Skating on water

This is on the Oostvaardersplassen in The Netherlands, 4th January 2009. We had had some good ice that winter, and although the thaw had started on Thursday we still tried to skate a little more on Sunday. But skating on ice with just one millimeter water is nerve wrecking, and cold. You never know if there is a hole ahead. OK, you know there is no hole, at least yesterday there was no hole, so.


The highway from Kiev to Warschau. This is how the government warns for speeding: they put the wrecks on display. Not that it helps much, drivers here and also in Poland think they cannot die in their cars. But they do. On my last trip I spent five days in Poland and the Ukraine, and saw two serious accidents, involving three cars (all total loss), with at least two people lying injured on the asphalt, and one dead.


It is a normal house next to a road in Poland. The house is still under construction, and there is a Mig in the front yard. The owner of the house is very friendly and shows me around his Mig. We climb on top, he opens the cockpit, offers me to take a seat. He explains about the 480 litre external fuel tanks, the tires are still pressurized and yes the missiles are gone.

Polish roads

Driving through Poland is a dangerous experience. Some people say that Portugal is even more dangerous, but I’m not so sure, no matter what the statistics say. And even if Portugal is worse, at least you get to die in a sunny environment, a friendly atmosphere between warm hills and olive orchards. Not so in Poland. If you have an accident here it will be raining, snowing, freezing, and dark, with big trucks everywhere.


Two boys doing their homework, completely in sync.


The Kunstlinie is the performing arts centre in Almere. Fits very nicely in the new city center architecture with its squares and blocks, and it sort of connects the city with the lake. The only thing wrong with this place is the number of civil servants working there. Well, working… I don’t know. Any time you enter the building there are three, four of them sitting behind a nice polished stainless steel counter, doing….


This is the Bruynzeel in Zaandam (NL), or what is left of it. Used to be a door factory. Was taken over by Polynorm, and then Polynorm was taken over by Theuma. But Theuma was not interested in the Bruynzeel part and so it was shut down. What remains is an empty building, home to graffiti sprayers and pyro-maniacs.


My daughter with a friend at the Kunstlinie, that’s the performing arts centre in Almere. They are both 15 so once they start laughing they can’t stop.


Two girls dozing in the sun in a small village in the Zhytomir area, just east from Poland. Gucci, Ugg’s & iPods. Everything is quiet, except for a few larks and a storch that circles the village.