I've already explained about that in this entry, but that was in Dutch. So I'll repeat it here for our international readers:
In 1990, I played in a Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay campaign. I don't remember who was the gamemaster, but it was someone from 'our' group within the ERG (Eindhovense Rollenspel Groep, that's where I also met JP, Astrid, Jopie & Maurice [and some other people you don't know]). I played a Gnome Raconteur, basically a storyteller. The book said that raconteurs always wore brightly colored clothing to attract attention. I knew next to nothing about the setting, so I just stuck to the stereotypes.
Dirk played Arno, one of the Barbarian Brothers (his brother, Fred, played the other brother, Jarno). They were twins: two meters tall, half naked musclemen with a preference for big weapons that did lots of damage. The sum of their IQs was just above that of a five-year old child.
We were walking along a city (we were playing one of the published campaigns, if I recall correctly, but I don't know which one), and my Gnome couldn't keep up with the group, what with his legs being much shorter and all. So I persuaded Arno to carry me around on his neck. He agreed, and I rode Arno through the city, getting a lot of attention. But when the group entered a tavern, Arno forgot all about me and just walked through the door. I hit my nose. Hard.
And it 'honked', like one of those old car horns.
Not only was my gnome's nose big, it also made sound when squeezed. I don't know what made the GM come up with that (it was a perfectly serious campaign upto that point, aside from the occasional hijinks of the Barbarian Brothers), but it stuck. The campaign quickly degenerated into mindless slapstick, and we never finished it.
But I gained a nickname in the process: 'Fab' (with a long, nasal 'a'-sound).
When I went to Nijmegen for university, I got introduced to the phenomenon 'MUD': sort of a multi-user text-adventure through the internet. This was in 1992, so no web yet, it was all telnet-based. You needed a name for your character to start playing, so I used 'Fab' as name for my character. I was a total clueless newbie, so I got killed pretty soon. I didn't know what was happening and I logged out quickly. When I loggen in again, my character was still in the middle of the standard death sequence. I thought that this was the end of Fab, so I chose to start a new character. I chose a slight variation of my nickname, and thus Fub was born.
I learned more about MUDs, and soon Fub had more stuff and XP than Fab, so I kept him.
2 What one place in the Netherlands should I visit?
That depends on what you want to get out of your visit. If you want to marvel at the magnificent feats of engineering that the Dutch are capable of, visit Neeltje Jans. It has extensive exhibits about the 1953 flood and the 'Deltaplan' that was set into motion as a consequence.
If you go for nature and culture, visit Park de Hoge Veluwe. It is a reasonably large nature reserve ('large' for the Dutch, anyway) with cycling roads criss-crossing it. In the middle is the Kröller-Müller museum of modern art, with an extensive collection of paintings (lots of Van Gogh) but also a lot of statues. A stroll through the statue-gardens is a really pleasant experience.
If you go for big cities, visit Amsterdam. It does have the culture-bit too (Stedelijk Museum and Rijksmuseum), but is too big and touristy for my tastes.
If you want to see old cities, go to Deventer. It's not too big, but it is a well-preserved Hanze-city.
If you want to meet up with friends, come to Nijmegen. ;)
3 Is zwart-wit (hope I spelled it right) evil?
Yes, you spelled it right. 'Zwart-wit' is salmiak with sugar, mostly ingested in the form of 'Zwart-wit ballen': ball-shaped hard confectionery with a liberal dose of zwart-wit inside. Apparently they are unavailable outside of the Netherlands -- my sister (who lives in Copenhagen) makes a point of taking a big bunch of the stuff with her when she returns there after visiting.
And yes, it is evil. It can make you really cranky, it is spicy... But there are more evil things still: the 'Turkish Pepper' they sell in Denmark is like zwart-wit ballen, except it is even hot (as if there's chili-sauce in there too).
4 Would you have gone to Gencon in Amsterdam, had it gone ahead?
I'm not sure. I associate Gencon too much with D&D, a game I ave but little interest in. I've seen program books for Gencon Benelux (when it was still being held, under TSR management), and it all seemed AD&D back then.
Given the fact that a con is the most expensive way to spend a weekend (and the distance between Amsterdam and Nijmegen being what it is, a non-residential membership would simply not have been feasible), I don't think I would have.
5 Money, building regulations etc no barrier what is your ideal house?
Hmmm, hard one. Probably a two-story building, somewhere in a wooded area. The top floor would be less big, making some sort of 'balcony' indoors. Large sitting area, large kitchen. It would have a small, round tower, with a small library at the top. A large conference room with a large table, for roleplaying and other games. Airconditioning. Enough power and network outlets in every room. Lots of windows. Large, shaded garden with a water feature.
Your questions back:
1. Which single individual has influenced you the most? In what way?
2. Is Irn Bru evil?
3. What is the most disgusting thing you ever ate?
4. What's the best thing about living in the UK?
5. Do you want the UK to join the Euro pact? Why or why not?
(And if any of my other readers want to be interviewed, leave a comment and I'll reply with your five questions.)