Flying dutchman

On a recent trip to Mexico city (to attend a Creative Commons LatAm meeting) while we were waiting to be cleared for take-off, i overheard my neighbour in seat 21C (one of the best economy class seats on this type of plane, that is usually occupied by frequent flyers) talking on the phone to his family at home. Somewhat surprisingly he expressed astonishment about the size of the plane (‘there is a staircase next to me’) and curiosity about how he would handle a flight this long (12.5 hrs). Whil…

Fish(sticks) with(out) eyes | vis(sticks) met/zonder oogjes

Recently a friend mentioned that his kids (who have the daycare mother as Y) observed that at Fatima’s (the daycare mother) they would get ‘vis met oogjes’ (‘fish with eyes’) as opposed to the vis(sticks) without eyes that they were served at home. For some reason i really love this observation/expression which is perfectly captured in this work by Stummerer, Hablesreiter & Hanslmaier from their book Food Design XL:…

Successful [integration]

Warung Asje a Javanese Surinamese take-out restaurant on Jan Pieter Heije Straat in Amsterdam-west that i have been frequenting for more than 10 years has finally adapted to dutch customs! After more than 10 years of offering roti, nasi or bami dishes they now also offer patat on the side: Sign reading ‘Nu ook alle gerechten met patat verkrijgbaar’ (‘New, all dishes can be served with french fries’) on the counter of Warung Asje.…

Arabic m (م)

So the dutch have this tradition of giving each other big chocolate letters with their initials for for sinterklaas. both the celebration of sinterklaas and these chocolate letters are fairly important elements of dutch national identity. as i have mentioned here before last years el hema exhibition by mediamatic did a fairly good job at undermining/reinforcing that whole concept. one little part of that (the one willem was most proud of) were a couple of hand-made (and thus not for sale) arabic…

Data retention (a.k.a Northwest thinks that i am a vegetarian)

So just before the meal service during yesterday’s flight to Boston i get a meal tray handed over by a flight attendant. Turns out they have me on the list for a special (vegetarian) meal. Now the strange thing is that i had not ordered such a meal (even cheked my reservation confirmation and it does say ‘no special requests‘ so Northwest’s reservation computer must have come to the conclusion that i am (still) a vegetarian all by itself. Probably based on the fact that i was a vegetarian when i…

Iron man & roast duck

So Jamie more or less forced us to watch iron man on Thursday in some nondescript multiplex cinema in Swansea, Wales. Definitely not the worst film i have ever seen but for some reason these comic book adaptions fail to really excite me (except for film versions of comic books by enki bilal that is). Out of curiosity i also bought a DVD version of some DVD hawker in the restaurant Hai Ha (they do make really nice special roast duck in that place) on Mare street in hackney on Friday. As one could…

Good news (2)

So one of the worst things about living in the Netherlands has been that there has been no proper supply with Gold Bears (Gummibärchen) which did reduce my quality of life quite substantially. The only way they have been selling Harbio Gummibärchen has been in those ridiculous 300g bags that contain 30 or so 10g bags that contain macrobiotic quantities of tiny gold bears [the other option was to buy properly sized gold bears from one of the kosher shops in Buitenveldert, that import them from th…

These remind me of the WTC

Found this picture a while back on some russian design website but lost the url so i can’t link to it. these seem to be japanese tetra pack containers for banana juice. extremely beautiful/sweet if you ask me (not sure if they are for real or just a concept). Update [11-05-08]: Apparently they are by product designer Naoto Fukasawa…

Honest spicy food

Just back from a week in New York (taking benefit of the favorable dollar to euro exchange rate) which was amazing in a number of ways. One of the more interesting culinary discoveries was the Sichuan hot-pot. If you like honest spicy food than you should try one if you have the chance. It consists of a simmering metal pot of stock made from Sichuan Pepper (also known as ‘flower pepper’) that is placed at the center of the table. The broth is so spicy that the Chinese seem to refer to it as ‘Ma…