Step 7: You Have Arrived at your Destination.
Today was the third of July. For me, that meant Tonya Day. It’s one year, eight months and two days since I last saw her, you could say I was pretty excited.
I began the day with the classic run around Vondelpark, 4km from the bridge near the hostel, around the park and back, with a nice little walk at either end and a stop at a grassy patch for some body weight exercises (we’re talking push-ups, sit ups and all that jazz).
In my excitement I put on my dress backwards, and didn’t realise for about two hours. Conveniently, it wasn’t very obvious to the uninitiated.
Tonya and Lara were to arrive at 1-1.30pm, at which time they would put their stuff in the hostel and head out to find a restaurant. Pre-emptying this I grabbed a small bit to eat, explored some areas of the city not yet touched, then sat with a coffee at 1.15 perusing the interwebs waiting for Lara to send me a message. I got the message at 1.20, saying they would be at least another hour. So I got myself a coconut gelato (dairy & egg free, of course), and wandered a bit more. Over the course of the morning and early afternoon I discovered many gorgeous little bookshops and boutique stores, a different and very welcomed side to the city I’ve come to both love and hate.
At 2.30 I went back to a wifi area and waited, scrolling Facebook and new websites to pass the time. At 3pm I set off at a fast walk to the vicinity of their hostel with a screenshot of the street junction of Lara’s location. After getting a little lost, I finally rounded a corner to see the (still) familiar dreadlocks. I climbed through the chairs and put my hands over the eyes of a very confused Tonya. She couldn’t pick who it was, but could eventually pick the accent. After I revealed myself many exclamations were made, to the point where neighbouring tables began to stare.
After the suprise we walked around the city for a while, stopping at some stores to look at clothes and stopping for a drink. A delicious stir fry dinner followed, greatly appreciated after so much bread and so much walking. Nothing but vegetables and nuts and spices for me, thank you sir!
Right near the ledge Tonya and I had chosen to sit while eating our dinner was the spot chosen by a busker, this one specialising in balloon animals and posing like a man frozen mid-run. His antics would have entertained us for about an hour, before we toured the red light district where we received many a glare and quickly evacuated due to awkwardness and our apparently having offended the prostitutes.
The night finished sitting beside the canal sleepily chatting, before they walked me back to my hostel at 11.30-12. I managed to unblock Tonya on Facebook and setting an alarm before very quickly falling asleep ready for the next day.