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Letters
January 8,1998
Hi Cg! Here finally my promised email. I will try to tell you as much as possible about my country. I have decided that I will tell things about my country in seperate story. So everytime I tell something different about my country in a email I will also add some pictures, in the story, hopefully does Netscape 4.04 show that. In Outlook Express from Microsoft Explorer, you can add pictures in a letter. Just like in a book. If your lucky, you can also see, that the background is yellow and my letters are darkblue. Hopefully you can. I couldn't start yesterday with this email, because I went to my friends house, I came back very late and I had to get some sleep. Although I have to confess, that I didn't go to bed right away, I was still wide awake, so I listened to a little bit music. You told me in your message that you have 3 cars and a scooter and that I could use them when I would come to you one day. To me thas was a little bit funny, because the simple fact is: I can't drive a car!!! Hihihi, so after I would have used one of your cars, you probably end up with a wreck. By the way it was very nice to make such a kind inventation, but in Holland it's quit uncommon to invite somebody you hardly know. I think we Dutch are a little bit more reserved, we always want to get to know the person a little bit better. Typical Dutch. But here I go... I'm gonna tell you today some general things about my country. I will ullistrate the story's with pictures. I also included a picture of myself. Not in the story but as an attachment. It was taken during a George Michael Meeting in Amsterdam Planet Hollywood in October last year. Okay, I'm gonna talk about my country now. I am very proud of my country. We Dutch always complain about the weather here (rightfully, because the weather is really bad!) but in fact the Dutch are a little bit spoilled. I really thank god on my knees that I am so fortunate to be born in this country. Really!!!! Especially if you look at countries as Algerie, were they slaughter their people. You probably heard of it the past few days. Really dreadfull. And of cause, Holland is a financial stabil country. We are doing very well. Especially the past 4 years, since we have a new government. I will tell you about them in the next segment. First I like to tell you about the people. Holland is a mixture of all the nations in the world. You really can find every nationality in this country and most important is that we live to gether very peacefully. Hardly no discrimination. I cannot say, sadly enough, that there is no discrimination, but in general is Holland a good place to live in for emigrants. About 16.000.000 live here. It's a small country and very populated. We have got large cities, well known to the world, specially Amsterdam but also Rotterdam (large mainport, biggest in the world) and Utrecht (the heart of the Netherlands). My family comes from Utrecht. I think the strength of Holland is that the tolerance level is very high. Everybody excepts each others religions and cultures. We have social security and benefits, only there's one negativ side to that. It attracks people who ask for asylum, not because of political reasons, but because of economical reasons. My country tries to stopp that because we only really got place for people who are in danger in their own country. I hope you understand, that I've absolutely no problems with people seeking asylum, as long as it is for the right reasons. People from Algerie for instance. They have really a reasons to leave their country. I am so glad that I live in this country. GOVERNMENT Just as I told you before, we have since 4 years a new government. As you probably know, Holland is a monarchy. Our Queen is Beatrix van Oranje. She is really wonderfull. Her son (she has three sons) Willem-Alexander will be her succesor to the Crown. Unlike the British Monarchy (scandals, tragedies: death of Princes Diana) our Royal Family is not so in the picture. At least not so much in the Public eye of the world. You can even say that they are boring in comparising to the English. I'am really glad that they are. We don't need scandals in our monarchy. The biggest difference between the two Royal families are: the Dutch stand much closere to their Royal family, the Windsors are living in their ivor castlle. Although this might change because of Diana's death. Back to my government. For 4 years now the "Purple Kabinet" is ruling our country. It's a mixture of Democrats (like labour in England) and Liberals. Of cause one party is the opposition party: CDA. That means Christian Democratic Party. This party delivered for 8 years in a row our prime minister, untill 4 years ago. That was Ruud Lubbers. Now we have got Mr. Kok. Unbelievable, I have forgotten his christiningname. We have got a parlement with two chambers. The first Chamber. This one has not got much power. Although it has to give approval in cases of Lawchanges. The second Chamber is the most important one. Each party has a number of MP's. Don't know how they call it in Malesia. The biggest party has the most people. They have been voted by the people. Next year there will be a new election. I will vote for this government, because they have fullfilled their promises to the country. Unemployementrates are going down, our economy grows and we have an decrease in inflation. So things are looking better than ever. This doesn't mean that everything is so great and that they don't screw up. Excuse me the language. But they do make also a lot of bad mistakes, but I think every government has its floors. Now some Geographic stuff about my country. Just like I said earlier, it's very small. I am gonna look for a small map, which I can add. I'm back, I have sent you the url for that page, so you can see it for your selfs. I live in Flevoland. It's a small island in the Netherlands. We actually live on the bottom of the sea. No joke!! Where you see land (Flevoland, use to be water). It's fun living here. Here is the pic. You will probably have seen it on the url I have send you.