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ReportsThursday, 3 May 2001
--> Scheveningen (NL) My night-host Caroline and I made it pretty late last night, so it was quite a bummer for me that I already had to wake up at 8.30 am because she had to go to work. She was already running around fully awake, and when I opened my eyes my breakfast was already standing in front of me on the livingroom table!
After this I took a shower and packed my stuff, not forgetting Her Gift: the signed book about Gavin Friday written and published by herself!
I thanked her generously at the front door and there we split up. She went to her work at an Internet company and I walked back onto the Wibautstraat where I'd end up on a highway if I'd walked it all the way out.
Next destination: Scheveningen. Half way the street it started the poor down very fast. The promised weather of 25 degrees Celcius and a sunny day was just a dream in my mind at that moment.
I sheltered for the rain in front of the building where the Dutch newspaper De Volkskrant has its office and read some pages from the latest edition in the window until I got a phonecall on my mobile phone.
It was Eddy Keur: a radio-jockey from the Dutch AM-radiostation 'Q The Beat', ready for an interview in English to be recorded and broadcast abroad. This was a part of the sponsordeal I have with the station, but I totally didn't expect that call at that time.
It disturbed me that I could not really tell my story and only answered some popular questions - and I think his English wasn't really prepared pretty good too. We'll have to work on that, Eddy.
After the little interview I put on my raincoat and restarted the walk again to the highway.
I remembered something ever saying that walking along the highways in The Netherlands is kind of prohibited, so I used a bicyclepath next to the highway to arrive at a gas station where already a German girl tried to get a hitch in the pooring rain. I decided to let her go first and sheltered at the gas station until the rain was over after some 30 minutes.
Once again outside I learned never to stand next to the road trying to get a hitch - just after rainfall… One big truck passed me by and splashed the dirt from the road all over me. Yes, you are allowed to laugh, but it scared the hell out of me! Fortunately I had my raincoat on, so I only rubbed clean my pants with a towel - just to look decent again. After one hour I still couldn't get a ride so I walked to the nearest off ramp for traffic going to The Hague.
Pretty fast I got a ride from an allround artist who had to go to Vlaardingen and he let me out along the highway just before where he had to go to the left and I had to go right.
I was only walking five minutes along this very busy 4-ways-with-highway when a police car stopped me and an officer started to talk in English with me.
I corrected him to talk in simply Dutch and he asked me to step into the car. I already expected this not to be a normal hitch and when he asked me for my ID I felt troubles hanging around me. The officer wrote me a fine ticket of 120 Dutch Guilders (over us$50) for walking along the highway. So, it really was prohibited. The bill would be send to my home-address, what made me laugh a little in my inner thoughts: I won't be there for a while; haha…
They put me off on a sandy road in Leidschendam where I put out my cardboard sign 'The Hague' out again and within 5 minutes I got a hitch from a Turkish man who had to go all the way to Scheveningen. And that was exact my final destination for this day!
The Turkish man worked as a cook and a waiter at the Columbus Restaurant and we talked a little bit about the Turkish music that was playing from his car cd-player, in Dutch of course.
I arrived in Scheveningen around 2 pm and walked a bit through that part of The Hague until I got at the right address where my hostess for today would live: Charis.
Charis is one of the most a(ttra)ctive and youngest webcamgirls in The Netherlands and she has a very unique website where she also posts almost daily information about what is going on in her life in English.
She is honestly suprised by a small number of 500 people visiting her everyday from all over the world, although most off them are dirty older men asking her to take her clothes, which she sometimes does - but not reveilling anything on the screen next to her bare shoulders and a nice smile.
Her ex-boyfriend Derk, where she still lives with for just a little while, let me in and a few minutes later I met Charis who just returned from the mall.
Both our reactions to each other where based on mutual shyness at first site, but after some chatting and telling about what happened on the road it looked like we already knew each other longer. Which is a bit true: I've met this lady already on March 19 on a webmeeting where a lot of Dutch webloggers meet each other and go out for a drink in some city. Pictures of that can be found here.
She showed me their little but nice appartment where she'll be moving out soon and of course she had to turn on her webcam to show me to the world.
After some time of online chatting and ICQ-ing she took me to the beach, just a ten minutes walk away from her house. The weather still wasn't great, very windy and on the beach itself it could pretty cold, but it was very refreshing for the mind. I had not been blown out at a beach for a long time and it felt good!
Next to her studie Information Technologies Charis also works as a waitress at the popular beach-restaurant Bora Bora. So the insisted on visiting this place for a cup of hot chocolate around the fireplace. It really was a very coisy place where 'just feeling good' was on the number one spot of the service.
I got noticed of my appearance in todays edition of the USA Today by email and Charis bought me one copy at the local newspaperstand! How nice that was from her and how crazy it felt for us to read about this same project in a world-wide sold newspaper. Aaargh!!!
We spent the rest of the afternoon chatting and ICQ-ing on the net at the house and Derk did some shopping for dinner: we ate rice with chicken and vegetables baked in some great sauce, which tasted pretty good! All this time Charis had her webcam running so I think you can find some pix into her archives soon.
After dinner Charis changed her outfit and took me to Mark, a very good friend of her and where she'll be moving into the student flat.
We took the tram-car and Charis even bought me a public transport strip-card! Every seperate studentroom there had a superfast ADSL-connection, and those experiences are pretty new for me - a guy used to a 56K-modem only…
Those two took me to Havana, a restaurant that turned into a little dance-hall as we were standing there, drinking some beers and meeting some friends of Charis and Mark.
It was quite fun in there, however the deejay only played dance songs from only 5 years ago, which kept us pretty at ease and sometimes even disapointed on the dancefloor.
Around 1 am Charis and I took the latest tramcar back to her house where I wrote my piece about my previous night at Caroline's place.
I will keep on trying to stay only one day behind in writing my reports here, but excuses me if Mr. Time is not on my site, anywhere in the future.
This day with Charis became a very interested day and I had some nice talks with her. About her website, her breakup with her boyfriend; we even had pretty psychological chats in the tramcar about life in common which made us both think and stare into the dark outside.
Very very interesting. In that way I see a lot of me in Charis; also very excited, not really someone to sit still. Just one over active person, enjoying life.
When I gave her The Gift from Caroline today she was really suprised, especially because it was such a personal gift from Caroline and also the fact that this book was even written by her!
Tomorrow I'll be staying at a location in The Hague City itself. And Charis still didn't knew what kind of a personal Gift she would pass on to my next host.
You'll find out tomorrow!