Day 1: Of cheese croissants, Boogie Wonderland and sharing a flat with five women

Nijmegen Travel Blog

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Gathering at Nijmegen's Central Station

When I write this I am actually completely knackered and should be doing something much more relaxing than blogging. Then again, if I postpone this the normal routine of the day will take over again and I want to capture these memories while they are still fresh.

 

I joined TravBuddy in February 2008 and had the pleasure of participating in the Antwerpen MeetUp last year. My appetite for more MeetUps has been aroused but for various reasons I’d never been able to go to those that has been organised in Holland since. Other obligations or the occasional bug I took home from my travels kept me from going. I was therefore delighted by the news that my little friend Devika was organising a MeetUp in nearby Nijmegen in a weekend I didn’t have any other plans for a change.

Spot your name ...

 

So the 20th of June found me in the bus to Nijmegen, where I met a substantial group of people already gathered at the Central Station, many of whom I’d heard about or communicated with online but never actually met 'offline'. It was good to finally meet regular MeetUp goers like Lieke, Jos, Marianne, Jorien, Walter, Mandy, Eef and many others and see familiar faces like Alex, Ana and of course Devika herself.

 

While we made our way to the market square at the foot of Nijmegen’s lovely Waag, the size of the group grew to some 20 people.

Jos and Jacqueline
And before long we were joined by more late arrivals. We spent most of the afternoon on the market having a couple of drinks. Biedjee and I chatted with Walter, Jorien, Marthijn and Jos on a wide variety of subjects, including Marthijn’s experience with couch surfing, travelling in India, stalkers on Facebook, Walter’s dried up Wetties and the volume discount on cheese croissants. So basically the regular travel and non-travel related chit-chat you get at MeetUps like these. ;-)

 

When things got a bit chilly we decided to head for the Waalkade to have some more drinks inside a bar next to the restaurant where we would have dinner. I finally had the chance to catch up with Devika, whom I’d not seen for several months since she’d moved to Nijmegen.

Walter & Marthijn

Dinner at Humphrey’s was okayish. It’s one of those places where you pay a fixed price and get to pick three courses. The food wasn’t bad but as with many of these fixed price restaurants I always get the feeling like the fixed price makes it ‘feel’ cheap, but the quantity of food has simply been brought down to match the price. (:-/

Anyway, we had fun continuing our conversations and Biedjee, Marthijn and Femke amused themselves with the F My Life book that had arrived in my mail that morning and which I’d taken along to read on the bus. Filled with all kind of embarrassing experiences this triggered even more stories from those who dared to open and read it.

 

After dinner some Travbuddies left for home while the remaining group ended up in the Boogie Wonderland dancing (being advised by the doormen of another bar that this was more 'our kind of place' since his bar was for youngsters).

Jorien & Ed
With a mixed group like ours you’ll have a hard time pleasing everybody’s musical taste, but I have to admit I had a splendid time at Boogie Wonderland. This was one of those places that play the kind of music we like to refer to in Holland as ‘wrong’ (and for which I apologized to our English companion Mark). The type of music from the 70s, 80s and early 90s that everybody likes but no one dares to admit to. Clearly, the more you drink the more you actually like it and before long almost everybody was jumping and singing along to classic songs from Grease and artists like Wham, Snap, Linda Roos & Jessica (don’t ask) and more unnameable bad taste. ;-)

The mood got sillier by the minute with Devika’s flatmate Marjolein (Majo) walking around with cocktail sticks stuck in her hair like some Japanese geisha and straws being passed around for imaginary phone conversations.

Marianne & Lieke
The things that people do when they’ve been drinking … ;-)

 

At four a clock, the bar closed and we were ushered out of Boogie Wonderland. Initially I had planned to go back home but with some people not showing up Devi had offered me a place to sleep in their apartment. So Devi, Majo, Biedjee, Lieke, Eef, Mandy and myself grabbed a cab to get back to Devi’s place. Now mind you, I’ve been in cabs with some crazy people, but being in there with 5 women and one Biedjee that’s to damn tired to shut them up was a whole new experience. A henhouse on wheels, running on oestrogen. That’s the closest description I can give you.

