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  December 2nd 2001

Well, what a tiny little update this is, eh? I apologise to all the people who had hoped to see some new chat quotes this update. Do not worry, they will go up sooner or later. Unfortunately the world has conspired to eat away at my free time three weekends in a row, and since these additions to the chat quotes easily take 5-7 hours, I think I don't need to explain why I dropped that particular part of the update for now.

As I said, I've been lacking the amount of free time required for an update. Not that this was only caused by bad things. For instance, two weeks ago I not only met DE, who I know from Station 8, but we both went to a foreign country too! The foreign country was called 'Amsterdam'. This is what happened:

DE was supposed to arive at the airport Schiphol at 12:10 in the afternoon. This would be a 9 hour stop-over on the way to Qatar, on a saturday, leaving us with plenty of time to finally meet up. This was, in fact, something of a second chance. Last summer she was in The Netherlands on her way to Michigan, while I was IN Michigan after attending The Gathering.
Unfortunately, there had been a problem with her flight. She was booked onto another flight, and had someone e-mail me at the last moment with the changed details. Unfortunately, this person accidentally included the old flight number, which was reported to arive early, rather than late. Not wanting to chance anything, I just left for Schiphol to arive before 12:10, and to wait till whenever DE would show up.
It was not hard for her to recognise me. I had described myself as a tall guy in a black winter coat who would most likely be writing in a notepad. I even used the words "black marshmellow man" in relation to the coat. Since I could not keep an eye out for her forever, I made sure that I would fit that description. I wrote until my fingers bled, sitting indoors in my thick winter coat enduring the neverending terror of the typically Dutch organ grinder near the meeting point to a point where I was ready to grind the organ myself.
She finally showed up at 15:50.

We immediately established ourselves as being a lot like our online counterparts. It began when we followed each other around the airport until I thought to ask if SHE knew where we were going. Having quickly eliminated this initial misunderstanding, we decided to carry out the initial plan we made for the day: she took me to Amsterdam. She intended to take me to a pancake place she had eaten at before. Now, Amsterdam truly is another country. To indicate just how foreign it is, while I was having an English conversation with DE another girl stopped us to ask for directions, in English. She was riding a bicycle, looking as Dutch as can be. I therefore felt little shame in following the jetlagged world traveler as she followed her own written directions. Meanwhile we talked a lot. It was rather fun, on the whole. Unfortunately, the pancake place was closed. Also, by then it had become rather dark. The street lights were on along the many canals and on the bridges. It was a lovely site, really. Amsterdam truly is a beautiful city.

It was in these pictoresque surroundings that we took our first wrong turn on our way back to Central Station. I don't know when exactly it happened; I know I have all the sense of direction of a compas in a magnetic storm, and that DE was severely jetlagged. I also know that it took us a while to realise we had no clue where we were. Luckily, we did not panic. We remained calm and resolute as we strengthened our resolve to be back at the airport in time for her connecting flight. Or, in the words of DE:

"Stop looking like you're going te get mugged, Arno."

I related this to a friend in Amsterdam. She too agreed that for some reason I always looked uncomfortable when walking around in Amsterdam with her. It is not my fault I come from SleepyVille, The Netherlands though. ;)

Eventually we came accross a bus that took us back to central station. In the bus I explained her about math and pi, in the train we talked about writing, on the way back to her gate I sang to her the songs that Dubble and Jade Griffin sung about Beedoo!, Beedoo!'s plushy and myself at the Cosplay at The Gathering. I don't think we actually stopped yapping one single moment until she finally had to check in. I quickly took a few more pictures, embarrassed her further, and waved at her as she disappeared past customs.

We had not eaten at all. She ate behind customs, I bought myself a rediculously expensive cone of icecream, the best value for money I could found when it came to filling one's stomach. It had been a tiring day, but I enjoyed myself. As for DE...

Arno talked to where ever something evil possibly lurked. I think he may have addressed a pick pocket's chewed gum... I dunno.
I've been to Amsterdam several times. It's a prime transit city when I fly, so I try to get long layovers and head into town.

Sunday, November 25, 2001 07:36:06 AM

"Every city has problems. Amsterdam has Arno."
*saved* *gg*
"quote to a lamp post" that's arno's kind of humor ? ;)
Not your first time there, right.

Sunday, November 25, 2001 07:33:19 AM

Every city has problems. Amsterdam has Arno.
Sure. I suggest visiting whole heartedly. It's one of my favourite places.

Sunday, November 25, 2001 07:30:33 AM

didn't know that amsterdam has such problems ?
..want to visit amsterdam in april :)

Sunday, November 25, 2001 07:29:46 AM

Truly... he kept looking around... I've been lost in Amsterdam before, but he apparently hasn't.
Sunday, November 25, 2001 07:27:27 AM


Anyway, to make a long story very short, I will try to work on the chat quotes over the next week. Please bear with me.

And beware of for suspicious lamp posts...