Monday, June 27, 2005

Pardon the typing...

Welcome back to Europe, Laura. Home of f+ed up keyboards I haven't yet remembered how to work... The 'and' sign in emails is especially hard to find... Quick update before my 30 minutes at the BoomTown internet cafe in Copenhagen ends.

Our first country visit in Amsterdam went well. Saw the Van Gough museum, etc. Oh wait, you may be thinking, I thought Laura and the fam were visiting Scandinavia, not the Netherlands? Well, that's what I thought, too.

My grandma decided to take one for the team so that I could meet the cute immigration boys in Amsterdam. My mom and I went through ahead of grandma (mistake - not to be repeated the rest of the trip - grandma always goes in the middle just in case) and saw her walking over to the side. We went through everything and were waiting a few minutes, saw the Indian (dot) Jesus or a guy that looked like what he'd have looked like, then saw a cute immigration boy approaching us.

He asked if we were traveling with this woman, showed us grandma's passport, and I told him ''Yes, and you stole my grandma!'' He apologized and said he wouldn't do it again, but said the reason he stole her was that she could not produce a valid passport so he couldn't let her into the country. We snuck back to the immigration office (complete with many, many immigration boys wearing baby blue outfits and carrying guns and handcuffs, yum) and found grandma saying, well, I guess I messed that up.

Turns out when she visited the safety deposit box last week to pick up her passport, she accidently grabbed her old one that expired in 1997. Oops. The good ol' Rapid City airport failed to look at her passport, so the first time it was viewed was at customs in Amsterdam. Awesome.

While cute immigration boy Maarten (Iøll post his picture as soon as I can) tried to work out the details so grandma wasn't sent home on the next plane to America, I was able to collect my aunt who'd just landed from Seattle, bought coffee for mom and grandma, cancelled our tickets to Copenhagen for the morning flight, and had them start the process of getting our luggage taken off the plane. 2 hours later, grandma had a temporary (3 day) visa and we needed to get that fixed before we could go on to Copenhagen.

After much hassle, I got a prepaid SIM for my phone and called the embassy who referred us to the consulate. Conveniently, they're open from 8:30 am to 11:30 am so we had 40 minutes to get there or we were f-ed till tomorrow morning. I raced to get grandma and we cabbed it to the consulate. They were SUPER helpful, put her passport processing on the fast track so after arriving at 11:15am we got paperwork processed, got passport photos taken up the street, and had a new, hot off the press passport in our hands by 12:30 (they stayed open late for us). It rocked.

Cab back to airport, get rebooked, get on plane. Finally here. It was more exciting than expected but totally worked.

If you want to call me or text me, my digits calling from the US are 011 31 062 818 3019. I donøt expect any calls but if you do it'd be fun :) The Nokia phones over here rock - since I'm unemployed I can't buy one but I'm taking pictures of the fun Nokia stores here. And might get a Bluetooth headset.

Otherwise, all is well. I have decided all Americans should be required to visit Europe one week every 2 years so we can all remember how f-ing fat we all are. We are all disgusting human beings, but oh well. The other 3 keep trying to have us ''not look like tourists'' but unless we can each drop 40 lbs overnight, that's just not going to happen.

I'll keep the updates coming, I think it'll be hard to post pix while I'm gone but if I can figure out they'll be up :)

PS While I'm here I'll post my blogs with the local time. Just an FYI.


At June 27, 2005 7:47 PM, Anonymous Roxie said...

Yay! Kobenhavn is one of my favorite places. Have fun on Strogt!

At June 28, 2005 6:35 AM, Blogger Ranger Tom said...

I liked Germany, Austria and LOVED Belgium... Never got to Holland though I'd love to go some day.

I'm also writing a small guidbook for first-time Amrican travellers to Europe:

Rule #1 Remeber, you are NOT in the United States any more!

Rule #2 Refer back to rule #1

Rule #3 There are no more rules.

Hope you have a great time!


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