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Last night we were having trouble finding a hostel in Amsterdam; the only ones with availability had reviews like, “you would be better off sleeping on the streets”. Stella’s parents offered us  the option of staying an extra night but we had to keep on moving although I would have loved to spend another night.

zucchini grown on their patio

When we woke up frank had solved our dilemma; we would go first to his friends house in Heinsberg then return to Amsterdam when there will be availability at some nicer cheaper hostels.

Eventually Stella got up and joined us for a nice breakfast; if you are ever in Holland get some cheese! As we were finishing breakfast Lotte parked her bike out front and joined us. 

Lotte and Stella lead us back to the train station and we found a ticket to Sittard Centrum station on the border with Germany. Stella and Lotte said how nice it was that I actually visited since so many people they met said they would come to the Netherands but never did. we said our goodbyes and got on board our two story train.

Their dog Wendy

About 2 and a half hours later we got to Sittard station. Since it was Saturday nearly everything was closed. There were no benches in the train station so we sat on the floor since we had about an hour to kill before Jose, Frank’s friend would meet us. a few minutes after we st down a pair of dutch cops kicked us out, telling us to go sit on the knee high brick wall.

Two hours had passed since we were supposed to meet up and we started worrying but had no internet access to check if the plan had changed so there was nothing we could do besides hope that Jose was running late and that if the plan changed he would think to go to the station.

Frank was getting pretty fed up and I was passing the time writing one of my blog posts in a word document to post later. Every once and a while a train would pass that had internet access so frank went to wait for one of them. While he was gone a twitchy noodly kid about 20 walked over to me and asked where I am from. I was a little sketched out by how he was acting so I only talked Spanish to him and eventually he left me alone but his hyper-paced, electronic rock music didn’t leave me alone. When frank returned the kid was still sitting on the wall holding his mp3 player and a tiny portable speaker with his foot shaking a hundred miles an hour. He apologized for being a little paranoid and said he was on speed.  HE informed us that the song we were listening to was the fastest music in the world and asked frank what he thought of it. Franks responded, “it’s loud” I was scared the kid may snap and become angry if I filmed him so I kept a low profile and still managed to get a video of the kid. Unfortunately, just when I stopped filming and put away the camera he walked a few feet away from us and started doing an uncoordinated Irish jig inspired dance. Frank was about to offer the kid a pair of headphones but just then he left.

Click the picture to view the video in case you missed the earlier link.

At the start of hour three at the station frank managed to get a wireless signal from a train and got Jose’s Number and message that they would meet us at the main square not at the station. we were affraid to move to the plaza so we decided I would go to the plaza in search of a stable wireless signal and call and he would stay in case they showed up at the station.

It took me about 15 minutes to walk to the main square where i fond a wireless signal that let me make a call using skype; he had just picked frank up and they were on the way to the main plaza.

Jose is an ex military police officer and now works somehow on the nearby NATO airbase and his wife Monique is a Military dentist. They live on the German side of the border with the Netherlands. They took us to a military housing complex where some of their friends were at a birthday party. I have been out of the United states for just under 320 days but for the short time I was at the party I could have just as well been in the US. People has american cars, there were tons of Americans and people were playing beer pong.

We left before things got too crazy; in a matter of 30 minutes we were in Germany and getting ready for bed.