It has been a moving week, our last week in Holland for a long, long, perhaps even longer, time.
It started out on Tuesday morning when we had to part with out cats. Of course, Monday, we discovered that we missed one stamp on their export forms, so Melissa had to improvise and jumped in the car to get that final stamp. All our efforts to take the cats with us to Australia would have been in vein if that stamp would have been missing on their documents. Nevertheless, at 7am on Tuesday the doorbell rang and after a quick check of the documents, the cats were locked in their respective baskets and off they went. Now, you don’t want a cat in house that can’t go outside when winter is coming to an end. They shed more hair than I do. But when they’re gone, you miss just a single hair. So long dudes, we’ll be joining you soon.
Tuesday evening I had a steak with a few of my colleagues (and friends, where to draw the line :-)) at the Steak Club in The Hague (http://www.thesteakclub.nl/). I had a Black Angus Died Rib Eye steak. I can think of many words to describe this piece of meat, but only ‘delicious’ seems to cut it. Whenever I am in the USA, I always try to go to Morton’s Steakhouse as they serve some of the best meat in the world. I can’t say which is better, I can say they both serve the best. If I wasn’t going Down Under, I would definitely go back to this place, but reality tells me I probably won’t. So, goodbye.
Oh, I also got two big bottles of special Belgian beer. As you can’t take food or drinks into Australia, I had to find a special place for them. Well, special, ok, I drank both of them the next day 🙂 So long for Belgian beer 😉
Wednesday, we got the message that our cats had arrived at the quarantine station. We’ve also asked how they were, but then we got our first introduction into the Australian fear of being wrong. We were asked to provide proof that we were the actual people that shipped our cats Down Under. Strange though, they do tell you that they have arrived, but they won’t tell you how they are unless you prove you are their owner. I think I will call this ‘Partial Seclusion’ or ‘Incomplete Disclusion’.
Also, Wednesday was my companies official ‘retirement function’. To my Dutch readers, especially those in ICT, I know, ‘function’ seems a weird choice of words. However, my first time Down Under, we were at a bar and a part of that bar was closed to public as there was a ‘function’. I asked ‘what function do they have?’, which was a pretty inconsiderate question, come to think of it. Anyway, it was nice. Thank you guys! I hope you all fare well.
Thursday was the massive ‘Goodbye’ day. It started out with Tim’s farewell party at his school. As always he was proud to treat his classmates and happy to receive their gifts and attention. As for Zoë, she had a party at her daycare. Both of them got a huge bag of gifts for us to cramp into the suitcases and some of the items we’ll probably have to eat before we go as we can’t take snacks into Australia. Melissa had a very moving ‘Goodbye’ at her work, starting at lunch and ending with a dinner at a place she says she’d go back to anytime. Except for the fact that we probably won’t as it isn’t exactly around the corner. So, goodbye and farewell. I’m sure she’ll stay in touch with her colleagues somehow.
And finally, today, Friday. My last working day in the Netherlands. I actually managed to get some fixes in too. Though, it’s strange, you shake hands and say ‘farewell’. Normally, when you leave an employer to go somewhere else, you know you will be seeing some of the people again. Especially in my line of work where the same people go to the same conferences, go to the same courses and meet at the same clients. But this time, it was no ‘see you when I see you’, even though we joked about it, we all knew this was really it, there probably won’t be a next time to meet for most of us.
But then again, as I said in my email to my colleagues, the internet has turned our globe into a desktop. Even if we’ll probably won’t meet in person ever again, there’s a slim chance we won’t meet digitally. And I’m sure that some of the people we’ve said goodbye too last week will end up either at our doorstep or in our city, just to meet up or drink a beer. ‘Hello’ to that!
I’m sure we’ll have a weekend full of painful partings, gruesome goodbyes and frightening farewells, but as from Monday, it will be time to say a happy hello again.
Thanks all! we appreciate it. Cheers!