December 13th, 2008 – by: pms70
Have to look up this guys name again...
Today another meet-up enticed me to go to Eindhoven. Brett had his birthday this week and he had kindly invited a whole bunch of people from TB to help him celebrate! For some reason I always thought that Eindhoven was a boring place but maybe that was because I never saw much of the city, just the airport. So this birthday celebration was a good way to find out what else Eindhoven has to offer!
I took the train from Meppel at 11.16am. I had to change trains in Zwolle and had a short wait here which meant I had just enough time to see the choir at the trainstation and the tiny Christmas market there.
The revolving pub seating
They had Gluhwein and I decided that as I was freezing cold that that was a good enough reason to indulge...
After a couple of stops I got to Eindhoven at 13.43 and as I had agreed to wait for Jos who arrived about half an hour later I decided to have a quick look around the bookshop at the trainstation where I bought myself a book by Maeve Binchy. I then went to the platform where Jos' train arrived and we walked to "Hotel-o-theek De Zwaan" where Martijn had kindly booked rooms for us. Marthijn was already there and we went to our rooms. The first room I had a key for already had occupants apparently as the beds had been slept in and there was stuff all over the room. So back to reception I went and got another key for what turned out to be a room with a double bed. Eventually Bart-Jan ended up sleeping in that room and Maike and I shared a twin room with it's own private sitting room! There was a bathroom in the hall which we shared.
Erin and Stijn with the shirt and the birthday book
Brett and Erin met us at the hotel and then one after the other started to arrive. Erin and I had organised a lot of stuff for Brett's birthday gifts and we needed to get everyone to sign the t-shirt Erin had made (by her mum) and discuss a few other details. This was not easy with Brett in the next room but we had lots of fun!
We then left for the pub where Brett had booked out the back bar, the "Trafalgar Pub". When we got there at ten to four it wasn't open yet so we decided to go to a pub around the corner first, where they have an ice bar which coincedentally wasn't open yet either but the other part of the pub was. (Why did we not end up going back to the Ice Bar by the way?) We sat down in some seats which were arranged in a circle with people's back towards each other (see pic) but then noticed the signs "Ladies Only" over this area so the guys wanted to move.
Devika signing the card for Jacqueline who had a birthday too
.. Actually the reason that we did end up moving to another part of the pub was because the area we sat down in first turned around very slowly, like a merry-go-round. This caused us to feel drunk before we even started drinking! While we were there Devika and Stijn arrived. They actually went to the other pub but called us when they didn't see us there so they met us and had a drink with us. We still had to get people to sign the shirt and the birthday book Erin made, so we had to keep coming up with excuses to send Brett away which was quite a task. Eventually Bart-Jan took Brett to the Trafalgar Pub to meet others that might arrive, and the rest of us took our time "finishing our drinks".
At the Trafalgar it was the same story, the shirt was in a corner for everyone to sign and we had to keep Brett away from that corner which was not always easy! Many people showed up, obviously a lot of them from TB but also some of Bret's colleagues which was great! Unfortunately some people had had to cancel at the last minute but it was still quite a group.
Jos and Maike
We spent a couple of hours there and then moved onto the "Wok Paleis", the restaurant where Brett had booked for the group. Basically there's a big buffet of meat, fish and vegetables which you can choose from, and then you give it to one of the cooks will stir-fry it for you. There are also some already prepared dishes like mini spring rolls and the likes, and fruit and ice cream for dessert. We had a menu for €29,- each which included all drinks and food for three hours, a pretty good deal! Towards the end of the meal Brett was presented with all his gifts, which left him pretty speechless for a while. He had no idea what had been organised so it was a big surprise. I must say he looked pretty cute in the hat Maike made and the feather boa (thanks to Joost who unfortunately couldn't be there.
..) Then everyone went downstairs while Erin stalled Brett again for the last surprise: I had bought 70 centimeter sparklers to light, in keeping with the "Eindhoven, City of Lights" theme. So we all lit the sparklers and then Devika had to run upstairs to get Brett and Erin. We were all standing around the front door of the restaurant when they came down the stairs and once again Brett seemed pretty stunned...
After the Wok Paradijs we went to another pub, the "Tipsy Duck Pub". It wasn't long before everyone in the pub knew we were there as a bunch of us got onto the pool table (which was covered) to dance! After a while a few other pubgoers joined us and some guy (the owner?) was taking pictures. A few people had left the group by this stage, I wonder if this makes the happy or sorry they did.
Ket, Maike, Stijn and Devika
.. From the Tipsy Duck we moved onto another pub which had some pretty awful music (in my opinion and some others too) so some of us moved across the road to another pub. The others followed after finishing the drinks they had already ordered. Again a lot of dancing (although not on the tables this time) and we just had a great time. We left this pub just before 4am and moved onto another pub which apparently is the "in" place to be but none of us really appreciated that. There was mainly techno music and a lot of smoke from smoke machines. We left there pretty quickly and walked back to the hotel where, after a slight detour, we sat in Jos' room for a while before going to bed. Marthijn had to direct Alex and Ket to their hotel but the rest of us hit the sack around 5am...