I left Emmen and went to Utrecht, planning to go home, switch some items around in my luggage, bike to Parnassos to give Pauline my bike, turn in my last paper at Trans, and then go to the station to meet Linde at 13.00, where we'd go to Den Haag instead of Scheveningen, since it really wasn't beach weather.
Sounds easy, right? Wrong.
The train wasn't delayed as far as I know, but I still got to Utrecht later than expected. In a bit of a rush, I took the bus to my apartment, quickly figured out what I would need and what I could leave, and at twenty to one, went and grabbed my bike. I SMSed Linde that I wouldn't make it at 13.00 but that we could try for the next train, and I SMSed Pauline that I was on my way... and then I took off for Parnassos.
Well, I wasn't even under the A2 (which runs right past the apartment) yet, when the chain fell off its housing. That had never happened before and I was cursing a blue streak that the one day it would choose to happen would be the one day I was in a rush and the one day I had to sell the damn bike. So I spent twenty or thirty minutes sitting on the ground trying to fix the chain, my fingers covered in grease. I almost had it at one point, and then it snapped back off again. I had had it by that point so I just walked it to Parnassos (yes, all the way from Rheyngaerde to Parnassos!), sitting on it to coast down the hills and walking the rest of the way. With greasy fingers, a sweaty face and shirt, and a heavy backpack. And, oh yes, it started raining about halfway there.
After a debate with Pauline about whether or not Sander would really want the bike, I left with E30 in my hand and went to turn in my paper. I called poor Linde (still standing at the station) on the way to say that I wasn't going to make the 14.17 train either, and we settled on the next one, the 14.47. So I hoofed it, and to make a long story short, we ran for our lives and caught the train with about 30 seconds to spare.
Once in Den Haag, however, the second half of the day became great. We walked through the Binnenhof, where all the government activities take place, and went to an old prison, complete with torture chambers, and took a guided tour there. The guide was a bit weird, constantly saying 'Geen enkel probleem!', but it was a good tour, all about Cornelis de Wit and how he and his brother were wrongfully tortured and killed.
Then we had cappuccino on a terrace and Linde gave me a present - a necklace of different shaped stones, all with tones of blue and green. She has one with purple, which she wore to the Marco concert, and I guess she remembered that I had admired it. Sweet of her. It'll go with that ten-euro dress I got in Paris.
Anyway, so then we headed back to Utrecht and went out to eat with Liselotte, which was the best part of the night. We went to Connaisseur (hope I'm spelling that right), a place where you order a three-course meal and choose from all different starters, desserts, and main courses. We all had nachos as the main course... yum! I was hoping to find enchiladas, but I have yet to come across those in this country...
Liselotte gave me a present too - those plastic photo hangers I'd wanted. They're like big sheets of plastic that you hang on the wall, but they have lots of pockets in them to stick pictures in. She and I had been shopping two or three months ago and I had seen them and freaked out, because I'd been looking for them for so long. I didn't buy them then because I'd been trying to be a bit careful with money, but I was really touched that she remembered that I'd wanted them. And it was a great dinner - Linde and Liselotte hadn't known each other before then, but they seemed to hit it off right away, and so it was very 'gezellig'. Lotte even wants to come to Schiphol with Linde to see me off - how sweet is that? :) I really have great friends.
So I slept over at Linde's house last night, Alette came and got my bed this morning, and I turned in my keys... goodbye Rheyngaerde.
And goodbye Scott, who mysteriously disappeared as we were in the middle of moving the bed out. Oh well. His loss.