The meaning of Summer


Summer! It’s finally here. After long, cold dark nights the season that most people look forward to has started. Today I want to have a closer look at the meaning of this popular season. Is it hyped up by most people? Or is it truly one of the most magical times of the year? Here, in the Netherlands, people have a tendency to complain about the weather and how bad it is. It’s one of the “go-to” topics when engaging in small talk. It’s almost as if we have a collective hate towards rain and cold temperatures. So when summer arrives with its higher temperatures our society looks a bit friendlier because there is no need to complain anymore. We gradually start wearing less clothes and our carefree spirit gets shown to the world. There are festivals everywhere, random spontaneous barbeque gatherings and children splashing in their tiny swimming pools.

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The Deal with Pocket Monster Designs


Behold this horrid wretch before you, and ask yourself: how did Donald Trump beat this thing out of the first place in Time Magazine’s Most Influential People of 1998?

Not that any of that happened, of course. But imagine.

The thing I wanted you to take home from this is that no matter how awful the shape, the design in itself is instantly recognizable. And Pikachu, the loveable little thing, would probably give Trump a run for his money in terms of lovability versus fame (then again, a lot of Pokémon probably would).

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Anna’s #basic guide to travel


I always say that I regularly go bankrupt on aeroplane tickets. I just really love to travel (here is where I shamelessly refer back to my travel guides for Rome and London). A couple of years back I heard someone make it their New Year’s resolution that they wanted to travel to at least five places every year. The idea of that appealed to me enough that I decided to copy that resolution. I kept it, too. Continue reading “Anna’s #basic guide to travel”

On Fear


The oldest and strongest emotion of mankind is fear, and the oldest and strongest kind of fear is fear of the unknown.”
H.P. Lovecraft

Recently, I was asked a rather intriguing question by my tea bag1: what are you most afraid of? While the question itself might be straightforward, the intriguing part was that I found myself having great difficulty answering it. Continue reading “On Fear”

Mukbang and food in the modern world


One summer ago I didn’t have much to do so, as any bored millennial would do, I browsed the web for new and interesting things that I could watch, or listen to (or a combination of both).What I ended up finding was strange, funny but above all very relatable. It was a video of a woman named MommyTang (this is her username) sitting on the ground in front of a big table where she was able to cook food while talking about a topic. When she finished preparing the food she started to eat it. On camera. My first reaction was one of surprise: how is this a video that thousands of people like to watch? As I was thinking that I realized, to my astonishment, that I had already watched more than half of the video. After that I was left with so many questions: what is this and how did it come to be a ‘thing’? And, why is it a ‘thing’ in the first place? Now I have to confess something to you: that summer I ended up watching quite a lot of those videos and I think that I have found the answer as to why.

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Consider the Lily


To Lily

The lily, once in battle with the rose for the title of “queen of flowers”, has experienced many ups and downs in popularity throughout the years. In Shakespeare’s Henry VIII , Queen Katherine declares “Like the lily that once was mistress of the field and flourish’d / I’ll hang my head and perish”, and today lilies are often hanging their heads once more: many florists do not constantly have lilies available, as they have roses and tulips, and they are often mischaracterized as merely funereal flowers. “Rose” is not only a more popular given name than “Lily”, but it also a far more popular flower. Nevertheless, the lily has staunch defenders, from poets as distinguished as Emily Dickinson to figures as iconic as Oscar Wilde. Its history is rich and tied to the most important developments in Western botany, and its symbolic significance is multi-faceted. It is never a bad idea to pause and consider the lily. Continue reading “Consider the Lily”

In Defence of Cats


Recently, I’ve gotten into the cat-sitting business. April has been pretty hectic so far, as I have been up and down Amsterdam taking care of all sorts of cats. Some need medication, others have a very specific diet, but the one thing they all have in common is this: all they really want is a good cuddle. Now I’m not implying that their current cat-parents are neglecting them, but when they’re on their own for the majority of the day, they just want some good ol’ lovin’.

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