Dutch, Story Time

One Year Immigrant Anniversary

Oh boy I’m writing my first blog after two months of incredibly hard work. I have so much I want to share and not all of it is related to the house for those who couldn’t care less about the renovations, fret not I have other content heading your way. We just need to build our office desk so I can just sit and pump out work left and right. That came out wrong. Did it? Am I just over sensitive because I have to relearn how I write blogs? But anyway you’ve seen the title so you know what this blog is about but let me do the introduction and build myself up to it. Seriously how did I write blogs before?

The second of June has been a special day to me these last few years. The man of my dreams, my husband, birthday is on that day. So back in May 2017, we received my VISA. After getting the acceptance letter we had to wait two weeks as my approval didn’t show up in the system and we couldn’t get the stamp in my passport before it finally showed up. My big goal was to arrive before Onno’s birthday as the perfect birthday present because let’s face it his future wife being there for his birthday without ever having to leave again is a pretty good present. Things managed to work out and I landed on his birthday last year. So it’s safe to say that on Saturday we had a lot to celebrate. Added to the list of things to celebrate we had our first week in the house which still feels unreal. I worked incredibly hard this last week to unpack almost everything so the house could feel more like the home by Saturday.

We woke up bright and early to Speculoos running into the bedroom and jumping on the bed with his packet of treats. Treats he jumped up on the bookcase to get to. Treats that if he eats to much of he gets the runs. Hence why I put it in high places I thought he wouldn’t be able to reach. After Onno chased Speculoos down the stairs to get his treats, while he was downstairs he made me cup of tea because he is just that great. I do need to add I sang happy birthday to him six times. I’m incredibly tone deaf so it borderlines on torture. While we had our breakfast in bed my dad called and sang happy birthday in the same tone deaf brilliance that I inherited from him.  After the phone call Onno and I went downstairs to bake the milktart (a South African delight that Onno loves) before attempting to work on some small things around the house. After about an hour a nap was in order to restore the balance in the universe. A few hours later we resurfaced to get back to work. I once again sang to Onno till he left the bedroom to escape my brilliance. We very slowly got to work on the small things left to do in the house, mainly putting up a storage space on top of the washing machine and putting up the last bit of handles in the kitchen (a hole needed to be drilled in before we could put the handles on). While I started preparing the pork roast Onno finished the mini bookcase in the office. We stopped there for the day well it’s his birthday we can’t work the entire day. It was a nice day. We got some work done around the house, we relaxed and watched our favorite series together on the couch like the good old times and then enjoyed an incredibly delicious pork roast meal followed by dessert. We ended our night with a bubble bath, boy oh boy our bath in the new house is magical.

Honestly it still blows my mind that I’m living in the Netherlands now permanently. I’ve never been here for one year straight without going back to South Africa. Onno and I never had one uninterrupted year together. This last year was a crazy whirlwind of emotions, 2018 being the roughest emotional roller coaster ride I’ve ever been on, but I’m so incredibly happy to be with him. I’ve said incredibly a lot in this blog post. No idea where that is coming from. But anyway back to the blog; a year ago I never would’ve imagined where we are today and I’m just so excited to see what the next year will bring us. I have no idea where I’m going with this. I’m mainly just so happy, overwhelmed, emotionally unstable, tired, blessed and so much more.

A quick little side note before I end the blog (I really need to get back to work. We’re building our office desk today.) I failed the speaking part of my Dutch as a second language test AGAIN. It’s so incredibly frustrating. This time I failed with 9 points. Come on man throw a girl a bone! Anyway I will attempt another round later this year as well as starting to prepare for my immigration test (I have another two years to do that but who knows how easy that will go down). I’m also going to start the process of getting my driver’s license. Unfortunately my South African drivers license doesn’t mean shit here so I have to redo the entire process (yes I’m still butt hurt about this fact). We really needed me being allowed to drive when we moved and now that we live in a smaller ‘city’ further away from everything, we really need a car. Onno is going to do most of the driving but who knows, I might want to use it every now and again. I haven’t looked into it too much but hopefully I can scratch it of the list this year.

