Friday, March 5, 2010

I know and I am sorry

I have not written in a while, I apologize....
Reasons I have not written:

1) There was the whole overthrow of the Dutch government...which I thought for a moment was a revolution...but then it turned out to not even be either an overthrow or a revolution! I was kind of dissapointed. I was ready to write my Dutch version of Les Miserables and march and protest but NOTHING....The Dutch are so civilized.....I had also planned to use the revolution as a spring board to introduce my Revolutionary American Cupcake business but since there was no revolution I have to put it on hold and come up with a new name.

2) Waiting for spring....the sun has appeared a couple times. My tulip bulbs (which are my first and which I think I may have planted a bit to early because I was so anxious call myself a tulip farmer) have sprouted! I spend a great deal of time looking at them from the window. I worry about them. The stupid pigeons walk near them and it is still kind of cold. Jur came home from work and saw that I had turned our garden into a kind of (as he called it) a trash dump. This is because in my tulip anxiety and obsession, I panicked, and thought it was going to be too cold one night and decided to cover each sprout with cups, plastic and cardboard (anything I could find). Considering there are 45 + sprouts, all right, maybe it did not look so good BUT atleast I knew my sprouts were safe! Jur tried to explain to me that Tulips are durable but I was not risking my first harvest! Hell no! Besides I was becoming  attached to them. I found myself counting them several times a day and talking to them. I stopped doing that. The neighbors were staring.

3) Online weather reports....I NEED to know the temperature to protect the tulips. There are so many different weather sites and they all give different predictions and to convert them from Celsius to Fahrenheit. Aye! It is a never ending process. I also do this for the currency converter since I still have American money. I check to see the rates. They can change every 5 second (okay only about a 1/4 of a penny but I admit I am DETERMINED to get the best rate....and when I think it is up a 1/4 of cent I bolt out the door for the ATM. I think I save myself about .40 cents a month. But that 40 cents gives me a high. I know I should be writing.

4) I found a website that shows tons of American shows. This is both good and bad. Do I need to be watching the Bachelor? I have started to keep a calendar and journal of the shows I am watching and what episode I left off on. I miss TEVO. This site has led me to watch things I never watched before. For example I never used to watch Desperate Housewives but this site has every episode so I might as well. I am on season two of six so I guess I only have 50 something episodes to go....(I should be writing.)

5) Grape Jelly....I miss it. I only have about 1 and a 1/2 peanut butter and jelly sandwiches worth to go. THEY DO NOT HAVE IT HERE IN HOLLAND. I have spent a great deal of time going to stores looking for it. I have looked and researched obsessively on line on how to make Welch’s grape jelly (btw I do not think grape jelly is healthy and I don't think there are even any grapes in it) I also have tried to push my Mother's visit up a few months out of fear of my diminishing grape jelly. She is not willing to base her visit around grape jelly. (Update: I am thinking of adding a couple teaspoons of water to my jelly to thin it out and fool myself that there is more in there)

6) Hawaii Tsunami....wasted a day (or several hours) watching some live video of a beach in Hawaii.... only to see a "possible" murky color wave sort of trickle ashore. (If I hadn't spent all that time watching this I would have already been on season 3 of Desperate Housewives) (Or I could have written)

7) Making cupcakes and empanadas.....seems I have a small following of Dutch people that are ordering from me. This is a good thing but after baking and tasting and making icing and tasting and leftovers I am usually in such a sugar coma that I can't even think of writing. 

(and NOW beside still needing to write I really need to be going to the gym)

8) Daydreaming about the lottery... I admit it....I do.....leave me alone.

9) Oh and of course my job. Tomorrow is a big day. I am working an event which will involve me having to deal with a cash register.....Can you imagine? That should be fun....first off I do not speak Dutch and I only know numbers (kind of) up to 9 plus all the money here looks like Monopoly money so I do not take it seriously (they are very pretty to look at) AND there are 1 cent, 5 cent, 10 cent, 20 cent, 50 cent coins and 1 and 2 euro coins AND the bills come in different colors (pink, blue, orange) which I think that helps to tell the different values. They have pictues of Euorpean thingys all over them. I like to look at them. It is very possible that all hell could break loose at my register and I get fired. I am very excited about this adventure.

10) spent a chunk of time trying to persuade a few Americans back home to send me some Girl Scout cookies....I just felt left out.

I hope to get on track with my stories. I apologize again. In them meantime....How about you? How are you? What have you been doing?


  1. Ken! Your cupcakes are amazing! I am desperately trying to find a reason to order a dozen from you. I will think of something...Are you seriously going to start a cupcake business? You should!

    Good luck with your event.


