Love, Hate, and What I Ate in March 2024

In this blog post, I have a new favorite cocktail, I'm on TV, Marina Abramović is at the Stedelijk, and I suck at driving.

Love, Hate, and What I Ate in March 2024

A post about March? In May??!

In this blog post, I have a new favorite cocktail, I'm on TV, Marina Abramović is at the Stedelijk, and I suck at driving. For some reason, February seemed much longer - or at least more eventful, and April was much more hectic (hence the delay). Nevertheless, here's a list of things I loved, hated, and ate, or, you know, drank during March of 2024.


I finally went to Almere during the cherry blossom season! Almere is a town in the Dutch province of Gelderland, about half an hour away from Amsterdam. The town is new (the first house was finished in 1976) and the short distance to Amsterdam makes it very uneventful. But it has a Rainbow Neighborhood (Regenboogbuurt), where houses are painted in bright, saturated colors, and 850 cherry trees line the streets. That's almost three times more than in the cherry blossom park in the Amsterdam forest! Anyway, I like cherry blossoms. Here's an Instagram reel.

I took a tussentijdse toets and did... not kill anybody? OK, so I'm learning to drive, and I hate it, and it's taking forever, and I'm old. I'm planning to write a dedicated blog post about learning to drive in the Netherlands once I get my license, though, so I'm saving my venting for that! Tussentijdse toets, or interim exam, is a mock driving exam that looks like a regular exam, but you can't pass it or fail it - so it doesn't get you a driving license even if you do everything perfectly. You do it to acquaint yourself with the way a driving exam looks and get feedback on your driving from the examiner. What you can earn, however, is an exemption from having to do special maneuvers on your next practical exam - and I did! So now I only need to stress about driving and not about parking and reversing. And stress I will, as my driving to the exam was way better than my driving at the exam.

Photo: Peter Tijhuis

Marina Abramović at the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam! Marina's retrospective exhibition has finally arrived in the Netherlands. It is not a repeat of the one from the Royal Academy of Arts, nor is it a repeat of The Cleaner, although it shares some works with them. What sets it apart is her (and Ulay's) Amsterdam-specific work. Throughout the exhibition, four of her iconic performances will be re-performed, and additionally, visitors will be able to take part in two participatory pieces. I also got to cover the exhibition for Odomaćeni, a podcast in Serbian that I produce and co-host. We didn't get to interview Marina one-on-one, but we did ask her a couple of questions at the press conference. If you speak or understand Serbian, Croatian, or Bosnian (it's all the same language anyway), you can listen to the episode here. The museum was amazing to collaborate with, and seeing the press preview of the exhibition a couple of days before it opened was an honor!

100th Book Club! I attend a book club in Rotterdam. It's called Bored to Death Book Club and it's pretty cool. In March, it met for the 100th time. We discussed The Feather Thief, which is a non-fiction book about people who trade, obtain, and steal rare bird skins and feathers so that they can engage in the hobby of Victorian fly tying. And even though the book was mildly underwhelming in the end, it was fun and we even got crafty and "tied" our own "flies".


Misinformation. On Good Saturday in the early hours of the morning, somebody took four hostages in a popular bar in Ede, a town in the Dutch province of Gelderland I visit once a year when heather blossoms. A local farmer-turned-political tweeted information from a "trusted source" that the attackers were a group of Eritreans. The hostage-taker, of course, turned out to be a single Dutch man pleading for help from the system, but by the time the police talked him into surrender, various variations of "a group of Eritreans" spread over the internet. Eritreans can be both black and Muslim, and who else would take hostages on Good Saturday, amirite? Global news agencies also covered this event, probably due to the hostage-taker threatening with a bomb (the bomb, in the end, didn't exist) and also the current political climate. I spoke about all this for the morning show of Nova S TV channel in Serbia - they wanted to know how the press was handling this so I couldn't help but call out the right-wing misinformation. If you don't understand Serbian, whoops! I'm well aware this is the second piece of content in Serbian in this roundup.

And What I Ate Drank

I have a new favorite cocktail! It's called Gin and Jam, and it's more than a sum of its parts. Put one tablespoon of jam of your choice in a shaker, and top it with as much lemon juice as you desire (I like to have my jam evenly submerged in it). Add two shots of gin and several ice cubes. Shake vigorously. Strain into a glass with ice. This is involved enough to feel special, and yet you're doing barely more work than if you were making a gin and tonic. And the best part is, you can try different jams and give the cocktail a different flavor every night. Strawberry jam is always a safe bet, but cloudberry jam is where it's at. And since cloudberry is my favorite berry, it feels great to have yet another way to consume it until I completely morph into one.