Thursday, 9 February 2017

Amsterdam, back problems and back in camp

First let's get the Dam out of the way. It was a lush little holiday, made all the better by having an excellent host and amazing gaff. The girl who we stayed with Josje (pronounced Yosh-A) was totally lovely. We had thought we had somewhere to stay but it fell through last minute, so I put an ask out on a drum and bass message board I used to use when I was 20, asking if anyone had a spare room we could rent. Josje came back and said that 5, tired, dirty hippies could crash out in her spare room. It was very sweet of her, and it ensured we could have a good time on the cheap. Amsterdam is very expensive, but we did a lot of walking and ended up not spending a fortune but getting to see lots.

I sampled the coffee, very good ;-)
Had a couple of drinks in a couple of bars.
Walked around the vondlepark.
Ate vegan food, at possibly the world's only Japanese/Jamaican vegan cafe.
Discovered fries and sauce 'Orloog', which is half satay sauce, half mayo, and then tiny chopped onions, total game changer.
Oh and saw the Patriots win their 5th Superbowl, sort of.

On the subject of the Pats winning, I missed it, biggest Superbowl comeback of all time and I'd left the bloody bar because we were down 25 points with 7 minutes to go, and it was half 4am. So I left feeling dejected, and stayed my walk home only for my phone to start going mental. Managed to catch the last few plays of OT so saw the game winning TD, but I'm kicking myself for missing it. Should have had faith!

On the way back I was pretty tired having been up all night for the football, so decided to sleep in the back of Leo's micra, bad idea. Woke up and my back was grim, so grim I had to take the last two days off in bed. I'm all strapped up now and on the painkillers, so back in work and just taking it easy.

Was back in camp today doing hot food distribution. Basically we rock up with all the hot food, setup trellis tables, and scoop food till it's gone. We had fresh bread today, this causes problems as people jump ahead to get it, but most people got some and I only got a couple of glares asking people not to take more than they are owed. Hot food distribution is really good fun, everyone is happy, and they give feedback on the food which is cool. The kids are a nightmare though, they all want to ride in the van, so they find ways in, and suddenly, boom, the volume on the radio is at full power and you see a little shadow legging it across camp.  They are all sweet though, both the boys and girls have some amazing 'sassiness' about them, so it's great fun working around  the smiles.

We had a couple of the residents come down and help out too which was both useful and fun. They have infinitely better kurdish than I do so help take the orders and then feed back to me what people want. We had Reza with us today, he's the only other NFL fan I've found in camp. He's a big Redskins fan, though his pride and joy is a Bears top that he was given from clothes distribution. We had a nice chat about the Superbowl and he gave me a huge hug when he found out my team won. It nice having another fan here, even better that he's such a cool refugee. I'm finding the more I work in camp the more friends I make, and it's always nice when you hear 'hey Mr Thom' from behind you when you're doing the rounds.

We lost a couple of people from the house on their way down to Serbia. There seems to be a large contingent of people who kind of live of the adrenaline of the illegal camps, like the jungle was, and chase them around Europe. Serbia and Greece are the big hot spots right now. I ask myself do I maybe want to join them and go do some what's called 'combat cooking', where you just rock up with no documentation and fend off the cops to get people fed. Right now though I'm settled and with Ugo leaving next week it means we are down on cooks.

Have a nice night of doing washing tonight, 9 bloody euros though, for such a shitty trailer park they don't half charge through the nose for you to wash you clothes. Still having stuff that doesn't stink of onions will be a real luxury!


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