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WHAT IS WISDOM???

“The moment a person realizes that reality has many faces, he/she takes the first step on the road to wisdom.”

Hopstaken’s Newsletter – the picturesque 7th edition – April 11, 2007

This edition is dedicated to all members of the DDU family

This newsletter is published by Loek Hopstaken of Hopstaken Bedrijfsadvies, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
(www.hopstaken.com). Intended publics: Loek’s personal international network, including many former students
at DDU of both himself and his pal Peter van Oosten. Regular contributors: Peter van Oosten. Martin Zuurhout, Larry
O’Connor. This edition’s guest contributors: Eew Suwannaluck Suwannawong; Zafer Oter; Zeng Qian (Tracy);
Tianjian Liu (Joe); Nguyen Thi Hai Ha (Jenny); Iouri Ukrainski; Junlin Li. Photos: Peter & Loek; photo collage:
Peter; Zhou Lincheng (Apple); Ling Jing (Kate);Vo Ngoc Lien Huong (Jane); Sashanka Poudyal; Liu Fan (Sarah);
Paul Scholey; Wendy Jansen’s friend.
All correspondence: hopstakeninternational@gmail.com.

Old friends / Bookends …. By the way, what did you carry in your pocket, Peter?

Before I forget it, let me introduce you to http://www.thehairstyler.com. Check it out.

1. Welcome to the picturesque 7th Edition!!! – by Loek Hopstaken

Who’s that girl? Well, she’s mrs. Kooij now, and … pregnant!

Can you name a better way to start a sping edition? I can’t. Spring is the time, and new life is starting. Two DDU
babies born. Many pics, many contributions from several readers. Whatever the state of the world, whatever the state
of DDU, we’re all going strong and doing quite fine. Sure, ups & downs plague us every now & then. But winter has
passed, the economy is on the rise again, and I see smiles around me. Is it just me, or is it spring? It took two more
weeks, yet here you have it, the picturesque 7th edition of What is Wisdom??? Enjoy it!

“Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the number of breathtaking moments.” 1
Work Experience
One of the things many students are nervous about, is getting work experience. And those who now have work
experience tell me that life working is working harder than working when they were at school. I knew this all along;
I’ve been a student, and I know how it feels to be encapsuled in the daily tredmill of the regular life in offices and
factories. So what is this, work experience? It means to work with, communicate with, create with people from
breakfast to dinner time, and all the time producing something that customers find worth paying money for. This is
different from working from exam to exam, from assignment to assignment, until you finally hit the 240 credit mark
and being eligible to receive a much-adored diploma. That you then have to get it validated by officials in Groningen
and The Hague is just a formality, and a golden opportunity to see the impressively flat Dutch scenery from a train
window. (This is an example of British humor, or better, humour; not everyone appreciates it …)

After 40 years of work experience – I started as a Wednesday night dish washer in a Chinese restaurant, gaining many
kilos as the cook wanted me try all his dishes – after all those years I can only say it has enriched my life, and helped
me to have a life filled with many interesting events and learning moments. And I must confess that these past four
years at DDU however, have been the most gratifying. Which may sound strange for someone who played an active
part in some major events in the Dutch business world. Such as the privatization process of a government
organization (Postbank, a 5 year process) and two major mergers (Postbank and NMB Bank in 1989, and later the
Nationale Nederlanden becoming the ING Group, 1992). DDU has reopened my eyes to the world, just as they were
opened by the world’s events in 1968. I’m almost 56, and feel connected in many ways to the generation of Chinese
and Vietnamese, who are seeking their own life and identity, being the first generation to come out of a long period
where tradition and culture ruled all of life.

This is one explanation why it seems so easy to get along so well with so many of you. Peter experiences this as well.
This may very well be why it’s so much fun to create this silly newsletter and it’s so sad that we’re slowly but surely
ending an all-too-short era of intense cooperation and mutual inspiration. Several of you have become sons &
daughters, even younger brothers & sisters. Some have become close friends. Some even more than that. It’s very
hard to explain to those who haven’t been involved in this process. Yet, it is what it is, and it has profoundly touched
our lives. Ok, enough of this philandering … enjoy this picture-loaded edition, with contributions from some
noteworthy DDU alumnae & -i.

My laptop ‘on the road’ … every Wednesday from Deventer to Rotterdam


Peter Waite
As you know, Peter Waite is seriously ill, he’s behaving like a real fighting man to battle his illness, and he’s
undergoing treatment. We have no news. But as we say in Holland: no news is good news. And you know mr. Waite:
when he gets angry, you better do what he says. His illness should obey, and get the %$#@*(&# out of his body. He
likes to receive email: sappho2@kpnplanet.nl.

Loek’s Dream
Within a week I’ll be in Vietnam. In 12 days I want to find out of there is any possibility to build up a viable activity,
possibly with former students. An idea is ‘Vietnam Management Support’, an institute that delivers management
courses and consultancy. If you’re interested in my business proposal, I’ll send it to you (pdf). Of course I also hope
to see many Vietnamese who graduated from DDU. This is all about following my dream (see What is Wisdom???
No. 4, June 2006). Peter is of course green with jealousy. (Oh yes. Don’t forget Peter’s birthday: April 29!)

“Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the number of breathtaking moments.” 2
Deniz at work … do not disturb
DDU: final phase
Although DDU will continue after June, probably on different location, the DDU as we know it will be gone soon.
June 26 (a Tuesday) will be the last Graduation Ceremony. In the next issue there will be a full coverage of this last
DDU event. If you’re in the area: block the afternoon in your agenda, and come to Deventer for a very last DDU
moment.

The Amsterdam Amstelpark, first days of spring

2. What do you know? – selected by Loek Hopstaken

“Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the number of breathtaking moments.” 3
1. Accustom your mind to judge the proportion of things as they more or less conduce to your own fortune or
ends.
2. Never row against the stream.
3. Do not always wait for occasions but sometimes challenge and induce them.
4. Undertake nothing which of necessity takes up a great quantity of time.
5. Imitate nature, which does nothing in vain. Mix and interlace your several kinds of business. Nothing is
more impolitic than to be entirely based upon one action.
6. Always have a window open to fly out at, or a secret door to retire by.
7. Love as if you were sometime to hate, and hate as if you were sometime to love. This is the maxim of Bias,
not construed to any point of perfidiousness.

Now, I’m not going to explain all these condensed wisdoms dealing with human nature (maxims). All I want to say
is, live passionately, yet learn how to deal with people’s emotions – including your own, be kind and respectful to
those who deserve your kindness and respect, keep agreements, don’t be too realistic too often (Dream! Dream!
Dream!) but make sure you have some future security.

