Leiden Trip - Touchdown

We got off the plane and it hit us pretty quickly that we were in a foreign country. Just the little details like seeing english as the second language on signs as such. Seeing signs and advertisements completely in dutch.

After claiming our bags we walked over to customs. "Have you anything to declare?" asked one customs officer, "No." He motioned us forward, "D'où voyagez-vous?" asked the next customs agent. "Excuse Me?" I replied. "Where are you travelling from?" Oh. That I can answer. Chicago. He gave us a nod and we walked through the doors to find Jen waiting for us. We hopped on a train and were on our way to Leiden. It was a 15 minute train ride but it flew by really fast as we were discussing our trip to that point and how Jon was doing. We were to visit him at 2:30 that afternoon.

We walked from the train to their apartment a ten minute walk, with suitcases, through cobblestone streets and brick sidewalks. Jen quickly pointed out the bike racks near the train station (Centraal Station). There were hundreds of bikes in the racks. You won't understand this unless you see it for yourself but, everyone rides a bike here. If you have longer than a 10-15 minute walk you are riding a bike, or taking a train. Don't get me wrong, there are cars but they are easily outnumbered 5-1 by bikes and pedestrians on an average road.

After arriving at the apartment and getting situated we made our way out to lunch. De Brasserrie (or the B.L.T. place for Tim) is a great little restaurant. We took a stroll down Shopping Street (Haarlemerstraat) to kill time and then went to tour the inside of a Netherlands hospital, oh and to see Jon. He had an appendicitis attack and needed emergency surgery. He was at the desk in his room when we go there. obviously sore but, in fair shape for one day removed from surgery.

Surprisingly, he came home later that evening. Jen went back to get him and left us with a collectiong of Family Guy DVDs. They got home around 8:00PM and brought friends, Evy and Boss (Bas). Boss is dutch and Evy i couldn't quite placed although I knew she was European, right? Nope, she's from Texas. D'oh, I don't feel so bad because she said she's been bouncing around Europe so long she is forgetting how to speak english. We ate traditional pizza from some local place, very thin crust and almost no cheese. After the pizza we were re-energized so I played Midnight Club on the PS2. Then we went to sleep.


Anonymous said...

Let me get this straight...

You flew to Amsterdam to watch Family Guy on DVD and play Midnight Club on PS2.

Jim Remsik Jr said...

Don't get your undies in a bundle. We were jet-lagged and it was late at night in a foreign city/country. So we did what we knew how to do. Besides the only english TV channels were Discovery Wildlife.