Snapshots en route

The Harlequin team says goodbye for the summer holidays. We wish you and ourselves a great time – and lots of inspiration for new contributions. Once again this year we‘ll publish a short article every Friday during the holidays, this time with the motto “Snapshots en route”. Here the first one:

When the trees wear surgical masks…

… you stop in fascination when strolling by. I am often out and about in the woods in all seasons, this was my first encounter with this trend in nature.

Apparently nature moves with the times too.

English translation of all snapshot texts: BCO

The sausage without skin – interesting facts about the Dutch “frikandel“

In my series on Dutch “specialities” I have so far owed you the frikandel. That will change today.

The frikandel is the most commonly consumed fried snack in the Netherlands (it even beats croquettes and bitter bal!s) and the first thing you need to know about it is that it has absolutely nothing to do with the German Frikadel!e (For the unitiated: the Frikadelle is a kind of fried meatball) The frikandel is a kind of sausage without skin and for many years it was considered a “guilty pleasure”, because all sorts of questionable ingredients were attributed to it. Among other things, it was said to have cow’s eyes, ears and udders.

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Simple? Complicated? Complex? Or already chaotic?

Can the Cynefin model help in matters of the heart?

Quite a while ago, the so-called Cynefin model (from the Welsh word meaning “habitat”) achieved quite a bit of notoriety. It is a typology of a system or project that provides a clue as to what kind of explanations and/or solutions apply or might be helpful in uncertain contexts.

The model is divided into four categories or contexts: simple, chaotic, complex and complicated.

Now from time to time I too use one of those platforms where you can tell other people something (about yourself). On this particular platform I was told someone I knew had updated his or her relationship status to “complicated”.

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Year End Sweet and Sour

Note from the Harlequin editor:  In order to slowly get you into the right mood for the end of the year, our new articles all deal with the topic of “year ends” until the end of 2019 – sometimes from a professional, sometimes from a private point of view. Today we start with a culinary contribution – enjoy!

We had just become parents that year. The little one was actually cute, but we parents were on the verge of a nervous breakdown at times, especially when travelling, because our daughter threw up everything she ate consistently between 65 and 75 kms on a 200 km route to parents or parents-in-law. And now Christmas was just around the corner. In order to spare the baby (of course only her!) unnecessary travel stress, we invited parents and parents-in-law to our home without further ado. After all, Christmas is THE family celebration…

The Rumtopf had already been started in June and should have reached its peak, the hotel rooms were booked and the weather also played along, so that people could arrive comfortably. Exchanging presents was accompanied by “Ohs” and” Ahs,” rather than an “Oh gosh!” And so slowly pangs of Christmas hunger were registered. Baby was sleeping and the feast could begin.

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Fitness the Dutch Way – the “Vierdaagse“

Having repeatedly reported on the Dutch people’s preference for deep-fried delights on harlekin.blog, I would now like to address the issue of how the citizens of my adopted country manage to keep fit despite these temptations.

From my observations, I can say that this must partly due to the fact that cycling is still extremely popular in the Netherlands, even in sub-optimal climatic conditions. All manner of more or less roadworthy versions of child seats, child trailers, etc. are to be seen often with mothers or fathers and three small children distributed around the bike.

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Let’s go get some fries!

A decision aid for hungry foreigners in the Netherlands

French fry fans don’t always have an easy time in the Netherlands, because the established “extras” to French fries are different from what we know from the average chip shop elsewhere. Since we take the life-support function of our Harlequin blog very seriously, we would like to support you in your decision-making here as well.

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The Land of the Rising Lid

Recently I was asked for a holiday recommendation, to which I unhesitatingly responded: Asia. ”Ooh, nah, it’s hot and dirty there” was the reaction.

Our recent experiences in Japan proved the exact opposite. The first thing that strikes you as you speed into Tokyo on the high-speed train is how clean the place is. Crowded, yes, what do you expect if you cram 38 million into a city? But the houses are spotless and well-tended, no graffiti is to be seen, and the streets free of litter, chewing gum and dog souvenirs. They say they had to remove all the litter-bins after the sarin attack on the underground, but that alone cannot explain such cleanliness.

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