Author Archives: theclasnel

The Doctor and I

Hello one, hello all!

Bit of a long break between blogs, I’m sorry about that. It’s just that I was really, really busy! If you don’t believe that… Just do! I didn’t even have days off! But you don’t have to feel sorry for me, because I just had 2,5 great weeks and I’m about to have another great few weeks!
On with the story then:

My last post was almost 3 weeks ago! Can’t believe it… well here is the most important thing that happened: I MET THE DOCTOR! And not just any doctor… I met Doctor Who (for the non-nerds: Wikipedia)!

So this is what happened: On the 11th of april I’m googling away…checking Facebook…whatever. And suddenly: I see this video of two dueling doctors: 1 is in Philadelphia and the other in Australia… And they’re making fun of each other and telling the other off… So it got me thinking… If some of them are in Australia, who knows… They might be coming to Perth?! And as you might have guessed… They were! So I booked my ticket immediately, and 2 days later I was standing in a hotel in Perth, meeting the Doctor, River Song and Martha! Btw, non-nerds, sorry. I’m not planning to translate everything to non-nerd language or to link to everyone’s Wiki page, so bear with me. The big takeaway from this blog is that I’m a very happy nerd 🙂

In the end, I got my picture taken with them (3 separate pictures and a group picture), got the pictures autographed and watched them really creepily from about the 6th row in a big hall where they were keeping the Q&A. I cannot express how exciting this evening was for me… I have adored Doctor Who for 10 years (OMG! Anniversary!) and it was amazing to get to meet the stars who made this show come alive. Not only did I get to meet them… They were incredibly nice! We discussed my name (and unique names in general) , got highfived because of my unique name, Alex Kingston called me Sweetie multiple times (her catchphrase in the show) and we bonded over our European heritage (she’s basically half German apparently!). People always talk down about science fiction and fantasy fans and stuff… But we’re just people who are very enthusiastic about our hobbies… And it does help when the people who star in those sci-fi and fantasy series/movies are down to earth, willing to share their time, etc. Of course there are weirdo’s…. But they’re everywhere! No escaping them… Doctor Who has actually shown me that this is a very ‘normal’ and open group of people. So yeah, enough gushing… Take it from me: this was an amazing evening for me and probably one of the best in my life.

Which brings me to my next exciting thing: only 13 days left until my next (hopefully) greatest evening of my life: FLEETWOOD MAC! on June 1st, I get to see one of the greatest (maybe greatest? There are plenty of arguments to be made right there) rock bands in history! I will be coming back to The Netherlands on the 29th, which means that I’ll be in time to lie in front of the Ziggo Dome on June 1st to ensure I get a place in front of the stage! 🙂 In all honesty, I’m super excited about this and it just happens to coincide with something else: Me coming back home!

I love my job, really do, but working for 9,5 weeks, 6 (sometimes 7) days a week, 12 hours minimum… It does actually take its toll. So I’m just looking forward to spending time with family and sleeping in! And getting my wisdom teeth pulled… Which is going to suck… But I’m sure a next blog post will discuss that lovely topic, haha!

On the 9th of June I’ll leave The Netherlands again… Will be going to New Zealand for a week! I’m going to be reunited with Pat! For those that don’t know: Pat was my lovely host when I was in New Zealand for my internship in 2011. Even though I’ve seen Pat 2 years ago in Amsterdam, I can’t wait to see her again! I genuinely adore her (*cough* and her amazing cooking skills *cough*) and it’s going to be great catching up!

I’ll be back in Perth on June 17th and am not sure when I have to report back to work… Officially I need to start on the 22nd, but I’m thinking about starting a bit earlier so it won’t be as busy… But I’m not sure yet. I only have 3 weeks of leave, so why would I start earlier? Oh well, I definitely haven’t made my mind up yet… Whenever I do make up my mind, I’m sure you’ll notice the complaining will get worse ;-).

Alright. That’s it for me… Enough gushing about my perfect life. Hit me up with a comment if you want to.. Otherwise, an e-mail or text would be cool too. let me know if you want to meet up the first week of June when I’m back home. Would be nice to hang out with friends again, outside of Skype!

 

Love,
Thecla

 

PS. I’m attaching my Doctor Who pictures… Bet you’ve never seen a smile that big on my face! 😀Freema Agyeman Signed-page-001 Matt Smith Signed-page-001 Doctor Who Group Picture-page-001 Alex Kingston Signed-page-001

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I Don’t Need No Doctor

Location: Perth, Australia

Local time: 03:05 pm


 

 

Hi *cough* everyone!

