English | Dutch
Preparing to continue our journey
Bangkok (Thailand) to The Netherlands, July & August 2011

In the last few weeks, there have been only few new contributions on our site, but that is not a good reflection of our real lives. The sporadic weeks that we stay in the Netherlands are always filled with visiting family and friends. It is nice to chat with everyone and to hear how everybody does. Our nephews and niece have made a growth spurt during the last 18 months and it's fun to see how their development continues. Tijmen is eleven (almost twelve) years old and is very interested in nature and likes to learn everything about animals. Our stories about how the World Wildlife Fund supportes a project for the conservation of freshwater dolphins in Bangladesh, really interest him. Sam has the age of nine (almost ten) and is also a nature lover. With her passion for streetdance, she tempts Ivonne regularly to practice some dance moves. Tuur is five (almost six) years old and has discovered soccer in the past eighteen months. Edwin proves to be a good training buddy and likes to practice as much as Tuur does.

Like the previous time we visited the Netherlands during our trip, we sleep about half of the time at the place of the parents of Edwin and the other half at Ivonne’s parents’ place. Our parents seize the opportunity once again to spoil us with delicious food and drinks. We aren’t complaining about the food whilest we are travelling, but during our travels we aren’t spoiled with delicious salads and our family recipe for "apple dish" everyday. Although wandering around the globe suits us well, it's also nice to be temporarily under the wings of mother and father again. We spend these weeks very intensively with each other and it appears again that our world trip doesn’t lead to alienation of eachother. During the trip we keep in touch with Skype (Voice Over Internet) and e-mail. If we add the periods that our parents have traveled with us through Asia and the weeks that we are living in their house when visiting The Netherlands, we can only conclude that the contact is more intense than when we had a busy job Netherlands. Sometimes friends ask us: "how can you cope with staying 24/7 at your parents’and in law’s house?". Fortunately, none of us has a problem with that. That’s easily possible when you are blessed with parents who are flexible and easy to get along with!

A lot of rust that needs to be removed
Although we feel at home in the warm nests of our fathers and mothers, we notice that The Netherlands as a country isn’t really feeling as our "home" anymore. Naturally, The Netherlands remains the country we know best, because it is the country we grew up. We are committed to the Netherlands and the Dutch, but we aren’t liking the assertive character of our folks that much anymore. When driving in a car, people are tensed and aggressive and everyone has an opinion about everything. As someone once said to us, "an opinion is fine, but why do Dutch people also preach their opinion against anyone?". The average Dutchman is rather dissatisfied despite his relatively high standard of living. This is probably the reason why things in the Netherlands are generally well organised. A critical mindset makes it possible to adjust things in the positive direction. We note, however, that a people with a happier, more satisfied attitude such as the Filipinos makes you feel happier and more cheerful yourself. The Asian mindset to cope with the situation as it is and to make the best of it, is something invaluable. It’s that way of life, that we like to get in our system a little bit more. When we talk about how people in Asia travel by public transportation and how they cope with massive delays or overcrowded and dirty buses, most Dutch people understand what we mean. Being satisfied with the things that you have and being able to bear the things that come on your path makes your life much easier.
Some bodywork needs to be replaced

What makes this visit to the Netherlands different than the last time we visited, is a new time-consuming activity: the renovation of the Toyota Landcruiser BJ45 that we want to use for a part of our trip. As discribed in our article “In search of a Land Cruiser”, the father of Edwin has helped us with searching and buying such a great car. Our own BJ45 was imported from France. Our plan was to make the car in a technical good condition, but we didn’t want to be fussy on the looks of the car. We regarded a shiny, restorated car as asking for trouble. Therefore, we wanted to concentrate on some larger corrosion spots and leave the smaller ones for another time.During the renovation proces, our feelings changed. Ed (the father of Edwin) and Tjeu ( a good friend of Ed) helped us a lot and none of us like to do just half the job. This means that by now, all corrosion has been dealt with and after a lot of grinding and welding we painted the complete car in a beautiful blue color. Despite this is the first time that we did some major restoration activities on a car, we are very pleased with the result. After the time-consuming work on the carrossery was done, we have took on some technical work like a front axle overhaul and replacing the wearparts of the brakes. When we have finished the technical repairs, our Toyota can finally hit the road again, and that is something we really look forward to! It was our plan to travel for the comming months by public transport untill we could pick up our car in the spring of 2012 for a trip through Russia, Central Asia and Mongolia. Now, however, we have changed our plan and we are working very hard to get our car ready for a real test drive in the coming months. We are planing to take our Toyota to Turkey and the Caucasus. Wheter we will reach the Caucasus in the coming months depends on how quickly we get our car ready and when the cold caucasian winter sets in. That’s why we are ending this weblog so soon; we need to get to work on aur car again! The earlier the car is ready, the earlier we can get going again, to explore a new part of the world.


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