August 18, 2008

Old friends reunited

This post is a little late, but better late than never I say (just don't say that when it involves your mrs…).
Last July I decided to celebrate my birthday in Holland for a change. I wrote to just about every person I knew in NL, inviting them to join us. XY knew a decent place, Strand aan de Maas (SadM). It's a temporary beach resort of some sort. Quite nice actually. The weather gods were in my favour that weekend, and the rain managed to stay away until I left for england again. I also wanted to invite my brother and his gf, but they were doing a 1-month hike through scotland.
It turned out that all of R'dam was celebrating my b'day (some 500.000+ people), because the city was packed with festivities and music. There were even trucks driving around in a parade, with too volumpuous and too scarcely dressed women (and men…). Turned out that summer carnaval was on at the same time I had my b'day.
The first one that arrived, was Ferry. Ferry and I go way back, from when I was 13 years old (21 holymoly years ago!!!). We hadn't seen each other ever since I left for England. So that was about 8 years now. Ferry got married in the mean time. Since his wife had left for a weekend in some sort of spa, he decided to misbehave, and what better than to attend my b'day, eh?
Next was Marcel. Mars is a good friend from Haarlem. A very loyal guy. He's visited me in the UK twice now, but he hasn't seen my house yet. He better hurry, because soon I will be selling my house! (yes Mars, that's a hint!)
Next was Rohin. Rohin is an Indian guy, whom Ferry and I shared classes with. He hadn't changed a bit! It was a long time since we last met. Probably the last time was when we finished school, so that must have been about 14 years or so now!
After that, Lucas showed up. Luc and I know each other from Airbus. We started at the same time. Luc went back last year, and now bought a house in Haarlem. He know has to face the same misery I have for the past 2 years…
Finally, Mireille shows up. Ferry and I shared classes with her too, that was back in the HAVO, so last time I saw her was, what? 18 years ago??? She's become somewhat of a biker mouse now.
The last one to show up was Donny. He was late because he had a prior engagement that evening. Taz had to work, so she didn't come along. Donny and I last saw each other in May, so not too long ago.
Some people had their misunderstandings over the past year or so, but those were worked out and attributed to miscommunications, so friends are and remain friends!

We decided to have a meal at SadM as well. This wasn't as easy as cake as it turned out. We couldn't have food at the beach part of the terrace, so we went inside and sat down at some tables, only to be told that they didn't serve food inside either. So we went outside again. Turns out they only serve food in the covered part of the terrace. So we sat down and realised they gave us only 2 menus for 8 people. So we robbed 6 tables from their menus and had a good look. When we got to ordering, we were informed that with every order we had to pay immediately. Well, that pretty much deprived them from their chance of a tip…
The food came quickly though, and it was good! It was nice to eat a typical dutch pub meal: chicken satay with chips! Hehehe…
After having dined, we sat out on the beach again, and enjoyed a few more drinks.

Then we got the idea to go to a bar/dancing, a rather push place near de Meent. Ofcourse like typical fascist Holland, the girls all got in without any problems, regardless of what they were, or were not, wearing… But when I got to get in, I was grabbed roughly, and then nearly beat up and thrown into the canals for not wearing "appropriate clothing". Well, that really pissed me off, and after providing the bouncers with some rather exotic terms, I nearly decided to just go home. Luckily my friends persuaded to not let this ruin my evening. We decided to go to Plan-C in De Oude Haven instead. Always good. Weather was still good, so after playing a dog with a too small bladder finding a nice tree called (help me out guys, I forgot the name of that place we didn't get in. I'd liove to advertise for them!) off we went, only 5 minutes walk more.
Nearing Plan-C, their employees were handing out free drink vouchers. So we sat down on the terrace and ordered our free drinks, only to hear the waiter say that the vouchers are only for inside (which ofcourse demands an entrance fee). Since this was not written anywhere on the vouchers, nor were we informed verbally, I was rather assertive and informed the water kindly though no-noncense style that legally he had to provide us with our free drinks. Unfortunately his manager said we could get our free drinks, and drink them outside, but we still had to collect them inside (still: entrance fee). SO no good. We decided to just pay for our free drinks.
As you can see: nothing is ever for free…
Anyway, we wholeheartedly enjoyed our drinks.
Ferry even made me laugh that all the beer squirted out of my nose and ears! I haven't laughed that well in decades! I guess it was all the stress and tensions of recent months/years releasing themselves. I laughed so hard I cried! Oh joy! At least I am glad that this is how I release my stress (unlike others who use a brick and a window, or plant steel bars in heads…)

All in all it was a brilliant time, and we promised not to wait this long until next time we meet.
I am glad I still have such loyal friends, and I feel truly blessed by being their friend.

2 comments:

Ferry said...

Hey mofo! Nice piece you've written there! I liked it too. Shit: as you say it. It must have been 'bout 21 years ago. At our pre-jerking period!! But my wife didn't go to A spa. She went to Spa in Belgium, you know: from the F1. Glad tou have worked that problem out. it took us a full 45 seconds to complete. Rather long for men don't you think!? One more question: when are we going to repeat ourselves? (-;

Anonymous said...

spa = spa, beauty or belgium :-P

Yep, 45 seconds is long by any male standard! But better slow than never!