Utrecht

Utrecht… and a surprise

by Rob on

Marion suggested some weeks ago to go sometime to the city of Utrecht again. Utrecht is a beautiful city to have a good walk, visit some shops and enjoy some good food.
I found this a very good idea and so we planned already a few weeks ago to go there today.

As we do very often, we went by train. No stress of the traffic, no being annoyed by other folks on the road, no parking problems and wine or beer by a dinner is no problem at all.
Marion suggested to bring along my camera, because Utrecht is, as said, a wonderful city.

Once we arrived at the central rail road station of Utrecht, Marion pulled me in the direction of Starbucks, because she wanted badly some coffee.
Maybe she really wanted coffee, but that was not the main reason to go to Starbucks. Because on the moment we walked in I saw to my surprise, Marissa and Richard sitting at a table.
It was so obvious that this was all planned this way. But Marissa and Richard are good company and more than welcome to join us on our visit to Utrecht.

After enjoying the coffee and some chatting, Marion suddenly said that we had to hurry a bit to get the next train.
At that moment I was really confused. What next train? We were already where we had planned to go.
I was just told to come along and so I did, wondering what was going on.
We got on the train in the direction of the Hague. Marissa explained that we just had to the next station in another part of Utrecht. She opened up her handbag and took out 4 tickets for “Star Wars Identities: The Exhibition”.

I was so pleasantly surprised.This is so typical Marion. I mentioned a long time ago, when this exhibition was announced, that I would like to go there. I almost forgot about it, but Marion didn’t and planned this day together with Marissa and Richard (Marissa is just as me a Star Wars fan). Really awesome.

Fun fact: When I was driving yesterday home with a colleague and I mentioned that we would go to Utrecht, his first remark was about the Star Wars exhibition. And I told him that we would not go there, but that we would visit the city itself.

Star Wars

The exhibition was truly awesome. For someone like me (or as Marissa) who really love the Star Wars sagas, this is wandering through a daydream. Maybe what it made even more special is that many of items that were on display were actually used in the movies.

Yoda

I have learned many things about Star Wars that I didn’t know. I didn’t know that eyes of Yoda where based on the eyes of Albert Einstein, to show great wisdom. And that his name was created by playing around with words. It also seemed that George Lucas and the people he worked with had trouble with designing the way Yoda would look.
Also I didn’t know that Jabba the Hutt was first a character that walked on two legs, instead of this super sized snail. And there were 3 persons in the puppet of Jabba to make him move in a natural way as possible.

Star Wars

There was an audio guide available. I must say that it was one of the best audio guides I have seen at an exhibition or museum (and I have seen some by now).
When you got close to an item that was covered in the tour, the device started to play automatically (you could also recognize these areas by markings on the floor).

It described in a very good and understandable about what makes the identity, covering some scientific and biological background. There was really something to learn. And all of course in references with the Star Wars stories.

Han Solo

To make it even more interactive, every visitor got a bracelet. Throughout the tour the bracelet could be used to store the result of questions that would determine your Star Wars identity.
I became the most cuddly creature of the universe, an Ewok Jedi. Marissa a human princess (of course). And Richard a Wookie mercenary.
And Marion? She complained that we always call her evil and so she answered all the questions in the most evil way and became indeed a Sith Knight :-).

Star Wars

The exhibition was really awesome We all enjoyed it very much.

Afterwards we had dinner together at restaurant “De Zwarte Vosch”, a place Marion and I knew already. A very nice restaurant to be with friends.

And then the time to say goodbye again. Marissa and Richard travelled back to Twente, while Marion and I moved back to North Holland. But it was a wonderful day well spent!

Trooper Star Wars Star Wars Fighter Rob
Expo Utrecht - Star Wars Identities The Exhibition
Restaurant De Zwarte Vosch

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Starbucks Cup
Yesterday I was at the Central Station of Utrecht. There we decided to get some coffee at one of the Starbucks there.
Every year Stabucks has a specially designed cup for the Holidays Season. So they have this year, a colourful and bright design I would say. I really like it, but again is not everybody happy with it.

Again? It happens very often that people are not happy with the design of their Holiday Cup. And who are not happy with it? Conservative christians! Who else I am close to say?

According these folks Starbucks is supporting the LGBTQ community. First thing that hits me here right away is: And if they do, what is wrong with that?
But with the statement in my head echoing that Starbucks supports the LGBTO community and I look at the cup, I hear myself say “Wot???”.

It seems that it has been decided that the two hands holdings each other are the hands of two women. And we all know that two women holding hands are lesbians (duh, my head starts to hurt).
The thing is, there is no official statement about the gender of the hands. And I really wonder why should there be an official statement.
Even the designer of the cup says nothing about this none-issue created by people who seem to have nothing better to do. He stated: “I like the idea of hands at the center point, a symbol of connection, love and giving joy — whether it’s wrapping presents or decorating a tree, writing cards or enjoying a mug of cocoa”. And that is all there is to it.

Maybe this year’s promotional video of Starbucks is related to this controversy. There are at a certain moment two women holding hands… and yes, clearly for these people two women holding hands are lesbians (argggghhh… my head). And even it was meant as two lesbians? Nothing wrong with that I would say. Not everyone is that narrow minded and people should finally stop with pressing their own opinions, convictions and beliefs upon others. Sadly, I have say that specially religions are guilty of doing this (but not alone…).

Conservative christians having problems with the Holiday Cup of Starbucks are nothing new, It is a recurring event since 1997 when they made the cup purple! Yes, I mean purple! How can they make a cup purple? Bah, purple is a lovely colour. How can you have problems with a colour, apart from liking it or not?

You can see here all the holiday cups since 1997: 20 Years of Starbucks Holiday Cups.

And as far it concerns me: Go to Starbucks to enjoy their coffee. If you don’t like their coffee, then stay away from there. But please stop creating this kind of stupid none-issues.

Rob
Starbucks - Centraal Station Utrecht

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