Being physically tired and not having enough sleep, but still joyful, I left the country I’m linked to by my second surname to visit the Netherlands. I had been there when I was eighteen—when I meet the Slovene girl—although that time I visited other places, except for Amsterdam.
The flight, or rather the boarding, to the Netherlands was the most interesting of them all. When almost everybody was on the plane, some uniformed people came looking for a man. There happened to be two passengers with the same exact name, but just one ticket. After a long discussion, one of them left the cabin and off we went, twenty minutes late.I spent some days in The Hague with the Scottish guy who held international barbecue parties when he lived in Barcelona. Of course, our first night in The Hague was also international. He also prepared a route around Delft, Vermeer’s birthplace and de facto capital of the country, and Rotterdam—where I was tortured in an all-you-can-eat sushi place in which you can order unlimited food, except there’s a 2 € surcharge per piece remaining on the table, and you always order too much food.
The tour around Europe ended in Amsterdam with my Cork corker friends for a festive farewell. The city is crowded with Argentinean and Italian restaurants, sex-shops and canals and there’s the well known Red Light District and a not-so-well-known sort of Chinatown. No wonder we spent a whole morning looking for Dutch pancakes because of a carving of my friend.
The weirdest moment, however, was when she sent me to some German guys with a mission: ‘Excuse me, I’ve got a sort of weird request for you. My friend there smokes—I don’t—but she can’t roll her joints and was wondering if you could roll it for her with this. You can keep what you don’t use for the joint [which was a lot] because we’re leaving tomorrow.’ And my tour around Europe ended the following day indeed.