  2. Delicious Cup Cakes :)
    Pls share the recipe as well :D :P

  3. What is the website with the American TV programs? I've been trying to keep up with some shows but seem to be blocked by my isp address for usa websites. Also, there is a Girl Scout group in Amsterdam and they do sell cookies. The real ones. I can put you in touch with them if you like.

  4. Lopa I am not sure if I can give out the secret recipe. Do not hate me....I have not been asked that.I will have to think about that. Cassandra it is videostic. It is a bit slow but each episode I open, press play then pause and let it down load while and do a couple chores or make a call and then watch it is cut into segments but they automatically feed into eachother. Sometimes there are Asian logos are something btu ti si free and the even have Glee and Modern family etc etc

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  6. Oh Ken, of course we can forgive you for leaving us a minor DD lull. What do you think we would do? Get into some crazy, unnecessary screaming match because of our abandonment issues? We're your FRIENDS, not BK.

    And to everyone out there reading this, yes, I'm talking about Burger King. To Ken (wink, wink).

  7. Kenny, it will start with cupcakes then maybe wedding cakes, then a bakery are you sure you want
    to continue.
    I thought your event was setting up flowers but I guess you can start on being on a register than maybe work as a florist. I started as making wedding cakes at home now look I have my own shop as a florist. Figure This!! Watch Out!!

  8. Derrick I knew about Burger King and Oralia no this is just a one time event. It is a classical music festival and we are just one of the stops where the pianist will be playing so we are offering concessions. We host all kinds of events. As for the bakery and wedding cakes....I don't know. Although there have been two birthday cake request. Oh and BTW over 40....are you sure?

  9. Hey Ken
    I've been thinking of moving to the Netherlands and I found your blog on expat exchange while looking for information on the NL. It's hilarious! I'm officially addicted! I loved the Caga Tio post. I was crying when I read it! (but I have a sick sense of humor) Your cupcakes look amazing. Our local Starbucks started selling cupcakes and seeing yours made me want to go to Starbucks and get one. :) I feel bad you're almost out of grape jelly and chocolate chips. You should have people from the states send you some (and hope they don't get lost in the mail). Anyway thanks for the entertainment.

  10. They must have grape jelly in the UK...can you get it from there?

    Your cupcakes look delicious! No one makes cupcakes like homemade cupcakes...I think it is the frosting that is always off or something. Maybe the bakeries in NY just have the ingredients wrong because I haven't found a good tasting cupcake and I live in the US. When it comes to cakes, best to make them yourself or the Costco one is decent, but the frosting is bad.

    Anyway, loving your experiences. Good luck with the cash register! Alles Gute! (Maybe they don't say that in the Netherlands)

    Watch the movie's actually Austrian, but I'm pretty sure that it was quite popular in the Netherlands too.

  11. I am looking forward to the spring as well..have been guilty of looking out for signs of the same aroubnd the lake behind my house..

  12. Hi Beth and thanks for the comments. I try to make fun of the situation I find myself in! If you have any questions about moving to Holland ask on here. Most of the comments are from people are Americans who have moved here. They are quite nice. I hope you get his. I am not sure how to know if people got a relpy from me. Rachel thanks again and Orange Splash I hope you are seeing some signs of spring!

  13. Ken,

    I just wanted to say hello. I have lived here almost 2 years and am from Georgia though I lived in Texas for almost 20 years. I have laughed till I cried over many of your comments. I too have been known to be a "Jiffy smuggler" among other things. I crave Mexican food too! I have experienced so many of the same things you have and thought to myself what the )*^$#! LOL

    It is crazy how I found your blog. I am a scrapbook designer and one of our online members who is Dutch living on California read a recent post of mine about a Southern American living in Holland and she sent me a link to where I saw your interview. I can't tell you how much enjoyment I have gotten from reading your escapades met mijn koffie..LOL I also speak this secret American/Dutch language. Anyway...I just wanted to say thanks.

    BTW..somewhere I have an address to a Coop grocery store in Den Haag that is supposed to have a large supply of American food. Seems there used to be an American school near that closed but the grocer became "known" for having a good supply and is supposed to keep alot of it in stock. This mean CORNBREAD! LOL

    You may already know about it, but if not, just say so and I will go search for it. I was going to make the trek from Rotterdam on the train..but it just kept raining and snowing till I succumbed to the fact I wasn't meant to have cornbread this season.

    Pitiful huh?

    OK I am really going now..have a great week!

  14. Hi Ken,

    I found this link on the interweb, maybe it solves some of the product needs.


