Friday, July 4, 2008

Berlin to NL, written 26 June 2008

A slow start in the morning, breakfast in the flat…finally left home around 11am, and by the time I found the petrol station in Nikolassee it was noon.

There was a German guy trying to head south to Numberg and I chatted with him, and we agreed to help each other get rides if possible. I got him a lift with a Polish couple, and he got me my ride heading west.

We were on the autobahn at 12.22. Anmon was an Israeli who came to Germany 36 years ago and had been based in Koln since then. Fast, smooth ride, interesting conversation as he is a gaffer, meaning he controls light for film production, and he has been in Germany long enough to be able to tell me things about it as an outsider that isn’t so new to the scene. Really kind, and as we stopped for his lunch in Hannover we checked out a map and he took me to the closest petrol station to where we would be splitting ways, as he was headed south towards Dortmund to get to Koln.

He dropped me off, and as I was getting my bearings looking for NL plates, I decided to go to a young guy in an Audi with German plates. He was headed to Munster but knew of a good place to drop me before Osnabruck where many people would be heading to the Netherlands. So 10 minutes after arriving at the petrol station, off I was.

A bit of roadworks meant delays but arrived no problems, and asked around but it was more difficult as people were either going short distances or had no space in their cars.

Then a heavily tattooed guy in an Alfa Romeo approached me and said he could take me to Enschede. So 10 minutes after arriving at the petrol station, off I was. Well, I’ll preface by saying it was probably the worst lift I’ve ever gotten. That said, it really wasn't that bad. He was blaring electronic music, but that deep house trance stuff that I really can’t stand, and it was a fully loaded Bose speaker car, so I was getting a headache. That was ok, because I kept talking to him so that he had to turn down the volume to hear me. Then, when we were approaching Enschede I sent a message to Lillian, Marion’s sister, who works in Enschede, and we agreed to meet at the Grolsch factory. I asked the driver if he knew where this was, and he said he did, no problems, we would be there in 10 minutes. Well, he proceeded to drive around in circles, refusing to ask for directions, and 30 minutes later we call Lillian, he’s upset because he’s wondering why she can’t meet me in the city center etc etc. In the end, he still refused to ask for directions and I told him I didn't want to waste any more of his time so I got out at the Politie, police station, and apologized to both him and Lillian and waited for her to arrive. Turned out just fine in the end, though I did feel quite bad about the whole situation.

We arrived in Zwolle just after 7pm, so really good time for the whole journey, went straight to the Brederostraat where I’ve been visiting Marion and Onne since 2003, and I was back home.

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