[] This is Flevoland. I live above dronten, near the water. Here's the a map of Netherlands:[] In the province Friesland, in the top of the Netherlands a very special tradition has been going on since 1879. It's called the Eleven Race City. I really like to tell you about this, because for us Dutch this is besides our national colour: Orange and our National football team, the most proudest and fun event you can imagine. In all those years, the tour has been skated, I'm talking about iceskating on natural ice, 15 times. Last year we had the 15th Friese Elfsteden Tocht! That was really great. I will explain more. We Dutch are crazy about skating. Speedskating, not figureskating. We are really experts in skating. We have been many times Worldchampion, European Champion and so on. This tour has nothing to do with those games. It's a 125 mile tour on natural ice. U can imagine that it doesn't happen to many times, because we don't always have good winters. this year is pretty bad, in the view of a fan. I like the weather now, because its not so cold. But last year it frose really hard. -11 untill sometimes -18 in the night. So finally after ten years it was decided that this tour was going to skated again. You cannot imagine the excitement it brought. Journalists from all over the world came to look to us crazy Dutch. To want to skate a 125 mile tour on ice in freezing weather, is looked at with astonishmend and disbelieve. The first part consist of Marathon skaters, they are riding a match. The winner deserves no money but your famous at the spot. It's really a big thing when you win this Eleven city tour. Than the normal people (not professional skaters) get theire change to ride the tour. If they do finish and collect a stamp at every checkpoint, they get a little button. It's for outsiders nothing, but in Holland and for some other people from other countries its everything. Will send you the pic of this medal later. Here is a picture of the matchskaters when they are leaving for their 125 mile race:[] 6.00 in the morning. After all they have left, the tourriders, the normal people are leaving in small groups. As a tourrider you have to finish before 24.00 hours or you won't get a medail. Very sad, when you see somebody finish 24.00 hours and a few seconds. That means he or she won't get a medail. Real tragedies at the finish then. The most fun part is really that a lot of peopel essemble by bridges and towns where the frozen canals lay. They come to cheer on the people who are brave enought to try. It's absolutely amazing. By the way it's called the eleven city race, because it's a tour along 11 cities in Friesland (provence of the Netherlands). They start and finish in Leeuwarden. Here is a other picture[] People cheering the skaters on. The hats are orange. Here is another picture of De Friese Elfsteden Tocht. [] The winner of the tour: Henk Angenent. He is a farmer [] As you can see it's very cold. Now, this is it for now. Hope u can see the pics in the story or else they will be send to you by attachment. I'm gonna quit now. I have been busy for two hours now. Here is my picture. Hihi, Going now. Bye By the way what kind of weather do you have now?? [] Scary, don't you think, hihi. The man on the picture on the t-shirt is George Michael. My favourite artist. Bye, goodnight.
Subject: About all kinds of things Date: Tue, 13 Jan 1998 20:53:35 +0100 From: "karina Harting" To: "Omar Wan Mahmud" Hi Cg, Here is finally my letter. I am feeling much better now. Not at the top of course, but it's not so bad as yesterday. I just have returned from school. I promised you on Friday, to show my Practisereport. Before I am going to do that, I first have to explain how my school works. I am studying for commercial employee. That means that I can get work as a sales representative, Pr work and so on. It's got a very wide basis, for different jobs. Within 3 weeks I get my diploma. But first I have to do 4 more exams. 1 Dutch exam, 2 German exams: correspondence and communication, and the Commercial reporting exam. Friday I received after working 4 months in a practisecompany my reportcard. In this, the teacher/manager gives his ratings on my work. I have worked over the past 4 months at the Buy and sales department of a fake company called: Delta group S.B. . The school build a company which works like a real company, only there is no real money going around. Pooh, difficult to explain. I have mostly been busy with the Pr-work, which included: the Delta Group Newspaper, I was the editor. I made offers to other companies. In the Netherlands there are several schools with a fake company. They were our clients. To cut a long story short. During this time, the Manager looks if you are suitable for the job. I got a very good report. System goes like this: A= really bad B= Didn't meet the requirements C= Did meet the requirements D= better than is required E= At the top, you can't get any better. Here is my report: To deal with numbers and calculations= C Use of the Dutch Language = C Verbal expression skills = C Lay-out work (how I deliver my work, does it look neet and and well) = D Accuracy = D Teamwork = C To deal with the management = C Independent execution of my tasks = D leadership = D Dealing with stress = D Affinity with computers = D Showing initiative = E Representative (how do I behave, dress at the job = D speed of finishing the job = D Perseverance = E Achievement/motivation = E Total work done = D Hope you get this. It was very difficult to translate this. Have to learn a lot more English. Hihihi I will use this reportcard when I am going for a jobinterview. I will give up the manager as a reference. He will testify than that I am suitable for the job. Now something completely different. I gave you address, where you could find my profile and picture. You placed that page on my page. Now I want to add another page to that area, because it has much to do with the other page. Here it comes: http://www.gncom.com/haliska/index2.html Will you add everything I add in this letter? Not always necessary, because some things that I tell you, because I want you to know about my country, but not every little detail has to be on it,hihihi. Although, it might be educating for people who bump into this page. SCHOOLS: I would like to tell you about our schoolsystem. I cannot imagine that it differs much from Malesia. Of course you start in infant-school. But I am gonna talk mostly about schools for 12 year old and older. We have got schools for any