Arriving in The Netherlands

Finally arrived in The Netherlands! woooo! HUGE queues in customs to go through, but the think that struck me the most is how relaxed they are going through customs.

Arriving into Australia or NZ you have to fill out declaration forms for customs and it seems to get so tedious. But in The Netherlands I got to a gate that had 2 signs, one said “Items to declare” and the other said “No items to declare”. Right…..okay? So what would be considered items I have to declare?

I asked the customs officer and he said “toys, gifts and stuff”.

“Right ok, um……..I don’t know, I don’t think I have anything to declare?”

And he just replied “that’s ok, just go through”

ok that was pretty easy. So I enter the arrivals area and couldn’t find Alex. I sent him an sms and walked around looking for him. It took a while before I heard from him, but it turned out he was stuck in a major traffic jam that had blocked all access into the city. Ok, so a good start, lol. I was relieved when I finally heard from him though and so I started wandering around the airport. I found out I could have a shower at the Sheridan Hotel for 18 Euros. A lot of money for a shower, however they also offered to look after my bags for me.

So I had a much wanted relaxing shower…….ohhhhh. It was worth all 18 Euros! So nice after travelling in the same clothes for 24 hours. When I came out and they took my bags for me, I asked if there were any free internet access stands around (like there is in KL). He didn’t answer, but he asked me how long I wanted (at that stage only about 20 mins) and he proceeded to give me free access to the hotels internet! That was awesome, it was starting to make my 18 Euros more worthwhile and just really generous service.

So I quickly caught up with emails and had some fights with my werewolf on facebook (Alex and I are in a kinda competition over who has the better werewolf, so I couldn’t go without fighting my wolf….priorities!!!!).

Then my 20 mins internet access ran out and Alex ran to let me know that he was still stuck in the traffic jam but at least the traffic was moving now…..albeit slowly. So he was probably still going to be at least another half an hour. So time to browse the airport.

I wandered around, looked to see if there was somewhere I might be able to purchase a pre-paid SIM for my phone but couldn’t really tell in a strange country. I did end up going with something I found familiar though, a whopper and fries from Burger King.

I finally got another call from Alex and turned out he was very close to the airport. So I checked out my baggage from the Sheridan Hotel and waited for him at the front. I was just standing there when I felt warm hands placed on my shoulders. Normally that’d freak me out, but I wasn’t afraid and knew it was him. ohhh, FINALLY!

Finally…….I exited the doors of the airport.

Bloody hell……….it’s COLD!!!!!

….and they drive like crazy here……..AND on the wrong side of the road.

Waiting for flight

After walking around the airport for a bit, suddenly the effects of being up at nearly 2am Adelaide time are hitting me. The moment I rest my head I know I’m going to fall asleep so I’m not even sure if I’ll keep awake for take off, haha. I’m sitting here (writing in my travel diary) with my flight starting to check in and waiting till the queue goes down so that I can take my anti-nausea tablets and drink the rest of my water before going through the security checks.

The rule with liquids is a pain, although it’s for our own safety so you gotta grin and bear it.