosmetically perfect food, it may be out of date and thrown away by the supermarket, it may have turned to waste in a fridge somewhere. And then there is the 550 cubic meters of water wasted globally in growing crops that never make it to the consumer (Almost half of the world’s food thrown away, report finds)

I read the article about the apple Pink Lady: Pink Lady, de rotte appel van de vrijhandel. This apple needs lots of sunshine to grow. It is cultivated in New Zealand, South Africa, Chili. It is transported to Europe. And we export our own homegrown apples.

This is partly because we want to eat apples the whole year round. It is also part of the globalizing world we live in. Where profit rules. Where it doesn’t matter what costs we make in transporting and cooling fruits and vegetables. As long as we make money, we go for it.

I’m saying we. Because we are here together. Some may have stepped out. Some may try to do their best. Some may not care at all. But it is still we, who are all doing this. We who are all responsible. Not us, the good guys, versus them, the bad guys. We. All together.

And i don’t want to work in this world, here in the Netherlands, here in this current time, here with these rules on how we deal with each other. I don’t want to do that anymore. I have done it enough.

I have said it before. This website,, is my work. It is how i want to earn my living. I see only one way. I need to become famous. Now, i know, nobody else will do that to me. Nobody else will say that they like what i do and that i should be famous. Nobody.

I wrote this two days ago. It is a bit stark. What i do know is that i do not want to do my previous work, front-end development, anymore. Not professionally. There are many other things i would want to do. Right now, i am going for the one thing which i believe will make me happiest. The possibility to travel, meet and talk with many different people. The possibility to see the world, feel the wind in my hair, feel the sun on my face, hear the birds, the waves of the ocean crushing on the beach, the leaves of the trees rustling in the wind.

I am angry.


I am not saying i have all, if any answers. But i do remember how i used to view this world growing up and for a large part of my adult life. As me simply a part of the world. This world which seemed to go at its own pace towards its own goal. Me tagging along. Trying to find a right spot for myself.

It is not like that. We all are here living on this earth with a certain responsibility towards its destiny. It is not politicians who decide, not businessmen, not scientists. Each and every one of us can make the choice to make this world a better place.

It is not something we can demand of each other. Each individual person has its own path through life. I can only talk for myself.

I am trying to find my place in this world. I feel i am getting there.

I am more and more ready to fight for this world.



Published on June 17, 2016 at 6:00 by