ARTICLES WRITTEN BY GUESTS

3. Meet Tianjian (Joe) Liu – by Zeng Qian (Tracy)


Interviews have appeared before in newsletters. But I guess friends interview friends might be the first time, and it
seems not such an easy job.

Joe and I have been classmates and good friends from DDU to HAN. Work permit problems blocked his stay in The
Netherlands, but his pursuit will never stop. While he is starting his own career in his home country, I think there
might have some things/ideas he would like to share with everybody who knows him or not.

Tianjian (Joe) Liu, graduated from DDU in July 2004 and April 2006 from HAN. In school, normally we call him Joe
while Chinese students will call him Joe or Tianjian. However, during the time he was working in a Dutch firm which
has business relations with China, his boss and his colleagues insisted to use his Chinese name Tianjian, although
sometimes they can’t pronounce it correctly.

Joe in Holland: Tianjian (below) with his close friends Zeng Qian (Tracy), Peng Jianxiong (Saxon)
and Cao Yue (Chrissie)

“Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the number of breathtaking moments.” 4
I guess many DDU students know about you, however, an introduction is appreciated. So first please tell us who
you are, where are you from, what are you doing right now, and little more about yourself.

Sure, I think it is a good idea that let people know my name before they start hearing my story. My name is Tianjian
Liu, as you said, my English name is Joe. Actually, my English name comes from nowhere, I mean, there is no
special meaning, just because it is simple enough. I am 26 this year. During last five years I have been studying and
working in the Netherlands, which I call my second hometown.

My home town is called WUXI, which is famous for the Tai Lake and also the Mountains around city. If you have
chance you really should come and you will find a truly magnificent environment.

I studied in DDU for the first 2.5 years. After graduation I continued my study at Hogeschool van Arnhem en
Nijmegen-HAN for my second bachelor degree. After 1.5 years study there, I started working for a Dutch company: it
produces baby strollers. I worked as a Fareast marketing coordinate, and was also responsible for the production and
logistics in China. Now, after five years, I have finally come back to my country to continue my career. I am still
working for the European companies for the production and marketing in China in same field – baby products. In the
future I plan to have my own company in Shanghai.

What do you consider to be the major lesson you have learned these past years?

Most important, I would like to say is experience in both work and life. A lot of people asked me “You have obtained
two bachelor degrees there, have you learned something?” The answer is YES, for sure. I mean we always learn
something from study and from the books, which of course is very important. No matter in DDU or HAN, I have
leaned a lot from the course and teachers. On the other hand, I would like to say the experiences I have got during my
study in the Netherlands is also very important. If I really need to pick up a name for the major lesson I have learned,
I think is the answer to “how to make your life when you are abroad”.

What brought you the most during these years in the Netherlands? And after you went back, what is in your mind
about this ‘second-home town’?

During these years in the Netherlands, I think ‘Friends’ have become something I can’t miss. Most of them are Dutch.
I have met so many people during the past five years, my friends, my colleagues, my teachers and other people who
know me and helped me. When I lay on the bed before I sleep these days, I am still thinking of them, the time we
spent together there, no matter Dutch, Chinese, French, German, Vietnamese, and American. I learned a lot from
them, and I really should thank for all of them let me have a really perfect life in the Netherlands. Those memorable
years will be the most important treasure in my life.

I have been home for one month. I was talking with people around me here about living in Holland. Since 2002, when
I arrived there, my whole life changed. I think I was really affected by living life the Dutch way. Generally spoken, I
really love the Dutch and their country, because I have been really close to this country and the people who live there.
I lived with them, I ate with them, I studied with them and also I worked with them. The country is so organized
comparing to my own country, clean, simple, ruled. The people there, most of them are really nice people, friendly,
kindly and helpful, at least the people I have met.

As you all known, the Netherlands is famous for tulips and windmills, their cheese culture, and Dutch are famous for
their open mind. This is only partly true, in my opinion. ‘Open-mind’ is compared to most who are from Asia.
Actually, a lot of Dutch I have come to know are quite ‘closed-minded’ when they are doing certain things, really
following rules and principles , step by step.

How is your reintegration in Chinese society going? What do you find easy, what difficult?

Most difficult thing is how to deal with Chinese again. Maybe you think it is a joke, but it is true. After I came back I
really found it is so different to live in China compared to the Netherlands. As I said before, Dutch is quite simple and
ruled, here in China it is just an opposite, I mean, you will find the way you deal with Dutch is forbidden here, and the
rules of course differ a lot.

A very simple example. When you use the cash machine in the Netherlands, you take out your bank pass before you
take your money. Here in China you need take your money first and then your bank pass. So I almost forgot my bank
pass when I went to cash money in China after five years. I have already got used to the Western way a lot, because I
was only 20 when I went to abroad. I learned those things so fast and the older I become, it gets more difficult to
change. Especially, nowadays, I am dealing with Chinese business men and business issues, it is really another major
I should start learning again even if I have two business degrees.

“Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the number of breathtaking moments.” 5
Do you have unpleasant time in the work? How do you handle it?

Only when you are your own boss, you will find less unpleasant times or even a boss who has more to worry about.
Most of time, I am really a typical Asian, I mean when I was working in the company, I was always the one who only
has a few things to say and express. Miscommunication brings most of the unpleasant times, when culture shock
happens.

That is something I really learned from my work, how to work with Dutch, how to make both us happy. “Be honest
and be open”, Try to show your ideas, no matter what the other’s ideas are, maybe yours is better, just don’t hide them.
If you don’t want the taxi to go left, but you never tell the driver, you will never be happy, because you will never
reach your destination.

When there is a unpleasant time and conflict with my colleagues, I was always polite, of course, boss is always boss
and supervisor is always supervisor, I can’t just fight them. I’d rather have them to be my friends. When the
atmosphere becomes cold a little bit, I will find a right time, make appointment with them, or just put down the work in
my hand, have a cup of coffee, also make them one, shows my respect. Then I will directly go to the core point. Most
of time, they will turn to be very nice, and apologize to me. Then if my idea is really good, they will take it and which
makes my day the best day, or sometimes they are right, but then handling this conflict makes the friendship even
stronger after talking and communication.

What would you recommend a Chinese business man/woman in 'dealing with the Dutch'?

Don’t be too polite. As I known, a lot of Chinese are still over-respectful with western people, but there is really no
need for that. Dutch always treat people fairly, especially in the business field. Again, be open and honest, if you have
one dollar and you say so, they will find a ‘one dollar business’.
Chinese way of respecting is not so suitable for Dutch, a full table of food and cigarettes is no use for Dutch to finish a
contract, and they need see the real thing, real figures. On another hand, they of course are really respected for our
culture, and they love Chinese food too.

