Netherlands - Round The World Tour 2003 T-58

pre-departure

Kerkrade

Tuesday 14th January

Went to visit Dinie & Dré yesterday. It was like we had never been away. Neither Dinie nor Dré have changed a bit but both Dave and Kirsten are all grown up it seems. They changed the interior of their house and added an extension at the back so it did feel a little strange but other than that, I felt very happy to be back in Holland again. Dré is into MP3s big time and gave me a couple of dozen CDs full of MP3 music for me to search through. The new Apple laptop & iPod went down very well and Dré spent most of the evening engrossed in front of the keyboard and screen – with a slight ‘shut that damn thing’ look out of the corner of Dinie’s eye every few minutes or so. I always enjoy talking to Dinie. We have some deep discussions usually and this time was no exception. Dinie is one of the few people that I know with whom I can really engage myself in a deep discussion. For the most part, we see eye to eye but it’s always fun even when we agree to disagree☺ I almost always come away from Vliegenpoel 14 a little more knowledgeable than I go in with. We made an appointment to go back on Friday evening to play cards – just like old times. That’s going to be strange.

Still no word from the moving company yet. I’m almost scared to call them to find out about the tax exemption just in case we don’t get it. I think that could be considered avoiding the confrontation and not facing the challenge full on. I guess I’ll have to work on that a bit.

Tomorrow morning I have to sign in with the police. Whether I come away with anything that the municipality will accept is another question. Somehow the whole thing seems kind of academic since we already have the rental car now and so no longer really need the driver’s license renewed yet. The rental car is a nice little VW Lupo. I’d almost forgotten just how ‘nippy’ a small car could be. And driving with a manual gearbox brought the memories flooding back too 🙂

We went to the cinema this evening (Sandy, Ivo & myself) to see Lord of the Rings – Two Towers. A nice film but I’m not as bowled over with it as everyone else in the world seems to be.

Walking around Heerlen this afternoon and doing all those other normal, everyday things over the past few days has strengthened the general feeling I’ve had that I’ve never been away. Nothing seems to have changed much in our absence. There’s a certain degree of comfort in the familiarity that surrounds everything. A nice bonus was that it was market day in Heerlen and we ran into a stall that sold the long micro-fibre underwear that I’m taking with me on our trip. They also had some T-shirts from the same material so I bought several bits and bobs. We really must start to get a grip on just how fast money seems to roll out of our pockets 🙂

Spoke to Jacqueline this morning. Apparently Mum has the ‘hump’ with the world. Mum’s general state of health is something that has played on my mind for a few years now. Sometimes I think that she is slowly slipping into a state of mental disarray, what with errant and seemingly erratic behaviour from time to time. Other times she seems perfectly fine, on the other hand. I don’t know. I’m always wondering if there is something that I can do to relieve her pain or to dissolve away the stress of a given situation.

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