Saturday, November 7, 2009

Day 3: Rotterdam, Windmills and Farting

Frans wrote:

6 Nov '09: One advantage of time difference and Jet lag is that you wake up very early in time with the time zone you are used to. Considering the nightmarish conditions of the Dutch morning traffic jams :

I convinced my fellow travellers to get up early so we could have an early start to our journey to Rotterdam and that way avoid the worst of the delays that usual occur at Hoevelaken in the middle of Holland.

My fellow travellers came through like troopers and we were on our way at 5 AM. We were that early that when we stopped for our morning coffee and breakfast at an AC Restaurant near Bodegraven it wouldn't serve us yet because we were too early?!?! Fortunately a serving lady took pity on us and served us some tea until the restaurant opened half an hour or so later.

From Bodegraven we travelled to Rotterdam avoiding the major roads which took us through Gouda, Lekkerkerk, Krimpen a/d Lek and all those small rural villages in between.

We arrived on location at Rotterdam around 10 AM and whilst I went into my Head Office for my brief meeting, the ladies went shopping at the Alexandrium shopping center. .....obviously the shopping bug had not been quite satisfied yet with yesterday's effort at Batavia Stad....

After finishing my meeting I caught up again with my fellow travellers and obviously this shopping expedition was more succesfull then the last one as new coats were produced and paraded....the Dutch economy was turning in the black....

After we left Rotterdam we made a short trip to Krimpen a/d Ijssel where my sister Mia and her husband Antoine were waiting with lunch and presents. In Holland the 5th of December is a special day, it signifies Sinterklaas day which is a very old tradition where people give each other presents, in a way it is the equivelant of the English Christmas tradition but the Dutch celebrate that as well so they actually get a double whammy, retail stores absolutely love it!

Karen and Evonne received a coffee cup each and Maxine and I got a chocolate letter each, another Dutch 'Sinterklaas' tradition where people get a chocolate letter representing the first letter of their names.

From Mia's place we drove to Kinderdijk hoping to catch a few windmills in action. Kinderdijk is famous for its windmills and one of the most popular tourist spots in Holland.
Although two windmills were actually working, neither of them were open to the public which was a bit dissapointing but it was still great to see so many windmills in such a small area.

After we left Kinderdijk I pointed the faithful Merc towards home and the discussion on board turned to the working of the human body's workings of its 'rear end'......
Maxine started the discussion of: 'If you fart, let everybody know so we can open the windows'. Karen responded: 'I don't fart', Evonne informed everyone she was full of wind and obviously someone just had to ask the question: 'How about you, Frans?'..... I'm thinking: 'No way I'm getting into this discussion', ......'hey Frans, how are you going?' ..... 'You've got to be kidding me, this mute button stays firmly on'.

It wasn't long before a distinct sound was produced right behind me...'That wasn't me!', Evonne cried 'that was Frans!' ... yeah right Evonne, we've got a saying in Holland, 'wie het eerst een scheetje ruikt heeft geheid zijn eigen poepertje gebruikt' .. and I'll let you find the translation for that particular piece of Dutch wisdom all by yourself Evonka! ....


  1. Pitrik and JolandaNovember 9, 2009 at 1:06 AM

    Frans, How was your meeting at the Head Office? I hope it al went well.
    Traveling at 5 am... in Holland... It is not Australia... every normal 'Hollander' is still in bed at that time. And if you travel at that early hour you take your own coffee and sandwiches from home.
    You know what they say: 'Een Krimpens besluit, loopt altijd op stront uit.' I think you can replace 'Krimpen' for every other city or village.

  2. Jolanda, Pitrik, my meeting at the Head Office went exactly as I expected, nothing has changed.