Saturday, 10 September 2016

It's time to say goodbye

Alas my time in the Netherlands is coming to an end... I've spent my last week making one more circuit of the country to say goodbye to some of my favourite cousins and aunties. Visiting Tante (Aunt) Do - that's her in the selfie above - was especially poignant. Given that she's 93 and I only get to Holland on average once every five years I probably don't need to explain why. I told her about my travels so far and she told me some more stories about the family's experiences in World War II.

I also went to Arnhem to say goodbye to my cousin Sophie and her boyfriend Philipp, who live in the city centre above this bright pink cafe. Here they are at the start of a night out in a superb pub called 't Moordgat ("The Murderhole") with fellow students of the Arnhem music conservatory, Yannick and Daria.

Sophie was in fine form...

In Eindhoven I said goodbye to cousins Laura and Eric. Eric took me on his motorbike to a Trappist monastery just across the border in Belgium. Eric is a street racing enthusiast with a 900cc Kawasaki and an apparent immunity to G-forces. I still can't decide if the ride was exhilarating or terrifying. My mum reads this blog so I won't say what our top speed was....

I then visited cousin Sanne and her hubby Erwin in Limburg (see separate post) and spent my last evening with cousin Ted, his wife Angela and son Erik just outside Amsterdam. My last few days in Holland were a bit stressful thanks to a nasty flare-up, with the worst possible timing, of a long-term health condition. Ted and Angela kindly helped me to a doctor who prescribed some emergency medication just hours before I had to be at Schiphol airport for my flight to Ethiopia. Phew.

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