Friday, November 2, 2012

New Passports.

Yesterday Germany closed down—public holiday--- again.

All Saints day, or some such nonsense.

Wikipedia says “It is a national holiday in many historically Catholic countries. In the Catholic Church and many Anglican churches, the next day specifically commemorates the departed faithful who have not yet been purified and reached heaven.”

Right dude ,-- to those unpurified souls who have not reached heaven, please twitter me and I’ll see what I can do here. I am surrounded by Catholic churches  in Dusseldorf .

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Some of them not without money, so I am sure they could afford the train fare, or whatever is needed to get through those gates.

I have been castigated recently, accused of being an unreformed cynic. Ok, just because I look around for the coffin when I smell flowers does not make me a cynic.( H. L. Mencken)

A realist maybe. And being a realist, it was the best time to go to NL. and renew our passports since there was no public holiday there.

We set off in darkness.

Anne is a person who prepares for every journey longer than 500 meters in a most thorough fashion. Maps, copious notes, internet research and supplies.

It’s a German thing, I think, that is genetically encoded in the psyche of all Germans.

I call it Hans’ memory. Namely, if I leave it up to Anne I never forget anything.

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This was the luggage for a 250 kilometer journey. There would have been more, but I vetoed the raincoats. ha ha ha.

But it had pad kos, man--- One double beef sandwich, two tuna sandwiches, one hotdog and one cheese and tomato sandwich, plus a thermo flask of boere coffee.

The journey there is three hours----ahem.

A couple of posts ago I was a bit harsh on the Dutch, and I picked up some flack from my Dutch friends around the world.

I admit I was a bit unfair.

 

I love the Dutch nation, trust me.

They are by and large, intelligent and good looking and very friendly .

Not the hardest working, maybe, but when it comes to beautiful girls, of which I am a connoisseur of, Dutch girls beat every nation I have been to, hands down.

 ( Provocative, Meevis, provocative. Looking for trouble again are we? -—ED)

Well, when it comes to renewing your passport, there is simply no one better. We walk in and pick a number. One minute later we are being helped by an awake and friendly lady.  Ten minutes later we walk out –finished.

It cost 100EU and we come collect them next week.

Finger prints are done with a scanner. No black ink . How cool is that?

We did both passports, even though Anne’s one had two years on it. This cause some consternation, because who would give away two years before you got to pay again.( Dutch frugality kicking in.)

The real reason was we wanted St Maarten issuing authority off the passports. Because as soon as an immigration  officer sees St Maarten you are automatically assumed to be a major cocaine smuggler and you get shunted to on side for a more thorough examination. This becomes a real drag, trust me.

When ever we go to NL, we always buy grocery supplies. This is because Germany is frikken expensive. Like a box of paracetamol costs 50 cents in NL and here is costs EU2.50. Or Rennies anti acid is EU8 per box and here EU16.

Someone is ripping someone off.

Driving back you can see the difference between the two countries as soon as you go over the border. On the Dutch side the cars are mostly practical sedans  and drive voluntary under the speed limit. ( NL  means nur langsamer in Germany—only slower)

As soon as you into Germany, POW!, the cars are at 130 minimum and on the unregulated parts 150 easy. Mercs, Porches, fancy BMW’s--- the Germans love their flash cars.

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As soon as you see this sign, being passed by a fancy car at 200 k’s is not uncommon.. IMG_7807

My lil’ ‘ol Arnold is just fine for me.

Being a practical sedan, he brought us back safely, mostly under the speed limit.

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