Alright that’s it for the blog. I’m sorry that I’m all over the place. I wish there was more I could say about my one year as an immigrant anniversary (boy that’s an uncomfortable mouthful) but honestly we just ate, slept and worked on the house all day. Nothing special. I’m sorry for being absent so long, I really tried my utmost best to avoid it from happening but the renovations was full of surprises and I just couldn’t keep up with everything. It also didn’t help that throughout these last two months I’ve had some big dentist appointments (read actual torture) but I have three more appointments to go before I’m almost done for the year. And by almost done I mean I have to get two teeth implanted and that’s going to take another few months before the gums are healed enough. Hopefully it will go into next year because honey I’m so drained. So much pain. So tired. Anyway I’m going of track. I will be back to my regular updates moving forward with a lot of exciting things coming up. I will start sharing some house related DIY projects soon, but other than that…I’M BACK!

Thank you so much for reading and I will see you in a click!

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PS. For those who is reading The Girl Writing In The Train, a new chapter will only be up near the end of June or beginning of July. I want to catch up with my blogs before I return to my creative writing. I can’t get into the flow of things when I feel like I’m behind on the blog aspect of my website if that even makes sense. I hope you will understand.

Dutch

My Attempt At Being A Tour Guide In Amsterdam

If there is only one thing you should know about me is that I’m very much in tune with my sense of direction…in South Africa. In the Netherlands, well let’s just say it’s takes me some time before I figure out what direction is what. I’m not kidding. What I think is the right way is NEVER the actual way. Here is a prime example of my brilliant sense of direction in the small and flat country.

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Here is the full caption that I posted with the picture. The sun is shining here in the Netherlands and I decided to somehow find my way to one of my favorite parks I always go to with Onno. Yeah it didn’t exactly go according to plan, swipe right and you will see my attempt. The fact that I tripped over my laces on my way out of the apartment should’ve been a foresight but it doesn’t end there. Oh no my foot slipped on the petals (three times) and the first time (because the seat was still too high) I lost my balance and gracefully fell over. In front of the central station, in the middle of the day…in the holiday period. Yeah people saw. Someone even asked me if I’m okay. I just felt the need to reassure them and myself that I’m not a complete amateur and I know how to bicycle. And as I was trying to find the road to the park I somehow circled back to the station twice till I found the Museum park which wasn’t even that pleasant because it’s packed with screaming kids and I’m an old fart that likes to read in parks. I’m back home, licking my wounds and playing with Speculoos (I then proceeded to tag my cat’s Instagram page. Cringe.)

What is your point women? Well basically I don’t know where the hell I’m going in this country most of the time (well I’m quite good in Rotterdam because I lived here for long enough but take me off my route and I’m lost) so picturing me as a tour guide is laughable. Where are you going with this? Well give me some time. I’m writing a blog for the first time in over a month. Like how do I open a word document? Where is J on the keyboard? Does auto correct still work? Does the internet on my laptop even still work? Is my blog still a thing?

Jokes aside, let me just get to the point. It’s 10pm and I’ve worked on the house the entire day and my brain is losing its ability to put words into functional sentences. I’m not even sure if I’m writing English right now. Oh lord imagine future Cassy trying to edit this blog tomorrow so it can go up on Monday and be like what the fuck?

GFJHDFGFJDGJHGjfbgjhgjh fbrwjgubvgyugkjabfyutwhjfsbdj hvfeywgfbf gfhjbchgqeyfvcm vyffghcbluilerhbcdzhjzgvcfeygfsd yugeyufweguy gfeyuwfyfuryufryrfguf yyuyreauywoie uriroturwkhckjbvyuegvhbr fgeuhfihi8whfbvjsdhgufgewugf

Wait what? What the hell past Cassy?

Okay enough fooling around. For real now. My father’s girlfriend did a European cruise through Italy, Spain, England, Portugal (maybe France?) and the cruise ship made a little pit stop in Amsterdam for the day. I’ve heard so much of her these last few months and was dying to meet her so I took the day off from renovations and went through to meet her and her family. We exchanged gifts and her family members met us at the cruise terminal soon after I arrived. Oh wait you need to know this story. I will get to my day as a tour guide through Amsterdam soon.

