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Aug. 3rd, 2011

dusk, Strand, Bagua

It's been a loooong time.

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!"
"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."
"Uhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh............."
"Congratulations Mr van Hoogen."

Fucking awesome.

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!





 
 

Jul. 7th, 2010

dusk, Strand, Bagua

Eventful!

Guess I haven't posted in a while! Heads up, here we go!


Date: Various!
Location: Various!
WX Tempt: Generally warm, high humidity.


So, it's been an eventful 2 weeks since I last posted! The local government is still drinking tea, and doing their usual insa'allah ("In-zje-allah) work, meaning they will do their work when Allah wants it. Which is uh...not anytime soon!

After two long years of waiting, the 2nd of July 2010 arrived. The premier of the movie we've been waiting for The Last Airbender.
I haven't seen it yet, as it's not released yet. But honestly? Do I really want to see it? No.
It.
Sucks.
Out of the 50 or so reviews I've gotten from people, I can actually say that just 3 rated it higher then 50%, just one rated it higher then 80%.

Two years of waiting, and M. Night, in who we put so many trust, despite making a lot of fails, does this! Payback for bad ratings? I don't know, I don't care. From this day on, M. Night is certainly not close to the circle of people I like.

I listened to the Avatar: The Last Airbender soundtrack - The Final Agni Kai earlier today, and I remembered:
2 years ago, when we where watching the finale online via U-stream, shivers ran down my back as I realized one thing when I heard this powerfull, yet so emotional song: This is it. The end of the series. Just a few more minutes.
Soon after, in the Portalcast, we all mentioned it to each other - everybody thought exactly the same during that song. But we rejoiced - In two years there's the movie.

I don't want a book two, or a book three if M. Night is associated with it in any way.

Back to our place, a lot has happened the past few days. A friend of mine, Abdullah promised me to take me over the bridge into Saudi somewhere in the next few days/weeks, to go and look for some airsoft supplies. As usual with ever promise/appointment though, "We will go insa'allah, insa'allah. So again, that can take a while!

In the mean time, I'll just keep browsing the web to find more airsoft goodies that I can legally import here in the course of the next few years!
The same friend also guided me through my first driving lesson. That was pretty neat!

Our Au'pair has arrived yesterday from the Netherlands. For the next few years, she will be taking care of my sisters, and making sure they do their (online) homework. Joke of the day of course is "Back to school! Hahaha!"

With her, she brought alo-o-o-o-t of Dutch goodies! Most of the goodies are of course orange-painted items to support our team during the FIFA World cup over in South Africa!

Earlier today we also where invited to the Bahrain Rugby and Football club. Usually hosting Rugby and Football related events, it also doubles as the Dutch Ex-pat hangout during important events like Queensday, and also during events like the FIFA Worlcup!

So we went over to watch the Dutch team beat Urugay in the Semi-Finals. Dressed out as orange as we could, we instantly fitted in the big crowd of orange supporters that formed inside the main club building.

Even though Bahrain is a nice country, with very friendly people, it felt good to be among other Dutch people! A lot of people recognized the 'Rents from the news papers, so we talked a lot during the soccer match, and what a match it was! A fight almost broke out amongst the players - 2 times. Yellow cards where handed out left and right, and the goals where spec-tac-u-lar! Although the 2nd goal by Uruguay could have been prevented. There where too many defenders, and the keeper wasn't able to see what was going on!

Back to the Dutch - There seems to be around 300 Dutchmen on the island. It's not much compared to the 16 million in the Netherlands, but it's certainly more people then you will be real friends with!
Picture of the orange crowd to follow! Internet is slow!!

That's it for now. Not a very long post for my standards, but that's k.


Not everybody may like my style - But it's of little effort to show some politeness.

Jun. 22nd, 2010

dusk, Strand, Bagua

Operation: Clean Reef



Date June 18th, 2010
Location: Ship wreck, about 15 nautical miles out of Manama
WX Tempt: Temp around 45, about 10-15 knots of cooling wind. Sea state 3-4 feet.

07.30 In the morning.
With sleep still in our eyes, and a cup of hot steaming coffee equipped in our hands, we load up our gear into the Mitsubishi Pajero. It's engine has already been started, and the AC PACK 1-4 are on FULL, trying their best to blow out the hot air.

