December 31st, 2004



I have quoted him here before, but after seeing the movie, I felt the need to quote him again:

"An eye for an eye only makes the whole world blind"

Hard Gras 39 – Zij waren beter (04-062)

Hard Gras 39 – Zij waren beter (04-062)

Number: 04-062
Title: Hard Gras 39 – Zij waren beter
Author: Several (Hugo Borst, Christoph Dieckmann, Anna Enquist, Georg M. Oswald, Barber van de Pol a.o.)
Language: Dutch/German
Year: 2004
# Pages: 112 (11898)
Category: Sports (Football)
ISBN: 90-204-0654-X (3-89533-468-5)

Many Dutch people have two major traumas when it comes to Germans. The Second World War is an obvious one, but for many of us, born afterwards, the trauma of 1974 is even bigger. Losing the world cup final is worse than 5 years of war, in the eyes of many. Laugh, ridicule, but this is how things are, better take it seriously.

The editors of Hard Gras did take it seriously and came with a themed number, 30 years after the fatal 7th of July 1974 (on par with where were you when JFK was killed, the first man on the moon etc.). It did so by not just asking Dutch authors to write something, but also several German authors. Hence this book can be read in two languages. On the front one sees the fatal dive Hölzenbein took when he saw Wim Jansen’s leg to gain a penalty for the Germans (and fame for the rest of his life as a diver), turn the book around and one sees Sepp Maier German goalie with the world cup on his head, one can read the same book in German.

Apart from the standard class piece by Hugo Borst (‘wo is hier der Altstadt’, asks a German in Rotterdam. A cynical joke, as the Germans bombed that city in 1940), the highlight for me is the story by Dietmar Jacobs. He has to invite two dodgy locals into his home to watch the final, but regrets this a lot, when they turn out to be even worse than he anticipated and he ended up in hospital after one of them fell on the table and dislocated his jaw. Funny story, great end.

History and football do go together. This volume proves that.

Floortje Dessing – 100 wereldplekken die je gezien moet hebben (04-063)

Floortje Dessing – 100 wereldplekken die je gezien moet hebben (04-063)

Number: 04-063
Title: 100 wereldplekken die je gezien moet hebben
Author: Floortje Dessing
Language: Dutch
Year: 2004
# Pages: 432 (12330)
Category: Travel
ISBN: 90-466-0463-5

According to Floortje Dessing, the 100 places and events she describes are the ones to see. She can tell, she has been presenting a travel show on a Dutch tv-channel for a while now. On one point I’m jealous, she is my age and has seen so much more (I score a meagre 16 out of these 100), on the other hand, she has been rushing things, as television always means you’re in a hurry, hence has not taken much time for a lot of these things, not a way I would like to travel all the time. Then again, it also depends on how you count: she has visited 69 destinations, of which I have done 23 myself.

This is not a book to read. Floortje doesn’t really go deep into the destinations. This is a nice one to just open at some point and see where you are. Plenty of nice pictures, every chapter ends with some practical information, like prizes and websites. Unfortunately it hasn’t been edited properly either. I have discovered at least a handful mistakes, apart from some grammatical ones as well. This is a shame, as it does affect its credibility. How many mistakes in the chapters of the destinations I have never been to?

I think this book fits in a category books I don’t have myself: Coffee table books. Decoration. Nice to own.