English to Dutch

Trip Start May 25, 2003
Trip End Jun 07, 2003

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Flag of Netherlands  , Noord-Holland,
Saturday, May 24, 2003

Saturday 5/24/03

The trip to Amsterdam is almost a breeze- except for the middle seat of a very packed plane for a 10 hour trip. Baggage was checked through to Nairobi- we hope! Agent neglected to get the tag #. We'll know for sure in Nairobi!!

Entering Amsterdam quite effortless. I kept waiting for the flight attendants to hand out the usual forms, but nothing! Checking through immigration took less than 5 minutes- including the wait in a very short line. I was beginning to think there was no customs- we walked through the airport to the baggage claim area and then walked through the "Nothing to declare" door without a hitch.

I followed the Hotel Shuttle signs after checking a hotel phone bank to confirm they had a shuttle. Found their pickup spot. And the bus appeared in minutes. The hotel is only 5 minutes walk from the airport, so arrived at noon-ish and into hotel room by 12:15. Now that’s fast.

Small problem at the hotel. Apparently their reservation/room system is down- the room they assigned me was still occupied and, luckily, only the belongings, not the occupant, were present. A Heineken bottle did catch my eye!

Finally to my own room- very small but very modern and clean- including hookups for modem dial-up and internet access through the TV.

I was exhausted after short sleep on the plane- and not a deep one either. A quick shower and a nap! But the nap stretched out for 4 hours. Finally, hunger forced me out about 5pm. I decided to walk back to the airport which advertised itself as having a shopping plaza & restaurants.

The airport- and everything in its vicinity at least- is very English friendly. Signs actually in English first and Dutch second. The plane ride was also English/Dutch.

The weather is overcast- very cool and wet. I’d thought to find some type of city tour, but now it seems okay that I zonked out instead.

The airport “plaza” wasn’t very impressive, but it did have a nice grocery store/deli where I picked up 2 bottles of water at .75 EU each- the minibar is charging 5 EU. There was no problem using dollars, but of course change was in EU’s. I ended up at a good old fashioned Burger King for dinner.

Now back to the room- beer from the mini and CNN for an English distraction. I hope I can sleep tonight and wake up”converted” to local time. That should help adjusting to Nairobi tomorrow.

I’m going to have to get used to the smoking everywhere- even when posted “No Smoking”. Luckily, the Hilton has no smoking rooms.
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