I had the best of intentions.
I figured that I could go on holiday, write daily and let people have a bit of a vicarious travel experience.
Turns out holidays are EXHAUSTING and that it was a rather lofty expectation on my part.
So, here is the remainder of the holiday in point form. Long point form. Technically its a novella with strategically placed asterisks to stop me from appearing overly verbose.
*Visited Rotterdam and saw the house where PSWC threw garbage from the roof for the express purpose of watching it go splat.
*Dropped in on the Dutch heart-throb of the Betta scene and met his girlfriend, his gorgeous chinchillas and sussed out his breeding set-up. It was a bit scary as to those unfamiliar with Dutch architecture you could be forgiven for thinking that this chap lives at the top of Everest. 3 flights of stairs in a space of about 1mx7m, straight up. Every so often there was a landing about an inch bigger than the size required to open the door it sat in front of. Heaven help the poor sod who comes barrelling down the stairs only to be met with a 40yo hardwood door.
*A shopping trip was required to gather gifts and so on for those we adore and who would get miffed should we arrive home with nothing. It was decided we should gather our odds and ends in Breda because it had a higher number of women’s fashion shops and art galleries. The Duchess wrangled a book out of an art dealer that was technically for display only, and I spent the time scurrying from one shop to another gathering bits and pieces. It was very much a “one for them and two for me” day.
*I finally got to visit Tinfoil and his lovely family. I briefly considered forcibly adopting his oldest daughter, but thought better of it after discovering how much energy she had to burn. We visited a fish shop and I got the low down on how to make those gorgeous fake rock backgrounds from scratch. There was a castle involved, and a giant M&M, a whole bunch of tadpoles, and I have a rather vivid memory of the boy across the street screaming into his battery operated soccer megaphone in between blasting the street with its pre-recorded song. I fed my first scat and saw a wonderfully patterned algae eater. On the way home I rode in my first Dutch train which, although we were seated in a 2nd class talking carriage, was much like a roomy modern plane, complete with drop-down tables from the chair in front.
*A visit was made to the youngest of the cubs and his girlfriend after much confusing about being at tea markets and being awake and generally being. We sipped tea and chatted and I was loaded up with LEDs in order to try out a new jewellery project. I got a tiny bit gun-shy when, while attempting to make something glow, the youngest cub managed to solder the back and front of a battery together causing it to explode in a shower of battery acid and metal. Apparently that’s not common, but I’m not so sure. Electricity and I have never gotten on really well.
*It was decided that on our way to the airport we should do a mini-tour of Europe. After a few days of mapping and internet bookings we started on our trek from the south of the Netherlands, through Belgium and into Luxembourg for the afternoon. PSWC’s father is the ultimate super-tourist, making sure you stop at all the landmarks, get plenty of pictures and always take the scenic route. So scenic was his exit from the winding roads of Luxembourg that, about 20 minutes after we had decided to leave and I had dozed off in the back seat, we ended up right back where we had started, winding our way down towards the foot of the city wall. I chose this moment in time to rouse from my slumber and had an odd sense of being stuck in a fold in time. Eventually we found the road we needed and drove on to Metz, a university city near the border of France and Germany. The elevator in the hotel was quite possibly the smallest in existence. It was limited to 4 people according to its safety information, but unless two were levitating dwarfs I think it was fairly limited to two. We had a gorgeous dinner where not only could you select the cut of meat you were served from this fancy-schmancy diagram on the menu, but you could select the breed of cow that you wished to consume. At some point we ended up with 15 glasses on the table so, based solely on excess glassware, I’m thinking its one of the snazzier restaurants I have dined at. The next morning after locating the car and piling in, we drove closer to the centre of Metz, and Mr Super-tourist managed to insert the family Accord in between a rather sturdy car and a Mini Cooper. Unfortunately the space was really only suitable for another Mini Cooper, but that was no obstacle. Back and forth and back and forth until at one point we felt a little bump and everyone held their breath waiting to see if the poor little Mini behind us was going to start screaming for its owner. Thankfully it didn’t and when we returned from our wanderings, it had been replaced by a Citroen who had the presence of mind to park a good foot back from our rear bumper.We made it to Germany and, after a few wrong turns found ourselves at the guest house where we’d be spending our last night in Europe. After a gorgeous dinner I choofed off to bed, only to wake up an hour later and find PSWC had gone to watch a movie with his folks. I settled with the television, and after 10 channels of ‘football’ I finally found something worth watching…A Bollywood flick dubbed in German :) Who says Germans don’t have a sense of humour?
*After boarding the plane at Frankfurt, I settled into the long haul flight routine, only to find that halfway through the flight my personal DVD player wanted to howl at me in garbled static. I watched lightning until we landed in KLIA
*”Our plane is having some technical difficulties and the take-off will be delayed approximately 20 minutes, we apologise for the inconvenience” PSWC and I had spent the remainder of our ringits and were waiting somewhat impatiently in the departure lounge.
“We regret to inform you that…”
Does any plane traveller need to hear more? After watching the little Malaysian man standing on the tarmac, staring blankly at one of the engines for 10 minutes and scratching his head, we’d pretty much already figured it out anyway. We received little yellow passes and were told to follow the man in the green jacket, so a planeload of people were scurrying around following the man onto the Aerotrain, over to the other terminal and then on to the immigration and customs section. That is about as far as I got before losing my legs completely. Several crew members and PSWC manhandled me into a wheelchair and we were escorted to the hotel. Let me just say that being delayed in Malaysia is an experience I’d happily repeat. I slept for several hours until it was time for dinner and then back to the other terminal for departure
*On the flight from KL to Sydney I had the misfortune of being seated right up the back, in the middle of PSWC and a stranger with a personal entertainment screen that was stuck on a Linux error screen. I got to stare at Tux and some very fuzzy text the entire trip home.
So there you have it, my very long exhausting trip is finally wrapped up. Its almost a month later as I write this and things are already beginning to fade. Thankfully I have committed to scrapbooking the entire holiday before the end of the year, so I’ll get to live the whole thing over again, only this time with pretty cut-outs and copious quantities of fancy paper.