Friday April 18
When was the last time you got to see a dog sing the blues,
a young mom carry 3 kids on two wheels while speaking on her mobile and passing a 3 wheeled car. Had an Irish breakfast, see an original Van Goth, snacked on fries spiced with mayo and curry sauce, had nutty chocolate truffle made right in front of you for dessert, a Turkish pizza for lunch, and fresh fish with a hottie named Jackie for dinner.
Well in a nut shell that was a very small part of my first few days in Amsterdam.
We where expecting the motorcycle for this morning, but if looks like it it will have to wait until Monday. the bad news is we will miss a tour of the tulip fields on Sunday, the good news is that there are lot of worst places to be stuck-in for the weekend than Amsterdam.
The coffee shop where the scene in Ocean's 12 was shot
The canals at night
Some of the local talent
Finally Monday morning came, as I laid awake with trepidation I realized it was still only 0545. Waken by the pleasant melodious coo cooooo coo of white doves perched on the window sill.... Ok! Ok! so maybe they were just a couple of pigeons on acid, what do I know.
The first call to the cargo handling company was at 0700, time to go get ST...hopefully
“yes your crate as been received”, was the answer that came through Skype from a heavy Dutch accented English.
Goed, goed I answered back. (but with a Dutch accent, sounds like good-with a guttural “gh”) You see I have only being in Amsterdam for four days, and my Dutch has improve enormously.
Next, time to Skype my Dutch twin.
Stand by for a call from Rob, he will give you a ring just before he picks you up in Sapharti park, be ready, he drives a VW van.
Goed-goed I said (my Dutch was indeed getting better), we will be downstairs waiting.
As I made my way down the perilous steps from our third floor flat, I felt a wave of frenetic energy running up and down my spine. I would have to be patient, then I noticed that right in front of our B&B was the only vacant spot on the very busy street, where shortly after Rob pulled in behind the wheel of his VW van. As I buckled up, and started to exchange my first few words with the jovial Rob, who I was meeting for the very first time,
he told me:
"I have have 10lt of gas, and I brought some tools just in case we need them."
As I listened to his voice, I settled into my seat, took a deep breath, taking in the buzz of the city, then let out a comforting sigh, this type of process is rarely smooth, but I smiled, and relaxed, the sun was shinning, it was going to be a great day.
Yup the Black Beauty made it in one piece.
Gota have gas
Get rid of this please
Notice the Russel, who said an adventure can't be comfortable
From the time we got to the cargo, it took about 4 hrs, and I was pressing the start button, ST roared on the first try. The whole thing was seamless, and if the handler would have been more efficient, and if custom would have stamped the waybill the first time we went to see them we would have been done in an hour and a half.
Our first ride was through the beautiful country side of Holland, guided by René who was virtuously opening the rode at the helm of his black ST.
Meet the twins
And the Valentino Dood
-It must have been very confusing for the cagers- 2 black ST, 2 guys named René.
I was learning to negotiate the roundabouts, and slowly getting accustomed with the European traffic protocols. We winded down the day in Eden-Leur, still not quite sure what serendipity had brought us here.
As I laid in bed under my duvet after an easy 250 km ride through the dikes, followed by a couple of local beers, I could not help but smile, and think goed, goed, you know with the guttural Dutch “gh”... I fell asleep knowing that by the morning I would be fluent in Dutch.
Tomorrow we head for Luxembourg and the adventure begins.