Hello, all a very hearty welcome to our family web site!
We'll return from Spain Thursday July 13, again by sleeper-train till Den Bosch to continue on our own wire-wheels. Kees will return to Phnom Penh again already the 21th, but Minke will stay a while longer in the Netherlands as usual.
My short trip to the Netherlands this spring was very busy with visiting my Dad who became seriously ill last Christmas and with removing my stuff from his house and I had almost no opportunity to visit any friends. But most of them were on crocus holiday anyway. My Dad is doing reasonably well, considering the circumstances. He lives now in a tiny one room flat in a nursing home on walking distance from my sister's family. Fortunately my brother-in-law, who is a general practitioner, managed to arrange this on short notice. Knowing the energy my brother-in-law invested in this, it is clear that, when you do not have such connections, you might not be so lucky in welfare state Holland. It is quite a big step for my father to make the move from independently living 89 old man with your own house, garden and car to a nurse dependant sickly man in a tiny room at the fourth floor in a nursing home. His room is smaller than the one I had as a student. Not that he has breath enough left to move about, but still. The medical story is quite cynical: after smoking for 60 years one pouch of heavy tobacco a day, he might be beaten by tbc in the 21 century in the Netherlands.
The rains came early in Cambodia this year and we had some heavy showers in April. At the moment it is limited to dark clouds and lightning flashes crossing half the sky. When in the evening drinking my beer on the banks of the Mekong, I can almost read a newspaper with the light of the lightnings. It is, as it should, be very hot at the moment (35 'C), but after a shower it feels a lot cooler, but the thermometer still indicates a 30-32 'C
The Dutch Embassy in Bangkok, for the first time that we are here, threw a party on the occasion of our Queens birthday. Herring was missing, but Dutch cheese from Mr. Ambas, locally produced bitterballen, three barrels of orange coloured Tiger beer in a colonial building, and all paid for by the Dutch taxpayers. Long live the queen! We enjoyed it and all the unspent diplomatic money and uneaten food went to a local NGO.
After much feet dragging I joined a motorclub for a day. With some other Dutch guys I met on her majesties party we rented a couple of off-the-road bikes and had a good day of fun criss-crossing through the Cambodian country side. Not counting my Ural side car as a bike, I have not been driving a bike for ten years, so the first couple of kms I went a bit careful. This country is really beautiful and full of very nice people! A splendid day crowned with delicious food, dried fish and frog legs washed away with again lots of Tigers. Life is short and has to be enjoyed to the max!