Hope *sniff* you’re all *cough* doing great! As you might have guessed, I’m sick. Or at least, I was sick. Doing alright at the moment 🙂

So, my last post was on Wednesday, recapping until Tuesday. My throat ache started somewhere during the day on Tuesday, but was in full swing on Wednesday. I’m not talking a simple sore throat, I could hardly talk without crumbling over in pain. Well, maybe that’s a bit exaggerated, but I was in pain, dammit! 😉

The pain wouldn’t go away with simple Ibuprofen or Paracetamol (which I brought from The Netherlands), so I went to a local pharmacy on Thursday to get some medicine. As it turns out, the best option was to start gargling with Betadine. Now I don’t know if you ever gargled with that poison, but it’s not pretty. I mean, the taste itself almost makes you want to throw up, but the stuff you spit out looks like a mix of old blood and some other stuff mixed up. Sorry to paint such a picture, but it was rough…

Anyway, the stuff did help with the throat ache, so that was great! However, I got headaches that would get progressively worse during the day. I started feeling nauseous and  lightheaded (the last probably had something to do with the fact that I hadn’t really eaten a lot during the day…:)). So by Saturday (which also turned out to be ANZAC Day) I felt like death warmed over. Thankfully, because of the march through the main street (where our office is located as well), I had enough distractions. By lunch, I’d barely gotten any work done so I figured I’d go home and spend the rest of the day in bed. Which I then did. I started throwing up and the headaches were still there. On Sunday I wanted to get out for some fresh air, so I decided to go to a local park. A colleague had mentioned Kings park, so I followed her advice and went there. My god, it was beautiful! It was a perfect day (25 degrees, sunny, not a cloud in sight) and I got to walk around for about an hour and a half before I got really tired and decided to go back home again. Spent the rest of the day in bed and felt awful… And I’d suddenly developed a really nasty cough as well.. Great news!

On Monday, I went into work but quit after about an hour and a half. I was coughing every other minute, still having headaches and just feeling pretty awful in general… No surprise, but I spent the rest of the day in bed…

Tuesday, I felt a bit better. However, I was still throwing up. When I got into work, I decided I should maybe call a doctor… I was lucky enough to get an appointment on the same day and as it turned out, I should have gone sooner. My doctor suspected I was unlucky enough to have 2 viruses at the same time: a simple cold and some type of stomach virus. She gave me some antibiotic or something and sent me back home, straight to bed. Which I then faithfully did. I was just happy she wasn’t going to stab me with some needle. She said she could treat the nausea with some injection, but suddenly I wasn’t nauseous anymore! The nausea was going to be over long before she was going to stab me 😀

The next morning, Wednesday, was actually pretty good. I stayed at home until 10.30 am to ensure I  wasn’t throwing up anymore and then went to work. I still had a headache, especially when I coughed, but overall I was feeling better than I had felt all week! Today, Thursday, I can definitely say I’m all good. Let’s hope I’m done with being sick for another year!

The plan for this coming week is to catch up with work. Sundays are my day off, so I’m planning a trip. Not sure yet where to. Apparently the weather is going to be pretty shit (below 20 degrees and rain), so that’s kinda ruined my plans. Originally, I wanted to go to Penguin Island and do a river cruise afterwards… but I might just do a breweries/wineries tour. Drinking is good for rainy days, right? Well, drinking is good on any given day, but still… 😉

Anyway, I’ll keep you posted! For now, have a lovely day and I’ll talk to y’all soon!

Adios,
Thecla

Down Under

Location: Perth, Australia

Local time: 11:00 am

 

Hiya!

As you might have noticed, I am now in Australia! How wonderful 🙂

It was a complete surprise, but that is the way Boskalis likes to deal with its people: Surprise them by telling them they will be leaving in 2 days :D. Basically, I’ve just switched projects to benefit a colleague. Well, it’s not like I’m not benefiting from this deal either… ;-).

