Sunday, 28 February 2010

Yes, even MORE pictures!

I'm kinda bummed out because despite earning practically nothing last year, I still somehow owe the Tax Office over 500 euros. Meh. Perhaps it's just really financially smarter to just not have a part-time job at all.

On a different matter, Dutchman and I had dinner with a couple yesterday. Dutchman used to play in the sandbox with the guy. They kept in touch over the years and prior to having his latest girlfriend (he's had about 7 since Dutchman and I met!), he came over for dinner or whatever about 3 times a week. I don't mind when he comes over but I really don't enjoy going out with them.

I feel like a bad person saying this but they are different. I don't think he completed high school and they are poor. This means that it's always awkward if we go to restaurants and such. Not only that, I have a constant sense of guilt. I feel it is insensitive to for example, say stuff like "pictures are so much better with the new camera" (or even to mention anything new we'd bought at all!) or that I am looking for an apartment for my study abroad in Prague etc. When we do go out for dinner, we often pay for part of their meals (desserts/starters/coffee/drinks whatever. We do not mind doing this). because they always gripe about having no money (this I find weird because even if they live on welfare which is at least 1600 euro nett a month, they probably spend max 600 euros incl. everything for their home which leaves 1000 euros to spend on everything else which is still quite a lot- certainly much more than what an average student would have!). Then, at the restaurant, they would always declare loudly they would order the cheapest thing on the menu. They're usually the ones who initiate dinner too and the restaurants we go to are only average restaurants; nothing expensive. I guess I just don't understand it. In any event, I told Dutchman that I don't mind if they want to have coffee or whatever at our place but would be nice for them and us if we never went out for anything which requires money again haha.

Right, back to pictures -this time, from my old camera!

Ochien - Oyster Omelette

Yummy Kon Lo Mee along Jalan Bunga Raya

Seafood Tom Yam Mihun from one of the many "kopitiams"

Black Pepper Chicken (sauce not included) at the same kopitiam

4 Seasons

Shark's Fin Soup (not politically correct anymore but is still very yummy. I would be quite happy to drink the soup without the fins though)

Steamed Garoupa with Garlic and Soy Sauce

A Chicken Dish

Bad picture of fatty pork stew with Mantou buns

Shrimps with Oats
Forgot to take pictures of the broccoli with abalone and dessert

That's Dutchman's favourite dinner in Malaysia - Steamboat. He especially liked the beef and lamb (picture not included)


Ate them with chappatis/rotis/puris/tosai etc for breakfast almost every morning! My favourite is fish curry though (picture not shown). I miss Indian breakfasts (well, I guess REAL Indian people probably eat a little healthier and blander breakfasts-i.e. chappatis  and dhall or smth). Dutchman ordered roti telur (egg roti) most of the time. He was astounded by the huge variety of Mamak rotis (roti canai, roti milo, roti planta, roti telor, roti bawang, roti bom etc.). 


Esmee said...

Ur food pix makes me very hungry ! U ever try the Pasar Malams here ? It's possible to hv hawker food but somehow the concept never got off the ground. I find those in Beverwijk foodcourts expensive n it's full of the same Turks pizza. Too bad !

I really missed the convenience n the affordable price of asian hawker food ! I'm quite sick of having to whip up something when I crave for them. Gerrard Street in London is a walhalla for asian food n supermarts !! Geldersekade in A'dam cant beat them.

As for footing the bills, it's better to take turns doing it. People who do not recipocrate, should be scraped off the list. Whenever I hv overseas friends staying over, we talked abt splitting the costs right from the start, so as not to burden the host. Having free lodgings is already a generous gesture. Ditto when we vacationed at their home.

Rentals in my town goes for 800-1000 EUR p/mth unless ur friends have a better deal ? It's can be very tight living on 1600 p/mth. The darned zorgpremie is almost 200 p/mth for a couple ! The best thing is to earn a decent income. How come ur dutchman's young friends r on welfare ? Am curious.
U gotta start young building a solid future. Welfare only weighs u down n it's downhill all the way. What a shame it will be for a better life, right ?

Anonymous said...

hey esmee!

they have social housing so rent is extremely cheap (I would think their place cost 250-350 euro a month without utilities) and as they are on welfare, they probably qualify for zorgtoeslag as well (up to 70 euro each so they would really only pay about 60 euro for both!). don't really know why he is on welfare but he has had jobs for quite a few years- i think it's just a temp thing. in any event, even without welfare, he probably only earns minimum wage.

in a way, i can sort of understand why someone who earns minimum wage would choose to be on welfare. it really doesn't make sense to work for maybe 1200 nett when you can get 800+ for free (and get some pretty 'cool' benefits which kind of evens out the gap between 1200 and 800+!). i personally don't believe in welfare (haha dutchies often say i am a "vvd" supporter)or at least i think the welfare allowance should be the bare minimum to survive (meaning food they don't actually like to eat etc.).

when it comes to people staying over (parents are exception to the rules hehe. we pay for everything for them except for the flight tickets lah as i'm only a student), i only pay for food or whatever we use at home. if we go out to a restaurant or to some kind of attraction or other, it's generally understood to be separate.

i've never been to the pasar malams here but i went to the malaysian food fair at the embassy once or twice. that was good- portions were small so we could try out the different dishes. ever been there? i think it's held twice a year.

did you vote yesterday?

Seri Nyonya said...

Just a note: found out from my dutch teacher today that bijstand is actually 1100 nett and not 800+, as I thought.

Esmee said...

By the time I got home from work, all I can think abt is food bec I was very hungry (the darn cold weather !), so didnt vote.

Yes, I once followed the blogs of the mak ciks who were very active with the M'sian embassy - bake sales n other food events. I dont think they would include Sg'reans lah ! The Overseas Singaporean Club does host a SG Day. Last year was held in London - a S$ 6 million party ! Free food n entertainment. I heard this year would be in Shanghai. Year b4 was in NYC. Quite fun to meet up with other fellow expats.

Alkmaar has Pasar Malams every year. Hubby says my loempia n curry puffs r more to his taste (hot n spicy - the sambal king !) but I think the Indo stalls does offers genuine snacks, albeit at a price. I find the chinese-indisch restaurants here very mediocre. Indo restaurants in A'dam does offer the real experience. In the end it's better to just try n make it myself !

I hv a friend who is on WW n she says there's obligation to show diligence in finding a new employer, otherwise the uitkering will be discounted. It's just as well bec employers r wary of applicants who has been out of the loop for too long. She's days away from landing onto Bijstand which is the bottom of the pit ! She will likely hv to move back to her mom's n give up her car as well ! That is what I meant by going downhill - fast n furious too !