October 31st is Halloween and that means dressing up for school. Roos put a lot of effort into her Chesire Cat. She sew cat ears on a hairband and made her own gloves. Alex, as a true fashionista, even had two outfits. One costume for school during the day and a whole different one for tonight, when she goes trick and treating with Mascha.


Back to California

This afternoon I will be traveling back home from Frankfurt. It has been a quite an intense trip. This work is very different from my old job. I now work very intensely with one country for anywhere from 1 week to a few months. After that is done, I work with another but have to spend a lot of time again learning the specifics of that new country. This week in Germany was intense as it is a complex country. The next trip in a few weeks is already scheduled and includes Kazakhstan. Now that’s a place I didn’t think I would be going to if you’d ask me a year ago. First some time at home though and hearing from Roos and Alex about their vacation in Northern California and Arizona while I was gone.


Today I traveled to Den Haag. It turned out on Monday that Druten wasn’t able to issue a second passport for me. This had to happen in Den Haag so that became a last minute detour. Luckily the people in Den Haag were very friendly and they issued the passport very quickly. I did make use of the opportunity to visit the Mauritshuis while there. This small museum has the famous ‘ girl with the pearl ear rings’  by Vermeer. It also had a surprising amount of Rembrandt paintings including the ‘Anatomy lesson of Dr. Nicolaes Tulp’. Because it was an early Friday afternoon that I was there, it wasn’t busy at all. Due to the fact that the Tweede Kamer is around the corner, there was also plenty of opportunity for a nice lunch sitting outside in decent fall weather.

Mauritshuis - girl with pearl ear rings

Dinner in Zwolle

Last night I went for dinner with my dad in Zwolle. We had heard that the restaurant De Librije would be moving to Amsterdam at the end of the year. This was therefore one of the last opportunities to dine conveniently close. Luckily it was no problem getting a reservation. The food was excellent; a total of 8 courses of smaller plates based on ingredients we could partially pick ourselves.


Paar dagen Nederland

Op maandag een afspraak op het Gemeentehuis van Druten voor een tweede Nederlands paspoort. Via spoed procedure zou dit 48 uur duren. Nodig voor de verschillende visa voor opkomende reizen voor het werk. Wel een gelegenheid om weer eens wat bitterballen te eten…


Week in Warsaw

This week I spent mostly in Warsaw. It was the first of a 3 week trip in Europe. On Monday I was in the UK visiting the Slough office where I had not been for many years. Warsaw is a very nice city. The Mars office is in the city center inside a large mall. The weather was still very nice but I decided to buy a winter jacket here. Next month I am traveling to Russia and I don’t think it will be as nice.
Tomorrow I am flying to Frankfurt but today I had some time to visit a museum and look around the city.


As you can tell, the museum wasn’t very busy on a Saturday morning but it was very large. There were quite a few early Dutch paintings but a lot of the art was stolen during World War II