"I love your "Malaysian Accent", can you say it again?"

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Friday, February 10, 2006

I saw a scoop shop where I could get my BJ fix, and at only €2 for a small scoop, making it slightly cheaper than back home. Applying the principle of Purchasing Power Parity, I thus conclude that having a BJ in Singapore is ridiculously expensive. I didn't see my Vanilla Heath Bar Crunch, though. [Someone: okayyyyyyy....when your message first popped up, i thought BJ meant blowjob. and i was like BJ for 2 euros! wow! that;s like cheaper than Ben and Jerrys]

We have among other streets Padualaan, Herculeslaan, Archimedeslaan, Pythagoraslaan, Yalelaan and Cambridgelaan. I'm sure some university bureaucrat came up with those names.

As a map of my University will show, we do not have one campus, but instead one sprawled scross several buildings (all not originally built for University use - for example the Arts Library used to be a palace built for Louis Napoleon) in the town centre, one in the south and one in the south east (in another bus zone). This makes life interesting, but then there is also a curse which goes that way.

One reason why bus fares here might be higher than they otherwise would be is that the super bendy buses (these have 2 extensions - 1 more than the TIBS ones) can be boarded from the back doors (when the bus stops you can press a button on the exterior to open the doors). At least some people must cheat on their fares.

My housing costs me €385 a month. This is much more than what the Dutch students pay (I think the poster at the housing office advertised €180-280, but I can't remember if it included power/water). Anticipating an outcry, they gave us an FAQ to justify the surcharge, citing reasons such as cleaning, paying for when rooms are vacant and such. Of course, the main reason is that they're fleecing us because our demand is very inelastic.

To print (at least at the Economics, Law and Governance computer lab), I first have to transfer credit to the network from my chipknip (smart card), then use another terminal to release my print job. Bloody hell. I bet the only reason why they won't let you pay and release the print job at the same time is they're betting on people graduating with credit left in the network.

One of the reasons why I don't like to go to my apartment's kitchen (apart from the facts that I don't cook [yet] and don't watch TV) is that people smoke in there, so it stinks.

Opening a bank account will cost me €17.50, maintaining it €3 / 3 months and the card €1.50 / 3 months. And I can't use Internet Banking. Gah - it sucks to be from outside the EEA.

I used to wonder why ang mohs liked to wear shoes indoors. After walking barefoot on cold linoleum, I no longer wonder.

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Achter de Dom ('Behind the Dom' [the cathedral]), a street along which one of my lecture venues is located)

Me: and people think they don't speak english here
most people go for US, UK, Australia, NZ

Someone: dun speak eng then speak wat??

Me: err. dutch? hello?

Someone else (on the above): who knows maybe tamil... hahaahah!

Quotes: (You knew it was only a matter of time)

life repairer (repair man - this was a translation of 'life monteur')

I have a more personal, practical announcement. 15 minutes before this seminar, I lost *sticks foot up, revealing a missing heel*... If you think 'why is she nervous?'... It is very uncomfortable.

[On De Uithof] You may have already seen the buildings from the 60s and 70s... When concrete was the building material, when big and dull and functional was good.

[On the disadvantages of adapting houses for university use] I am in the building TRNS. I never bother explaining where my room is, because... people start going 'oh my god'.

The policy here is no smoking in the building. No ashtrays. No secret corners, no cellars or attics.

We're not big on titles... I introduced myself as ***. I even showed you my broken shoe... We stand out smoking with you, we ride on bikes, we get wet in the rain... We don't use titles. We don't say 'Professor' ***. It's very flattering to me, but I get uncomfortable... You don't need to address me 'Dr' or whatever.

[On the library and computer centre closing at 10/1030pm] You're not supposed to study during the night, apparently. Somebody has decided.

[On a course on Dutch present-day society] Who are they? Why do they eat cheese sandwiches for lunch? Why do they take coffee breaks?

You'll see the answers during the tutorial. Even better: you'll get to discuss the answers... the questions are [not the sort with one right answer]... they're kind of philosophical

Writing down the slides is good exercise. Really, you can [just] download them.

[On calculating real GDP per capita from 0 to 2000 AD] If you take chained price indices from the year 2000 to the year 0, it is possible, but it is also very boring. Fortunately, someone else has already done the work for us.

They way this works is that today I give al the statistics and interesting stories to try to convince you that studying this is worthy of your time. I give you all the boring stuff later, all the theory. That's the setup. That's how it always works.

[On an account of Commodore Perry's expedition in Harper's New Monthly Magazine] Here's a picture of a Loo-Choan male... You can imagine all the American housewives going 'ooh' and 'aah' at the savages.

Dr Livingstone... He's mostly famous today because he got lost and they had to send someone to go find him. 'Dr Livingstone, I presume'.

[On "The consequences for human welfare involved in questions like these are simply staggering: Once one starts to think about them, it is hard to think about anything else"] This is Robert Lucas, who would later win a Nobel prize for his theory. He's also a great poet, as you can see.

[On technological progress from the OHP to his laptop] 10 years ago I would've come in with a bunch of slides and placed them on this machine, and you would've seen pretty much the same thing.
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