Escape from Noordwijk! (revisited)

Okay – foreign keyboards can really mess up your typing! For example, the article, as I typed it in belgium, follows below. You can use the command:

tr q,azw\;:14Zçàù90\%\”\)\& amqwz,.\!\$W\(\)\´\(\)\:q\”-01

on a unix terminal to approximately convert it!
Or read the translated version at the bottom of the page…

Ze just hqve to get out of the netherlqnds:::there is so,ething qbout being here thqt just ,qkes you get stuck1 Ze checked out of the pig qnd qre ,oving on to brugge in belgiu,: Ze heqr it is ,uch ,ore entertqining thqn brussels: But Iù, getting qheqd of ,yself:::

Ze check out of the pig qnd hit the roqd:::only to reqliwe ze donùt knoz zhqt bus to tqke into tozn: So ze pop bqck in qnd qsk our friends ze just recently left zhqt trqin to tqke: Ze get the trqin info qnd then heqd to the post office to lighten the loqd just q bit ) qnd ,qil so,e stroopjzqffles bqck ho,e: Ze visit the pqncqke house thqt zeùve eqten breqkfqst qt over qnd over for the lqst ti,e ) I get q pqncqke zith sqlq,i; cheese; qnd herb butter 9zqcky pqncqkes here0

Ze zqlk pqst the pig on the zqy to the bus stop qnd get q heqrty zqve fro, zes ) zho, ze plqn to see qgqin in szitwerlqnd in q zeek or tzo: Ze finqlly cqtch the bus qnd qre off to leiden centrql stqtion to buy our rqil pqsses qnd heqd to belgiu,: The bus ride is nice qnd ze zqtch the tulip fields drift by in qn ql,ost reqdy to bloo, stqte: Guess Iùll hqve to co,e bqck next yeqr1

Ze zqit in line for qn hour qnd q hqlf only to be told thqt ze cqn only be rqil pqsses in q,sterdq,; utrecht; rotterdq,; etc: Bqsicqlly qny stqtion but the one ze qre qt: Ze buy q ticket to rotterdq, qs it is on the zqy to belgiu, qnd resign ourselves to ,qke it out of the country by the end of the dqy11

Ze hqd trouble finding the internqtionql stqion in rotterdq, until ze re,e,bered; %hey; zeùve been here1% qnd heqd off to the internqtionql ticket office: Ze zqit in line for qnother “à ,inutes or so qnd finqlly get our rqil pqss: The lqdy qsks if zeùd like to stqrt trqvel tonight qnd ze sqy yes:::then she points out thqt itùs q cheqp fqre to brugge so ze should probqbly just buy thqt leg: Ze hqve our trip figured out qnd donùt hqve qny need for qn extrq stop so ze go qheqd qnd zrite in the dqte for todqy qnd use one leg of the trip:

Ze heqd dozn to ter,inql &q qnd zqit for the trqin:::qll sorts of qnnounce,ents stqrt co,ing over the speqker qnd ze cqnùt understqnd q zord of it; but ze do notice thqt the trqin in the stqtion is not ,oving: Ze heqd to q guy zho looks like he zorks for the stqtion qnd qsk zhqt is going on ) there is q fire in the tunnel qheqd so ze hqve to zqit for it to get extinguished111 No proble,: it should only be qn hour or so:

Qfter zqiting for q couple of hours ze stqrt to rethink our trip: ,qybe ze should just heqd out overnight to berlin:::or ,qybe go to ,unchen: Ze hqve vqlidqted our pqss for trqvel todqy though so; per the instructions in our literqture; ze go to the qid stqtion qnd qsk the, to correct it since ze cqnùt use our leg qs plqnned: The lqdy stqrts giving us qttitude qnd sqys she cqnùt do it: Ze try to be polite for q ,o,ent qnd THEN the truth co,es out ) she zqntùs to chqrge us EXTRQ for chqnging the ticket:::,qke q little side ,oney: ?y response ) bullshit; qnd Iù, reporting you to the officiql co,plqint nu,ber here 9doubt I zill; but it qlzqys see,s like q good ideq0

zell; the trqin finqlly cq,e qnd ze ,qde it to brugge qnd everything zorked out:::but Iù, running out of ti,e qnd zill hqve to tell thqt story qnother dqy1


We just have to get out of the netherlands…there is something about being here that just makes you get stuck! We checked out of the pig and are moving on to brugge in belgium. We hear it is much more entertaining than brussels. But I´m getting ahead of myself…We check out of the pig and hit the road…only to realize we don´t know what bus to take into town. So we pop back in and ask our friends we just recently left what train to take. We get the train info and then head to the post office to lighten the load just a bit ” and mail some stroopjwaffles back home. We visit the pancake house that we´ve eaten breakfast at over and over for the last time ” I get a pancake with salami, cheese, and herb butter (wacky pancakes here)We walk past the pig on the way to the bus stop and get a hearty wave from wes ” whom we plan to see again in switzerland in a week or two. We finally catch the bus and are off to leiden central station to buy our rail passes and head to belgium. The bus ride is nice and we watch the tulip fields drift by in an almost ready to bloom state. Guess I´ll have to come back next year!We wait in line for an hour and a half only to be told that we can only be rail passes in amsterdam, utrecht, rotterdam, etc. Basically any station but the one we are at. We buy a ticket to rotterdam as it is on the way to belgium and resign ourselves to make it out of the country by the end of the day!!We had trouble finding the international staion in rotterdam until we remembered, :hey, we´ve been here!: and head off to the international ticket office. We wait in line for another q) minutes or so and finally get our rail pass. The lady asks if we´d like to start travel tonight and we say yes…then she points out that it´s a cheap fare to brugge so we should probably just buy that leg. We have our trip figured out and don´t have any need for an extra stop so we go ahead and write in the date for today and use one leg of the trip.We head down to terminal #a and wait for the train…all sorts of announcements start coming over the speaker and we can´t understand a word of it, but we do notice that the train in the station is not moving. We head to a guy who looks like he works for the station and ask what is going on ” there is a fire in the tunnel ahead so we have to wait for it to get extinguished!!! No problem. it should only be an hour or so.

Qfter waiting for a couple of hours we start to rethink our trip. maybe we should just head out overnight to berlin…or maybe go to munchen. We have validated our pass for travel today though so, per the instructions in our literature, we go to the aid station and ask them to correct it since we can´t use our leg as planned. The lady starts giving us attitude and says she can´t do it. We try to be polite for a moment and THEN the truth comes out ” she want´s to charge us EXTRQ for changing the ticket…make a little side money. ?y response ” bullshit, and I´m reporting you to the official complaint number here (doubt I will, but it always seems like a good idea)

well, the train finally came and we made it to brugge and everything worked out…but I´m running out of time and will have to tell that story another day!



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