Something Fun

If you were a dog, what kind of a dog would you be? For the answer, check out this fun little internet survey. (Consider posting your results in the "comment" section below!)

What Kind of a Dog Are You?


Celebrate, Celebrate, Dance to the Music!

Good news, everybody! Today I picked up my Dutch Residence Permit (in Dutch: verblijfsverkunning). I am officially a legal resident of the Netherlands until January 14, 2005! It only took 6 months.... Yahoo!

(Note: I was never here illegally, for those of you who are wondering! My temporary resident permit had me covered for the first half-year or so.)
What is it about the South?

At the beginning of February I spent a week in Zeeuws-Vlaanderen, a region in the southwest of the Netherlands and the north of Belgium. I was told that this region has a reputation for "eating, drinking, and being merry" -- more so than the rest of the NL. And my experience confirmed that assertion with gusto! The breads, cheeses, and wines that I sampled in that week were some of the best I've had since arriving in Europe 6 months ago.

Which got me thinking ... what is it about the South? Is it just me, or is it true that places that are labelled "South" often feature people and cultures who characteristically celebrate life and the material world with wild abandon? I think of the stories I've heard about the south of France, about Italy, about African and Central/South American cultures, even about "southern hospitality" in the U.S. And I wonder what is up with those of us from "the North" (whatever that means in our various cultural contexts)... Are we just too cold to throw parties?!

A fitting question for this week, when I hear that many of you in North America are surviving blizzards...


Another Great Quote

We are a spiritually impoverished generation; we search in all the places the Spirit ever flowed in the hope of finding water. But that is a valid impulse. For if the Spirit is living and never dies, he must still be present wherever he once was active. He is like a small but carefully tended spark, ready to flare, glow, and burst into flame the moment he feels the first enkindling breath.
--Edith Stein

More stories of my adventures in the Netherlands coming soon!! Stay tuned...