So South Africans are known to have a really hard time with going to England. I’m not even kidding. The travel agency told all the South Africans going on this trip that they wouldn’t have to apply for the British VISA as they won’t be leaving the ship on the day it’s stationed there. As this would save a lot of money and time they obviously took the agency’s word for it…Well they flew to the start of the cruise and was denied access to the boat because of this and over 30 South Africans were abandoned. This obviously ruined a lot of holidays for a lot of people. It’s disgusting really. Some of these people have saved for years to do this trip and because of the agency they get abandoned in a foreign country? Unfortunately my father’s girlfriend, Althea not Anthea (my dad got her name wrong and kept calling her Anthea and now it’s a funny joke) family was one of them. Three adults and one child were stranded. They managed to make a bad situation into a good one by still exploring some of the other European countries and met up with us in Amsterdam as they could join the cruise from there.

Okay back to my tour guide story. We started off at the central station and walked through the city center, making a pit stop at Primark because hello it’s Primark, before walking further into the bustling city on the hot day. We headed to the Museum park before taking a break at a small café on the side of a canal. We ended our day with a hour long canal cruise. That’s it folks. Hey I never said I was a good tour guide and there really wasn’t a lot of time to go far and show more of Amsterdam. Wait we did stop to buy cheese and take a picture of a flower decorated bicycle. Oh and we did stop at a little church in a side street. That’s about it. Nothing super fancy. Well that was unsatisfactory.

I had a great day though. I met my father’s soul mate and I can take great comfort in the fact that Althea truly loves and cares for my father. Yeah that’s about it. I’m sorry this blog isn’t that exciting but it’s now 10:30pm and I really can’t think of a fun way to milk out this tour. Maybe, it’s a miracle I didn’t burst into flames in the church? Well that’s a bad and untactful joke. Let me think of something else…we nearly got killed by a hot dog truck? Well not really. The guy came up to us and asked us to get out of the way while his buddy drove into the little area to park the truck. Heck when I say drive, he barely moved forward. Okay so that’s not anything juicy. Let me think…Okay there is honestly nothing. It was just a nice day out, getting to know each other and just walking through the city.

Before I go, here is a link to a proper website about tourist attractions in Amsterdam — http://www.netherlands-tourism.com/things-amsterdam-ultimate-top-50/

Thank you so much for reading and I will see you in a click!

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PS. I apologize for the lack of updates these last few blog days. Some things at the house took longer than what we thought so there honestly wasn’t any time to write. I will make up for it by basically low key, well not even low key, spamming you all with everything renovations related once we’re moved in. I also have a lot of great ideas that’s not related to the fact that we bought a house. I’m so excited to write them all. If I wasn’t struggling to keep my eyes open I would be writing them now.

Dutch, General Life Tips

Afrikaans Speakers Learning Dutch

I’m writing this one specially for my fellow South Africans here in the Netherlands. Specially the new ones. Now not all South Africans speak Afrikaans so this one is only for the little handful who do. Dutch is quite difficult for Afrikaans speakers because it’s so close yet so far. You can’t get away with speaking Afrikaans to a Dutch person. Yes they might follow you a little bit if you speak real slow but it’s only going to get you so far. Same goes for an Afrikaans person trying to follow a Dutch speaker. You might get a rough idea what they’re saying if they speak slow enough and they don’t have an accent but again it will only take you so far. Eventually you have to speak and learn proper Dutch.

I recommend you read these two blogs of mine as an extra or before you read this blog.

Blog number one is my experience with the big Dutch test and how to prepare for the test. I do have to add after I wrote that blog I found out I failed two of the tests (just barely) and I just wrote those two tests back in the beginning of March. They changed the program (not that much to make a difference in the content of this blog. They just upgraded the system. It’s a lot better. The speaking test was a lot easier in my opinion.)

https://fitcouchpotato.com/2017/11/10/dutch-as-your-second-language-nt2/

Blog number two I give tips and tricks on how to go about learning a new language. It’s really helpful so definitely give it a read when you just started learning Dutch.

https://fitcouchpotato.com/2017/11/10/how-to-learn-a-new-language/

Now let’s move on to my Afrikaans speakers. So once you’re deep into the I’m going to learn Dutch process you will probably start to talk a lot in Dutch (I definitely recommend this. It’s exhausting but it’s really going to improve your Dutch.) and you will make mistakes here and there. First of all just stay strong and if you battle with a word or how to pronounce something pause and ask for help. Here in the Netherlands when a Dutch speaker hears your broken Dutch they will switch over to English for your own comfort. I know it’s rude but they mean well. Just switch back over to Dutch and be straight forward with them. “Hey I’m trying to learn here. Help me please!” It’s not going to be easy but just keep at it. You will improve. I didn’t take this course because I felt like I was a little ahead (read I didn’t want to spend money on it) but this course looks very promising — https://www.zuidafrikahuis.nl/cursus-nederlands

