Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Sorry, ik spreek geen Nederlands!

Ok, so as much as I would love to regale everyone with tales of travel around the UK, it would be a lot of text, and I don't want to type quite that much (nor do I have the time to)  Suffice to say that we went as far south as Portsmouth, as far west as Porthmadog, and as far north as Inverness.  Official rolling distance of 3000km ± 20km.  Longest amount of time spent doing one continuous thing?  About 3 hours, trying to get through London traffic, using Google's directions, and no street map (all the navigating during the trip was done by me, with a road atlas, which was generally sufficient.)

After getting back and dropping off Foxy (our awesome wheels, though a little battered by the rain) we spent one more night in London before heading out to Holland for the JubJam (though it's "yubyam" more often than not, here) in Roermond.  We crossed over the English Channel via Dover and Calais, and gathered another passport stamp, from France.  Nothing from Belgium or the Netherlands, though our bus drove through them, too.

After getting to Amstel (the bus depot in Amsterdam) we made our way to Roermond via train, in 1st class!  (it was totally worth the €1.40 extra) And then...  Well, we hadn't had internet for a few days.  Lots of travel, and apparently wireless is still a chargeable commodity.  So when we got to the train station, we weren't very sure where to go.  Luckily, the ways of the universe are immutable, and the repository of all knowledge is still the pub, even in Dutch.  Some helpful locals pointed us in the right direction, and off we went.  Innumerable steps later, we arrived at camp, to be sent forward and backward a few times before putting up tents and collecting meal cards.  And then it was lunch time.

After relaxing into camp a bit, we realized that really, no matter what language they're speaking, camp is always fundamentally the same.  You find the same people, doing the same jobs, everywhere you go.  Sometimes they even look the same.  And sometimes, it doesn't matter that you can't talk to each other properly, because faces and tones (English and Dutch at least share intonations, which has made life a little easier) and hands (often waving wildly) get the meaning across.  Plus, "wow" sounds the same here, and "ow" and "I need to pee" look the same all over the world. 

Tomorrow our program starts properly, and I'm working at "Outdoor" which is a ton of stuff I love to do; climbing, abseiling, high ropes and zip lines.  We also have some artificial spelunking (which I saw, but haven't closely inspected yet) and hopefully it will stay dry enough to put the slackline up.  But I have a feeling that I will be saying a lot of "sorry, ik spreek geen nederlands!"

Today, the opening ceremony for the jamboree was held in three town squares simultaneously.  It was fun (and in the pre- and post-ceremony times, I did a lot of dancing around like a fool) but if there's one thing I miss, it's being able to understand what's going on around me in words, not just the feel of the action.   At Outdoor, there is always someone to translate for me, given the time, but I didn't find a translator for the ceremony.  I will have to see what I can do about that for the closing.  Anyways, I'm tired of sitting in the lounge tent (the computer needed charging, and I can't do that wirelessly, yet,) and there's a food festival going on in a subcamp that I've made friends with, so here ends another post!

1 comment:

  1. I can't wait to collect stamps in my passport! I hadn't even thought of it.

    Free/stealable wifi is really hard to find I've found. Apparently in Estonia, Internet is a human right.