Thursday, January 27, 2011

i've got a crush...

...on two new girls who popped into my life and I just had to share! Please let me introduce to you, Anél (left) and Arden (right). 

Anél and Arden carrying our trees from the market. Three (3!) for 5 euros! THREE!

Anél is originally from Pretoria, South Africa. Yes, that means her accent is arresting yet sometimes it's so dazzling that I have a hard time deciphering between "wool" and "wood," "tree" and "churi" (?), and several other phrases and words. (By the way, in the case of "wool," she was using it as we would have used "yarn" or "string" so it's not totally my ears' fault.) Anél and I have many things in common. First of all, in SA she was in the field of environmental consulting, working with the mines throughout the country to comply with a variety of environmental and occupational standards. Though it's not completely related to urban planning, we can share stories about exciting site visits (she wins though) and some long, late nights. Better than that, though, this girl is creative, a fantastic cook, has a mind for design and fashion, and never turns down an invitation for...anything!  Plus, she just got married last May and has so many incredible ideas about 'home-made' weddings that she's got my head spinning in circles! 

Anél is now the "cupcake queen"... and yes, she's flipping you off 
because SHE is the cupcake queen ;) 

Arden is originally from Toronto, Canada. Yes, that means she also has an accent, though it only creeps out late at night when the vampires aren't watching. Arden showed up in Rotterdam about five years ago, when she was invited to come to a school of contemporary dance. After completing the training, she is now a freelance contemporary dancer, commissioned to perform at various venues and festivals around the Netherlands and Europe. She also is super busy teaching about fifteen high-energy aerobics classes per week at various gyms throughout the city. I have a crush on Arden for many reasons. First of all, she sews. It is possible that many of you do not know my secret hobby of sewing, but I love it. The geometry, textiles, and endless mess of creating can completely captivate me for hours...weeks even. Also, she has a digital SLR and we have yet to plan a foto walkabout. Finally, she is constantly challenging herself. For example, her next premiere in a multi-city festival is a 30-minute solo routine that she choreographs. She doesn't know the exact venue until a couple days prior to the debut. A couple days ago, after watching a show her friend performed in, we actually sat down for an hour or so and hashed out a story line for this solo piece. I never knew how much 'story' there was in dance! 

50 cents for some old man's reading glasses? SOLD!

So, you ask, how did we meet? Well, Anél's husband and Arden's boyfriend are in the same program as Elliot at Erasmus University. That was easy! And it just so happens that Anél and I live nearly across the street from each other! 

Chips and croquets at the market!

Needless to say, we all have spent a lot of time together the past couple of weeks--going to the market, fabric shopping, wedding talking, meal planning, and house making. What a wonderful stroke of luck it was to meet these wonderful girls! 


Next up: cheese

FYI, some hot dates for visiting Holland are:
  • April - Queen's Day (4/29)
  • May - Tulip season
  • June - Park picnics and windmill watching
  • July - Summer Carnival
  • August - Rotterdam Dance Parade
  • September - World Port Day
  • October - Elliot's birthday


  1. The new friends sound amazing. Now start meeting girls without husbands/boyfriends please....

    miss you. love you.

  2. Thanks for posting the calendar so I can figure out when to visit. Miss you, love!

  3. FUN! We miss you here in SF/Bizerkeley, but it's obvious you're expanding your mind, spirit and network!

    Lovin' the blog :)


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