A lovely morning for another trip! I chose the slower ride to den Haag to get more legroom. Lots of empty trains, many changes. In Eindhoven, what could be an activist got on board. And
A lovely morning for another trip! I chose the slower ride to den Haag to get more legroom. Lots of empty trains, many changes. In Eindhoven, what could be an activist got on board.
And she was! The sign says: “Pepper in the ass”, which means that’s what she’d like to give the politicians.
Matched by a pepper suit of course!
More and more activists joined the train. As we reached den Haag, people were sitting on the floors. Everywhere people wrote on cardboard, taped them etc. One thing I love with den Haag is the architecture. Especially nice with 25,000 climate demonstrators in front of it.
Being the second capital, den Haag also has lots of embassies, such as the Swedish. The Swedish people were in all windows and balconies, and on the street, applauding us. But when me and the Angry Red Pepper (aka Marie-José) came up to take a picture with them, they disappeared. Diplomacy I suppose. “Saving the world. Bah! Stupid country.”
We walked around for an hour, and the train just kept on. The woman in the back is walking on stilts:
After one hour, my back got tired from the backpack and – grateful of having made 24767 into 24768 – I took the train to Utrecht. Greta wouldn’t leave me alone though.
In Utrecht I visited my old colleagues Tjerk and Annelies. If you ever thought it’d be a bad idea to date someone from your job … meeting these two for five minutes would definitely change your mind!
And I met them for more than an hour actually. Had lovely dinner with the children. One of the children wanted to cut off his ring-finger, and they were discussing what games he could or could not play without it. I’m not much of a parent so I stayed in the background. But keeping all 10 fingers was probably a good decision. You can always cut them off later!
Then I went to downtown Utrecht. It is perhaps one of the world’s loveliest cities. Here there used to be a river, and back in the days they took the river away and built a highway, that I used to pass to work every day. But these days, rivers are more popular again, so Utrecht has destroyed the highway and is hereby building a river again. People who love giving Utrechters bad air to breathe will need to travel by tram or cycle like ordinary decent Nederlanders.
And if that is not enough, check out the big UFO on the old Chicago building at the right! I love it.
In Utrecht I sat down at Jan de Winter, which used to be the cheapest place when I lived there 11 years ago. Now, no idea, but it got more and more gezellig. First came my old Hallonbergen neighbours Natalie and Mattias who are currently working for game companies in the Netherlands. Then came old colleague Jochen, who is currently a director at the Gorilla game company.
Mattias had already learned some Dutch through Babbel. I also spoke Dutch once upon a time – when I was arrested for dirtying some train tracks, I did the whole conversation in Dutch. But I’d never do such a thing today. So many gggsch words.
Once Mattias and Natalie had left us (possibly inspired by some “Straffe Hendriks”), Jochen tried to sneak home to Rebecca all the time (another beautiful office couple), but as the lonely drunkard I was, I kept him up. We went to Belgie, which is a place I hate, but I have been there so many times that I just had to keep on the evening like it was 2008. And who comes in Belgie, if not Teemu! Our precious Finnish translator. We drank all the world’s loveliest beers in there. They have sooo much to choose from. And Teemu’s arrival made it possible for Jochen to go home to his love.
Then we suddenly got the company of a stranger in need of a chair. It turned out to be a Finn from Göteborg! It was like mixing me and Teemu. His parents were Finland-Finnish and he had a very Finnish name, but still didn’t speak the language at all. So here he was, leaning towards Teemu as his epic true Finn in Utrecht, and yet they had to speak English. This is why you must always speak your own language to your children, no matter where you live! They’ll learn the area’s majority language anyway. They’ll hate it as kids, but will thank you when they’re 30 and would otherwise sit in Utrecht and lean on strangers without getting to talk what they love.
Annelies had written down trains and buses for me, but I missed them all. I can’t really remember if I had any plans for my night. In the worst case, there is a bar closing at 8, selling cocaine and violence DVD:s (which I, of course, don’t buy – there’s internet). Or at least there was. I never found out, since an Italian lesbian took pity on me and gave me her couch in the central part of the city. She complained that I didn’t have “huge boobs” that she could play with. It’s hard to make everyone happy. But, life is long, and we get more and more technology. Next time I’m in Utrecht we could maybe get some untz untz untz.