|just started up this web thingy so i dont have send individual emails and also i can share more photos.... here is the first email i sent everyone...
It is currently 11:00am on Thursday morning, 7th Feb, and a i am writing to you live from Almelo, Netherlands. Actually, that’s a lie, I am writing on the laptop, in the car, as bas and I head to Münster, Germany to shop, so just heading out of Almelo. What can I say about Europe, but the usual? It is absolutely beautiful over here and the abundance of beauty and culture just makes you realise how much our home lacks. From the point of view of someone who has now been to both Asia and Europe, our home Australia really is a little deserted island…
It is such a beautiful morning this morning. So far, since I arrived, it has been grey, cloudy, raining, and cold, and also a little snow the day that I arrived. However, today, it is an absolutely stunning morning, it’s still chilli, but it is bearable because the sun is out and there are low winds. At this very moment our car says that it is 5 degrees outside, but it really doesn’t feel so cold, and apparently the Dutch radio just told us we’re in for more of this attractive weather.
So as Bas drives at 120 km/h on the freeway (can you believe that’s normal here?), I am writing this email and slowly getting car sick… so I will get straight to it and start from the very top.
Day 1, arrival: On Saturday, 2nd Feb, I arrived in Dusseldorf, Germany at about 1.30 pm, and my god that has got to be the worst part about going to Europe… the plane ride is so absolutely long and it just never ends. I had two stops, one in Singapore, and one in Dubai and don’t know if these stops made it any better or worse. Either way, I still somehow managed to spend money duty free at both airports.. J My arrival here was a plethora of mixed emotions. On one hand, I was excited… I’m in Europe! Who wouldn’t be, I was excited, to finally see Bas again after what felt like a lifetime, so so nervous to meet his family and friends, and finally, relief, that the plane ride was finally over. So when I stepped out of the arrival doors I was greeted by a group of smiling faces and a sign that was at least 3 metres long that said ‘Sandra! Welcome to Basland!’ such an overwhelming feeling as I saw the sign, the unknown ppl that stood underneath it, and then my familiar face when I looked and saw Bas. It was way too cute. It was Bas’ mum -Ingrid, step dad, -Guido, dad -Arnoud, and sister -Jetske came to pick me up. Each travelling around an hour and a half to the airport to see me. Bas and Arnoud coming from Nordhorn, in Germany, and everyone else coming from Almelo in Holland. I arrived at bas’s dad’s house a few hours later after coffee and a long drive home where bas introduced me to Helma, his step mum, and the rest of the house.. this house is an absolute maze… beautiful European house with it’s own indoor pool and sauna…. What else could you want in winter? That night we stayed at Bas’ dad’s place where after about 8 aeroplane meals in 24 hours, he fed me more food. A variety of soup, spreads and pasta.
…ok, so we’ve just passed the Grolsch beer factory and crossed the border into Germany. I am now writing to you from Germany..
Anyway, after dinner I got some much needed rest ready for Sunday.
Sunday 3rd Feb: We woke up today much too late but after 24 hours of non sleep on a plane, it was great to finally not be squashed by the seat in front of me when I was trying to sleep. On this day, we got up, had a quick breakfast and headed out to Holland with Arnoud and Helma to the fields where they went for a horse ride, and we went for a walk. This was beautiful and peaceful after the hectic 24 hours I’d had. We then had brunch at Dennenoords old English tea house. This was lovely too. Not long after this we had to quickly get ready for dinner. Everyone was coming out for dinner for us tonight and this was where I would meet everyone properly so I was really looking forward to it.
We had dinner at Dock 19 in Almelo, Holland where Bas used to work before he came to Australia. This was a beautiful 3 course meal with a different wine after each course. Here we handed out presents and shared stories, including the story of how we met. It was a very enjoyable night.
Monday 4th Feb: Today we had a very relaxed day where we went to Holland to get ourselves organised.. visited the bank and the local shops and had a look around at the town then went to bas’s trainer Herman and his partner Jacqueline’s house for dinner and stories about Australia. Dinner was delicious and the stories were very funny.
Tuesday 5th February: Today we did nothing. Ha ha, today was our first day at Bas’s mum Ingrid’s house so we spent the day organising and getting settled in… plus cleaning (Ingrid left his room in the state he had left it in a year ago and it definitely made me feel better about the state of my own room J) In the afternoon Bas went to play squash with Herman, and I stayed at home with Ingrid. On my request, she cooked us some delicious true blue Dutch food, I must say, the ingredients I found to be interesting, but the combination of the flavours were beautiful. It was an early night on this day, we were both just so tired…
Wednesday 6th February: Today we decided to utilise the day and go out to do some local sightseeing. Ingrid took us to ‘the mountains’, which are basically hills that are about 60m high… Holland is very flat therefore anything that imitates a speed hump seems like a mountain J. She then took us to the town where she and bas’s dad Arnoud grew up. I saw their school and town.
Today, Thursday 7th Februrary: Firstly, today, Bas got up early and started getting up to shifties at home, not letting me move from my spot etc… so after a little while in the morning, I discovered that he had prepared a cute breakfast for me for Vietnamese New Year… It was very cute, his mum had also left me a note to say happy new year… delicious breakfast with lots of smiles.. Then, Bas and I had decided to go shopping in Munster, Germany where we were going to discover Germany and it’s foods a little more. On the menu for lunch today is a true german sausage, and then for dinner, Arnoud is cooking us a special German dinner. Can’t wait. One thing I’ve noticed in Holland is that all men cook. I’ve been to dinner with 4 different families and in all 4 of the families it has been the male cooking whilst we await the female to come home… I could get used to that idea… J
So all is well over here, apart from my allergy to cats (everyone here owns at least one cat), and my cold which I bought with me from Australia (it’s gettng better though, just a couple more sessions in Arnoud’s sauna – oh joy! - and I think I will be ok…
I will post up photos etc and hopefully get some of today, if we ever get there… our lil GPS device seems to be taking us around in circles… hmmm..
Ok, sorry for the long email but I got a little carried away… hope everything is all good back home, email me with some goss!! And mum and dad, I hope this email makes you feel better about what I have been up to. I will email again soon, and PROMISE I am getting a sim soon!!