Tuesday, December 28, 2004
How I spent the first day of being thirty-two
Lots of things happenned today. The breakfast birthday cake, GGGD check-up (and vaccinations) for Lindri, Burger King with Dhanu, visits to Lambiek and Henk comic stores with Arnhem guys, late lunch at New King, then dinner from the Szechuan Kitchen and chat with our guests. I'll elaborate this entry much later - too tired to do anything else but sleep now. See you!
That's what I wrote on the D-Day itself. Actually, I didn't feel like writing about it too much - I was still overwhelmed by what happenned in Aceh on Dec 26th. I still am. Therefore I'll just cut-n-paste whatever I wrote to my family about that day (and the next) - plus [additional texts], as follows:
On my birthday, in the morning we had breakfast with my birthday cake (with vanilla mousse filling). My present from Sybrand and the kids is a book "Habis Gelap Terbitlah Terang" (or "Door Duisternis tot licht" - a compilation of letters written by R.A. Kartini, a Javanese woman who fought for the equal rights for education for women in Indonesia). This one book is a second edition, published in 1949 - a real antique. I like this a lot.
Another present was from my cousin Chica, a book called "A Child's Eye". This book contains a compilation of photograph taken by street children of Indonesia who were given a camera and were encouraged to make their own photographs. A very unique collection.
Later in the morning, I and Dhanu went out to meet my friends (Indonesian students in Arnhem) in Leidseplein. [My friends were late, so I and Dhanu had to get away from the rain and the cold weather, therefore we went to Burger King. I ordered Kid's Meal that gave Dhanu a LEGO Bionicle toy. He kept playing with his Bionicle until the guys showed up] Then we went to Lambiek (my usual comic store) - where they sang a "Lang zal ze leven" for me and then gave a 2005 Tintin (Kuifje) agenda as my present - and then to Henk (another comic store, in Nieuwmarkt) and then had a late lunch at New King (at Zeedijk). [We ordered tofu & mixed meat hot pot, beef & kangkung hotplate, crsipy-fried duck fillet and lamb fillet in mandarine sauce. Everything was delicious, and was finished in no time] Dhanu enjoyed his new friends very much (there were five friends of mine from Arnhem, all boys).
When we got home, our guests were also already home from Volendam. And Lindri smiling all the time, despite the vaccination effects that might come. We ordered food from The Szechuan Kitchen for my birthday dinner. I also got many birthday wishes and e-cards from my family and friends (including Birgit), some even called (my cousin Chica and Edith, later in the evening). That was a great day.
The next day, I, Dhanu, Lindri and my guests went to the Tropenmuseum and then to the Bloemenmarkt in the daytime (Sybrand had to work). Then in the afternoon I and Dhanu took my friends to the station (they left for Schiphol and then to UK). Then we went up to meet Ayu at Platform 2, to go to Beverwijk. Ayu was going to treat me a dinner as my birthday present.
In the train to Beverwijk Ayu gave a belated birthday present for Dhanu (a 100-pieces puzzle, with Mr. Incredible on it, trying to tighten his belt around his waist). The restaurant in Beverwijk is called "Sea Heaven" and it's a chinese-thai food restaurant. We had a hotplate of stuffed fish (gevulde forrel) and a seafood hotpot (the 'pot' was really flaming). Before dessert, we had a plateful of complimentary sweets and then we had our ice cream (sorbet-parfait and vanilla ice cake + fruits). Everything was delicious! Before we went home, the restaurant owner gave us a Chinese 2005 calendar and a new year present (a compact mirror). So many presents for a day!