My stay in the Netherlands is just about complete and thanks to Mieke, Hanneke, and also Fridse, I’ve seen a heck of a whole lot of the country! There’s definitely a lot more to it than just Amsterdam folks. I’d never have even contemplated coming here if I haven’t met Mieke and Hanneke in South Africa last year. They have been extremely accommodating and took great care of this guy while I was here. Seriously, I planned not a single thing! They did all of the hard work while I laid back and went with their flow. Really, I was down for anything. I was just happy to be in another country.
The three of us are good enough friends where we are constantly joking and poking fun at each other on a daily basis. The Dutch here are a sarcastic bunch, especially towards gullible Americans as myself. Case in point, Mieke told me one of her friends was the youngest person to sail around the entire world. Her friend played along and I completely believed it…until I looked it up and found they were toying with me. They tend to do that, just like when I thought they were actually picking me up from the airport on bicycles. They’re capable of anything!
Both Hanneke and Mieke went well out of their way to make sure I felt at home. Hanneke lent me her roommates bike whenever I needed it and Mieke would always whip up tasty dinners and would go grocery shopping, all for me! What did I do to deserve these privileges? Same with Fridse and his crew up in Groningen. They treated me as if I were the guest of honor. At least, that’s how I felt! Unfortunately for the girls, they already knew how much food I could eat and had to postpone their usual diets in preparation for my big American appetite.
I spent my last couple of days in the Netherlands maxin’ and relaxin’. I had to start setting my sights on the future as far as where I’m gonna go and what I’m gonna do next. I have a few pretty good ideas that I’ll share with you all later.
School is about to start here and Mieke and Hanneke have been adjusting back into the typical student habits. It’s the perfect time for me to explore other regions of Europe. We went out for one last dinner in the middle of Ede and closed out my last night playing Catan at Mieke’s place. I just would like to mention that I’ve won the last four games we played. And now that there is an online version, I can beat them anytime from anywhere in the world! 🙂
We had to wake up around 5:30am the next morning in order to catch a train from Ede to the airport. I woke up with a headache which I believe is from the lack of both sleep and water I’ve been getting lately. My main source of liquid recently has been beer. Those guys in Groningen know how to drink! Seriously.
Just like last year in South Africa, Mieke and Hanneke accompanied me to the airport, all the way to the point where they weren’t allowed access. Unlike last time though, this particular goodbye was different. I felt as if I were going to see these guys tomorrow. But I left them knowing for sure I’ll see them again somewhere in this world. And if they ever came to my area of America, they’d get the same royal treatment they gave me…maybe. I still remember when Mieke tried to throw a tomato at my face or when she purposely got me lost on their public transit…twice! Or that time where they purposely left me all alone in Paris. I’ll forgive you guys this time… your kinder efforts make up for it. On a serious note, thanks for everything!! I really do appreciate you two for everything!
As for my situation of being illegal in this country, my concern has lifted. I was given an exit stamp with no problems whatsoever. I was on my way to Cork, Ireland! However, because of my unplanned plan matra, I arrived into bit of a tricky situation once I landed in the Cork airport…