Joe in China
What would bring our countries together?

A ‘Bridge’.

I would like to use my own experiences and the advantage that knowing Dutch and Chinese, find chance to use my
own knowledge bring Dutch business and Chinese business together. One way, I know how Dutch think, and how they
are doing in business. On the another hand, I know Chinese way of business and also Chinese market. I would like to
bring my Dutch network and Chinese network together, to let more and more Chinese companies knows about the
Dutch and also let more and more Dutch know the real booming China.

“Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the number of breathtaking moments.” 6
What are your future plans?

Building up my own empire. Well, as I said, I would like to have my own company in the future. In one way, to have
my own experience and knowledge bring me benefit. On the other hand, very important is to help my Dutch friends
and people from my second hometown know my country and start their business life here, and last but not least, 2008,
welcome to China for the Olympic Games, If you need a local guide, send me an email. If you are interested in me, you
also can visit my Blog- http://joeinholland.spaces.live.com.

Well, we thank you very much for sharing your colorful experiences. Different people will have different life,
however, stick to who you are, be honest and open; we wish you have a splendid life in the future. We keep in touch.

Interviewer: Qian (Tracy) Zeng


Interviewee: Tianjian (Joe) Liu

4. Victory! At last! – by Iouri Ukrainski


It is a rectangular piece of plastic, credit card-sized with shades of white, blue and red; and it has my portrait imprinted
on it. In short, it looks like a normal student residence permit that has been my local ID document for over 5 years now.
Just another piece of plastic, one might say; and yet, to me it is much more than that. This piece of plastic fills my heart
with joy every time I hold it in my hands. To me, it seems like some kind of magic ticket into the future which evaded
me for so long, but is now firmly within my grasp. It has not always been that way…

In autumn 2003, Yury was full of confidence about his future. And why would not he? Just turning 19 a few weeks
ago, he had good reasons to look back with satisfaction and forward with hope. He had recently moved into his new
dwelling – a lovely apartment located within 7 minutes walking distance from Haagse Hogeschool and hardly more
than 20 minutes by tram from the golden beaches of Scheveningen. The royal city of The Hague stood in his new
address and would before long become his latest hometown.

Iouri (Yuri) and Dan (or Zoey; December 2006), who had just graduated
as a Master in Investment Analysis from Tilburg University.

His flat was a mess with the furniture he just bought from IKEA only partly assembled. But if a rare guest (Yury was
yet to make any friends in this city) would enter his house, one of the first things they would notice might be the (then
still DDBS) Bachelor in International Business Administration degree hanging on the wall. Attained in July, this was a
testament of two good years spent on study, friends, travelling and all that shapes the life of a foreign university
student. Yury graduated top of the class with an average of 8.4; his thesis scored 9.5 in the closing days of the bachelor
programme.

“Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the number of breathtaking moments.” 7
The thesis was more than a fine piece of work though. Ever since Yury remembered himself, he had loved airplanes.
And it did not come as a surprise that he chose to conduct his graduation research on the topic of Airbus – the
European plane maker that was now challenging the mighty Boeing of the USA. After graduation, and on advice from
his family, Yury forwarded his thesis to Airbus itself; and that was well-received indeed. The official invitation was
sent to him to visit the German HQ of Airbus in Hamburg to attend a job interview. All travel and accommodation
costs are to be paid by the company.

However, Yury never made it to Hamburg, not for an interview at least. He had just begun a new course in The Hague
and could not give it all up even for a dream job with Airbus. Instead, he asked the company to offer him a placement
in a bit more than a year from now, as then his internship semester was scheduled to commence. But internship, it
seems, was even harder to arrange than a job. An early sign of sad time to come it was indeed.

In September 2004, the placement preparations were already launched. The school advised to make use of their own
company database, personal networks as well as a traditional way of applying for an internship. Having a Bachelor
degree at hand and an average of 8+ in his new university, Yury thought he had a certain advantage over other
students.
However, this turned to be more of a wishful thinking on his part. The internship was supposed to start in February
2005; but even in the middle of April, when almost everyone was already having a real placement abroad (or faking
one at home), Yury had no prospects whatsoever.

So it was the time to once again turn to the family for help and assistance. Only thanks to them, Yury was finally up to
speed and planning for his soon-to-come graduation and work. He wanted to complete his internship and graduate in
August, then start working right away.

“Not so fast,” said the Dutch bureaucracy. “Just because some company wants to employ you, does not yet mean that
you will be given a chance to pay taxes to the Kingdom of The Netherlands.” The work permit application was
launched by the company and soon rejected by the authorities. An appeal was then prepared, but Yury decided to
consult a lawyer before going any further.

After reviewing the case, Yury’s lawyer said that any appeal would be hopeless. The company had no experience with
hiring non-EU citizens and, therefore, had not followed the right procedure. Any further appeals would have been
rejected as well. A different procedure had to be followed next time.

So Yury had little choice but to delay his graduation for a yet unknown period of time and once again start searching,
this time for a job. Graduating earlier than a job was found would automatically mean losing a legal status in the
country and being forced to leave. The labour market conditions were less than favourable too, with even the very
Dutch having trouble finding a job, yet alone the poor Russians that are not even the EU citizens. In general, 2005 was
a very bad year for Yury, probably worst ever. That year, everything that could go wrong, went wrong. And
unfortunately, this was not just limited to study/work.

And then there was a string of career fairs, solicited and unsolicited applications, interviews and all the other steps one
has to take in order to get employed. Finally, in March 2006, Yury found a job. The employer found him through the
CV which he posted online. Yury immediately seized the opportunity and was ready to graduate and start working right
away.
“Not so fast,” said the Dutch bureaucracy. “You think you are now smart, finding another company, a lawyer and the
most effective way to start paying taxes to the Kingdom of The Netherlands? Your road to a work permit will be long
and complicated. You will wait anxiously for months, not knowing what my decision will be or when that decision will
come.”

And so the final stage of the struggle began – preparations for Phase I application, collecting documents, waiting for
the result. That was followed by preparations for Phase II application, collecting even more documents, waiting for the
result. Phase II was the most lengthy. At first Yury expected to get a permit by his graduation (he finally scheduled it
for July 2006 – a delay of one year); then by his birthday in September, then perhaps by the New Year. But the Lunar
New Year of 2007 was already approaching and there was still nothing.

Every day for almost a year Yury had to think about his application and what he could do should it fail. He had to
answer the many questions that his family and friends were asking and explain them why it was taking so long, for
there can be no logical explanation to this. On several occasions already, the lawyer recommended Yury to solve all his
problems by getting a Dutch partner. Maybe that is really the only solution?

“Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the number of breathtaking moments.” 8
The permit was approved in early February; the card was given to Yury two months later (special thanks to Jolanda,
Vanessa and their colleagues from IND Den Bosch and Gemeente Den Haag for their help with recovering the card).
Finally, after such a long time of waiting and hoping, Yury could start not just working but actually earning some
money. The family that supported him all these years will hopefully no longer have to bear the financial burden of such
a risky and costly enterprise as study abroad. And from now on Yury’s friends will be able to read updates on his blog
more regularly (he promised himself not to post any news till he gets the work permit).

Lessons learned:
 Plan carefully in advance. You should know what you want to achieve and when you want to achieve it. Once
the broad vision of your future is set, you can move to scheduling your life in the run up to the big event, one
step at a time.
 Information is the world’s most precious commodity. Get access to the crucial information regarding your
situation.
 Hiring a lawyer is often an optimal solution; costs money but ultimately pays off. And knowing all the fine
details of your case can change your life forever or sometimes even make a difference between life and death.
 Be patient. However good your plan is and however well you are informed, thing can and will go wrong. You
should be ready for that and stay on course.
 Small changes to your plan and delays are acceptable as long as you keep your greater goal in mind.

And as for me, you can imagine I feel quite satisfied now. But I also realize that I am just at the very beginning of a
very long road that is ahead of me. There are still plenty of ambitions to fulfil, goals to accomplish and, hopefully,
good news to report.

But for today, that would be it.

Yours ever, Yury (iouri_oukrainski@hotmail.com; iouri_ukrainski@yahoo.com)

5. My Very Dear PL – by Nguyen Thi Hai Ha (Jenny)


“My very dear PL ( Peter & Loek),
I do not even know what to say, where to start, I do not even know how to handle such a complicated heart at the
moment. But I do know for sure that I have been missing Holland, missing Deventer, school, friends and you both so
so much.
Sometimes words could not even express how I feel; therefore it sometimes causes me to the misunderstanding
between me and people I’ve met. But I know I do love them from the bottom of my heart.

Jenny with her dearest teacher; Jenny watching the river boat on the IJssel

“Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the number of breathtaking moments.” 9
The Vietnamese table at the Dikke van Dale … early summer 2005

Every moment I’ve spent in Deventer, all people I’ve met, every memory comes to my mind almost every night, so that
I was unable to sleep sometimes for the whole night, thinking about how I could turn back time.”

Jenny with Rachael (February 2006) & Loek (May 2006)

6. Measuring my performance; a special make-up assignment made by Li Junlin (JetLi)


(Peter’s original questions: ) Looking back at your ‘career’ as a student International Business Administration
(Bachelor-degree) so far… How would you measure your own performance? Were there different periods with
different (good – less good – bad – very bad) results? How come? (What was / which were the reason(s) for that?)
Can you make a difference between: inside & outside yourself, concerning those reasons? Are you really sure those
results were caused by either inside- or outside-reasons? How can you be so sure? What have you done to change that
/ those situation(s)? And: did you evaluate it (measure again) ? Did you ever measure your performance during this
career? (or did you just wait for the results of your exams?) All these questions: answer those in an essay. It would be
very nice, if you would even come up with more questions than I posed here and that you would also answer those in
your essay…

(JetLi’s answer, made during his Christmas-holiday in China, when internet was ‘broken down’ because of the
destroyed underwater wires between mainland China and Taiwan.)
The essential elements to exam my personal performance in study and future, are these 8:

“Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the number of breathtaking moments.” 10
1. my individual performance, 2. productivity, 3. management of processes, 4. actuality of knowledge, 4. co-operation,
5. independence, 6. manners, 7. communication and 8. sharing information.
However, in reality, it’s hard to keep those academic stuffs in your head. Therefore I developed my own ways, which
are more or less common with the 8 elements. Generally, it’s about the efficiency of managing your working time for
each task, and the cooperation of brainstorming (your memory, ideas, experience, feeling and your study) - freshly
innovative, effective ideas, which lead to better working quality. Specifically, before each day ready to start and being
at end, you firstly need to think about it, do it then - regarding strictly your principles and rules - , and finally summing
up and trying to obtain feedback yourself. The whole process includes: objectives, problems (if there happened some
yesterday), to-do notes (writing a brief key-note and keeping it with you), diary (if time allows, for something
necessary to keep in mind).

According to his msn space, this is JetLi’s new haircut

Definitely, I can! I had a lot of bad experiences and stories in the past 22 years. There is an old proverb, going like:
“Life is full of ups and downs.” When you’re being in ‘DOWN’, what you need to do (and must do yourself, so that
you can): throw the past behind ‘you’ to rebuild yourself. Everyone is learning something new each day. Before
bedding time, he/she will speak to him-/herself about what has been right and wrong today, then – in my case – I would
do something to modify me/myself, but not every guy/girl can always be really him/herself. Simply, they just don’t
believe themselves, or they follow(copy) others’ opinion to correct mistakes, while possibly misunderstood, where they
are standing and prepare(d) to go; it results in distorting personality and direction of your inside world.
On the other hand, if you just believe in yourself and objectively open your eyes to see what you want, then it’s easier
to make a way to keep doing your striving things; your mind will get stronger, and your view will begin to be broader;
the directions to go are more clear and easier to sense to you, because of each day’s real homework and the exercises
you did, and then you will find out why you are (becoming) better and better, instead of sticking into a life full of
unrealistic thinking, worries, and regretting, behind and before today.

Above mentioned is the way I deal with myself when I am ‘down’. Can I implement it well enough? About 90% of the
people – I think - just can’t do it precisely and perfectly, compared to what they planned to do. Why? Well, our
behavior mostly consists of habit, and thus our thinking is effected by our habits: a personal concept, attitude, value or
belief, built up via long time of growing-up experiences in physics and psychology. If we don’t have a good habit, it
leads us to be weak. And habit is a considerable element, influencing our manner in/for the future. In other words: in
your maturity (age 20—26) it’s a starting point and it will really make a huge impact on your adult daily life – your
communicating, career and your marriage. Thus, to start and modify your bad habits in your study, daily life, whatever,
is the most realistic and basic thing you need to do and can do. Afterwards, you can be smarter than before by making a
difference between ‘inside’ and ‘outside you’, besides always being positive, self-confident and self-respectful. This
can help you get out of the struggle among the inside-you and the outside-you - to be the one, the actual and real YOU.
That’s your final objective in your life!

“Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the number of breathtaking moments.” 11
7. What is a problem? A Buddha or demon, everything in one-thought – by Eew

photo collage by Peter

“Once upon a time there was an old woman; people gave her the nickname of ‘crying witch’. She always used to sit in
front of the temple selling incense and flowers to offer and she always cried when it rained and also cried when it did
not rain. A monk, who always watched her cry everyday went up to her one day and asked, ‘old lady, why do you cry?’
She answered, “I have two daughters, the eldest sells sandals and the youngest sells umbrellas.” “When it is nice
weather, I think of my youngest daughter, because she cannot sell her umbrellas”, she continued, sniffing again. “But
when it rains, I think of my eldest daughter, because nobody visits her store to buy her sandals!” She cried hysterically
again. The monk laughed out of compassion and replied, ‘you have to think that business goes well for your eldest
daughter, when it is nice weather. And when it rains the umbrellas of your youngest daughter will sell well”. He smiled
and she wiped her tears. From that moment on the ‘crying witch’ did not cry anymore. She smiled all the time, whether
the weather was good or not.”

Do you believe in yourself? Do you believe that you will go through it? Problems can be hard, because it is almost
always about uncertainty, and we people dislike uncertainty. Problems are a test of life, allowing you to realize
something about yourself and teaching you a lesson of life experience. It will make you more confident and it trains
yourself by finding solutions in order to be(come) a stronger person. Problems are opportunities, because problems can
always be looked upon two ways, like in the story above happened to the crying witch. Then we will realize that a
problem is not really a problem.

Eew at the Amsterdam Thai Festival, September 2006


“Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the number of breathtaking moments.” 12
When you have a problem, solutions could come up in different ways, such as listening to your favorite music (relaxing
and isolating you from the people and the problem), being angry (expressing yourself) doing fun things (distracting
yourself), talk to the people you love and trust (reflect upon the problem) or just being sad and cry (bringing huge
problems back to human proportions, so you can manage it). For me I think one of the best ways to deal with problems
is by expressing my thoughts through writing. And, when writing, I remembered a message years ago, from my dear
teacher Peter van Oosten. He told me, that when you have a problem, it is not really a problem, but it is all about
yourself and it is in your head. When you have a problem, you are creating a big balloon in your head. At the moment
that the balloon gets heavier and heavier, you might ask yourself: how can I get rid of this stupid balloon (problem)
which is disturbingly bouncing in my head. Peter told me to get a needle and decide whether and when to stick it into
the problem balloon, all because it is ‘my own’ balloon and I have my own needle in my hand at anytime!

Finding balance in life is what we all should strive for, but it probably takes time and maybe it is in the human nature
to make the same mistakes time after time. Some problems cannot even be solved…so why bother trying? And if you
can solve it, where is your needle then? So we’ll just have to keep going, while time heals all wounds.
Just don’t fool yourself by looking for answers outside of yourself. The answers are all within!

8. ‘Letting Go’ in a rather different way – by Peter van Oosten


Eewtje proves it again: Erasmus was so right in his statement, that “we don’t learn from school, but from life”! Mere
coincidence that I told Eew (and other students) the balloon-story in class; I might as well have done it at that
wonderful place at our IJssel’ riverside (see Jenny’s story), or at the so-called Liars Bench, a little closer to DDU…
Anyway, I’m glad that the story impressed.

Without trying to break her story down or create some disillusion about bad memory, I would like to add just a few
other details, which I also tried to put into the photo-composition before Eew’s article:

there was a period, when I had huge problems, and I really did not know how to cope with those, except for drinking
them away… At a certain moment I had some kind of a vision, that I was walking on a long and lonesome road, when
suddenly I was surrounded by all kinds of black, ugly and big monsters;
terrifying! When at last I had the courage to ask: “How can I get rid of you?”
one of those creatures answered: “It’s so simple! Just because you have created
us yourself… You will only need a needle to destroy us!” In my ‘vision’ I found
that needle in a nearby haystack, I used it against those ‘monsters’, and, yes!,
they appeared to be balloons, impressive, but quite airy…

In fact JetLi’s article shows quite some similarities with this problem-solving
experience. That’s why - in the photo-collage – I used some references to the
well-known Delphi-oracle. Before you enter the sacred mystery-place, to
receive an answer for your troubling matters, above the entrance it says: Know
Thyself. It really helps to look inside, every so often, and – in fact – it’s very
necessary!
Still it can be very hard to do that in a “honest” way, without the bias of self-
pity, shame, pride, or whatever behavioral aspects of mankind. For me that
forms the explanation why – in my vision – I had to find that needle in a
haystack; so difficult to find!
Letting your problems go… It’s almost unbelievable how much we, people, can feel attached to ‘our’ problems! We
feel like we are the ‘owners’! Well, we learned, that we are the creators, and, yes!, that normally causes some kind of
attachment, a relationship. But it’s quite weird, when – on the one hand – we are complaining about and suffering from
our problems, and - at the other hand – we don’t seem to wanna say Goodbye to those problems; don’t want to let them
go and vanish… We don’t seem to be able to break that relationship, without some help from ‘outside’: partner, friend,
psychiatrist, by accident or due to circumstances. Without daring to make the choices and the ultimate decisions
ourselves… Quite some period of my life I have been ‘living’ that way; going from one benchmark to another, without
factually choosing direction or heading for those points of measure. “The answer, my friend, is blowing in the wind”
(Bob Dylan, also interpreted by my friend Rajendra Regmi, the Amsterdam ‘Maya-poet’ from Nepal). It’s nice, to
have the wind in our back; it might save us some energy… But: what about when the wind is blowing from the ‘wrong’
direction? Who says it’s ‘wrong’? And: how much wrong would it be? Wouldn’t we be missing out on chances,
opportunities and challenges, when we would fight our way into the opposite direction? When do you know? How
could you tell? Why would you care? Who am I, that I could give the one & only solution for this eternal problem of
mankind?

“Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the number of breathtaking moments.” 13
No, I just think, or rather: feel, that ‘always going for the easy way’ (of life and living) will not give you and me the
ultimate satisfaction and will not bring us onto Maslow’s upper pyramid’s phase of self-actualization. I think, that
this is also part of the story behind Yuri’s article. Yuri – as a very bright young man – graduated from DDU at an
impossible age, with crazy marks, together with his ‘competitor’, wonder girl Zoey, or rather Dan. They liked each
other, they battled one another for the best results, they both went to different places ‘to steal the crown’, and now we
can read what they have accomplished, and how glad they are, for having chosen those particular directions. Well, it
obviously shows in the picture of both of them together! You two may be proud, but I am also very proud of you! You
really have wisely invested with your talents and into your talents…

This brings me to another part of my reasoning, and, Dan, I’m very sorry that I couldn’t tell it more personally to you!
My father… He was part of my earlier stories, he inspired me to many things in my life, but he died, about a month
ago. Aged 89 years, a long life with still a rather sudden ending. As I have been explaining before, he lost main part of
his sight; his hearing functions were rapidly diminishing, and
some form of cancer was wearing him out from inside,
fortunately without much physical pain. As I sometimes –
mockingly – say: there was a time, when he looked like a
Buddha, but – poor him! – when he died, he weighed less
than 40 kilos… Most pain seemed to be caused in his mind,
because he wasn’t able anymore to do any of those many
things, which he liked so much to do and which he was so
much talented in, like painting, or cooking, or… Well, many
more of those!

