Thursday, June 15, 2006

Last Day in Holland... Again

Hello all,

I'd thought I'd write today as it will probably be my last chance before I leave Holland for the last time in teh forseeable future!

I guess the big news is that we made the drop yesterday, which was the whole point of me being here. It seemed to go relatively well in my eyes, and I still may have some interesting work left for me to do today! It was quite an effort getting this guy out by Wednesday. On Tuesday night I was on a tele-con (that's Telephone Confrence for all you non tele-con people) with the guys in the US at about midnight. I decided to take the call outside the hotel because without exadurating, my room was about 1000 degrees celcius. It was probably the hottest environment I've been in since Thailand in the peak of their summer. My room would not cool down, it just gained heat all day till the point where steam was coming off the cold water. Whilst I was outside, I heard several large bangs and massive flashes of lights. At first I thought it was fireworks, but several minutes later I noticed them all along the skyline around Delft. When the wind started picking up, I predicted that we were about to get hit by a tropical sized thunder storm. Although my meteorology isn't perfect, I was guessing that because of the extreme heat we had earlier, we were going to get a heavy storm. Clocking this before it even started raining, I briskly walked back to my hotel, all the time excusing my self on the confrence call because the thunder kept interupting. When I made it back in to the hotel, the heavens opened and thus followed a two hour electrical storm. I was glad of it as I thought it would cool my room down. How wrong I was.

Having taken several seconds to work out the trajectory of the rain using my new found sense of direction and meteorology skills, I had to run four flights of stairs to get to my room to close the window. All the time still on this confrence call. I hadn't flooded the room, but there was a fair sized puddle on the carpet (which had steam running off it from the heat of my room). So I was forced to close the window over, and continue to bake. My confrence call ended at 1am, by which point the torrential rain had died down a bit. Sleeping was impossible. The room was still impossibly hot, and I was almost afraid of falling asleep in case I passed out or dehydrated. After turning constantly for an hour, I had to open the window to stand any chance of cooling the room. I opened it as wide as it would go, and opend the curtains and nets to allow the aor to come in. It worked slightly, and the room cooled a fair bit. Just as I thought I'd managed to escape the heat, I heard a sharp buzzing noise pass my ear.

Needless to say, I was up for another hour defending my self from the mosquito. My alarm went off at 6am, and I had to get up. I probably had less than an hours sleep the whole night. On Wednesday, we made the drop, and I had a peaceful first few hours to sort some other things out. I walked round Delft nearly twice trying to find somewhere to change some travelers cheques, and after I explained to two banks and the post office that the Travelex by the station was no longer open, I had to get a train journey to Den Haag Centraal and change them there. I also had to explain to the Travelex there, that their sister branch in Delft had closed. They said they hadn't heard anything about it. I wonder if the owner just did a runner with the money the day I arrived, because not even Travelex know its closed.

With all my richness, I bought the one supply I knew I was in need of most: One Litre of Chocolate Milk. When I got back to my hotel room, the internet was down, again, so I rang our 'customer' here and arranged to walk up to their office and meet up with them. I decided to walk in the rain as it was still quite warm. After meeting up with them, I got back to my room, had a quick shower and then went out for a decent meal. I got back to watch some of the football and got a well earned early night!

Today the internet is again down, so I am writing this 'offline' in the optimism that it will reappear in the next 20 minutes, at which point I have to vacate my room and check out. I'm not entirely sure what I am to do between 11am and 4pm when I will head back to Schipol. Either way, it will involve carrying my luggage around for 5 hours. I may have to do some 'interesting' work with our customer, but I am yet to hear anything more of it.

I'll be watching the England game in the Irish bar in the departure lounge of Schipol Airport (or which ever has the most England/Football supporters). My flight leaves at 9pm so I should make it back in The Anchor for last orders.

I'll sign off now, but I'll be sure to let people know when I'm back off to another nice part of the world!



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