26-10-2001: It has been a while since I really visited E2 for any other reasons than to check my messages (and bring back some memories). So, finally another write-up from Sir PK (and for the first time from Yoshiko - my laptop). Now about the Everything2.com gathering The Netherlands + Belgium ... an interesting experience.

We met at the train station Utrecht Central, unfortunately we ended up with only four people, though that didn't stop the fun and laughs. Wendy organized us and made reservations for a tour of the Dom Tower in Utrecht (the tallest church tower in Utrecht) and the restaurant. It was kinda cool, she actually had two E2 signs pinned on her jacket and backpack. We where one of three or four groups meeting there, so that was quite useful. I arrived from Nijmegen at 14:14 (I love the Dutch public transport system). There was supposed to be one more guy ... he did not show up (we waited until 14:35). To bad, his loss (xp?). We shortly introduced each other (we had a semi-Belg from the UK in our midst - he can understand Dutch reasonably fine, but mostly we all talked English), than walked to the Tower. Wendy got our tickets and up we went ... a long and tiring climb, esp for *** - who should really pick up some exercise, not for her looks (which are more than fine) but for the required physical fitness to climb the ??? steps to the top. The top ... I did it ! Yes, it's worth noding (!) cuz I still have not completely conquered my fear of heights. The guided tour was nice, not to much worthless detail. Our guide (I forgot her name) was friendly but very strict (comes with the territory I guess), she lectured us in both Dutch and English. In the mean time we, of course, got to know each other better... (If you're interested in who I got to know and what I got to know about them, be there at the next Dutch E2 Gathering.)

Having climbed that Tower, we where all in a major mood for a nice place to SIT and drink. Having a semi-Belg in our group, we decided on a quite busy Belgium cafe. We had some drinks (beers - our semi-Belg knew most of them of course, herbal tea, red port and NO HEINEKEN). Great talks about languages, life, the universe and (quite literally:) everything !
At about 18:40 we where moved to remember our stomachs at what appeared to be a nice place; unfortunately we used the right door at the wrong moment (gheez, what are 10 minutes), so we went back out and up (again those steps) and waited for dinner time. Dinner time came and went. It came back esp for us a little while later (I guess a suggestion is less commanding than a funny yell and some exemplary action). So we went down again (I guess every step stepped on steps is going to be putting some memories into place for a little while to come).
Dinner was great ... we had a couple fights - the English are pretty good with their knife and fork. Some more dirty looks and nice comments plus some various conversation about pictures, weather (yes, I know, this month is still and has for at least the last 300 years been October), politics (uhm) and some other quite random and spur-of-the-moment conversation.

The bill was checked and rechecked (we did not get some stuff we ordered and found out the bill had completely correctly forgotten about them too). Up and away we where ... another place again; some "static" coffeeshop ... the table we wanted was easily found, though took some charm to get. I got Ballantine's and they all got some various form of coffee (I still don't understand the attraction for that drug). Of course we had some more laughs and the awesomely cute view of a "sexy teacher" ... sometimes someone missed out on the conversation, but he/she was quickly replaced or joined by someone else not following or understanding the conversation. We had some more laughs and a sparsely serious moment of deliberation (the decision to end a very nice meeting of four previous strangers, whom our mommies would say about that we should not talk to - boy, am I glad I am from the internet age and in that respect never listened to my mom). Okay, so after some sharing and exchanging of money, jackets and bags, we arrived at the meeting-point ... (unfortunately) it did not turn into a here-we-all-wish-and-kiss-eachother-goodbye-point (again my apologies to Wendy and our semi-Belg, I'm sure we'll meet again).

Thanks all for a great event and evening.

PS: Special thanks + kisses go to our comedian - please come "torture" my brain and body again sometime soon ;-)
PPS: And I just have to quote Albert Herring: "Soberty started complaining about the number of steps about a third of the way up and continued to do so until she had a beer in her hand." I'm not sure why, but along with his "We where largely unable to figure out what was going on, but comforted by the evident equal inability of anybody else to do so either." it's just the best ! Hey, at least it made me ROTFLOL :-)