He had so much trouble, having to let all that ‘go’, in fact, I


believe that - almost to the last moments of his life – he
really fought to stay in this world and be part of it. At the
same time he could say: “I’m so tired!” or: “I’m so tired of
it!”. Very dualistic, it might seem, but ‘death’ is irreversible;
if you give in or choose for it, seldom there’s a way back!
Somehow gravity ties us to Mother Earth; our relationships
make us dependent and we don’t wanna hurt our friends and
beloved ones by not-being-there-anymore.
And, of course, another factor is: Fear…

We know what we have here, on earth, in life. But we’re not


so certain about what’s after that, even if we’re religious and
believing in some kind of ‘heaven’, afterwards. Fear, our
friend & enemy from very early childhood, seems to even be
one of our last companions. And – strange enough – it even
“Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the number of breathtaking moments.” 14
appears to be the same kind of fear: being afraid, because of the uncertainty of the next moment! No matter how well
we learned to ‘manage’ the different appearances of fear in our life, nearing the end of our life seems to make us
illiterate and helpless again; it comes too close, we’re not ready, yet!

I am sad, that my father passed away; I’m also sad for his girlfriend and for my children, his grandchildren.
It’s nice, and somehow important, for a child to have grandparents, to – at least – have memories of them and of having
done some nice things together. For my children those memories should go back 2 years or more, for the mere reason,
that my father wasn’t really able the last few years to do those pleasant things with them. In his struggle for life (and
quality in life) he had become a bit self-centered, not such pleasant company anymore for kids (and for many grown-
ups).
Fear, anger, losing patience, losing grip, but still fighting; it all has impact on someone’s moods, the atmosphere
around him or her.

In my father’s situation that sphere became more and more ‘heavy’, not only for us, but he also was painfully aware of
it himself, and: it made him angry! He didn’t want it to take place like that, but he just couldn’t prevent it.
These developments also bring me to say, that I – next to being sad – feel kind of relieved now… My father passed
away, still in good mental shape, without very much pain and endless suffering.
And we, staying behind, have the better memories to cherish.
I held the sermon, during the funeral service in church, and I could also choose the lectures to be read. I chose my
favorite Matthew, about the talents. I mirrored my father in this story and I ended with:
“I grant him the place, which he – from my point of view – deserves, and I would like to wish him the place, which he
would like to get/have (gotten) himself”.

My father (still) is a great example for me!

9. How (not) to survive friendship – by Loek Hopstaken


“Surround yourself with only people who are going to lift you higher.” Oprah Winfrey

Twenty something
In the beginning, I though this would be a long and serious article. Time pressure forced me to rethink. The result: a
short article. Because every time I think about friendship, it comes down to three simple things: affection, sharing and
exchange. And if those three are in place, respect, trust and understanding follow suit. In my life I have met many
people. ‘Meeting’ to me means, having a real communication going for more than just once. How many? Thousands.
That’s what happens in my profession. And friendships? I mean the real ones, the lasting ones? 20 something is
probably close to the truth. Sure, we call ‘friends’ those who we share great memories with. When we meet again, we
talk about the good old days. Or we share a hobby. We may go separate ways, but once in a while we meet and
continue having a good time. A strong mutual liking, a fine and pleasant balance between giving and taking.

Misinterpretation – Misunderstanding – Misjudgment


In my time, I’ve seen friendships start, flourish, falter, diminish, or end abruptly. Sometimes a form of carelessness
entered the relationship, or worse: a form of betrayal, little and big lies. No one likes to admit his faults, let alone admit
lying or cheating. So we have all become quite good at creating smokescreens, so we can live on for a while without
being detected. The price: all the while life gets more complicated. We misinterpret our friend’s behavior, which leads
to misunderstanding, and when you add those together and we disagree about the whole thing, we feel powerless. All
we can do now is speak out … a misjudgment. When people are having a fight, this is what you hear: a constant
barrage of misjudgments and invalidations. In mediation, we try to trace these misjudgments back to
misunderstandings and before that, we inevitably find misinterpretations. And oh yes: before misinterpretations there
often is a decision: “I don’t want to understand”, or “I’ll teach her/him a lesson.” Or worse. So misunderstandings are
not always that innocent.

Business relationships, friendships: is there a difference?


No, not really. The mechanisms are exactly the same. It even gets worse. When the merger between a major bank and a
major insurance company was at hand, and the Presidents of the Board were interviewed, they talked about a
‘courtship’, that may end up in an ‘engagement’ and eventual ‘marriage’. I mean those guys were tough guys, not
romantic poets. So if business deals are so similar to love affairs, who am I to say that there is a difference between a
business relationship, and a friendship? Ok, agreed, there are a few differences. But are those really important?

Making friends, maintaining friendships


All you need is communication. 10 months ago I build up a friendship, step by step. For some reason my friend
suddenly quit communicating. No response to instant messages or email. It had me worried. After all, it was a
“Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the number of breathtaking moments.” 15
friendship in-the-making, and there had been some exchanges only true friends can have. Although it is everyone’s
right to terminate any relationship at any time, some explanation would have been nice. Instead, no communication –
apart from an occasional exchange of politenesses. So how do you maintain a friendship? Yes, it takes TWO. Two
communicate, my favorite sport: a constant giving of genuine attention and affection. It may last a lifetime, safeguards
you against loneliness, and may in some cases end up in real and warm love.

Terminating friendships: the two most destructive forces


Apart from no communication (or: ‘incommunicado’), there are two even more effective ways to end a friendship.
Both I witnessed these past five months.
(1) Expressing a negative moral judgment about friend’s decision to start or end a love relationship. A love relationship
is totally the lover’s business, no one else’s. It’s nobody’s business to agree or not agree, let alone to speak it out.
Never interfere in matters of the heart. Leave lovers alone, please, always, including when they split up. It may be very
sad, yet it’s their realtionship. Don’t mess with it.
(2) Starting or believing a negative rumor or gossip, even if this is ‘just for fun’. This is a stupid kid’s game, yet I see it
being played by grown ups, with disastrous results.