The one main thing I recommend is get a little notebook you can carry around on your person to write notes in when you notice your Afrikaans mistakes that consistently slip in. I call my book: “Afrikaans oopsies!” It might sound Dutch but that’s almost never the case. The Dutch language is a special language hey. It will take a few months before you learn when to use “de, ben, zijn, heb” and etc. Alright before I share some of common mistakes I made (still make) I want to share a funny story. So we all know in South Africa a bill at the cashier is called a “slippie” well here it means G-string. It’s a “bon” here so just keep that in mind.

Amper = bijna

Basically every time you want to say “amper” stop yourself because it’s “bijna”.

Ander dag = laats

Aspris = expres

Baba = baby

Bekommerd = besorgt en ongerust

I always forget this one.

Baie warm = heet

Blameer = schuld geven

Bly = woont

Dun = small

Deurmekaar = verward

They do use “doormekaar” when someone is confused over a pack of cards. A person is “verward”.

Druip = onvoldoende of niet gehaald

Daglig = overdag

Eendag op ’n reëndag = op een dag

Eenkeur = op een keur

Ek wonder = ik vraag me af

Gunstelling = lievelings, favoriete

Hoender = kip

Gets me all the damn time.

Hardkoppig = koppig

Hartseer = verdrietig

Irreterend  = irritant

In klim = in stappen

Kombuis = keuken

“Kombuis” is a boat’s kitchen here.

Kar = auto

This one always get me. Insert rage filled scream. My trick is think of a car as an automobile. This way you remember it’ “auto” in Dutch.

Kos = eten

Kombers = deken

Kwaad = boos

Kettel = waterkoker

Kleinseerig = kleinzielig

Lekker = leuk (alleen lekker kos of lekker weertje)

Awwwh we Afrikaans speakers use “lekker” for everything. It’s the way of life. When you want to say “lekker” it’s probably not the right time to say it. It’s only correct when referring to food or when saying the term: “lekker weertje” otherwise it’s “leuk”.

Lip ice = lippenbalsem

Los my uit = laat mij met rust

Min = minder, weinig

Mince = rundergehakt

Mikrogolf = magnetron

Mat = vloerkleed

Navorsing = onderzoek

Opgewonde = heel veel zin in of enthousiast

Oomblik = ogenblik of plotseling

Partykeur = soms en afentoe

Reg = goed, klaar

Here you almost never say “reg” only when you’re talking about direction (but not really it’s “rechts” and “rechtdoor”) and the law. So I know in Afrikaans we use “reg” all the damn time – “Die kos is reg!” – but stop yourself and choose another word because it’s never “reg” when you want to use it.

Sukkel = worstel/worsteling

This one was quite funny because I was like “Ek sukkel hoor!” but yeah “sukkel” isn’t a word here. “Ik worstel om dit te doen.”

Skaars = amper

So basically as an Afrikaans speaker when you want to say “skaars” its “amper” here.

Stamp = duwen

Spasie = plaats, ruimte

Stadig = langzaam

Stort = douche

Spinnekop = spin

Skottelgoed = afwassen

Sensitief = gevoelig

Tumbledryer = droger

Terg = plagen

This is when you tease someone.

Verhouding = relatie

Vervelig = saai

Dutch speakers use “vervelend” when something bad happens or a case of bad luck.

Vinnig = snel

Verskooning = excuus

Venster = raam

Vloekwoorde = scheldwoorde

Warmwatersak = kruik

’n koek in jou hare = klitten

That’s only a few of my Afrikaans oopsies. It has really helped me because now in the back of mind I knew about these words and after a few more slip ups eventually I remember the right word for what I want to say. I wish you all the best!

Thank you so much for reading and I will see you in a click!

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PS: If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to contact me. Ek sal jou enige tyd help waar ek kan! Lekker daggie verder!