After some fitting, a sigh of relief escapes us as we close the back door - everything fits. Lots of water, snorkeling sets, dry clothes, and a lot of other miscellaneous stuff we will need throughout the day.

13.30

The two dive boats - The Coral Beach One, and the Fisheries One both take their respective docks/berths at the Coral Beach Club. Minutes later the passengers un-board and disperse among the crowd of clubbers, watching curious at the many divers.

Minutes later I join back up with my parents who just got back as well. My dads instructions where short and simple. "Get the gear aboard the Fisheries One, we're leaving in 15 minutes."
That's good. Quickly I gather my stuff, and keep them on me. This isn't the time to lose parts, and miss out on the many stories being told everywhere.

One of the stories was very interesting, as told by my dad himself;
One of the divers aboard told me, that a few years back she never listened to the stories of her Biology teacher, as he told about the many dying coral reefs, and the big amounts of pollution that cause the reefs to die. She never believed all of those stories the teacher told her. Until today, when she first visited the reefs around Bahrain. According to her, what her Biology teacher said wasn't even close to the truth. In real life, it's even worse.

16.00
With speeds just under 30 knots, the Fisheries One playfully bounces up and down the 4 feet waves, spraying water everywhere over the deck every minute or so. After a small trip of just 20 minutes (We all secretly wished it would take longer), we anchored in front of the shipwreck, an old, by the looks of it, WWII freighter.

After setting up the underwater observation camera, I take out my gear from my bag and gear up. I look back as I sit on the edge of the boat. Suddenly, those 4 feet waves seem a bit higher and more bad ass then a while ago when we skimmed them. "Hold your glasses and jump off" my dad advices me from the water. He knows. He has done this many times before. I wait a few seconds to get into the rhythm of the waves, hold my glasses, and jump off.

Somewhere in my head, I had the idea it would be the coldest water I'd ever swim in. Was it because I watched too many storm movies with big waves in the Bering Sea? Maybe too much of Deadliest Catch.. It wasn't, it was warm. Warm enough not to cool down.
Bubbles are everywhere as I kick my fins into gear and set for the surface like a submarine opening all it's tanks "EMERGENCY BLOW! Blow all main ballast tanks! Surface Surface Surface!" After clearing the water out of my breathing apparatus, I take a deep breath and lay my head on the water.

Wow.

Grey.

Black.

That where my first 3 thoughts as I saw the Coral Reef for the first time. Black and Grey where the only colors the reef existed off. Barely any fish, and even then just grey ones.

The coral reef is dead.

Surprisingly easily, I float up and down on the waves, wondering what happened to the 4 feet ones. Looking up on the surface, my thoughts where confirmed - their still there. That was easy!
I swim around a bit, and soon make contact with Hanni, one of the 2 crew members of the Fisheries One. Armed with an Nikon in an underwater shell, he teaches me a quick tip, arms along your body, and just your fins. It's easier.
A little bit thrown out of balance, I kick my fins with my arms along my body. It does in fact get easier like this, it only feels a little more unstable.

Gesturing me to come along, Hanni sets off towards the wreck. Home to many fish, this time all colorful, the wreck is home to a lot of fishes. Providing shelter against waves and predators, the wreck has become a part of the reef.
Luckily, it's not entirely dead yet.
Yet.

1800
Eating our dinner back at the Coral Beach Club, we look back on a great day. Operation Clean Reef was a success, even with fewer people then expected. The next attempt has been set for somewhere in July.

We've collected about 15-20 kgs of rubbish from the reef, and for a first attempt, I think it's pretty good. Next time I'm surely going to be a part of it again. Secretly, I even hope to have my PADI by then!



=============
During the time of writing, I am also glad to announce my 20th Birthday!!

Jun. 6th, 2010

dusk, Strand, Bagua

Day: I lost the count.

Date June 6th, 2010
Time 00:20 LT (GMT +3)
Location Outside
WX Tempt: 36/26, humidity 66%, heat index......42C
For the people who know: METAR OBBI 052100Z 07004KT CAVOK 33/26 Q0999 NOSIG

Today, or rather, yesterday marked my 4 weeks in Bahrain. It's been a great 4 weeks though! I've learned a lot of new things about Bahrain and the other countries around the Persian Gulf. But if I'd say it's only good things I learned, I would be lying.

