124 Up Up and Away!

Trip Start Apr 21, 2013
Trip End Aug 28, 2013

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Flag of Netherlands  , Noord-Holland,
Thursday, August 22, 2013

Day 124

22 Aug 2013

This morning I got a text and phone call from my mate Ted Wesselius asking "Where are you?"

“ One floor below you I answered.”  I was in the middle of getting some money out of an ATM as I needed to pay Rob for items he had paid for getting my motorcycle into shape. Last night I had stayed with a friend in the city of Alkmaar and had a late night with wine, prawns and salad and a roast beef roll. On the way there I passed the sleepy town of Enkhuizen again and took a picture of the tower I had flown over yesterday . The sailors who roamed these streets before boarding the 17th century galleons which would take them to faraway places were gone and  replaced  by  sand shoes wearing grey nomads in white pants  and white jumpers drinking cappuccino's on the rear decks of their yachts.  

I had left at 7.10 Am and got to the airport at 8 am to park the bike in a certain spot near the control tower where free motorcycle parking is offered (amazing that something is free in Holland) By 08.45 I had checked in and went down to the arrival hall to find an ATM when I got Ted 's call. Ted wanted so see me off and of course so did Rob who had arrived by train in order to collect my bike and ride it back to his place of residence. 
 By the time I got back  Rob and Ted were talking together as they recognized each other from the pictures on the blog. We sat down surrounded by airport noises of gongs and announcements  for coffee and a chat.

Rob had arrived in his impeccable looking motorcycle jacket while Ted had dressed up for the occasion by wearing his other T-shirt today. Rob mentioned that he had liked the picture of my friend Ab and I which his wife took of us a few days ago and requested if we could do the same.  Taking the risk of being misunderstood and may be mistaken for a bunch of frustrated homosexuals suffering  from MFPD (Mutual Friends Photographic Disorder) I reluctantly agreed as long as both refrained from looking at me with any form of sadness in their eyes.

It was time to go, my journey has come to an end. I while ago I thought about  doing a summing up or review of my 4months  journey (almost to the day) but have decide not to do so as this would require mentioning persons by name who made a profound impact on my life during this journey. People I have met, people I have travelled with, old acquaintances and old friendships rekindled, all this with a certain risk that I may forget a name. I feel that the persons who read this will know for themselves  that they would most certainly be in this list. Perhaps a few words about the countries I have visited. Again with the risk of misjudging a country because of my personal experience.  It remains a fact that by meeting the right or wrong persons you may form an opinion about a county instead of an event.

In the 70’s there was a slogan used by the now defunct Trans Australian Airlines which was aired on TV supported by a group of female singers singing : Up up and away, the friendly way ,when you fly  with T.A.A !  Well Singapore Airlines may as well re kindle this slogan as again their service is second to none and these days boredom on a plane is but a myth. The flight departure was delayed for an hour. While seated I saw a lady “walking” past, being held by the two cabin crew while being taking to her seat. I thought she may be a spastic who needed aid while walking through the plane but learned that this woman was showing that the expression “being petrified” can be taken literally. An announcement was made that a passenger had to taken off the plane due to a panic attack relating to “fear of flying.” As no doubt her suitcase had be found among hundreds of others the take off was delayed while all on board where served drinks. I had never seen this before, it must be an horrendous shock for a person to go through this let alone the misplaced embarrassment as I take it that most people would understand that this was a situation outside someone’s control.

My journey had come to an end. The last bit which for most people would be a major journey was now just a little bit at the end.   A summery ?  Well, I have a few days to think about it. However, for the benefit of my new friends who know little about Australia or where I live I will do a page about my area of residence and what makes life tick in my region.
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Jérôme on

Take care of yourself and keep on riding ...

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