A €30 return bus ticket to Amsterdam, 10 hours snuggling, a shared taxi ride with a stranger at 1.45am, a smiling and welcoming face at 2am, a healthy breakfast with amaranth muesli, a smile collection competition, unprompted people answering our question, an afternoon trip to wonderland (an enchanted forest near Bloemendaal), an old man smile that I understand, walking blindfolded through the woods, the smell of rain, a rescued melon, a spontaneous boat trip around the city centre, the cheapest coffee ever, being recognised by a Colombian and sharing with her 30 seconds of latin joy (including singing and dancing), keys to a flat in case anything went wrong, a meditation session, loving eyes that seem to be able to look through, two smoked Moroccans dropping us at Utrecht’s central station, Sonia’s belief that everything is going to be alright, a room in an attic, free museum day –well timed, mifi (the original Hello Kitty), a homemade smoothie, a painting session, realising the paint wasn’t water based, a home cinema, friends of friends, giving a massage to a stranger, a bar at home, a talk about love and relationships, chocolate and cheese samples, a lift from a Syrian-Iran couple to Wourden’s station, a real dutch town, a negotiated stay at a camping site, a lift to Gouda, another lift to Gauda’s city centre, being photographed by tourists, Dutch huge carrots, Gouda’s market, half an hour chats, being adopted by a Latin Christian community, a meal with strangers, a place to stay, a friendly city tour guide who even volunteered her photography skills, lentils-rice-and-salad for 10, trying to say nice things in Dutch, an unexpected email from a host-to-be, a drive to Rotterdam, a 45 minute chat on climate change with a passer-by, an hour chat about God, life and love with a Muslim woman from Somalia, being invited to aloe vera drinks by a Colombian, politically tinted waffles, 30 people at the couch surfing meeting in Rotterdam, drawing portraits of strangers, positive people who think that hitchhikers are picked quicker when it’s raining, a breakfast that includes a drawing interpretation, being allowed to make funny faces while photographed, a rainy morning, 45 minutes waiting for a car to stop, a father of two in the messiest car ever giving us a lift to Utrecht, the other face of Morocco dropping us at north Amsterdam, a free trip by boat to cross the river, meeting my cousin, vegetarian chicken-free pieces, peanut butter, food at the Krishna temple, sweets at the Buddhist temple, knowing that we only had €5 left, speculoos pasta, chocolate topping for toasts (a Dutch thing), ice cream with our last €2, reading digital fortress until 2.30am, meeting the strangers that paid €15 to rent bikes for us to join Amsterdam’s Naked Bike Ride, having only 10c for a 50c toilet, painting naked bodies, giving interviews, cycling through the city centre waving to innocent bystanders, a Colombian guy inviting us home for dinner while wearing nothing but a backpack, exchanging emails with half dressed people, cycling clothed to Amstel station on rented bikes with all our luggage, the same guy mentioned before picking us up at the station with his “lady friend”, knowing that some Colombians are developing projects in our home country, salpicón (Dutch style), Turkish delights, national express’ punctuality, the Eurotunnel, Victoria station, Norbury station, apples, the 109 bus, home… being home after two weeks, 12 challenges, a €50 budget each, hay fever, two lost water bottles and a bag full of really nice experiences.
I am beginning to believe that circumstances, people or things can only make us happier as happiness is an intrinsic human value.
We are grateful to all the people who joined us in one way or another, accidentally or deliberately, approaching us or ignoring us.
Having no plans makes every trip a perfect trip.
“Relax, don't worry, everything is going to be alright”.
Friday, 18 June 2010
What makes me happy?
Posted by Calu