Istanbul Golden Horn

A scenery view of Istanbul Golden Horn and the Topkapi Palace

Istanbul is a city I love very much. I lived there six years ago for a little while. I could never get enough of it. In fact I love it so much I just started a new website about it. So far it only has a couple of posts, but there is many more to come. Find it at Naar Istanbul

This photo I took whilst from the Asian side on a ferryboat, facing the Golden Horn. At the background you can see a tower of the Topkapı Palace.


The Value of Money

A woman asking for money in Kiev, the Ukraine

It was a long time I had not touched money. If not for the couple of times I just had to buy some cat-food or else kitten would starve, it was easily over a year. But suddenly I was feeling the touch of money. I smelled it and it felt crispy.

I was unsure what to do with the bill of 20 euro my friend Rene had given me. I was staying with him in Lyon, France, and it was my turn to go to the market to buy the veggies and fruits for the house. I thought it was good to let go of the idea of not using money, and to experiment again to use it; to get a sense of what it would do to me.

And to say the truth, I thought it would be fun. But instead I was hit by doubt and uncertainty: I simply didn’t know who to give the money to, from whom I wanted to buy the food. Maybe this woman with the nice smile, or that guy who is old? In other words, I wasn’t looking at the quality of the food, but I was judging the quality of the person.

Up and down the market I walked for some time before I finally decided to settle it and to ‘just buy something’. They were apples and I gave the market salesman the money – a piece of paper – looking at him with a weird glance in my eyes, as if I was still in doubt this was the right guy to give the money to, as if he was the one who would “deserve” it.

I ended up spending the whole 20 euro, and I came back home with a trolley filled with fresh foods. I was happy using money again, it made me feel better. Whereas living money-less was fun and interesting at first, at the market in Lyon I came to understand it was now limiting me: I had become a slave of not using money. And like this I came to understand the value of money: it is not what it resembles, but what it does to you.

September 2011. The story in Dutch is available at
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Cooking Red Lentil Dosa’s with Potato Curry

Vegan Cooking in De Peper

Twelve years ago was the first time I was in De Peper. I was squatting in Amsterdam East and De Peper had just moved to the hospital on the other side of the park. I still remember how great their vegan food tasted.

Jump twelve years in time and suddenly I am that cook making the food that people like. What an experience: being allowed to cook a meal for fifty persons in a restaurant with such a tradition.

And I didn’t joke around with the food. I started two days ahead with fermenting red lentils and rice to make dosa‘s (check this recipe) and on the day itself I made a potato curry following traditional Indian recipes.

Steamed Broccoli, a salad and deep-fried tempeh were accompanying the dish, that I prepared together with Manu. We served a French Onion soup as a starter, with freshly made sourdough bread. I can’t wait for the next session.

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Eath this! Hacking rox

Eating Pasta out of a box

Seems like yesterday that Lemonhead and Guaka were sitting on the couch here. It were the early days of Casa Robino -although that name didn’t exist yet. And it was during an unconference on Hospitality Exchange and Bewelcome.

Now Guaka got me into online advertising and I find myself making my first euro’s writing about getting cheap loans. I am justifying it by calling it a subversion; because the website the adds are posted on, is mostly about moneyless living. For real.

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Money-less traveling, steps of gold

Ready For Some Action by robokow

It’s just over two years now that I came back from my trip in Portugal, my first trip without using money, my first steps of gold.

Half a year later I did it again, in Holland & all by foot. As a result of my loving it, I also started a web-project in Dutch (my native language) about money-less living, geldloos, leven zonder geld.

Pegasus, a bike I once had

Pegasus, Bike in Barcelona by robokow

Yeah bikes! They are among the greatest things on the planet. And I have had many of them in my life. In the photo you see Pegasus, I bike I once drove in Barcelona.

Currently I got 6 bikes. Unfortunately I can’t use them all at the same time… ;-)

Novi Son

Life, where does it begin? How does it come into existence? Where does it come from? What is it?

The journey of discovery just started. Everything is new, everything is a surprise, each moment again. The eyes are open, and through the ears we hear… recognition of a voice. It’s a process of learning by sensing it all. Smells, sounds, feelings, touchings, tastes.

Lying on your belly, looking up, turning your head, laughing, drinking mothermilk. Crying just a little, of some dismay, just enough to communicate that you need some comfort. And then your eyes wide open: hello world!

And now you’re in my arms. Four months old today. And see how much you grow, how much you learn, how much you laugh and ‘talk’. Welcome Novi, it’s me, your daddy. Welcome into our life son.