 

Dutch, General Life Tips

Translating My First Blog Into Dutch

This upcoming week is my last full week to prepare for my second round with my Dutch test. I’m hard at work trying to study for the two tests I failed and have wracked my brain on how to incorporate my Dutch studies with my blog at least once. It’s a two birds one stone type of thing. I need to write a blog for tomorrow and I need to study. So what better way than trying to challenge myself with my Dutch writing abilities. I’m going to attempt to translate my first ever post here on my website. As I know not all of my readers can read or understand Dutch I’m going to add a little footnote of my thoughts in between parts (read sobs, rants and frustration but I will be funny about it). I will also underline what words I had to Google translate or call a friend (read ask husband). This should be interesting! Here goes!

—Body Best Friends Forever / BBFF

You are your own best friend.

What I mean with this is quite simple. When you’re feeling down in the dumps and filling your own head with negative thoughts stop yourself and ask this question: “Would I say any of this shit to my best friend?” Over my dead body honey. I will never tell my best friend they’re fat or make them feel guilty about their binge. I will never judge them for something they’ve done that I maybe don’t agree with. That’s not me so why on earth would I say any of this crap to myself?—

Licchaam Beste Vrienden Voor Altijd | BBFF

Jij is je eigen beste vriend.

Wat ik bedoelt is eigenlijk heel simpel. Als je slecht voel en je eigen hooft met negatieve gedachtes vulden, stop jezelf en vraag jezelf deze vraag: “Zal ik ooit deze slechte woorden tegen mijn beste vrienden zeg?” Oor mijn dode lichaam schatje. Ik zal nooit voor mijn beste vrienden zeg dat zij vet zijn of ze (hul?) laat schuldig voelt over een binge. Ik zal nooit ze oordeelt over iets wat hul heb gedaan wat ik misschien niet mee zaam stem. Dit is niet mij zo waarom zal ik deze slechte woorden voor mij zelf zeggen?

***

Lord that was anything but easy. I have no idea how this going but that was anything but easy. It will be curious to see how right or wrong that went…will ask Onno to rate me below…Stay tuned. That short little paragraph took me five minutes to translate. It’s nearly 11pm. Damn I’m going to be here for awhile. Okay let’s continue!

***

—When I catch myself with any negative thoughts about my body I imagine my best friend’s face and that I’m saying these words to them. In two seconds flat I’m beyond angry and over protective. I’m like oh hell to the no! Who the hell do you think you are with saying this type of bullshit to my friend? It doesn’t take me long to have a big Ahaha moment and just like that I snap myself out of the negative thoughts. I then proceed to tell myself what I would tell my best friend if they were saying these type of things about themselves.—

Als ik mijzelf betrapt negatieve dingen over mijn lichaam denken dan zal ik mijn beste vriendin voorzinnen en mijzelf zien deze woorden voor haar zeggen. In twee seconden ben ik boos en over beschermend op haar. Ik was net nee, net een groot vet NEE. Wie denk je is je om deze onwaar en negatieve woorden voor mijn beste vrienden te zeggen? Dit neemt mij niet zo lang om een goot Ahaha moment te hebben en zo snap ik mijzelf uit de slechte gedachtes. Ik zal dan doorgaan voor mezelf te zeggen wat ik voor mijn beste vrienden zal zeggen als zij deze woorden over zijzelf (ze?) zeggen.

***

Over protective was difficult to translate into Dutch. Husband got stumped and we had to Google. It really wasn’t as hard but hey it’s late and our brains are currently fried. I doubted so many things while attempting to translate this one but I’m somehow got through this one. I also feel that I cheated a little bit because Google translate saved the day twice although I only added one extra letter. Licchaam is lichaam. Negatiewe is negatieve. I’m learning hey! Which was the purpose of this post. I wanted to work on my Dutch and write a blog post. Two birds one stone remember. Is this even entertaining for you all?

***

—“I’m fat.” Fat is just a substance in your body and guess what without fat you won’t be alive. So what if you carry a little extra fat? You are soft and great to cuddle with.

“I’m ugly.” No honey those thoughts are ugly. You are anything but ugly. You are a wonderful human being so don’t you dare dill your sparkle.

“I’m a horrible person.” Are you kidding me? Serial killers, child molesters, rapist and puppy kickers are horrible people.

“I ate two chocolate bars. I basically ate all my hard work away.” What type of chocolate was it?

So snap out of it. Look at yourself in the mirror and repeat after me.—

“Ik is vet.”  Vet is alleen een inhoud wat in je lichaam en raad eens zonder vet kan je niet leven. Zo wat als je een beetje extra vet om je buik dragen? Je is zag en geweldig om mee te knuffel.

