The first post in a series of blogposts about my British adventure!
February 8, 2016
20:15 – somewhere near Amsterdam – in a bus
Lift off! We’re already well under way, for two hours already to be precise. We’re heading for Amsterdam, where we have to change buses and then we’ll continue for Calais, with our final destination: Dover. We had to wait a small hour at a busstop in Groningen, which half covered us from the rain, so we were glad once the bus arrived and we could get inside. This went rather quick; some foreign duo consisting of a bald Mario, with moustache and all and a Russian/German hitman, who could only nod when he checked our bustickets, gave us a warm welcome (nope). We walked to the back of the bus while passing different passengers. Polish people, Indian people, Germans, and whereever else they’re from. Somewhat right of me there’s a guy playing games on his phone. Everytime he loses, it makes a funny sound and he slaps his leg. Two seats behind me I see a sock pointing upwards, leaning on the seat behind me. The sock sits on a foot that belongs to a guy who looks like he came from the seventies and just wants peace. After being seated, the real journey began. Some hours in the bus, until we would set foot on land again (not including several pauses during the bustrip). The bus is very comfortable: chairs which can be adjusted to sit straight up or lie down in angle, power outlets, a small little table in front of us, a foot pedestal, and even matching little curtains. Lovely. We’ve almost arrived at our stop in Amsterdam. Well, I’ll get back to listening music, while almost having mister sock-guy in my neck.
We stopped in Amsterdam, where we changed buses. Now we’re heading for Calais and then Dover, after soms more stops. We’re completely in the back of the bus, which would be perfect if the dudes in front of us hadn’t dropped their seats so far down. They’re all sleeping and one of the them makes the same noise a chainsaw makes when it’s trying to cut through iron. Lucky for us we’re such patient guys 😉
Time unknown – Kruibekelelekele? Somewhere in Belgium – outside the bus
We stopped in this random Belgian place at a random gas station. Everyone had to get out of the bus so the bus could be locked. Every passenger went inside the station, which experienced a wave of customers. Might bring the Belgian economy prosperity. As we were standing inside, keeping a close eye on our bags (which were even on our backs), we bought some snacks and ventured outside, into the cold, dark night, where we saw a car in a parking lot with a girl in the passenger’s seat doing things like making selfies(?). Interesting. After a while, the crowd of people inside started drifting back to the bus because the busdriver was getting back (I think he was done drinking coffee). Slowly walking towards the bus – we looked like a horde of zombies wandering around aimlessly – we got in and got back on the road again soon after. Just a few more hours to go.
01:40 – somewhere near Calais – still in the bus
A thought struck me. We’re sitting in a bus, filled with strangers, wirh no one knowing each other (except for the ones traveling together). Our bus driver looks like he’s high, goofing around all the time and speaking through the ‘intercom’ without anyone being able to correctly understand him (the parts I did understand were you aren’t allowed to eat chips; including which brands, alcohol is prohibited; if you do consume alcohol you can either walk or swim to England, and for the men: on the toilet; sit down like a lady). The guys in front of us ate pistachios however; they must be daredevils! Anyway, we’re on a weird bustrip, with strangers and a goofy busdriver. This means we have to trust random people to not just stab or rob us (that could still happen, however). We’re not even in England yet and we’re already challenged in how we are as humans. This is going to be an interesting time.
01:57 – somewhere near.. Darkness – in the bus
Everyone in the bus went silent. They’re either sleeping or staring into the endless darkness. And I’m here sitting and typing this. Still no stabbing though, so that’s a good thing.
A lot of snoring again, however..
Time unknown – at Calais border – outside of the bus
Before getting out of the bus, just when we drove into Calais I saw hundreds of tents. Small tents in large groups. Could they be refugees?
We had to get out of to bus to pass through French customs and British customs. French customs were rather quick, while British customs took significantly longer. We had to wait in line for about ten to fifteen minutes (Brits and their queues..). Paul up ahead, Steven and I a bit behind and some Czech mafia guy behind us, who was rather skilled at chewing gum with lots of noise, while sighing everytime something or someone took longer. There were some people who had problems at the customs, which was why it took a bit longer, but soon it was our turn. No problem. The man who was ‘checking’ me did make a strange face when checking my ID. I guess it’s my nose, which is a bit askew.
Around 04:15 – on the ferry to Dover
We’re getting ready to head for Dover, by ferry! We were convinced we would travel by train, but the ferry it is. We’re almost there, just a bit longer. We’ve been traveling for about nine hours now, excluding the trip to Groningen. We can feel the water rocking us; I’m curious whether the extreme weather will have us experiencing Titantic-like moments.. We’ll know soon..
OK, so we arrived in Deal around 8:00 AM and were looking forward to find the closest bed and close our eyes, but it resulted into us staying awake for some more hours. Back home, I wanted to get a haircut in England, which I got soon after arriving in England; it took three-quarters of an hour before I left the barber shop. I asked for a haircut, which I showed with pictures on my phone and the barber, who could only speak a few English words said “OK, OK, nice, OK, yes, with blend in sides, yes, very good at blending, yes.” Things like that. So, a long time later, during which there were multiple moments when I thought he was finished, but he wasn’t. In the end, the cut turned out different than I wanted, but *sigh* if plan A goes wrong, you have to go for plan B. No problem.. after getting used to the haircut. The barber did have some neat tricks up his sleeve, like literally burning little hairs off my head and using a thin thread to ‘snap’ off remaining hairs. Afterwards, my neck was fire red, but it was entertaining (and now I can feel my ears again!).
Later on, we hung out a bit; watched some series, walked through Deal center, did some groceries, and got pizzas, which were delicious. I’m surprised by the fact that I’ve been up for a very long time now. I lost track of how long, but I think it’s been a day. The day is coming to an end and I think I’ll get in bed and recapture these first experiences and think about the experiences to come.
I also made a vlog! Check it out!
Until next time!