 

So late last week I got a call from the business unit controller, explaining the situation. He then tells me: So your colleague is already in Singapore, do you agree to the switch? Not like I had much of a choice, haha. Nor did I want a choice, I was fine with going to Australia! So I arranged my visa on Thursday, got my ticket on Friday and flew out on Monday! Thankfully, I had Sunday and Monday morning off, so I got to relax before flying out to the next project. I went out with Michelle on Saturdat evening, we got home pretty late. Lot’s of fun stories to tell about cocktail bars and expat bars in Jakarta,.. Ask me about them via text/ Whatsapp or when I get home. Not sure if it’s such a good idea to put these stories on my blog xD. Anyway, I got back to the hotel around 4.30 am, after more than a few cocktails / Guinness (Not a great combination.. Trust me 😉 ). We ended the night in a bar called Eastern Promises, which was run by two Irish guys who were probably not making any profit, since they were drinking as much as the rest, but not paying for it. We got into an argument about the Walter Mitty movie.. I did not agree with them that it was a great movie.. Seriously? I would need to be really drunk to agree with that xD.

Anyway, I slept in until 1.30 pm on Sunday, and even though I was planning on visiting Batavia Stad, I could not get out of bed. So I did some work (finishing some stuff for the Jakarta project), watched some tv and had dinner with some colleagues. I went to bed early since I was saying goodbye to everyone on Monday morning at breakfast. Even though I wasn’t leaving until 11 am, I couldn’t leave without saying goodbye, so I had breakfast at 7 am -_-

My flight left at 14.15 pm, flying to Bali. I spent that flight next to a guy from Belgium (of all places). Turns out he was a retired police officer. Retired at 58.. Turns out Belgium does have some advantages :-). He was travelling all over the world, 1 region at a time. What a life, eh?

From Bali, I would then fly to Perth. this time I was wedged in between 2 Australian people. What a great start to my flight. Turns out they were really nice, explained a lot about what I could do in Perth during my stay and made the flight in general a lot more enjoyable.  then again, so did the wine :D. I arrived at 11 pm local time (Time difference with Jakarta: 1 hour further. Time difference with Amsterdam: 6 hours), and I still had to go through customs! Let me tell you, that was not an enjoyable experience. There were 2 massive flights arriving at the same time: From Bali and from Hong Kong. That means there are lots of foreigners arriving at the same time. Yet somehow, there were only 3 immigration officers working… so that took about an hour… Not great when you’re tired.. And even worse when you have small kids (and there were many, many of those…). However, after immigration came baggage claim and checking the baggage. Again, massive queue. This time, there was only 1 (one!) officer who was checking everyone’s luggage. Thankfully, I didn’t have anything to declare, so I could get out of that line pretty quick 🙂 Only took half an hour or so..

By the time I got to my apartment, it was almost 1 am. I’d already spoken to some people from the Perth office, and we had arranged to meet at the reception of the apartment building at 8. At least I could sleep in! Until the builders next door started work at 6.45 am. You can imagine my face :). Almost as bad as the wake-up call in Singapore :D.

My first day in the office at Perth was great though! I got loads of information, which was a bit tiresome… But the people are great! Fantastic colleagues who are from all over the world (Philippines, Norway, Netherlands, Singapore, etc.) and who are really easy to get along with. To top of a great day, we all had a beer around 5 pm.. Just because :D. Man, what a great day it was! And one of the best parts: Work times are from around 7.45 am until 6.30… So I get to leave early! I still am one of the first to arrive in the morning and one of the last to leave, but I’m fine with that! I’m really enjoying it over here, so I’d agree with almost everything!

Alright then, time to sign off. Just a small recap/tldr: am now in Australia, courtesy of Boskalis and I’m enjoying every minute!

 

Until next post,

Thecla

 

9 To 5

Current location: Jakarta, Pluit office

Local time: 2.20 pm.


Hiya!
Another update from me! I don’t even remember when I last posted.. Must’ve been at least a week ago… Oh yes, Jakarta!

I am completely settled in my hotel room and in the office. Apparently we’re very lucky because the hotel is only a 10 minute drive from the office. Other projects often have an hour-long commute. In Jakarta it all depends on traffic. If it’s raining, a 10 minute commute can suddenly take over 30 minutes! Thankfully we don’t have to drive (we’re not even allowed! bla bla. Insurance. bla bla:) ). so we have hired locals that drive us around. It makes me feel rich, haha!

We leave for work at 7.30 am, arrive there around 7.45. Work all morning, break for lunch around 12.20 pm, have some delicious lunch in the same building we work in, and get back to work. Work all afternoon, finish around 7 pm. Back at the hotel around 7.20 pm and have some dinner. I tend to order room service, so I can relax in my room, watch some tv and get to bed early. Also, I go to the gym at least 3 times a week, so if I want to eat after working out, it would mean I would still be in the dining room around 10 pm. Not great :). Sometimes, we go to the mall, which is very close, and get some food in a food court. Obviously eating with the team is more fun, but I’m often too tired to walk to the mall and have dinner there. It just takes up all evening.