kind of religion, but also public schools, privet schools. Every kind of school you can think of is there. Most of the 12 year olds, firstly go to the bridgeclass. This sound probably very stupid, but it's really called that way. In 2 years the teachers will test you with all kind of subjects, so they and of course the youngster, can find out which school direction is suitable for him or her. I went to Christian school. Not because I have that religion, but because they have here a wonderful reputation. Very good schools. I spend to years in "The Bridgeclass". It always are two years! Then I went to the Secundary Modern school. You can also go to the school which is a level higher. Same name, almost, but I don't know it anymore. By the way, you can compare bridgeschool, with highschool in America. Than you can go for real jobeducation. Like MEAO. This is an education for administration work. With this diploma you can get work easily. Gee, what have I begun. It's probably better if I find some pages about our schoolsystem. I will look them up for you. It's so difficult to explain. The only thing I really can say, is that we have schools for every group in the society. My twinbrother studied for chemical engineer. He works as head of the researchdepartment with Akzo in Apeldoorn (Netherlands). Of course we have also got universities and so on. I don't think it differs from Malesia. Only one Question, do the students have to wear an uniform???? I am really curious, because here in Holland, pupils can wear what they want, although there are of course some restrictions. O dear, I had some great stories that I wanted you to tell, but if you ask me right know, what they are about, I have no idea. A little bit brainless right now. O yes, Holland is most know for the following things: Worldchampion Darts, hihi since yesterday. (The English could hardly get over it, because they see it as there own game, and that a Dutchman won the worldtitle, is really for them hard to take!) Football, soccer. Dutchsupporters get dressed up in Orange clothes during all the matches from our National team. The colour Orange is from our Royal Family. The family Oranje van Nassau. Will try to find something about them. I mean the football team and the Royal Family. I am very proud of both of them. Skating Fishing Windmills Tulips wooden shoes,hihi. very difficult to walk with! Amsterdam. Yes, I am gonna tell you about Amsterdam! There are a lot of stories shown in the worldnews about this city, and not everything was really pretty. Stories about drugs, prostitution and so on. I sadly, cannot deny the presents of this trash, but sadly people are not able to look any further. Because Amsterdam is besides that really a wonderful city. No exaggerations. This city is alive night and day. It has a wonderful pleasant atmosphere. You can see all nationalities in this city. It has a great history, specially in the second Worldwar. The house of Anne Frank. Have you ever heard of Anne Frank?? We have got canals, canalboats of course, very old houses, so beautiful. 1000 or more stores. A wonderful park named Vondelpark. This also nicknamed the beach of Amsterdam. In the summer people go out there to relax. Somewhat like Central Park in New York, but more save. The Central Station of Amsterdam is an old architectural beauty. When come in to the station by train it doesn't look so wonderful, but when your are standing in front of the mainentrance, it takes your breath away. The most fun part from Amsterdam, are the streetartist and just all the people who are there. At the moment that you are there, everybody is equal. Sounds probably very strange, but I always feel connected to the other people when I am in Amsterdam. That city got vibes. I don't go to the disco's. I usually go to the cinema: Tuschinsky, more than a 100 years old, looks real dramatic and sjiek from the inside, hihi. I spend each month one day out in Amsterdam. Will try to find some real nice pics from this city. I am telling you this, so you will know that Amsterdam is more than Drugs or prostitution. I have never been confronted there with these things. You will only find it, when you look for it. There are of course also a lot of stores for "adults', but you can ignore them. They are there, but that doesn't mean that you have to visit them.So I have no difficulties with the fact that they are there, you only won't find me there, that's all, hihi! Amsterdam is a city which is a wonderful place to stay a day. I wouldn't want to live there, to many people. I am going now. Couldn't find much inspiration. Will make up next time. Gonna try to find the right pictures now. I don't want to impose, but could you tell me a little bit more about yourself and your family. If you don't want, please don't. Oh, by the way please add this url to my page. It's the most important page for a George Michael fan. It's the URL of his homepage. He has his own recordcompany called Aegean. http://www.aegean.net/ Thank you verymuch!!! O yes, it is indeed a very strange thought that we are able to communicate so easy with someone at the onther side of the earth. Really astonishing. I was amazed at the number of countries you visited. I haven 't been able to do that yet, althought I travel once a while. Next month I am going with my sister to Paris. We have been there before, but we also gonna visit Disney Paris this time. Further, I did visit: Germany, Austria (several times with my family), France (mainly Paris), Italy (Rome and Milan). Yes I suddenly get so much inspiration, although i am not gonna tell you right now. In my next letter I will tell you about Rome. That city has such a history and culture. There is lots to tell about, I will also scan some holiday pictures. Would you like that? I have never been outside Europe, although my sister and I have planned to go to Gran Canaria, that's near Afrika. Correct me when I am wrong. I am really going now. Have to study Dutch. Unbelievable, I am Dutch, but this language is probably the most difficult language to learn in the world. The Dutch don't even understand the grammar very well. So complicated. I can talk it of course very well, but writting it, is totally another game. AAAAh, real torture: o ) This is it for today. Hope you enjoyed my chaotic story. I am always like this. Bye,
Karina