“Ik is lelijk.” Nee schatje deze gedachtes is lelijk. Jij is enige behalve lelijk. Jij is een wonderlijke persoon zo je durf niet om je fonkeling te doffen.

“Ik is een verschrikkelijk persoon.” Grap je? Seriemoordenaars, kinderen molesters, rapits en hond schoppers is verschrikkelijke personen.

“Ik heb twee een chocola reepjes gegeten. Ik heb eigenlijk al mijn harde werk weg gegeten.” Wat zoort chocola was dit? Was dit lekker?

Zo snap uit dit! Kijk jezelf in the spiegel en herhaald na mij.

***

Damn that was hard. My brain is fried at the moment but I’m almost there. Onno is questioning my constant what is this word in English but it’s too fun to write this without him knowing. I must say this is challenging but I’m getting there. Let’s get through this last part! I’m just too excited to find out how I did. I want to see my rating!

***

I’m WORTHY!

I’m BEAUTIFUL!

I’m FABULOUS!

I’m AWESOME!

I’m a magical unicorn…

Ik is waardig!

Ik is beeldschoon!

Ik is fabelachtig! 

Ik is geweldig!

Ik is een magische eenhoorn 

*** 

I laughed so hard when i looked up what’s fabulous in Dutch. It’s hilarious. Unicorn in Dutch is also pretty funny. It makes me think of a squirrel and I just couldn’t stop imagining a little squirrel with his mouth stuffed full or nuts and wearing a pink sparkling tutu and homemade DIY unicorn horn. It’s magical. Now for the moment I waited since the beginning. My grade!

Drum roll please…

“Cassandra did very well! I was very curious what was happening behind me with all the questions…Of course there is small area’s to improve in but most of it is smaller details. I give her 8+ out of ten!”

grade

Insert happy squeal! I’m feeling quite proud of my score! I’m getting better! Pretty soon I will be writing long novels in Dutch (not really) but it’s a skill I need. Dutch is after all the main language in my new home country. Oh the test is on the 7th of March so think of me on that day! Hold your thumbs please!!!

Oh here is the link to the original post if you want to give it a read without my Dutch translations. It was quite nostalgic to read it again. — https://fitcouchpotato.com/2017/08/09/body-best-friends-forever-bbff/

I wish you all the best and I will see you in a click!

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Bicycle Tour, Fitness Tips

New Bicycle Training Update| Week 1 – 4

Week 1

The first week following our new bicycle training program couldn’t have gone better. The two of  us nailed the brief and the level of accomplishment after we hit our mark will surely motivate us in the next week. This week our goal was 150km and this is how it went:

Cassandra’s Training Journal                 Onno’s Training Journal

Tuesday: 34km                                             Friday: 30km

Wednesday: 16km                                       Saturday: 60km

Saturday: 50km                                            Sunday: 60km

Sunday: 50km

Cassandra’s thoughts:

The idea of freedom turned out to work really well with me. I loved being able to control when I bicycle and for how long. A quick 20 minute workout went from being bleh to yay that’s 16km I didn’t have 20 minutes ago. On Saturday I sat for 110 minutes and pumped out my 50km but on Sunday I split it up in 30 minute sessions mostly because I was hurting from the day before. Over all I think for the next week I’m going to do smaller sessions more often and pace everything out. Just to see how it goes.

Onno’s thoughts:

I really liked this week of new training, there was little pressure to work every day and instead we got to bike when we want. It did end up biting me in the butt a bit near the weekend, because I hadn’t done anything so far… It was relatively easy to catch up, only some small shouting went on during the Sunday training, just definitely next week I want to do one weekday session to make it easier on the weekends.

Week 2

The second week following the new training program I aced it. Onno not so much. The week got away from him and he basically shot himself in the foot and had bicycle his entire 150km over the weekend. It was hilarious to watch. I would like to say he learned his lesson but give it a few seconds of scrolling.

Cassandra’s Training Journal                    Onno’s Training Journal

Thursday: 45km                                              Saturday: 75km

Friday: 35km                                                    Sunday: 75km

Saturday: 40km

Sunday: 30km

Cassandra’s thoughts:

I did quite well this week. I didn’t leave everything for the weekend which is the main goal if I’m honest. Now let’s keep it up for the next week.