The work itself is also very enjoyable! I do lots of simple tasks, which isn’t very challenging, but I’m slowly moving towards more challenging tasks. We’ll see where that goes.

I spent my day off (last Sunday) in the city center. I’d gotten the contact information of a fellow Dutchie, Michelle, here in Jakarta. She’s doing her graduate thesis here in Jakarta for 2 months, so we decided to hang out on Sunday. We went to the national museum (meh), the national monument (busy!), and the biggest mall in Jakarta (yay!). We had some lunch, watched a movie (Fast & Furious 7: *Sad face*), and walked/talked. It was a great way to spend my day off, and making new friends is always fun! Great day!
Today, also a Sunday, sadly isn’t my a day off. I made the mistake of offering my help to the project director for a small project and now I’m stuck working all day. Lesson learned, eh? No, just kidding. It’s not like I’ve got something better to do, right?

Alrighty then. This is me signing off. As always, thanks for reading.

Talk to you soon!

Semoga hari 😀

Thecla

Happy

Hi everyone! I’m back.

I’m pretty sure not everyone was going to believe I would stick with this blog, but I am! Therefore, today you will get another glorious blog!

Last time I spoke about Singapore, today it’s time to discuss Jakarta!

I left last Saturday, really early.. I was flying out at 10 am, and my taxi would arrive at 7.30 am. Just in case my own alarm wouldn’t work, I requested a wake up call. Which is completely normal.. However, apparently the ringtone from the wake up call was the Kabouter Plop music! Every Dutch person will know what I mean by that. For non-Dutchies: here is a link. I’m not kidding, I have never been in such a foul mood as that morning. What a way to ruin a perfectly good morning -_-

Anyway, I made it to the airport in time (no queues! In an airport! What a wonderful feeling:)) and eventually, I landed around 11.15 am local time (Jakarta is one hour behind Singapore). Boskalis had arranged for a driver to pick me up, but I couldn’t find anyone at the airport holding a sign with my name. After wandering around for 45 minutes, I then decided I would call a taxi on my own and just charge it to the company. Remember, Thecla has no sense of direction and I was not going to get lost in an airport… Man, was I happy to be out of the heat and into an air conditioned car. I cannot express how hot it can get over here. The taxi dropped me off at my hotel and I got checked in. Again, I got really lucky and the hotel is amazing. I have a great room (15th floor, so an amazing view), great food and really friendly staff. I have to get used to everyone being so damn friendly and polite. I mean, everyone is bowing all the time, apologizing for ridiculous things and then saying thank you if you don’t get mad. I get that it’s their job, but the different cultures do play a role as well I suppose. It just makes me feel awkward…

After checking in and relaxing for a bit, I went to my new workplace. Because of all of the road works, crumbling sidewalks and rushing traffic, it takes me way too long xD. 300 meters suddenly becomes 5 km! And we all know I don’t enjoy walking, haha!

I got back to my hotel around 4, and I was so tired, I just fell asleep! I woke up around 5.15 pm got dinner, and went back to bed:). On Sunday I slept in. I eventually got woken up by housekeeping, because they wanted to clean my room xD. I decided I would go into the mall that is attached to the building where my work is as well. I shopped, had some lunch and shopped even more. It almost feels like America to me. Except for the sizes. They are definitely used to smaller people over here xD. Way to make me feel insecure, Indonesia ;-). But things are ridiculously cheap… A good dinner can cost you about 10 euros! Which is 150.000 IDR… I feel rich with all of those massive bills in my wallet. Which I’m totally fine with! Feeling rich is a good feeling :).

When I got back around 4 pm, I decided to go the gym (I know, big surprise. Thecla does something active for a change.. 😉 It only lasted for 45 minutes, but I sure was proud of myself! 🙂

So after only 2 days of work, I’ll be moving to the project office tomorrow. I’ve been at the regional office for the last two days, getting some experience with the financial system. So tomorrow, the real work can start! I can honestly say, even though I’ve only been working abroad for a week, I’m really enjoying it. The hotel life is fabulous (for now), I don’t have to clean, cook or worry about anything! That’s pretty cool:). Of course, work is what takes most of my time, but it is really interesting and time flies when I’m at work. What more can you want?