Subject: [Fwd: 2 members online cd's] Date: Fri, 23 Jan 1998 17:02:22 +0100 From: Karina Harting Organization: World Access To: Omar Mahmud Hi, Here is the letter I received from Aegean.The shortest they have written ever, hihihi Regards, Karina --------------------------------------------------------------------- Subject: 2 members online cd's Date: Sat, 24 Jan 1998 15:49:09 +0000 From: Sales Organization: Aegean.Net To: harti002@wxs.nl Thank you for your mail, we will look into this immediately. Kind regards
Aegean

Subject: ICQ Date: Sun, 25 Jan 1998 10:42:36 +0100 From: "karina Harting" To: "Omar Wan Mahmud" HI Cg. Wanted to check my messages on ICQ, but it doesn't seem to work. Whatever I do. So I only wanted to say goodbye and check if others left a message on icq. HIHi, not much, this is all. I just got out of bed. I be leaving within an hour. It takes me about two hours to get to a city, which is actually a one hours drive. But I am going by train, and that really says it all. We are not so happy with NS our traincompany in Holland. Always delays, very high prices and very unhandy travelroutes. This was it, enjoy the rest of your day, Regards,
Karina


Friday 23 January,1998

Dear Karina,

We have been communicating via ICQ everyday; several times a day even though we are thousands of miles apart and having 7 hours of difference in time. Beside the coming letter and the photos that you promised me, you have already written to me two very long letters, telling me about your beautiful country. I appreciate all that very much. You even sent me photos; alot of them, which are very beautiful. I colour balanced, recreated and uploaded them and made use of them in my homepages. What a wonder...all these things; the ICQ, the electronic mails and the internet itself. It really is making the world smaller and we are now living in a global village; no doubt about it. Due to that, one of these days you said you are coming to my country and who knows, one day I might visit your country, too.

Since this is my first letter to you, I would like to tell you about my country; anything that might not be found in the homepages that I sent you. Well, as you already know, my country is a tropical country with plenty of sunshine and rain. But, the rain only comes mostly in November, December and the early part of January.

Our capital city is Kuala Lumpur as a state by itself, within the state of Selangor. The country is divided into 14 states including Kuala Lumpur which is considered as the capital state. Each of the states has its own head of state, who is either a "sultan" (King) or a "Yang Di Pertuan" (governor).Beside that, we have our federal king called "The Yang Di Pertuan Agong", being elected to be on the throne for five years before another king is elected among the "sultans".

