Journal Dutch trip 2024 (last part)

This is the last part of my journal about my Dutch trip 2024. Here are part1, part 2 and part 3. The last week of my stay was more relaxed than the hectic first month.

Wednesday 29 May

A (rainy) rest day. In one week time I will fly back to Malaysia. Enjoying another raw herring for lunch.

Thursday 30 May

In the morning I took my bicycle to visit the Amstel park. It has a famous rhododendron valley and I was hoping to see it in full bloom. But I was too late, only a few bushes were still in bloom. The weather was nice and the park is beautiful.

In the afternoon I visited my friend Lambert again in the care home. I had bought some cake to cheer him up.

Friday 31 May

My friend Yolanda celebrated her 75th birthday and organised a party. Here she is, radiant as ever, surrounded by her children and grandchildren.

It was a pleasant meeting, followed by a nice Japanese style dinner. In the left photo I am making a toast with Angela, one of Yolanda’s oldest friends.

Saturday 1 June

In part 2 of my journal I wrote that my waterfall gang had presented me with a jigsaw puzzle for my 80th birthday. And that the puzzle was a VERY difficult one, without much structure. Actually it was TOO difficult for me, I hardly made any progress. I asked my siblings if any of them was interested and my brother Ruud wanted to give it a try. As I had sorted the puzzle pieces according to color, I put them back in separate plastic bags. I wish him good luck.

Sunday 2 June

A visit to Alphen aan den Rijn, my hometown. My youngest brother is living now in the ancestral home with his family. I arrived by train, he was waiting for me. In the right picture I am standing in the garden. The top window was in my room, when I was a teenager. The family has been living in this house for 75 years!

The front garden is often admired by passers-by. In the backyard I had a chat with Nina, my sister-in -law.

As usual we visited my parents’ grave and planted some new shrubs.

When we were kids, my mother got help from a young girl, Janny, who soon became a friend of the family. When my brother told me that she was still alive, now 88 year old, I said that I would love to meet her. It was a remarkable meeting, she told us many details about her and our past. She started helping my mother in 1949, when she was only 13 year old. A few years later she went to the Martha Stichting in Alphen , a home for uncared for children. I always thought she was there as a pupil, but she explained that she worked there as a group leader. A very nice meeting.

After bringing her back home, Otto brought me to the Martha Stichting, now no longer a home, but a beautiful park. The right photo show the main building, now an Arts Center, called Park Villa.

A beautiful park surrounds the buildings. When I was a kid, it was out of bounds and the Martha Stichting had a rather negative reputation.

I used my visit to Alphen to cast my vote for the European elections, held in the Netherlands on 6 June. As I don’t have my domicile anymore in the Netherlands, I am a postal voter, so I needed stamps to send my vote. Otto provided the stamps πŸ˜‰

Before I left Alphen, I had dinner with Otto and my two nephews, prepared by Nina, wo had to work that evening. Xander and Aswin are identical twins, when they were kids I could not tell them apart, but they have developed differently and now I can πŸ˜‰

Monday 3 June

n the morning Annelies, a former colleague, came to visit me in Backershagen. We had coffee and cake and had a lot to talk about, because we hadn’t seen each other in years.

The last few days before my departure, I always am busy preparing the apartment, washing bedsheets, vacuuming the floor etc. I have to empty and clean the fridge, so I try to get myself invited for dinner πŸ˜‰ Usually Inez does that the last night, but she was not free that day. Instead I visited her one day earlier, she had prepared a nice Dutch meal, melon with smoked ham as a starter, meatballs and spinach as main.

Tuesday 4 June

The last evening for departure I visited my friends Johan and Edmund in Vinkeveen. We had a drink in their nice garden and enjoyed Surinam food, prepared by Edmund.

A view from their garden and Edmund’s meal, BBR (brown beans and rice), a popular Surinam dish.

Wednesday 5 June

My brother Pim picked me up at 6pm, we were early at Schiphol airport, time enough after check in to enjoy a coffee and a snack.

Schiphol can be overcrowded with long queues for the security check, but this time it was a breeze. The flight was full, but I managed to sleep a few hours.

Back in Malaysia now and trying to overcome my jet lag

4 thoughts on “Journal Dutch trip 2024 (last part)

  1. Thanks for all these lovely photos
    So glad you enjoyed your trip and got to meet up with so many of your friends and family.
    Hope you get over your jet lag soon

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