It also means I can finally unpack my suitcases. I’ve had 3 different hotels, 4 different hotel rooms so far and tomorrow I will finally arrive at the final destination (no jokes about bad disaster movies please ;-)).

Well, that’s it for now. Not much to say. Life evolves around work and sleep these days…But that’s not a bad thing! I’ll let you know what I’m up to :).

BTW, I learned my first bahasa (local language) yesterday! I’ve had to write it down because I keep forgetting it. But I can now say thank you in Bahasa!

So to everyone who is reading: Terima Kasih! 🙂

Until next time,

Thecla

“Leaving on a Jetplane”

Current location: Singapore

Local time: 1.45 pm


Ready to leave for Singapore

Ready to leave for Singapore

Hello one, hello all!

Welcome to my first blog post! I’ve been talking and bragging about my blog for a while now, so I figured now would be the time to actually start it!

I’ve been in Singapore for 48 hours and I’m already packing to leave towards my next destination. All I’ve done over here is working. And eating. But mostly working. I arrived on Wednesday evening around 5 pm. After getting through customs (which was a pain in the ass BTW…long queues, no end in sight), I found a dude who was holding a name card with my name on it. I still have no clue who he was, but he was very lovely. Explained how Singapore works, what to do and more importantly: what not to do. Very friendly indeed.

He dropped me off at my hotel, I checked in and was very happy with the air conditioning. Don’t get me wrong, the temperature is lovely. But so hot! The normal temperature is around 30 degrees Celsius. Which is fine. However, it feels like 40 degrees. Not very fine. It actually feels like someone put a hot blanket around you and now you’re finding it very difficult to breathe. But enough complaining. I’m in Singapore! Yay!

Even though I slept on the plane, I found myself to be really tired. I got some dinner in the hotel restaurant (first meal that consisted of rice), and went to bed around 9. I woke up a few times during the night but I was still very well rested when I got up around 6.45 in the morning. My boss in the area was supposed to pick me up at 8 am, so I didn’t want to be late. I packed my bags, got some breakfast (second meal that consisted of rice), and waited for my ride to arrive. We got to work and I got an introduction and started my training. We stopped for lunch and I finally got to enjoy some sandwiches. Since the building is under renovation, some of the Dutch folk decided they would buy some sandwiches and some cheese and ham (doh, Dutch!) every week and as long as everybody pitched in, you could eat it too. Technically that means that I ate for free, since I didn’t have any cash on me. I have some euros, but those are not very useful abroad J.

I also met a colleague (Menno) who was staying at the same hotel that I was going to be staying in, so we met up to ensure I could hitch a ride with his taxi in the evening. We left at 5.30 pm and got to the hotel at 6. And what a hotel it is. I’m very sad I’m going to be checking out tomorrow, because it is very close to being the perfect hotel room. I’ve got my own kitchen, a massive bed, a washing machine and a couch! Closer to an apartment than a hotel room! Menno and I met up around 6.30 pm for a drink outside (still hot, not unbearable though) and we talked for a while. He gave me some advice, talked about his experiences with the company (17 years and still going strong!), and we had some good laughs. Since he was meeting up with some other colleagues for a work dinner, I decided to try my luck at having dinner at this hotel restaurant. Turns out I was lucky, since it was an American style restaurant and I had a massive burrito and some nachos. Yum!

The rest of the night was very uneventful. Watched some TV shows on my laptop and went to bed around 10.30 pm.

The next morning I was supposed to be meeting up with Menno at 7.30 am, so we could leave for the office. Again, my alarm went off at 6.45 am. I got some breakfast (American pancakes) and was ready at 7.25 am. However, turns out Menno was late and we wouldn’t be leaving until 8 am. Fine by me, since I was watching YouTube on a lounge chair outside J.

We got to work and now I’ve been told I’m going to be leaving tomorrow (Saturday) for Jakarta! This means that my training is done! Yay me:). This also means that I’m going to be leaving my awesome hotel room. And I don’t even get to sleep in! Plane leaves at 10 apparently, even though my ticket hasn’t been booked yet. I’m really adapting to the Boskalis way of life: information is going to be there at the last minute. No way you’re getting it earlier 🙂

Alright. That turned out to be a bit longer than I intended. Don’t worry, not all posts will be this detailed and long. Or they might. I really don’t know!

Thanks for reading and you’re always welcome to comment 🙂

Thécla

PS. Look at this awesome view:

Not bad, eh?

Not bad, eh?