Oh. It's you. It's been a long time. How have you been? I've been really busy being dead. You know... after you murdered me. Look. We've both said a lot of things we're going to regret. But I think we can put our differences behind us. For science. You monster.
GLaDOS - Portal 2.
Someone, seriously, I need someone to hit me once a week. Not just hit me, slap me in the face, to post. And update my blog.
It's been more then a year since I last posted, for multiple reasons. If I where to describe every that happened...oh, well, take a chair and a cup of coffee ;)
Last year in August, I took a rather sudden vacation to the United States of America to visit my, back then, girlfriend in Waco, TX. At first, it was only supposed to be a month long, to get out of the daily stress from Bahrain.
Just about a very great week into the vacation, I got some bad news; the project in Bahrain has been delayed indefinitely, and the team has moved back to the Netherlands. But, my ticket flies to Bahrain? Not the Netherlands...
On the day of my supposed flight back to Manama, I still had no ticket for BAH - AMS. After a long discussion with my girl friend the night before, we decided I would stay as long as my visa would allow (90 days, ESTA VISA), and we would get a ticket Dallas - Amsterdam.
If the first month was amazing...the two other months where...I've yet to find a word for that. It was great! Good! Cool! Epic! I already knew that if we would continue the relation ship (And we really had no doubt about that!), I would be a dad for her 5 year old son.
Somewhere during my vacation, his class had a project on families. He had to draw his family, and when we saw the drawing a week later, we where amazed to see 3 people on there. A mom, a kid and.......A dad?
"Nehemiah........who's that?" I asked.
"That? Oh! That's daddy!"
"Yea, you! Silly!!"
My first thought "Daddies don't cry." Needless to say, I had to turn around and wander off for a second. "Daddies don't cry."
From that day, I was Nehemiah's daddy.
By the end of the vacation, we where a nice, happy family. With plans to move to the Netherlands. And to marry. November 28th came around, and I had to leave my family. I must say, I never quite expected such an emotional departure.
Once back in the Netherlands, I had to spread my own wings. I managed to find a job at Aviapartner Cargo on Schiphol, and a room to rent not too far off.
Things where cooling down, I was getting settled, the ever haunting bills got paid off, and life returned to normal. I was well on my way to find a home, and save up for my family to come over.
Life decided to spice things up a little. During work in April, I heard a radio commercial for a Flight Academy recruiting people, and having a skills and aptitude test in Amsterdam in May.
I don't have any higher education, something which is usually needed to get accepted into a flight school. Their advertisement sparked my interest, and back home, I found out - you don't need a higher education for this Academy.
The reason? A very. very strict selection procedure. If you manage to pass, you have got to have the brains to become a pilot.
The May skills test wasn't going to work, it was too soon, and didn't have money. The information evening did work. I attended, and they promptly offered a discount on the skills test, but it would be in Brussels in July.
A package of study material came, with a confirmation of my spot, and soon after came a hotel confirmation, and a Thalys confirmation. If I was going, I had to go in style.
I arrived in Brussels the day before. And while on the airport, I saw ties. Lots of them. And people in short sleeve shirts. I didn't have a tie, and no short sleeve. I had a long sleeve.
Two hours later, I had a nice white shirt, and a dark-red tie. Girlfriend approved? Girlfriend? Oh.....she was stunned by me wearing a tie.
The next day. The big day. The start of a new adventure. A long day of testing. The written exams where easy. I passed the Aviation Knowledge exam with 95%, a bad score for me. I could have done 100. The Maths exams "The maths exam is a though one. In a cockpit, you have lots of distractions. Jabbering co pilots, hot flight attendants bringing coffee in inopportune moments, terrorists whacking you with a heavy object in the back of your head. Outside, we have a 'Please be silent', that's for people outside. We won't care."
It was though, and them shouting and talking to me wasn't helping. At the end, I had to hand in my notes, with the date and my name signed.
Then came the computer COMPASS test! First was a control test with a joystick and rudder pedals. Oh I messed that up so bad. I even did a looping with my "ball and needle" ('Why? Oh, if I overshoot, I'll just loop that 747 and get it right the second time..no worries gaiz, I got tis. I r get paid lots. I must be good.')
Some Memory, multi-tasking, orientation, and another computerized maths tests later, and I was off for the results.
"Mr van Hoogen. We have a bit of a problem."
(Humor was there throughout the entire day.) "Well, if it's that looping, Passengers should stuff it and be happy I didn't overshoot the airport and delayed them for hours."
"Well, wait what? No no..You need to start talking to a bank."
"Congratulations Mr van Hoogen."
We discussed my scores, and to keep it short;
There was 3 modules, the most important being HARD SKILLS (The COMPASS test. That was the determining factor.
16 points where needed to pass in the COMPASS test. On average, students get 20-22. Military pilots do about 30, or so Commander Davies, the person who has been recruiting for the past 10 years says.
My score was 32 points.
I'm going to Flight School!!! ...Just have to talk to a bank..or two-........hundred.
I'll leave it at that for now. It's 23:50, and I've got an early morning shift! More to follow soon!