No one can live without it


You know it, I know it: we can’t live without it. However, friendship is like a garden. It takes Tender Loving Care to
make it flourish in all seasons, and survive all hardships. And if you do this, it is not without rewards. I don’t need to
tell you which ones.

“You do not need to be loved, not at the cost of yourself. The single relationship that is truly central and crucial in a
life is the relationship to the self. Of all the people you will know in a lifetime, you are the only one you will never
lose.” Jo Coudert

10. Wise quotes & crackers

Parking facility near a Dutch elementary school

“The ultimate goal of a more effective and efficient life is to provide you with enough time to enjoy some of it.”
Michael LeBoeuf

“It’s never too late to become what you might have been!”
Anonymous

“Life is a magic vase filled to the brim, so made that you cannot dip from it nor draw from it; but it overflows into the
hand that drops treasures into it. Drop in malice and it overflows hate; drop in charity and it overflows love.”
John Ruskin

“Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the number of breathtaking moments.” 16
Did you know this scenery exists only a few dozen kilometers from Deventer? The Dutch Desert, April 8, 2007

“Technical analysis is an art form and the eye grows keener with practice. Study both successes and failures with an
eye to the future.”
Anonymous (brought to us by Nguyen Nhat Anh – Oliver)

A handful of Turkish delights

Zafer Oter send us a wonderful collection of Turkish proverbs and wisdoms. This is just a handful of them. Where
animals are involved, proverbs have a long history:

Do not search for a calf under an ox.

The dog that barks much does not bite.

The cock that crows at the wrong time is killed.

An ass does not appreciate fruit compote.

The fly is small, but it is big enough to make one sick.

The raven sees its chickens as falcons.

The sheep separated from the flock is eaten by the wolf.

It is not disgraceful to ask, it is disgraceful no to ask.

Don’t tell your secret to your friend, he will tell it to his friend.

“Never step over one duty to perform another.”


English Proverb

“When you know that you’re capable of dealing with whatever comes, you have the only security the world has to
offer.”
Harry Browne

“Were it offered to my choice, I should have no objection to a repetition of the same life from its beginning, only
asking the advantages authors have in a second edition to correct some faults in the first.”
Benjamin Franklin

“Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the number of breathtaking moments.” 17
Left: total disorder: moving my office. Right: a shop window near Apeldoorn. Their business?? Selling window
dummies.

“Hunting through messy piles has its value. You discover things that, if you had filed or containerized them or purged
them, you never would have seen them again. It becomes a natural reminder system.”
David Freedman (co-author of A Perfect Mess: The Hidden Benefits of Disorder)

11. Music is my mistress – by Loek Hopstaken


My car is my concert hall. I’m fortunate enough to have thousands of hours un-downloaded samples. I make small <80
minute collections to suit my personal taste, or to give away as presents to friends and family. I can’t expect anyone to
share my taste. Yet, an interesting exchange has started where friends provide me with new music, and expand my
taste. Music is the perfect carrier of emotional messages. When you don’t know how to express a feeling, or how to put
it in words, try music. It’s the richest source. And how about memories? Many of us have specific music connected
with specific moments; hearing a few notes can instantly create a total recall of an event, an experience. Good or bad.
Memories no one will ever be able to take away, as long as you can listen to the accompanying music. That’s why we
love some music, and hate some. Thank God there is very little music I hate. So these collections to me have become
the richest source of good memories as well. This means I have to watch out while driving; certain emotional memories
are quite intense, and can easily take the attention away from the traffic. I seem to have a lot of them lately, I mean,
lively memories. A door has been opened. Music has become, as my musical idol Duke Ellington said (and used it as
the title for his autobiography), my mistress. I love her dearly.

Since the first two cd’s (For Girls Only; For Boys Only; see What is Wisdom??? No. 4) it’s become a series of 6, and
exchanges with some of you inspired me to make many more ‘special collections’. Try it yourself, like my nephews
Robert and Raymond, who made three cd’s of 80ies music. Certain music pieces will always be like the very first time,
that unforgettable moment, connected or not to a special event. Like a First Kiss. Meanwhile, I listened to this piece a
zillion times. It’s still that first time. Music is magical, like an everlasting love affair. It’s always ‘here’.

“Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the number of breathtaking moments.” 18
12. What is Wisdom??? online: http://hopper1951.spaces.live.com – by Loek Hopstaken
“You give but little when you give of your possessions. It is when you give of yourself that you truly give.”
Kahlil Gibran

Blogging
Although most of my blogs are not directly related to DDU or alumni/alumnae, you may want to catch a glance of
what’s going on in Holland. I regularly add photo albums, and there are over 90 now. On my msn page there are links
to many friends. I also use Yahoo! 360º, its pages look more esthetic, but uploading pictures takes longer than doing
this to my msn page. So that’s where lazy me puts them.

Chatting
Due to a busy work schedule, chatting has become much less intensive than before. There were also moments when
four or five friends would start a chat and things got a bit confusing. Still, I like this way of communication. It has
proven its value, not just in regular chats, but also in coaching ‘at a distance’. The only setbacks are time differences,
and the modest quality of webcams. Skype is gaining quality, as more and more people use it. Even webcams seem to
function better. We’re only at the beginning of a development, that will bring us many more communication facilities.

Sometimes chatting is not enough


Communicating
What do you mean, where do I find the time to communicate??? Let me tell you, communication is your and my
lifeline. Without it, we disconnect from life, and die. This age is rich in providing the means, now all we need is to
make the time. And for some, I’d say: they better first learn how to communicate.

In my profession 95% of the time and energy is spent on repairing communication lines. Problems as a
Result form misinterpretations, misconceptions, misunderstandings, misjudgments, and quite often, one or
more of these stem from some evil intention: trying to lift someone’s leg, willfully damaging a reputation,
plain aggression, hate, revenge, jealousy, ordinary hunger for power or simply (!), a psychiatric disorder
called psychosis. I can’t handle the last category. That’s for psychiatrist’s to take care of. Frankly, I don’t
care for anyone whose motives are evil. All I can do is trying to find the cause of all the confusion, and if
nothing changes for the better, have him/her leave. So peace is restored, and communication lines can be
repaired.

I seldom use real life stories in my blogs, or while chatting. Civilization forbids me to spread the personal misqualities
of people, as respect for other people’s privacy. So I had to develop a talent for changing names and places, to avoid
any shame or embarassment, while leaving the core story in tact, and the possible ‘lesson’ comes out. And if you have
noticed that I like spreading optimism, hope, good qualities, loving feelings – yes, you’re right. That’s what What is
Wisdom??? is all about. On or offline.

“Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the number of breathtaking moments.” 19
This was the time before we had the capes. Who do you recognize …???