  15. Dear Ken,
    I too found you through your interview on Expatica--and your blog brings me to the realization that Expats in NL all have the same pet peeves (soon-to-be me, included). I am a native Bostonian moving to NL in May for a job in Amsterdam (and my boyfriend, who is Dutch). It's good to see that I will not be alone in my confusion about all things Dutch. :)

    We are likely moving to Den Haag in August (from May-August, we'll be living in Utrecht while he finishes his Master's at UU). I would love some advice on where to live or what neighborhoods are decent. I've heard of this imaginary divide for "good" and "bad" places to live in Den Haag, but since I've not been there yet, apartment hunting and neighborhood scoping is useless.

    Unfortunately, I won't be moving from the U.S. to NL until May, but I could bring Welch's grape jelly then. I've determined that I must engage in "product karma" since there will be the day that I needneedneed something from the U.S. and all of my distribution of foodstuffs from America will come back in the form of someone in NL actually having a product I need as well. ;)

    Thanks for a ridiculously funny blog, and am looking forward to reading future entries!

  16. Ken,

    If you like reality tv. I get all the American shows on Like: Project Runway, Survivor, American Idol etc... just thought I would share.

    Have a great evening.

  17. Brandy, Mikky and Kate
    Brandy-sadly I ADMIT I do like reality TV so thanks for the site, also pleasure to meet you and thank you form aking me feel not so alone here. I would love the coop food market info if you could. You are not pitiful about the not trekking and need for cornbread....I have a box of Jiffy still hidden in the weirdest place. What an I a squirrel? (Oh and I read you response met mijn koffie! Mikky thanks for the link as well. Sounds cool. I will see how I am do with my products and kee ya posted. Finally Kate...KATE IS MOVING TO HOLLAND YA'LL! Good luck and you will be fine. It will be a rollercoaster ride filled with fun and excitement and anger. Weird moments of sitting in front of your computer waitinng for everyone in America to wake up! So you are moving to Utrecht (which is nice) then Den Haag, right? I suggest you visit Den Haag while staying in Utrecht. I can not tell you all the areas that are or are not good to live in. There are nice and then there are some not as pretty. There also seems to be areas for different cultures. Not that you can't live there but it seems like you may not be welcome there. I don't know. There are areas that are pretty and mixed cultures and there are areas more industrial (some people like this I prefer older housing) or neighborhoods dominated by certain cultures (which can be neat like Muslim, Surinamaese, Dutch etc) You just have to look. Like New York City in a way. There are many wonderful places though Also no need for Welchs I have people coming next month and the month after who are kind of annoyed with me becuase of the list of groceries I want. Unitl then eat lot's of Mexican, American, Chinnese food, cornbread, donuts, BBQ, grape jelly etc etc. To all of you...Have a great day...Can you let me know you get these responses. I am never sure how to write you back. Do you get these as a notification? More blogging coming. I just have been adjusting to working as a Dutch Person, IK WERK HIER IN NEDERLAND!

  18. Ken,

    I subscribed to the messages so I get an email notifying me of any response. Just so you know.

    The address to The Coop store is:
    Ursulaland 80, Den Haag

    Here's a link to the google map I saved from the Mariahoeve Station:

    If you click on the green B on the map it will pull up a picture of the location so you can see it.,+Den+Haag&hl=en&geocode=%3BFSruGgMdApJCACmvJAOdkLfFRzGbuqwQ5wEiRg&mra=ls&dirflg=w&sll=52.096554,4.362754&sspn=0.009689,0.032938&ie=UTF8&ll=52.092573,4.368374&spn=0.00969,0.032938&z=16

    Let me know if it's a good place.

    Maybe one day we can meet for koffie and American shop for groceries....that way you won't feel so alone when you "fall out" in the aisle over corn tortillas like I did when I found them at Xenos. (The only place I have found that has "some" Mexican stuff other than boxed taco meals.) The shoppers thought I was just a crazy American..but I'm used to it

    Have a maaavelous day dahlink!

  19. Ken,
    I too got your reply. :) I officially move in 41 days--eeep! My partner has been wonderfully indulgent about the things I will miss. (I made him Rice Krispie treats the last time he visited the U.S. [I brown the butter and add sea salt--gives them a wonderfully nutty flavor], and his mind was officially blown. And he now he too laments the Netherlands for not having proper jet-puffed marshmallows and Rice Krispies.) As always, I enjoy reading! :)

  20. I am reading this a bit May... but just want to say thank you... I love your blog ... you crack me up and make me feel sane all at the same time...

    (transplanted NYĆ©r living in Amsterdam for about a year and half now)

  21. Eileen YOU ARE SANE... do not let all these Dutchies make you think or feel any different. I have a blog coming up for you in a couple days.. YOU ARE SANE!