 

After some final conversations and reassuring Devi that she would find the man of her dreams again that she’d found and lost that night, it was time for everybody to find a spot on the floor of her living room.

I myself was given an eiderdown and Monica Lewinsky’s bedsheet (‘that’s glue from my show-box project !’) and a comfy (but slightly smelly) mattress that we collected from the basement. ‘Has this mattress been in the basement with those trash bags for long?’ ‘No, don’t worry Ed, we only took the trash out of the room Biedjee’s sleeping in yesterday’. Taking this into account, as well as the lack of curtains in that room and the noisy dove that wouldn’t let Biedjee sleep I curled up cosily, concluding that I’d nothing to complain about whatsoever. I slowly dozed off around six o’clock

 

Pictures by Ed & Biedjee. 

gemini59 says:
You said it right my friend! :D
Posted on: Jun 24, 2009
edsander says:
It's the enigmas behind these stories that are the most fascinating Walter. ;-)
Posted on: Jun 24, 2009
gemini59 says:
Great blog Ed, haha. Thanks for mentioning the dried up wetties. Hey Jorien just asked for a tissue, haha.
Posted on: Jun 22, 2009
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Gathering at Nijmegens Central St…
Gathering at Nijmegen's Central S…
Spot your name ...
Spot your name ...
Jos and Jacqueline
Jos and Jacqueline
Walter & Marthijn
Walter & Marthijn
Jorien & Ed
Jorien & Ed
Marianne & Lieke
Marianne & Lieke
Cheese Croissants (cheaper by the …
Cheese Croissants (cheaper by the…
Walter and his cheese croissant
Walter and his cheese croissant
De Waag, Nijmegen
De Waag, Nijmegen
TravBuddies on the move
TravBuddies on the move
TravBuddies on the move
TravBuddies on the move
MarK, Tom, Jos & Devika
MarK, Tom, Jos & Devika
Ed
Ed
Devika
Devika
Alex, Mark, Tom, Jos & Devika
Alex, Mark, Tom, Jos & Devika
Alex, Mark, Tom, Jos, Devika & Ed
Alex, Mark, Tom, Jos, Devika & Ed
Ana, Marthijn & Eef
Ana, Marthijn & Eef
Ana, Marthijn & Eef
Ana, Marthijn & Eef
Biedjee
Biedjee
Devika
Devika
Ana & Sonja
Ana & Sonja
Dennis & Biedjee
Dennis & Biedjee
At the restaurant
At the restaurant
Jos & Eef
Jos & Eef
At the restaurant
At the restaurant
At the restaurant
At the restaurant
Biedjee & Jos
Biedjee & Jos
Biedjee
Biedjee
Biedjee and the F My Life book.
Biedjee and the F My Life book.
Ed (Biedjee going Arty Farty again)
Ed (Biedjee going Arty Farty again)
Dennis
Dennis
Mark, Tom & Jos
Mark, Tom & Jos
Devika & Ed
Devika & Ed
Mandy, Dennis and Jos
Mandy, Dennis and Jos
Mandy & Ed
Mandy & Ed
Lieke & Biedjee
Lieke & Biedjee
Alex checking his heart rate
Alex checking his heart rate
Dennis & Lieke
Dennis & Lieke
Biedjee & Alex
Biedjee & Alex
Lieke, Biedjee and Mark
Lieke, Biedjee and Mark
Jos, Jorien & Mark
Jos, Jorien & Mark
Alex, Jorien and Jos
Alex, Jorien and Jos
Mark, Jorien and Tom
Mark, Jorien and Tom
Jos gets an incoming call
Jos gets an incoming call
Dennis & Biedjee
Dennis & Biedjee
Crazy as ever ...
Crazy as ever ...
Nijmegen
photo by: Ils1976