Posted in Travel, Victoria

Easter weekend in Walhalla

No, this is not a town where they mine tourists, as the sign might suggest. Walhalla is an old Victorian gold-mine town that got deserted in 1915, but has been kept very much as it used to be and is now a touristic village.

After a suggestion from someone on the Dutchies in Melbourne Facebook page, we decided to pack up our camping gear and head out to mountains. It is only a two hour drive East of Melbourne, so easy to reach. Continue reading “Easter weekend in Walhalla”

Posted in City activities, Melbourne

the F1 experience in Melbourne

Last weekend, the new Formula 1 season (2016) kicked off with the Melbourne Grand Prix. And, while I am not a real petrol-head, I have always wanted to go to one of these races. So I took the chance that presented itself and went, together with a few colleagues of mine. Continue reading “the F1 experience in Melbourne”

Posted in Daily life

Dutch store in Melbourne

Although the quality and variety of food in Australia is great, there are times when we long for some Dutch food. No, for us that is not the kroketten the frikandellen or the drop. They even make decent fries here, although people give you an astonished look when you ask for mayonnaise with it. “Yes, we fuck’n drown them in that shit”. What we miss is all the different bread toppings, like pindakaas, hagelslag, appelstroop and ontbijtkoek (see picture above).

Luckily there is a Dutch-German store in Croyden that has most of the supplies that make us happy. So today I drove up there for the second time to do some grocery shopping.

Since the Dutch are already krenterig by nature (a Dutch word which is closest to thrifty, as in using money carefully and not wanting to spent too much), they might be extra krenterig when it concerns food that they know has very different prices in the Netherlands. Therefore the store can probably not live off Dutch-German food alone, so it is also a gift store and a confectionery.

I guess the Dutch are pretty specialized on their sweet bread toppings, as I have not seen any other country that has such a big variety. Next to the ‘normal toppings’ like marmelade, honey and Nutella there are many different chocolate varieties like hagelslag (sprinkles) and vlokken (flakes), which of course all come in milk, dark and white variety.  But also speculoos (a cookie spread), muisjes and gestampte muisjes (anise flavored sprinkles), gekleurde hagelslag (coloured sprinkles).

Left to right: pindakaas, appelstroop and gestampte muisje

Paying $ 8.50/€ 6.10 for a small jar of peanut butter is a lot of money. But the expression on Kai’s face when putting his teeth in a Calvé peanut butter sandwich completely makes up for that. They sell some sort of peanut butter here as well, but it just isn’t the same…

The beschuitjes were a bargain: three packages for $2/€ 1.40
And most importantly: hagelslag!

Last time I visited the Dutch store, they even sold Old Amsterdam cheese. A really tasteful cheese, even the exported variety. The regular Dutch Gouda which they sell, unfortunately is the same quality as the one that gets exported to Germany, a variety that does not have a lot of flavor.

After living in Melbourne for nine months, it is great to be able to buy some familiar flavors. Yes it has been that long already, long enough for a baby to be conceived and born. Time sure flies when you are having fun!

Posted in Practical - Living in Australia

Cost to fill a house in Melbourne

Although an empty house is a perfect playground, according to our kids, we do prefer to be able to sit down while eating. So when we arrived in an empty house five months ago we had to start looking for furniture, appliances and lots of other practical stuff.

When moving from Europe, from a complete house full of everything, you wonder how much can actually bring along with you. And if you don’t what it would cost to buy it.

Continue reading “Cost to fill a house in Melbourne”

Posted in School

School swimming competition

Two weeks ago Kai received a letter that all the children from Essex Heights could enter the qualification for today’s swimming carnival. Being the sportive kid that he his, no doubt that Kai wanted to try out. You needed to be up to a certain swimming level, but since we are not familiar with those levels, we just signed him up. Even though he finished his swimming lessons three years ago.

Last Monday, during school time, they drove up to the swimming pool by bus. To our surprise, we found out that Kai qualified for the breaststroke in the school swimming team a couple days later. Freestyle is the stroke that children in Australia learn first. In the Netherlands we start with breaststroke. This and his competitive nature, is probably why he made it. Continue reading “School swimming competition”

Posted in City activities, Melbourne

At the Aussie Millions

While Melbourne is quite literally on the other side of the Earth from Europe, this does not mean that there aren’t any internationally major events being held here. (And no, dear Ossies, the Footy Final is not one of those. Sorry.) The most popular one happening right now is the Australian Open, with the F1 Grand Prix following in March.

But, down in the basement of the Crown Casino Melbourne, there is even more money to be won. Continue reading “At the Aussie Millions”