THE READER

This is the 100th post of this blog. It is simply amazing to me that there have been so many words written, as I really thought it would be a temporary thing. It was going to help me adjust to this new and strange life. The blog was also a great way for me to share with my friends in America. But I discovered there was a lot to talk about. This blog has had over 15,700 hits and it just keeps rolling along. This is what blows me away: in the last week, people from 29 countries have come to this blog, whether on purpose or by accident, I will never know.

I am fully aware that many people find the blog because they were looking for something else. Some may stay and read the blog and some may run for their lives. But it is so funny to see the consistent “accidental” searches that lead someone to the blog and the ones that are purposely looking for information about a certain subject.

Here are some examples: in the post for FEVER PITCH I wrote about how crazy this country was about the European Football Championships. At the end of the blog I posted a photo of Gene Wilder and some oompa loompas, as they are orange. Since that posting, there have been at least two hits a day from all over the world that are specifically searching the two words—oompa loompa. Who knew how popular they were? And can you imagine how disappointed they were to find that post?

The most popular searches that come up almost every single day are about the prostitutes in Utrecht, urinating in public and Indiana Jones. I wrote a post about going to an unusual restaurant that had a bridge I had to cross. I compared it to the bridge in the film INDIANA JONES AND THE TEMPLE OF DOOM and since then, people have been typing in that film title and getting my dining adventure. If I wanted to increase the amount of hits for the blog, all I would have to do is write more about the red light district or about public urnination. Even better, what if Indy came to Utrecht to visit a prostitute on one of the houseboats and then he relieved himself in a canal? Now that might triple my popularity.

I think that my decision to use film titles for the posts, has accidentally drawn some readers to this site. I enjoy being creative with the titles and finding just the right match, and maybe it will lead people to look up the actual movie. But just know that using a movie title does not necessarily mean that I am a fan of the film, the title is just perfect for the story.

The blog has helped me learn about The Netherlands and sometimes it makes me even more curious about something, as I know I want to write about a subject. There are helpful people here who will suggest that what they are talking about would make a fantastic subject for the blog. Our kids are helping me put together a list of Dutch dirty words. Well, they are not dirty really, they just sound dirty. And when they see my shocked face, that leads them into gales of laughter. Remember my favorite word from last year? Bouwvakker. Say that out loud and you get the idea. So there is something for you to look forward to…words that sound dirty.

All in all, I can easily say that the Dutch are very kind and friendly. They are very warm towards Americans and that is a good thing for me. There are actual Dutch people who read the blog and I think they are amused at what I get amused by…so far I don’t believe I have insulted anyone.

So I hope you keep reading and coming back for more. To all the dear readers of this blog, I say thank you very much or dankjewel (this is pronounced dankyouvel). The oompa loompas and I are most grateful…oops, I think I did it again.

For a special treat, here is the beautiful city of Utrecht. How absolutely gorgeous is this city?!

Vismarkt Oudegracht Utrecht

Oudegracht Utrecht

Recommended reading and viewing: THE READER by Bernhard Schlink is a short but powerful novel. Rarely does a film enhance a book, but I think the film based on this book is wonderful. Kate Winslet is simply stunning in this.

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Comments

  • jean  On July 23, 2012 at 7:09 pm

    congratulations on 100! looking forward to the next 100 jeani

  • Holly Anne  On July 23, 2012 at 8:23 pm

    Hi Jane, Congrats on your 100 blogs! I have enjoyed them tremendously and seeing the pictures of the Netherlands you attache to the different blogs. Keep it up. I think you have a book in the making. What a fantastic opportunity to learn about Dutchland.

  • Niki  On July 23, 2012 at 11:41 pm

    Congrats on 100 posts! I know what you mean about the accidental searches. Almost makes you feel guilty when you realize they aren’t going to find what they were looking for, exactly. 😉

  • Carolyn  On July 24, 2012 at 3:37 am

    100 blogs – remarkable. I think of you often -what a great librarian you are – and I’m happy to be entertained by your vehicle for self-expression. Carolyn Noah, Worcester,

  • Aledys Ver  On July 24, 2012 at 11:24 am

    Congratulations on your 100th post and here’s to the next 1000!
    Keeping a blog does help you learn more about this country and its people and also to get to like it even more; I know that’s what’s happened to me – the more I see and try to find out about things the Dutch do or like or interesting traditions or places, the more at home I feel and proud to be a part of it.

  • Alison  On July 24, 2012 at 2:19 pm

    Gefeliciteerd! The search terms people use to get to blogs can be quite amusing. If it makes you feel better, I get quite a lot of visits — although they’ve tapered off — of people looking for Utrecht’s red-light district/Hardebollenstraat. It’s good to see we have the tippel zones covered. 😉

  • Sandra  On July 24, 2012 at 5:07 pm

    Hi Jane. Congratulations and please keep on blogging. You are a good and inspiring writer, and I look forward to reading your posts. Cheers to you!

  • Jean Langley  On July 26, 2012 at 3:38 am

    Speaking of The Reader, just today I found mention that the Netherlands celebrates a national book week (or maybe it’s 10 days),and there was something about if you carry a Dutch book you get in free somewhere? I think it’s in March. It sounds like a country that takes reading very seriously.

    I love the photos you post. Beautiful. I thought of you last night when we had a gorgeous sunset, but the colors had already muted by the time I found a place to take a picture.

  • Judy Savage  On August 4, 2012 at 2:04 pm

    Congrats on your 100th blog. You are curious and observant but the best part is your wonderful writing. Takes me back to all of the stories you used to tell about perfectly ordinary events in your life that had us all laughing until our stomachs hurt! Keep those blogs coming’. You are a treasure, my friend…

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