One of the lesser things would be the Ministry of Censorship*. Apparently, most of the gaming related sites I used to visit, are blocked. For violating the laws and terms of the Kingdom of Bahrain. It's a big annoyance. Luckily my most visited sites are still open. But it still makes me wanna throw my brand new laptop through the highest window I can find.

What? New laptop? Yes, I bought myself an Acer 5740. For a while I've been wanting a laptop, their easier then desktops for a lot of things, and my desktop is now among the group of 'stone age' computers! Now just to get my collection of music back...

I still haven't found a job. The headhunter that was going to help me...yea, tomorrow I'll see if I can make a few phone calls myself around the island. After months of sitting still, I want to go do something!

The dog we adopted, Foxxy (refer to last post) is doing OK! The leader of the dog pack we have here was flown to Turkey last week, and is the first of 4 to be flown there. The dogs are being flown to the new home of our land-lord, whom his wife is already there preparing things.
The pack leader leaving gave a perfect opportunity to introduce her to the pack. Now she's a full fledged member, and the devil herself really.

In the 4 weeks, Summer has started in Bahrain, and went from OK to almost unbearable. Temperatures rose with an average of 7 degrees, leading into the summer. Humidity has also increased, making it unbearable. Every time you take a step outside, away from the coolness of an air conditioner, sweat will start gushing down your back, and within minutes you are SOAKED.
Not cool.

The worst part, it's not even close to the summer temps with a heat index of 55.....

The first few plans for vacations, and the first guests have already applied. At the end of August, my buddy Sander will fly over to see what the middle-east really looks like. Just like me, he's a complete noob, and the only visuals we had on the middle east where mostly from video-games, in which half of the buildings where just piles of dust and stone.

Me, I am planning on attending another year of the New York Comic Con innnnnn New York! Though if I am going in October, I really need to get a cosplay, and some money..without it, it's a no go!
Also, my trip this year will have a special waypoint, being in Texas! The rightful owner of my heart lives there, and we decided that meeting each other would be a good step in the good direction, and after 6 months, really...what'd ya expect? :)


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Time for a cold shower, and prepare for another day in the humid heat of the Bahraini sand!


Life in the sand is dusty...

May. 21st, 2010

dusk, Strand, Bagua

Day 12; "Foxy"

Foxxy

Date: Thursday, May 20st, 2010.
Time: 2100 Local Time (Bahrain, GMT + 3)
Location: 150m from Villa 74, outbound to Saar

After a few days of menacing headaches, and an upset stomach, I joined my parents in getting some groceries from wherever we decided to get them, hoping that the "fresh" Bahrain air would help against the discomforts. As the engine of our Citroen Pajero comes alive, first thing I, and the rest do with the available electric current is opening the windows to let "fresh", hot and humid air in, and to let out the even hotter air that's trapped inside.

A minute later, we take the turn onto Avenue 21, my dad intentionally slows down the car to a crawling pace, and we peel our eyes to see if "Foxy" is around.
When we first arrived in Bahrain, now almost 2 weeks ago, we where introduced to a stray-dog living around a house under construction. The dog was immediately named Foxy for her big eyes that look alot like a Fox's ear when perked up.
Not older then a year, probably 4-6 months old, and a golden-white fur, she is a very beautiful dog.
Every time we now pass that house (And we must to get onto the main-road) we call for the dog, and see how she's doing.
The past few days we've been paying some closer attention to her, feeding her a little bit everyday, gaining her trust.

A few seconds later we spot some movement behind a small hill of dirt and junk, and is quickly identified as Foxy. Realizing that we are holding up the rather impatient driver in the car behind us, we speed up and do our groceries.

About a hour later, we return home via the same route as we left, again peeling our eyes for "our" dog. As we drive past the house, we see nothing. As we look behind us, we see to our horror that Foxy has been tied up to a few chunks of lumber.

Not able to do much about it, and again holding up traffic, the car speeds up and takes the turn towards the villas.


