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Road trip!

September 4, 2012

Yesterday facebook prompted me that it was someone’s birthday. A friend I was at sixth form college with and appears in the great naked men shot.  Anyway, it reminded me of a story of when I  visited him when we were both medical students.

A  friend and I went to Amsterdam for a long weekend. We travelled by train and boat and arrived at this wonderful city full of excitement. We were staying  with a friend of mine from Atlantic College – what a luxury it is to know people from all over the world and be able to sleep on their floor!

And he lived in the heart of the red light district in a student house so we had a ball. He showed us round and took us out to the seaside in his old 2CV. And he even let us borrow the car for a day trip to the Hague. I’m not sure either of us were insured or even thought about it. But somehow I drove and Jane navigated. Micon had given us a map. I had never driven a 2CV before and was amazed at its lack of power. I would be on the motorway trying to overtake a lorry and get two thirds of the way past when the slipstream would push me backwards and I would have to drop behind again.

great little car

Anyway, we got there and had a lovely day sightseeing. And so we set off back towards Amsterdam. The Hague was very busy with lots of traffic and we seemed to be driving for ages getting nowhere. We would follow signs that said Amsterdam, but they would disappear and we we had ended up in side streets. No mobile phones of course, no sat nav to help us out.

So we decided simply to pick another town, any town to get out of the Hague . We’d get to that town, find it on the map and then work out how to get back to Amsterdam from there So we picked Omtrek.

At last we were getting somewhere. The signs were clear and continued to be marked. Keep left for Omtrek. After about half an hour of this we both had a realisation that we had been here before. We had definitely seen that building, that row of shops etc.  We were not out of the Hague city and nowhere nearer to Amsterdam.

We were now getting desperate and  randomly chose a road to turn in to and drive. We thought we would eventually get out of this nightmare city and ask someone how to get to Amsterdam. But in fact we didn’t need to as by complete fluke a sign for Amsterdam straight ahead appeared before us. The relief in the car was palpable.

So we got back much much later than planned, and told our host about our calamitous trip. “Which town did you choose to follow signs for?” he asked. Omtrek we told him. “That’s like ‘ring road’ in English ” .

No wonder we felt we were going round in circles. We bloody well were!

Fine anatomical specimens. It may have inspired my choice of degree.This is just an excuse to post it agian!

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