Malaysia is a rich developing country. We produce our own cars, buses, lorries, etc. We even export them to many parts of the world. UK is one of our car importers. We also have our own oil wells off the coasts of my state, Terengganu (The map is in the Malaysia Homepage that I sent you - "lonely planet"). That is in the east coast of Peninsular Malaysia. The eastern part of my country is to the east, across the South China Sea. They are the states of Sarawak and Sabah. So, I think that is about all geographically.

Politically, my country is a democratic one. We have a parliamentary government being elected by the people every 5 years. We are a multi-racial country with the Malays, Chinese, Indians and many other races living together peacefully. That is why a lot of tourists from all corners of the world do come here to enjoy the sunshine and the friendliness of the people here.

Well, that is about all for now, I think.

My first holidays this year starts today. It is for two weeks. The Chinese New Year celebration comes on 28 January, 1998 and two days after that it is the "Hari Raya Aidilfitri" for the Muslims. That is to celebrate the end of the month of "Ramadhan" (The fasting month). So it is going to be a celebration-filled holiday here.

You asked me what I would do today (in your ICQ message this morning). Well, nothing I guess. Now that I have written you the letter that I promised, I am looking forward to doing something useful... and not forgetting my usual hobby, of course,...editing my homepages. If you go to http://www.geocities.com/SouthBeach/Breakers/7789/, you will find a lot of them.

Dear Karina,

I hope you will get through all the exams that you are taking and get the diploma that you have been telling me so much about. I know you are sound asleep right now (to be exact it is 2:20 a.m. in The Netherlands right now.....9:10 a.m. in Malaysia).

Until you are online (for I am sending this letter in the form of an URL via ICQ), Byeeeee....

From
Cg.


Van: karina Harting
Aan: Omar Wan Mahmud
Onderwerp: about all kinds of things
Datum: zaterdag 31 januari 1998 12:55

Hi Omar,

Decided to use your real name. I used Cg. because I was used to it with ICQ. But I use the name George at ICQ and you don't call me George, hihi. So it's more than normal that use your real name: o)
I like to tell you about the celebrations in my country now. We don't celebrate Ramadan, except of course by all the Moslem population in our country and we don't celebrate newjear, hihi except for the chinese community here, but we do celebrate the 60th birthday of our Queen Beatrix. hihihi. So your not the only one who's going to party: o )
Just kidding.
Now seriously, her 60th birthday is on the 31th, this Saturday and the celebrations started of last Tuesday.Will try to find something of her on the internet. http://wisdom.psinet.net.au/~lani/25.html http://www.bundesregierung.de/.bin/lay/ausland/news/events/ev960516.html
I didn't keep the letter I wrote you first. I tossed it away, because it was pretty bad. I was not pleased with it, that's why I started all over again.
I have come up with a wonderful idea. I will to make a tape which will show you all kind of things about Holland. Will be difficult and I really cannot say when you gonna get it, (at least within 1998,hihi) but I will make a tape of my country. What kind of videosystem do you use??? I heard that for instance that the videotapes are different than the European system. We have got PAL. Whatever that means. I can make a tape, but it has no use when your not able to watch it. O yes, I have some surprise for you in mind, but I will not tell you what it is. Just wait and see. Can't tell when it arrives at your door. I think next month. It's a real beautiful gift and I hope you like it. O dear, apparantley I am suffering from a writers block, hihi. I really don't know what to write.

Did you have a nice day yesterday?? I see that today your not online. Yesterday I tried to contact you several times, but World Access my provider was not very cooperative. The computer didn't connect. Really frustrating.
Thank you for your beautiful card. I really don't know how you do it, but it' really beautifull. O yes, at the end of February I will be 3 days in Paris, of course I will send you some cards. Than you can see where I have been. The last time I was in Paris, is about 8 years ago, so that is quite some time ago.
Going now. The second URL is the speech from Beatrix when she received an honoury price from Germany. Greetings from your friend,

Karina


Subject: test e-mail Date: Sun, 1 Feb 1998 23:17:25 +0100 From: "karina Harting"
To: "Omar Wan Mahmud"
Hi Cg.
I am sending you this test e-mail, because it seems that I have problems with receiving and sending e-mails. At least that's what I am thinking. I send today an e-mail to a friend and she didn't receive anything, like you didn't receive my letter. If you can receive this little note, than there's nothing wrong with my e-mail box. Strangely enough, I haven't received mail from others either. But that can be coincidence. Please notify me if you have received this one and please write something back by e-mail, than I will know that everything still functions.
Bye,
Karina