Onno’s thoughts:

I’m surprised I survived this weekend. I promised to do a week training but it proved too much with all the other work I had lying around. It’s no excuse I should be able to find 2 hours during the week to do some simple bicycle training, but it’s what happened. I will have to double down on this promise.

Week 3

We made a little oopsie! The week just got away from us and before we could blink it was Sunday and I had 100km left and Onno had 140km. A distance that just won’t be possible to complete in one day so we accepted our fate and will have to make due. Luckily week 4 was our planned rest week but since we only bicycled on in week 3 the two weeks can take each other’s place.

Cassandra’s Training Journal                    Onno’s Training Journal

Tuesday: 50km                                                Friday: 10km

Week 4

Second try is the charm right? So this week I have 100km to cycle and Onno has 140km. It will be critical to finish it sooner than later as week 5 is 200km and you don’t want to screw yourself over my pushing everything to the weekend.

Cassandra’s Training Journal                    Onno’s Training Journal

Thursday: 30km                                              Saturday: 45km

Saturday: 30km                                               Sunday: 21km

Sunday: 40km                                                  73km left

Cassandra’s thoughts:

Damn now this was a week. It was a lot harder to get it done but willpower is a wonderful thing. That and unlike Onno I don’t have any time to ‘catch’ up as you will. If I don’t complete the goal at end the week with –km left…I shoot myself in the foot. Next week is 200km. 200km is quite a distance on its own. I have to stay strong after all I have three weeks ‘off’ in January while I’m in England.

Onno’s thoughts:

These past 2 weeks my head has not been in the game, however with the new year coming up and Cassandra sharing her new year goals it has reignited my own ambition to strive for more as well. It can’t be too hard and it’s a realistic goal, I just have to commit and make it happen.

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Oh so Onno has 73km left from this week. He has some time while I’m in England to catch up as you will. So while I enjoy a few days on my lonesome with the dogs, Onno has to bicycle 73km. Insert evil laughter.

 

 

General Life Tips, Story Time

I Got A Present From My Mommy Dearest | NT2 Update

My Thursday morning started with going online and fighting the internet because for some reason it couldn’t open the website or it will shut down once I click on the ‘see results’ tab. I should explain a little. So remember five weeks ago I wrote my NT2 or Dutch as a second language test. It was finally time to see the results and boy could I hardly breathe while waiting for the internet to finally get its shit together. So I clicked enter after putting in my details, closed my eyes and blocked the screen with a piece of paper. After a few minutes I grew a pair and finally checked. Boy did I get a sucker punch. Please give me a few minutes while I rant. Just skip it but also feel free to read because it’s probably entertaining.

What the actual fuck man. I mean I failed the one test (writing) with 8 points. 8 points. Throw a bitch a bone man. I mean 8 points. Now I have to redo the test just to make an extra 8 points. Like come on! 8 points. 492. That’s a lot of points. The worst part is I have no idea where I went wrong. It wasn’t a test I was that worried about afterwards. The only part that made me second guess the success of the test was the two long questions at the end. They asked for 180 words and I gave them 350 easy. It could go two ways. First they only mark the first 180 words and then leave out the rest or mark everything as is. I suspect they only marked the first 180 words. That’s the only way I could lose so many points and fail. I really can’t think of how else I lost those 8 points. It was just really disappointing if I’m upfront with you. I worked really hard and studied my ass off and now I have to redo it again. What a sucker punch.

I failed the speaking test too. It wasn’t a super close call like the writing test but 37 points from passing is still pretty frustrating if you catch my drift. The speaking test is the one that made me panic and I honestly thought I would be lucky if I get half of the stuff correct but then again it still feels pretty disappointed that I failed. I don’t want to fail. I also really don’t want to retake this test. It was fucking horrible. I hated that test so much and now I have to do it again. It just really was a blow and I know it’s not that big and all but it does change my future plans a little bit. I think the worst part outside retaking the test is just how frustrating it. I just really wanted that part of my life behind me but now I have to wait weeks before I can retake the test and then wait weeks for my results. The positive thing is I know exactly what to expect and can properly prepare myself.