Date: Friday May 21st, 2010
Time: 0145 Local Time (Bahrain, GMT + 3)
Location: Villa 74, the gate.

My dad unlocks the gate, and for the first time since my arrival, I walk out onto the asphalt, not sitting in a car. Realizing it surely won't be the first time, and realizing that I've been in walls for 2 weeks, the joy quickly fades as we walk towards Avenue 21.
The game plan was set; keep your eyes open for locals, release the dog and get out. Preferably, as quiet as possible.

Foxy doesn't know what to do when she sees us approaching her from a distance. Judging by how feared she reacts, I quickly add up that capturing, and tieing her to a rope wasn't the prettiest thing that happened.
The dog barks, ruining our chances of helping her in silence, and we quickly look around, making sure whoever tied her up isn't coming to check out what's going on.

We sit down next to her, and in her fear, she makes herself as small as possible, laying down. Petting for a minute, she calms down and she holds her head up, allowing us to release the rope. She immediately knows what we did, and jumps up in joy.

Standing up, we take another look around before heading back to Villa 74, followed by a now very happy dog. Even though I've helped animals in the past, I've never felt so happy or joyful about helping animals as much as I did now.

Minutes later, we sit down on the curb outside Villa 74, petting and playing with Foxy. For a stray animal that has been on the street all her (short) life, she has a very nice, playful personality. She even understands the basic commands like, sit and come, but that's only because of the gestures we make with them (putting our hands to the ground, or gesturing her come)

Soon we are joined by the rest of the family, and pictures of the dog going from person to person to be petted an loved. Thinking about it, we all realize that with a little bit of attention, and some check-ups, this dog is perfect for adoption....only if...

I must say that when I went back into the gate a while later to find my bed, my heart did somewhat break. Foxy was so happy, and wanted to be with us so happy, but she couldn't! No matter how much she jumped up against the gate, we couldn't allow her to get in because of there already being 6 dogs inside the walls, that do not like, or accept any stray animals within their territory.

Last night was special. My first "rescue", however small and simple, and certainly not my last.
I did get a word of warning. Quoted from my dad: "Dogs tied up like this isn't even close to the worst things you will see on this island. People throwing rocks at dogs for example, there will be a day you will see that happen, and then you can do absolutely nothing you can do about it."



Fly to live, live to fly

May. 10th, 2010

dusk, Strand, Bagua

Bahrain, day one.

'Finally. I'm there.' Are the first thoughts to cross my mind as the "Wake up service" steps into my room at 1030. With a big-goofy smile I step out of bed and put on my shorts. Time for dinner, and to explore Saar and beyond!

The house we live in is actually pretty large, and isn't ours. The couple who build this house about 30 years ago, and still live here today started the project slightly more then a year ago, inviting my Parents' organization over. To help my parents' with the project, they offered some space in their big house.
Basically, every house (Or at least, the villas, and every european lives in one...) has a wall around it. Within the wall we live there's the main house, a pool, and a couple of different sheds and a guest building.
Because the guest building only holds one 2 person bed, me and my sisters are accommodated in the main building.

Stretching myself, I quickly refresh myself in my private bathroom (!!) and walk up the front door, and hear someone rummaging through a cabinet. Thinking it's my dad (He woke me up) I call out to him, just to find a surprised gardener. I walk up to him, introduce myself in english..just to find he barely understands me. After some awkward gesturing I walk off, say him a dutch goodbye, and walk out the front door without shoes.

Bad move! I let out a 'damn' loud enough for everybody in the courtyard to hear, and run over the hot stones as fast as I could.
Stones + Hot Bahrain sun = You can cook your meal on them.

After breakfast, the house owner John came by for a talk, and then we set off in our Citroen Pajero to explore Saar.

The first thing I noticed are the many, many workers. Everywhere there's a bunch of at least 5, mostly more, workers working on the same thing. Most of them are not working though. Just sitting there and telling how to do the job the right way.

A few kilometers later and 3 shopping malls further, I am a set of sandals, a shade and a wallet richer. My first dinars spent..I'm so proud!

