Judith in China, a fellow Dutch blogger also with a special connection to Asia, recently sent me a list of questions brought about by the Liebster Award. Her questions were in Dutch, and two are very Dutchie specific, still they’re fun to answer so I’ve translated them and here are my answers. Thanks Judith!
When and why did you start blogging?
In 2006. I had just finished my Master’s thesis and was about to graduate. I was trying to find a job in Japan, so I could move nearer to Yasu. Because after more than two years of maintaining a long-distance-relationship, we were ready for the next step. I wanted to write things about my life in the Netherlands for Yasu to read, and I wanted to create a place where I would someday keep my friends and family back home up to date on my life in Japan. I named it “The Loulogue”, which was an amalgamation of Louana and travelogue. I didn’t really get rolling on my blog, until I had some really exciting things to share, in December. First, I got hired by a Japanese company and then “All You Need Is Love” (a popular Dutch TV show) flew Yasu over to the Netherlands to surprise me for the Holidays.
What is the purpose of this blog? Any plans for expansion of further development?
I love documenting memories and knowing they’ll be there for our little ones to read someday. So our children will be able to learn about their parents when they were still young(ish), and how their parents lived and experienced life. I love adding photos and creating a kind of digital scrapbook of memories of our lives. I am happy with the way my blog is now, I don’t have any plans for it besides it being a place for us to document memories.
What do you enjoy most about blogging?
I like finishing a blog post and looking at the end result. I enjoy going through old blog posts and seeing what we were up to in a different time and different place. And I love it when people leave comments, and interact with me.
What do you enjoy least about blogging?
When I lived in Japan I loved blogging. I did it all the time and shared loads of stories, photos and memories. After we moved to the States, blogging stopped being fun. The American immigration laws did not allow me to do paid work, so I made a lot of plush animals and tried to sell them in my Etsy shop, named Eleventh Monkey. At first, I promoted my stuff on my personal blog, but it didn’t fit with the goal of my blog. So, I started a second blog just for my plushies, but it quickly became too much work to keep up two blogs with two very different goals. I was also using Blogger as a platform back then, and could never get quite the look I desired for my blog, no matter how much I researched CSS and HTML coding. The whole blogging thing became frustrating and like work. I procrastinated and ended up stopping altogether.
After we moved to England and I got pregnant, it rekindled a strong desire to document memories again, not just for us, but also for our future little ones. I went back to one blog, kept the purpose of the Loulogue blog and the name of the Eleventh Monkey blog. Also moving to WordPress from Blogger was really motivating, it is much easier to create a nicely functioning and cool-looking blog here and WordPress makes it really easy to interact and connect with other users through their tags and notifications, both online and in the iPhone app.
Which three blog posts were the most popular?
Hmm, I’m not quite sure. Blogger did not keep track of this and I’ve only been on WordPress for a few months. So I’ll improvise.
According to WordPress 2015 stats: American English vs British English – Baby Edition.
According to WordPress 2014 stats: Wedding Bells after 4.5 Years of Marriage.
According to number of comments left: Eleventh Monkey Giveaway.
Which three countries (you have not been to before) would you like to visit?
Canada, Australia and New Zealand. These are actually on our list of countries we’d like to live in for a couple of years in the not-so-far-away future.
Would you prefer living on the first floor or the thirtieth floor of an apartment building?
Definitely on the first floor, much easier. There are no stairs to climb, which is much easier when moving furniture, heavy groceries, baby strollers in and out of the house. Also, if there is an earthquake (obviously I’ve lived in Japan and California too long), I’d much rather be on the ground than 30 floors up.
What is your earliest memory?
Being a bridesmaid at my aunt’s wedding and wearing a dress that made feel like a princess, especially when I twirled. Or sitting on a desk, crying and being scared because I was being vaccinated. Both were when I was three, not sure which came first.
Stroopwafel or roze koek?
These are two typical Dutch treats (click the names for more information). I like them both, but I would probably choose roze koek now, because so far I’ve found stroopwafels in every country I’ve ever lived, but roze koeken, not so much. And they’re nice and soft to bite in.
Amsterdam or Rotterdam?
Not really enamored with either city, I don’t know much about them. I guess, I’d pick Amsterdam since I’ve got more Bon Jovi memories there (encounters and concerts) there and it’s also closer to the airport which makes traveling to Japan easier.
If you could only listen to music from one decade, which decade would that be?
The ninetees. That’s when I first got interested in music, especially Bon Jovi music. That’s also the decade they made their best music, in my opinion.