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Cucumbers & Holidays: Final entry

Posted 1 July 2006 - The Hague (NL):

The last entry in the series "Cucumbers & Holidays". 2006: Fish and chips in Clacton on Sea. I'm heading for Paris tomorrow and looking to buy a new racing bike.

(© Clacton on Sea - UK, June 2006)
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Rooney & Sent off

Posted 1 July 2006 - The Hague (NL):

After sending the Dutch team home, Portugal also kicked England out of the tournament. Bye bye England's flags, bye bye England's supporters. The Dutch feel sorry for you, we know what it's like.

(© London - UK, June 2006)
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Road signs & Logos

Posted 5 July 2006 - The Hague (NL):

I think I found the perfect road sign in Paris! It's the lower one of the three, and I like it because it's got a plane on it, a nice font and the European motorway logo. Futhermore, it's got the best colour of blue (for a road sign at least) and it's French. Other photos from Paris expected tomorrow. New McDonald's photos can already be found here.

(© Paris - FR, July 2006)
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Paris & Impressions

Posted 6 July 2006 - The Hague (NL):

Impressions of my extensive walking tours through the city of Paris last weekend:

(© Paris - FR, July 2006)
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Zebras & Crossings

Posted 7 July 2006 - The Hague (NL):

It may not be very original and certainly requires some more work to really make it look like something, but I still like the effect of this sequence:

(© Paris - FR, July 2006)
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Identity & Photos

Posted 8 July 2006 - The Hague (NL):

I came across this old photo-of-a-photo from a Romanian taxi driver license and thought it'd be funny to post it.

(© Bucharest - RO, August 2002)
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Mother & Daughter ..

Posted 9 July 2006 - The Hague (NL):

.. killing time on a long train journey. I took this photo on my one-time travel-along project, which is something I should maybe explain in a little more detail. For some reason or another, Dutch Railways sent me a free travel pass, which allows you free travel throughout the country BUT: provided that you're travelling along with somebody else.

Not having any plans for what to do yesterday, I thought I'd just go to the railway station and ask the first group of people whether I could join them, go wherever they were going and take photos of their day, so to say. The experiment resulted in a very nice day. Later today or tomorrow I'll tell more about where the trip took me and how I spent the day.

Updatum: And this is how I met a group of people who were set for completing the first stage of hiking tour 'Peter's Path', which runs from the far north to the far south of the Netherlands. The hike starts in Pieterburen, which is also home to the Seal Rescue Centre.

Both the walk and the train trip back and forth were big fun and altogether, my random-destination-trip turned into a very nice day full of surprises.

(© Gelderland - NL, 8 July 2006)
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France: Pros & Cons ;)

Posted 11 July 2006 - The Hague (NL):

The World Cup is over, Wimbledon has been dealt with, exams have been either passed or failed and the holiday season has taken off. About 10% of Holland is temporarily emigrating to France in a car + caravan. France has been Holland's most popular holiday destination for the last decades. Nevertheless, if you ask an average Dutch person about France, they will reply that they like the country but 'it's a shame it's populated by French people'. Tolerant as we are known to be, we seem to be unable to deal with people from a country that is physically and historically close, yet profoundly different in many many ways.

Here's some reasons why Dutch people should not go on holiday in France (and why they should):

-1) They are only prepared to speak English when you are prepared to speak French (which would make speaking English rather useless), but then:
Ever tried to decipher written or spoken Bulgarian?

-2) French are King of the Road, to be more precise: Each and every Frenchman is a King of the Road, and only foreigners are supposed to obey traffic rules, but then:
At least they usually don't drive on the wrong/lefthand side of the road like the British..

-3) The French don't know anything about Holland, they couldn't point it out on a map and they think we compose sentences with 50% German words and 50% Dutch words, but then:
If they don't know where we're from, they can't come to visit and dig holes in/on Dutch beaches, like our lovely German neighbours usually do..

-4) Too many Dutch people ruin the idyllic French countryside, but then:
They won't make you speak French to them..

-5) French keyboqrds qre totqlly crqpm zhich ;qkes typing ql;ost i;possible, but then,:
You're on holiday, don't need any computers..

-6) Their president looks and moves like Pinocchio, but then:
Our prime-minister looks like Harry Potter, now which one's worse..

-7) They only serve coffee, orange juice and croissants for breakfast, but then:
Try to get invited to a French home to enjoy a weekend lunch. You'll understand that the lousy breakfasts just aim to leave some space for just that weekend lunch..

-8) They're ugly, but then:
They're not as bad as Belgians or Chinese..

-9) They're too chauvinistic and patriotic and they put flags on every lousy building, but then:
Climb those buildings and turn the flag 90 degrees counterclockwise (to make it look like a Dutch flag). You may get arrested by Louis de Funès, which would give you a funny story to tell back home..

-10) They eat disgusting animals or disgusting parts of not-so disgusting animals, but then:
Whatever they've already eaten will not end up on your plate. Besides, there's more in life than French fries and hamburgers..

(© Maringues - FR, May 2000)
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Swift & Speedy

Posted 12 July 2006 - The Hague (NL):

This is soon going to be my new racing bike, a Jan Janssen Tour de France:

(© Photo by Jan Janssen Fietsen)
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Licensing plates & Secret codes

Posted 13 July 2006 - The Hague (NL):

Licensing plates are interesting in the same way as road signs are. They usually have something to tell you, although the information usually seems encripted. As a first start, I found an informative website about the colour and style of licensing plates, but my intention was to tell which identifiers are used. I will start off with the ones I know and hope that you, international PhotoLog reader, can help me out on the remaining ones in Europe.