Next stop would be to meet a few good friends of my dad. After stopping for a traffic light for about 30 minutes, we pulled up to the local Aquarium to meet Hanni, the dolphin trainer.
Because of my dad's job, we are directly treated with a lot of respect, and get to see anything we like, but before we could ask anything, we where introduced to two dolphins backstage, and petted them. Very cool! I even discovered a trick :P

After a tour through the small, old aquarium, and a drink, we head back home to relax and fish 'n chips for dinner. It was good!

After that, we drove about some more, and visited the harbor to play with the underwater camera.
By the time we got back, it was already 11PM, which to my surprise, is still early enough for people to visit each other.

The harbor-inspector, and my dad's good friends Saeed stopped by to visit us (and meet us), accompanied by food. From what I heard, it's custom for people to take a snack, or a full meal with them when their visiting others, thus still full from dinner, we sat and ate the food, which was a typical Arabian snack.

At 2AM I decided to call it a day
My first day in Bahrain was over. Tired from all the excitement, and especially from the heat.

Live to fly - fly to live.
dusk, Strand, Bagua

Bahrain, the flight.

It's Saturday morning, just before 12:00 as I stow my suitcase away in the trunk of Sam's car. Just a few more hours, and there's no way back to the Netherlands...not for a while for that count.
Moments later, the gods of weather shake their head at my pathetic attempt to escape the dutch weather, followed by rain. I sigh to myself and walk back inside to finish my coffee.

Not more then a few hours later, I smile for the last picture taken by Kevin before walking up to the check-in desk. Everything goes smooth, and against some expectations, none of the suitcases are too heavy. With just my two sisters, and our hand luggage in tow, we head off into the tax-free zone, and find our gate.

My youngest sister - Enola- looks at me one more time as the engines of the fully-loaded rev up on the runway. We get pushed back into our seats, and we're off to Bahrain. As the 3 of us smile as wide as we could, the plane thunders down the runway and rotates it's nose skybound. A second later the wings flex up, and soon the rest of the aircraft follows.
The ground below us quickly fades away as the first rainclouds are pierced by the aluminium hull. Having flown before, I run through my own small checklist;
Hand luggage - check.
Sisters - check.
Book - check
Sunglasses -...
Damn...I don't have shades! I take out my book from the seat pocket in front of me, and open it, making sure not to watch into the window for the bright sky to appear seconds later.

After that, the flight was rather uneventful. On the Cairo-Bahrain part though, they didn't get my order for a vegetarian meal. The purses walk up to me, asking if Seafood would do. Not having much else of a choice, I nod. You received a business class meal!

The landing in Bahrain a few hours later was one of the better landings I've had. It was completely by the book, but after seeing the Bahrain Airport control tower, with the Bahraini flag painted on it, a great sense of accomplishment ran over me.

I made it to Bahrain!

After meeting up with the family, and one of my dad's colleagues, we drove "home." A shot of Firemens Vodka, and some sight-seeing around the house, it was time for bed. Some well deserved rest.


Blog for day one will follow.

May. 9th, 2010

dusk, Strand, Bagua

I made it

Blog will follow after well needed rest and acclimatisation.

May. 8th, 2010

dusk, Strand, Bagua

Mere hours to go

Date: May 8th, 2010
Time: 12:13AM
Hours remaining: 15.5 until departure

I hate to say, but my whole body is stiff with nerves! In less then 16 hours, a 70 ton metal flying behemoth will take me to my 'new life' in just about the same way bricks don't. And the nerves aren't about the flying! It'll be rainy, and their expecting winds...I so hope there will be some cool crosswinds when we lift off :)

The house is finished, the bags are packed, and my iPhone is charging/syncing my latest additions to my music library. What's more to do...Sit, sleep, eat and wait!

Oh yes...hitch a ride to the airport! Pretty much, the situation is; Our friend who promised to drive us to the Airport is now saying "Ah, meet me in Lelystad (where he lives) and from there, we will drive to Schiphol."
Now:
A train ticket Nijkerk - Lelystad costs 14,90, and it's a 1.5 hour trip.
A train ticket Nijkrek - Schiphol costs 11,40, and it's a 55 minute trip.
GO FIGURE you turd. Thanks for your help.

The two last options are, another friend of us is now scrambling to see if he can get a car to drive us there. If not, it'll be a very lone farewell because we will take the train. Just Kevin will be there then....I hope.