13. This Issue’s Portfolio’s


In a picturesque edition you’ll find many pictures: (1) Graduation Assignment Presentations; (2) Snapshots; (3) Jane’s
Graduation & Homecoming; (4) Random Shots. If you have pictures you want to share, and have them published in
What is Wisdom??? … send them in the original format to loekhop@hotmail.com.

“Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the number of breathtaking moments.” 20
(1) PORTFOLIO: GRADUATION ASSIGNMENT PRESENTATIONS (April 3)

Yao (Jerry), Lin Minxia (Allen), Wang Jing (Vivian), Zhang Jingjing (Sally) … Mr. Deelstra

Erik van Kuijk, member of the graduation committee … remember him?

Do you recognize this smart business man? His name is Nguyen Tuan Anh (Tom)
“Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the number of breathtaking moments.” 21
Zhang Jingjing (Sally) & Rana Bahadur Lama listening to the results …. PASS!

(2) PORTFOLIO: SNAPSHOTS

The ‘Amsterdamse Bos’ just before spring. My associate Eric Snissaert composed this unusual panorama shot using 6
different pictures and special software (www.ptgui.com).

March 7: Tirtha Nath Kandel preparing his Graduation Assignment presentation. TN’s in UK now.

“Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the number of breathtaking moments.” 22
December 28, 2006: Kelly Chu in the Tilburg Textiel Museum

Apple & her remarkable niece Rebecca; Mr. Deelstra and BA Graduate Sashanka Poudyal, who graduated late
February. He is now back in Kathmandu, Nepal

“Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the number of breathtaking moments.” 23
(3) PORTFOLIO: JANE’S GRADUATION AND HOMECOMING

January 24: diploma time. February 7: sending surplus luggage home (€ 56,-; meanwhile, it has arrived in good order)

February 7: Last visit to Hunzestraat, Deventer. February 14: Amsterdam Airport … byebye dear friends Emily &
Sashanka …

byebye Peter …. February 16: back home in Ho Chi Minh City, Jane with her parents and brothers

The story’s not over yet …


“Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the number of breathtaking moments.” 24
My Vietnamese visa; Huong & Thao (Jane & Amy), DDU alumnae & friends reunited, early March in Ho Chi Minh
City. Very soon I’ll be meeting them, and hopefully, many others.

(4) PORTFOLIO: RANDOM SHOTS

Ngoc Tuan Linh Chu (Joey) with his sister, during the Tet Festival

March 26: team presentation time … C’mon guys, stop staring, let Thuy Duong (Tracy) do her job … Hou Jia (Janet)
displaying confidence, while Zhang Ruily (Lily), Wang Jing (Vivian) and Huilin Sun each have their own thoughts
“Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the number of breathtaking moments.” 25
March: Zell visits DDU; Shaikh Kamal in London

March 29: Xiaoman E (Mandy) showing her Master’s degree; March: Minh Tu Le (Jimmy)

Springtime in Peter’s front yard


“Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the number of breathtaking moments.” 26
March 22: Serap Zorluer loves eggs; March 29: Liang Yin Jie (Tim) & E Xiaoman (Mandy) after our farewell dinner

March 28: Peter and Hilde

January 10: with Thuy Duong (Tracy) & Lien Huong (Jane) in Room 102
“Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the number of breathtaking moments.” 27
Paul Scholey with his daughter Caitlin (born February 12); Wendy Jansen & her family in Beijing

It’s a boy!!! His name is Gavin, he saw the light of day on March 29 and he lives with his mom & dad in Manchester,
UK. Mom is Ling Jing (Kate), dad Mark White (see Kate’s wedding pic in What is Wisdom??? Nr. 1, October 2005)
“Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the number of breathtaking moments.” 28
Springtime: Liu Fan (Sarah) & Zhou Lincheng (Apple): two former DDU classmates from Guangxi, who live and work
in Shanghai

Deventer, March: the fields across the IJssel – after heavy rains (left). A few weeks later, the start of spring. Notice the
white wrought-iron couch.

April 8: the Fate of an Easter Egg


“Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the number of breathtaking moments.” 29
14. BIRTHDAYS

Birthdays – until July 1


Serkan Kizilkanat Kilzim 2.4
Larry O’Connor 5.4
Chu Ngoc Tuan Linh (Joey) 5.4
Jiang Youlin (Bill) 9.4
Vo Ngoc Lien Huong (Jane) 12.4
Saurav Sainju 17.4
Shi Lei (Shelly) 24.4
Tung Nhu Dang (Fire) 25.4
Xiao Yezheng (Johnson) 28.4
Peter van Oosten 29.4
Muhammad Zaheer 6.5
Do Thi Hong Linh (Cherry) 7.5
Chu Luyin (Kelly) 7.5
Lu Wang (Lulu) 10.5
Roshan Basnet 10.5
Muhammad Jahangir 15.5
Manisha Shrestra 16.5
Wang Jun (Bauer) 16.5
Phan Hoai Nam (Chris) 18.5
Bijaya Raj Regmi 18.5
Yifan Sun (Jack) 21.5
Wang Xu Hui (Ben) 23.5
Liang Yin Jie (Tim) 23.5
Ntoko Edenge Munge (Rachael) 4.6
Nguyen Dinh Hung (Paul) 4.6
Yin Chenglin (Colin) 17.6
Gaurav Manish (Manish) 20.6

Greetings from Amsterdam


“Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the number of breathtaking moments.” 30
15. THIS ISSUE’S SONG LYRIC

This Year’s Love (artist: David Grey)

This years love had better last


Heaven knows it’s high time
I’ve been waiting on my own, too long
When you hold me like you do
It feels so right, oh now

Start to forget how my heart gets torn


When that hurt gets thrown
Feelin’ like I can’t go on.
Turnin’ circles time again
Cut like a knife, oh now

If you love me got to know for sure


Cuz’ it takes something more this time
Then sweet, sweet lies, oh now

Before I open up my arms and fall, losing all control


Every dream inside my soul
When you kiss me on that midnight street
Sweep me off my feet
Singin’ ain’t this life so sweet?

This year’s love had better last


This year’s love had better last
Cuz’ whose to worry if our hearts get torn
When that hurt gets thrown
Don’t you notice life goes on

Won’t you kiss me on that midnight street


Sweep me off my feet
Singin’ ain’t this life so sweet
This year’s love had better last
This year’s love had better last

Final shot of Charlie Chaplin’s Modern Times (1935).


To many, a ‘lump-in-my-throat’ moment.
“Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the number of breathtaking moments.” 31
Message from the Editors

Issue no. 8 will be out early summer, around July 1.

“Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the number of breathtaking moments.” 32