France (F): Last two digits: geographic origin of the car (funny story);

Germany (D): First letter combination: geographic origin. Prohibited combinations: SS (Schutzstaffel), SA (Sturmabteilung), HJ (Hitlerjugend), NS (Nationalsozialismus) and KZ (Konzentrationslager);

Switzerland (CH), just like Austria (A): First letter combination + bonus graphic: CH / geographic origin A / geographic origin of the owner (CH), rather than the car (A);

Netherlands (NL): Ascending combination of characters. No link to origin of the car, just to the datum it was inscribed and the type of car. No vowels used to prevent occurence of real words. No M, Q or Y either. AA stands for Dutch Royal family;

Poland (PL): First two or three letters make up the geographic origin of the car. No typical Polish caracters are used;

Ireland (IRL): Two digits showing the year of issuance of the plate, followed by two letters indicating the county the car is registered in. Also: full name of city in Irish;

Great Britain excl. Northern Ireland (GB): First letter refers to region, second one to municipality, followed by two digits showing the age of the car in a pretty incomprehensible way;

Belgium (B): No specific code, plate is driver specific;

Romania (RO): First letter combination: geographic origin. The car below is from Bucharest, which is also the location where I photographed it:

(© Bucharest - RO, October 2005)
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Then & Now

Posted 14 July 2006 - The Hague (NL):

Yesterday, on the way from the railway station back home, I bought a CD that I've been wanting to buy for quite sometime already. The CD is by a Dutch singer called Stef Bos and it contains the song 'Is dit nu later?' (So this is it then?). The song is about somebody who wonders what happens to people's childhood dreams when they grow up. For those interested, here's a translation of the song.

(© Paris - FR, January 2005)
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Stop smiling & Help us win this war

Posted 15 July 2006 - The Hague (NL):

Another battle won by the War or Terrorism. Starting 26 August, smiling is officialy prohibited. On Dutch passport photos at least. Why? Because the exact distance between your eyes apparently tells more about your identity are than a happy smile does about who you truly are.

The first next step will be no more smiling at the border, following step will be a complete ban on smiling. But eventually, we will enjoy freedom around the globe.

The photo below shows my former colleague Daniël at Combi Focus, left = old ID photo, right = new ID photo. Pick your favourite..

(© The Hague - NL, 15 July 2006)
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Holidays & Interactive Maps

Posted 16 July 2006 - The Hague (NL):

I personally don't mind getting lost when I'm travelling, but if you do, try this new piece of mobile phone software.

(© Rome - IT, October 2005)
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War & Sesame Street

Posted 17 July 2006 - The Hague (NL):

When watching TV in the United States, it's hard - if not impossible - to zap your way around war. It's in documentaries, talkshows, ads, Amazing Discoveries.. Just everywhere. And if that's not enough, Sesame Street will join the propaganda train with a special edition in which Elmo's Father is being deployed (which in proper children's language would be: sent to war) in Afghanistan or Iraq.

(© Dutch Sesame Street heroes Ieniemienie and Tommie
Hoorn - NL, May 2000)
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Düsseldorf & Photos in Germany

Posted 19 July 2006 - Düsseldorf (DE):

Düsseldorf on a warm summer evening. Of all countries I have visited, I unfortunately think that Germany is the most difficult one to take interesting spontaneous pictures.

(© Düsseldorf - DE, 19 July 2006)
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Hot & Hotter

Posted 20 July 2006 - Düsseldorf (DE):

A huge part of the northern hemisphere is suffering from extremely hot weather:

(© Archive photo)
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Free & Photos

Posted 21 July 2006 - The Hague (NL):

The second free framed and postersized photo will be handed out next week. If you haven't signed up for one, go here to read more!

(© Ronda - ES, August 2004)
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New PhotoLogiX exhibition ahead!

Posted 22 July 2006 - The Hague (NL):

Another photo exhibition ahead! It will be composed of brand new photos and I am waiting for the confirmation of datum (September). Planned location is the Central City Library in The Hague:

(© The Hague - NL, July 2003)
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Grandparents & Hot weather

Posted 24 July 2006 - The Hague (NL):

Two photos from last Sunday at my grandparents'. Shade in their back garden helps them escape from the heat, and they are simply enjoying themselves. Question for frequent PhotoLog readers: does anyone recognise that smile in the first photo?

(© The Hague - NL, 23 July 2006 / published with permission)
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Children & More children

Posted 25 July 2006 - The Hague (NL):

European governments are trying at all cost to keep immigrants off the continent. At the same time, they do not realise that these immigrants, and their high fertility rates, may help solve a future problem Europe is facing: its aging population. It may prevent us from measures similar to the ones taken in Australia, where women are 'requested to procreate'.

(© Avignon - FR, July 2005)
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People & Railway Stations

Posted 26 July 2006 - The Hague (NL):

A quick snapshot from Hoofddorp (Central) Station:

(© Hoofddorp - NL, July 2006)
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Rain & Cyclists

Posted 27 July 2006 - The Hague (NL):

After a long period of hot and dry weather, us Dutchies were finally able to experience some good old rain this morning. Amazing by the way how international visitors tend to find it amazing that we also cycle to work, school or wherever when it's raining. Rain is just rain, it makes you wet and that's about it.

(© The Hague - NL, 27 July 2006)
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PhotoLogiX & RTL4

Posted 28 July 2006 - The Hague (NL):

And the very same photo on Dutch national television during the evening news :)

(© The Hague - NL, 27 July 2006)
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Democratic & Not so democratic

Posted 30 July 2006 - The Hague (NL):

The Democratic Repulic of Congo is having its first free elections in 40 years. I wonder why it is that countries who call themselves democratic, are usually among the most corrupt and undemocratic on earth. I'm thinking of the former Democratic Kampuchea (Cambodia), the People's Republic of China during the student uprise and the current Democratic People's Republic of Korea and the former German Democratic Republic:

(© Berlin - DE, February 2006)
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