Guus Bosman

software engineering director

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I'm afraid I was 15 minutes late for my German lesson yesterday -- the train from Haarlem had a big delay. I had dinner at Chess again, this time noodles with a salad.

We did a very interesting exercise at the German language course. We had a chat with the whole group, where each participant was a representative of a country. Together with Noortje I was representating Germany. It was great fun to discuss the national eating habits, especially because the teacher was filming us all with a camera. After the break we watched ourselves -- this is always painful but it was very interesting. I was describing the "Biergarten", where German people would come together once a week at their "Stammtisch" with friends. I haven't actually done that but German friends have described it so it was easy to talk about it.

Later I gave my presentation. It went reasonably well. My German always degrades when I have to talk in public but that's exactly why I'm following a course. It was a great exercise, the whole lesson yesterday. Slowly but surely I notice my German is improving.


Calling Cameroon

I'm taking it easy today. I've been doing my German homework, but it's not completely ready yet. Next to my regular assignments I have to prepare a (small) presentation.

I just spoke to Sasha, who is alive and well (shiva i zdrava) in Africa. She's been working today, and she's having a great time. It's truly amazing that you can pick up the phone and call a number in Africa without any difficulties.


Dinner with Oma Bosman

Yesterday I had dinner with my grandmother, my parents were there too. It was very cosy.

I just missed Sasha's phone call yesterday, but she was on the voice-mail. She arrived safely and everything's fine.

I'm going to the swimmingpool now. I'm happy I didn't forget about the summertime.


To Paris

Sasha called me from the airport in Washington. Her plane is leaving to Paris in 20 minutes so she's checking in now. Ready for Africa! I'm curious if she'll have internet in the plane.

Mark, a colleague, and his wife Saskia got a baby yesterday, her name's Jessica. Congratulations from both of us!

Today at work we've finished a proposal I've been working on last week. It's always nice to see the final result after the "commercial guys" have been working on the text. We went out for a beer, like many Fridays; I enjoyed that. The bar we went to is called "Paris".


Sasha to Cameroon!

Cameroon. Picture under GFDL, Wikipedia.comReally wonderful news -- Sasha is going to Cameroon!

The last months she's been working in the World Bank in a unit that deals with debts of Third World Countries. Recently she has been "specializing" in Cameroon. Tomorrow she's leaving on a business trip there. It will be for one or two weeks, and she'll be in a group with people from both the IMF and the World Bank.

Cameroon is located in the Horn of Africa, basically between Nigeria and the Central African Republic. Sasha will be staying in the capital, Yaoundé. Cameroon is a stable country, a fact I'm very happy about. The official languages are French and English.

Sasha is flying this Friday. First to Paris, and then an 8-hour flight to Africa. She and her group will be working on the subject of "debt sustainability".



Tonight we started with the grammar of adjectives. Slowly but surely all the grammar that I once learned at school is coming back. The big difference between learning it now and learning it then is that I really enjoy it (that was quite different, then). The teacher gave us a big homework assignment. It is a text in which we have to fill in the endings of all the adjectives and nouns. It's a really useful exercise to practice all the 'Falle' grammar; it will probably take a lot of time.

The German course starts at 18:30 o'clock, and I have been trying to find the best way to have dinner. I don't want to eat in a snackbar every Monday, but I can't wait with dinner till after the course either because it ends at 21:00 o'clock. I think I've found a solution now; today I got a salad and a sandwich from the supermarket and ate it at work. I can eat pretty healthy, and I don't have to be in a hurry.


Studying words

For my German I found a good program for word-rehearsal: Teach 2000. It's not very extensive, but the program works well and I don't need too many whistles and bells anyway.

Today I studied mainly country names, as well as the names of the citizens of these countries.


Going out

Jerry and Guus in a pub.Yesterday Jerry and I went out in Amsterdam. We met at Centraal Station, where a special edition of the Volkskrant about the death of Princess Juliana was distributed for free.

First we had dinner in a Thai restaurant at the Nieuw Markt. There was really delicious food and a great atmosphere. It's just that next time I should remember the pepper is really spicey. We talked about a lot of things; Jerry is now working on a research proposal.

Then we went for a walk through the city. It was nice to see Amsterdam at night; it was windy but not cold.

After a while we found a pub in the Jordaan, with nice Duvel and Triple beers but strange enough without music. We agreed that it would be a nice idea to watch the results of the American elections in November together. Every now and then a guy with a camera would come up and ask if he could make a picture, and although we routinely turn them away this time we let one of them take a picture.

We walked together to Centraal Station, where we saw a crowd of people going to their buses. They told us that had done the Stille Omgang.

It was a really cosy evening. I took the last train to Haarlem and was home around 2:00 o'clock.


Princess Juliana

Queen Juliana delivering the Speech from the Throne in the Ridderzaal in The Hague on the third Tuesday in September (1975). Copyright Royal Pictures.Princess Juliana, former Queen of the Netherlands died today at the age of 94.

Juliana is the mother of our current monarch, Queen Beatrix. The national holiday on April 30th, which was the birthday of Princess Juliana, will feel different this year.


New desk

First picture of my new desk.A colleague was experimenting with a mobile phone-with-camera, so here's a picture of my new desk.


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