Day One (and 3/4): Zevenaar

Yesterday, I landed in Amsterdam Schipol at 7am local time. I was exhausted, having managed a mere 4 hours sleep on the flight, but that was 4 hours of boredom I didn’t have to contend with. As we were landing I discovered the people sitting next to me were lovely, suddenly wanting to chat.

They started talking about New Zealand and how they wanted to move there from the Philippines, and had the best time visiting last year. It was then that I realised my necklaces had popped out of my jumper, greenstone and whale bone an international sign of a Kiwi. They were flying through to Paris, we wished each other safe travels, and I called Mum from the airport.

Quickly, we chatted. I let her know we landed safe and when we hung up her colleagues moaned to her about how they didn’t get to say hi.

I sorted out a train ticket, and got lost on the platforms. Turns out they’re underground and only one escalator per platform with no way to get between them once you’re down there. Missed the 7.30 train because of all of this, laughed at myself, and waited for the 8am.

The trains are double-decker, which I thought was pretty cool, but Pete thinks it’s weird.

I’m met at Arnhem train station by my mother’s aunt, and we train through to Zevenaar together where I spend time recouperating. I’m fed some real food, cheese and pastrami on brown bread, and the filling from croquettes, nap for a few hours and miss my mother’s cousins who came to visit, and wake up for dinner.

Adamant it’s around 7pm, I check the clock and it’s actually shortly after 9. The sun is still up and it’s still very light. I pack in for the night and sleep right through till 8am. It’s midday now, and no jetlag! Win!

Today is raining. I went with Andrea to the shop to buy some plants for their gardening work they’re doing. I’m hoping to get to a windmill (careful, actual tourist coming through) this afternoon if the rain slows down, or tomorrow morning before I head back to Amsterdam for my flight on Saturday morning. 

The houses are exactly like you see in the pictures, little weirdly shaped brick structures with white trim. It’s been great relaxing, and realising I’m actually on holiday with nothing to do but read and chill out. I’m looking forward to heading south to Rome, though, to start being a bit of a tourist. Though I will miss being with someone who knows where we are and how to read the language. Admittedly, I should have learnt Dutch a long time ago to communicate with my family, but Andrea keeps talking to me in Dutch and then in English, and sometimes I get what she’s saying before she translates, either from recognising a word or just the tone. It’s a good experience.

I am, however, about to be fed again! So off I go.

Regards,

Alex

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