The one thing that really worried me was how this could affect my studies. I’ve been trying to start my studies a few years now. I’ve been ready but there is always something that needs to be done that takes months. My studies start in March and hopefully I can still start even though I won’t have all four certificates by the time I start. Oh that’s a messy sentence. All in all. It would have been wonderful if I passed all four tests but there is nothing I can do about it now. I just need to stand up, dust myself off and make sure I don’t make the same mistakes again. I shouldn’t be too hard on myself either. The test isn’t known to be easy and at that point I was probably actively studying Dutch for four  months. I mean this test is for people who are fluent in the language. I was close, 80% fluent so it really just adds to the frustration. But anyway there is nothing I can do about it and after sulking for a few hours I’ve moved on. I will probably make the appointment for the next test this weekend. It takes six weeks so I have time to prepare.

Now let’s move on to the good stuff. So I mentioned my sulking and pity part already but the results couldn’t have came on a better day because today I was expecting a package from my mommy dearest. I went out in the cold and picked up my package, basically sprinted home, died a little carrying the package up four flight of stairs before switching on Facebook Live and digging in. Boy I was like a little kid on a Christmas morning. My mom went all out with this package. All my favorites treats. Three packets of my favorite soft candy in the world. Two bar of chocolates that’s literally heaven. Six packets of rice chips in a flavor that is home and so much more. Speculoos even got some toys and the husband is just as obsessed with his present. It was truly just what I needed to end my day and got me out of my pity party and into a yay I can’t wait to stuff my face party.

I will be honest. Its hard sometimes to be so far away from family and the country that was your home and all you knew for nearly two decades and it will probably always be hard but festive season just takes it up a notch. I get homesick and I wish I can have my family by my side as I celebrate this season but I signed up for this when I made the big move. I will find a way to deal with the homesickness I’m sure but for now I’m just going to feel what I feel and enjoy my time here with my two favorite boys. (Okay I have three but my dad doesn’t even count. I mean he is my dad. He is included.)

Here is the picture of my big present. Quite impressive isn’t it? I’m so happy right now. I already made quite a big dent in it as I’m writing this and you bet your sweet little booty by the time this blog goes online there will be another big dent in it. I can’t wait. I’m going to stuff my face.

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Bicycle Tour, Fitness Tips

New Bicycle Training Program

The time has arrived for another bicycle tour update where I change stuff and explain in great detail why. So as you all might know I’ve been trying to figure the entire bicycle tour out as it wasn’t nearly as simple as it seemed to be at first glance. To sum it up, at first I had a big long tour but reality didn’t quite match up with it so I changed it to a mini tour. The last hitch up was the bicycle training itself. Now back when I started to plan everything out I made a training program that fits with that tour but for some reason it never occurred to me that I should update the training schedule to fit the new mini tour. It was also quite clear the way I planned the first training program which was basically a day by day detailed program didn’t work for us. That and I didn’t take any proper rest into account. So I’ve learned from my mistakes and I can now say the new and improved training program is a lot better. Okay so here is the idea of how the new training program works. Basically it’s three weeks of training and then one week rest. I also worked in our holiday in January so I feel like this time around it’s bulletproof. So week 1 is 150km, week 2 is 150km, week 3 is 150km and week 4 is rest.

Week 1 is from the 20th to 26th November and the nice thing about this training program is I get to choose when and how much I bicycle in the week. As long as I just reach my goal for the week. It’s that simple. I got the idea from my new year’s resolutions LISS goal that I already completed might I add. It was basically to complete 1000km in LISS for the year. The reason why it worked was I got to control when and how much I did on any given day so it gave me the sense of freedom. Although freedom is kind of a bad term to use. I don’t like starting a day and having the big thing hang over my head. I want to be able to decide hey today I want to bicycle. That’s about it. So although the finish line is shorter I know it will work because well I like the idea of being in control but still getting the job done. Clearly I don’t do well with following a day by day training program. It’s like my mind just flips it a finger and I wing it and in the end fail.

I’m thinking of doing something similar with my strengthening workouts once I incorporate them again, but that I still need to figure out. It just goes to show that every person is different and what might work for me might not work for someone else and the best thing you can do is adapt to it and make the necessarily changes. I’m very excited to see how this new training program will work and I will do the usual four weeks update. Oh and when I figured out the new training program I also found the perfect time to complete the mini tour.

bicycle route website18th May to 3rd June 2018 and it’s about 850km give or take. There is 10 active bicycle days and the rest is explore days. I’m so pleased with myself. I finally feel like I figured most of the tour out. We still need to physically plan what we do on what day and where we will sleep and all that jazz but that’s something for another day.