Either way. Just a few more hours. And when I go to bed in not too long...it'll only be like....4-6 more hours to go!!!!

Tomorrow's flight will be about 10 hours long...in a Boeing 737. Pretty much it's the bus among the planes in the world. Not a lot of leg-room, lots of old, worn out seats. Now to wait and find out if they have personal in-seat entertainment systems. If not, it'll be a very, very long flight.

I did prepare for the flight though, if there's no entertainment system. I was at a local bookstore to buy an envelope and saw Andy McNab's latest book. I bought it without hesitation. I also have a SkipBo card set, my Bagua Book (then again..it's always in my backpack..) and my iPhone. Hopefully it'll last long enough!

That's about it. I'm excited for tommorow. I'll stay up late tonight so I can catch some extra sleep on the plane.

Depending on how the flight, and the transfers go, I might, or might not write a small post via my mobile!

Fly to live - live to fly!
Tags: ,

May. 5th, 2010

dusk, Strand, Bagua

The final stretch

Date: May 4th, 2010
Time: 3:25AM
Days remain: 4 days until Bahrain


Well, it's a few more days until I finally leave to Bahrain. 4 more days...so close to a new live..yet so far away. It'll be great, and there are few moment when I am not looking forward to all the things that will happen. I've heard so much good things about it, and so few bad things! Sure, it's in the middle east, and it'll have typical middle-east style things. Bad traffic, corruption everywhere, it's hot, a lot of sand.

But there's so much good! That tiny island, only 0,002 times the sizes of the Netherlands has a Bagua and Tai Chi Cheng master! I searched so long to go on martial arts lessons, and I find a Bagua Master, how cool is that!

Airsoft is most likely legal there as well, that'll save me from waking up at 3AM for a game of airsoft..in the country next to us!

Hopefully, I'll be to go to school without losing to much time, even though I pretty much wasted 3 years on that school in Amsterdam. It hurts, I was one year away from graduating, and I get screwed over once again. I'm somewhat glad to be gone from that school.

I'll also need to get a drivers license...rumors say that the public transport is bad around there. Besides, I'm 19, almost 20. It's time to start cruisin' about!

But in all fairness, there's also a lot of things I will miss. I've grown up in the Netherlands, and lived there all my life. We dutch people have a very different sense of humor, and a different view on things then a lot of people. It's a small country, but you'll see dutch smartness pretty much everywhere.
Thinking of it, I can't think of much things I will miss. Then again, it's rather late..my ability to think clearly is somewhat fading.

One thing I will really miss though is hanging around with Kevin. He's been a great friend for the year that I've had the pleasure to know him. He helped me many times, and was my voice of reason many more times. Without him I'd probably be in a lot of more trouble then I am now.
In his words, "once bro's, you're always bro's."

Sure, there's the internet to talk with people, and I use the internet a lot, but the internet doesn't include the part of actually hanging about in real life.

But before all that goodness in Bahrain, there's still much more work. It's still 4 more days, and there is so much to do!
The house is not quite finished yet. Still have to pack up my bedroom, the basement and the kitchen. And tomorrow is probably the only day that I'll have a car/driver around to transport things to our storage box in Amersfoort.

And with all the packing still to be done, there's one little tid-bit problem. We're out of boxes! For the past few day's, I've been to all five supermarkets around town, 2 times a day to try and get some good boxes, but to no avail!
It'll be fun to pack tomorrow.

To make everything a slight bit more annoying. Have I ever mentioned that I live 3 floors, about 30m above the ground? Yes...All the furniture, all the boxes have to be carried down 6 flights of stairs. That'll be a fun job.

There's still the cargo-box that we need to get shipped. Weighing about 50kg empty, and about 200-300 when filled up, it won't be an easy job to get it ready for it's flight. Speaking of which...when will it fly?!



As I was writing this post, I suddenly remembered this quote:
"Do not dwell in the past, do not dream of the future, concentrate the mind on the present moment." Dalai Lama.

Thinking of it, I try to keep quotes like these in the back of my mind with everything I do. The past few days I have done a lot of dwelling in the past, and much, much more of dreaming about the future.
Just a few more days..

4 days, and so much to do. 4 days, and so close to Bahrain.

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