sponsors always were:
During my travels newspaper columns were published weekly in the Dutch daily newspaper
This project has been supported by these great and warmhearted companies:
Netherlands: Paping Buitensport, ODLO, IPtower.nl, AVRO Dutch Broadcasting Org., Travelcare, TunaFish, Book A Tour, StadsRadio Rotterdam; UK: Lazystudent, KissFM, The Sunday Times, The Guardian; Isle of Man: SteamPacket/SeaCat; Ireland: BikeTheBurren; Belgium: Le Temps Perdu, Majer & Partners; Austria: OhmTV.com; Norway: Scanrail Pass, Hurtigruten, Best Western Hotels; South Africa: eTravel, British Airways Comair, CapeTalk, BazBus; Spain: Inter Rail, Train company Renfe; Australia: Channel 9 Television, Bridgeclimb, Harbourjet, SeaFM Central Coast, Moonshadow Cruises, Australian Zoo, Fraser Island Excursions, Hamilton Island Resort, FantaSea Cruises, Greyhound/McCafferty's Express Coaches, Aussie Overlanders, TravelAbout.com.au, Travelworld, Unlimited Internet, Kangaroo Island SeaLink, Acacia Apartments; Malaysia: Aircoast; Canada: VIA rail, Cedar Springs Lodge, BCTV/GlobalTV, St. George Hotel, VICKI GABEREAU talkshow, Ziptrek Ecotours, Whitler Blackcomb Ski Resort, Summit Ski & Snowboard Rental, High Mountain BrewHouse, Cougar Mountain Snowmobiling, Whistler Question Newspaper, Snowshoe Inn, First Air, Nunanet.com, Canadian North Accommodations by the Sea, DRL Coachlines Newfoundland, The National Post and Air North.
ReportsFriday, 4 May 2001
--> The Hague City (NL) Almost as usual it got pretty late last night, but fortunately I didn't have to be in a hurry for this day and both Charis and I could sleep out long.
I slept on a mattress on the living room floor and only got awaken by the running around sounds of her rabbit in its cage, around 1 pm in the afternoon. Charis and I sat down for her web cam and checked our emails. Because it took some time for me she started a delicious sandwich with eggs breakfast and made -specially for me- espresso coffee!
I already knew that the next person I'd to be visiting today had to work 'till 5 pm so we had enough time to relax and wonder on the net and have fun arguments with each other about everything.
Jasper was the next person I'd visit for this day. He works, coincidentally also, in a beach restaurant on the Scheveningen beach (only 1 block away from the Bora Bora restaurant where Charis works - at the Escubelle) and had invited us both for dinner on the beach! We had great sole-fish with salad and spicy fried potatoes, oh so very delicious. And he cooked it himself in the kitchen of the restaurant! Very special!
With Charis still with me, the handout of The Gift to Jasper was a personal happening. Yesterday Charis didn't know what to give to the next host, but eventually this morning she decided to go for: one picture of her and a friend posing together with the star singer Lenny Kravitz, one album of Lenny Kravitz and a personal note. If that's not a personal gift…
Jasper unpacked the package and was very surprised! He didn't expect anything and really liked the idea of passing presents too. What would he give to the next one? He looked outside and saw the owner of the restaurant fighting with the Frisian (Friesland a province of The Netherlands) flag and the pole and saw him renew the flag a quarter before 8 pm. That old flag had been hanging outside of the beach restaurant for over 6 years and Jasper decided that would be The Gift for the next one, because it's a unique souvenir of Scheveningen beach!
On the 4th of May everybody in the Netherlands remembers the victims of World War II and other great disasters' victims like the explosion of a fireworks storage in the city of Enschede last year on May 13 (where a whole quarter of the city just vanished by explosions) or the fire in a discotheque in Volendam on New Years Day where most of the guests couldn't escape from a big fire.
At 8 o'clock in the evening everybody takes two minutes of silence to stand still in respect for those who died while fighting for their freedom. On the Dam in Amsterdam our Dutch Queen lays down a wreath at the national monument.
At that time we both three, Jasper, Charis and me took our two minutes of silence during our meal. Even the music in the restaurant goes mute.
For foreigners who don't really understand this: All Dutch flags hang halfway the poles. Cars on the highway go to the side and stand still for two minutes. TV-stations go black or show the national monument for two minutes. This is how it happens in The Netherlands.
And on May 5th we celebrate Liberation day, the Dutch Day of the Freedom, the Day that the Netherlands were officially freed from the Germans in the World War II and where we celebrate to be free in any form of being on this planet. Not forgetting those who aren't free somewhere on this planet.
After the delicious meal we three had some more drinks and talked about Jasper's websites. He has his own company in web design, called Threehouse-Design.nl and also studies IT. Next to this he also publishes his own weblog called MrGreen.nl, together with some friends of his. The name MrGreen originally came from his first weblog-design, which was totally green.
After we saw the sun go down into the ocean (beautiful view from our table at the window) it was time to go to Jasper's student house. At the tramcar I said goodbye to Charis with a great hug. Great girl that is!
With another tram-car Jasper took me to Huize 'SMAK' ('S Morgens Altijd Koffie which means in English House 'In the morning always coffee'). When we got there, some 15 minutes later, in the old quarter of The Hague, all the house-mates were at the café. Yes, they have a bar inside their student house. Don't ask how, but those techies even build in the web server and the monitor inside this bar. You can sit on the crutch or just lay yourself down on one of the couches, really nice - but very jaunty too! We drunk some beer and some inhabitants of the house passed over some joints to smoke, while some relaxed drum and base music was playing in one of the rooms.
Suzanne, a nice girl who will move into an empty room in the house soon, and Jasper and me, stayed up as one of the latest en started to play with the web cam and posted some stories on MrGreen.nl.
As Suzanne didn't dare to go outside at that time of the night, she decided also to stay and sleep over at the house. Problem: space. There was one high-up two person bed of Jasper and one mattress on the floor in his room. That meant: one of us, Jasper or me, had to share his bed, but next to that we all wanted to sleep on the high-up bed. Conclusion: three people in a two-person bed, and the girl in the middle. No, dear readers, nothing exciting happened - only someone snored…
Jasper is a the stereotype for the Really Cool Guy. He's totally himself and very open in talking and doing things. And he has a great life, working at the beach almost all week, cooking in the kitchen (mmm!) and do some little studying next to his own internet-company! Oops, I am getting jealous!
That night, after some pushing with pillows and pulling pieces of blankets we all fell asleep as rocks. Gone 'till tomorrow…