Posted May 6th 2018
I wake up from the sirens around the hotel, I look through the curtain and see that the street is full of police cars and armed cops are everywhere. With a megaphone an agent calls out, “Thelma and Louise…. your game is over. Put your hands on your head and get out of your room. No jokes, I repeat …. NO JOKES! “
It is that kind of hotel where you can expect this scene. Cheep, dirty, tasteless… yes, that kind of hotel. You can check in without a passport, no questions will be asked. But I have a room for the night and I could park my Big Red in a corner out of sight, 2 disk-brake locks, alarm… fingers crossed!
When I look through the curtain one more time, the cops are all gone, it was just a dream I thing. But my bike is still there, happy. Today it’s time for th elast track, then I’m home again. With a lot of pain and effort I take a shower in the prefab-plastic shower-toilet-washbasin cabin in the corner of the room. “It’s a 0-starr hotel and it will stay a 0 starr hotel,” I mutter in myself. But I am surprised that there is a towel, okay … .forward … .. half a star then. But that’s it!
getting dry, putting on my motorcycle pants, boots and a T-shirt to finish off nicely. On my way to the breakfast room. Coffee… But what a deception, it makes me sad. You have to put your bread on a sheet, there are no plates. Meat such as * KUCH * ham or chorizo is nowhere to be found. The choice is jam, in 3 variants. So I ask it for a second. “Madame, avez vous meats?” She looks at me as if I had just insulted her in Russian, but I know for sure that I ‘ve said good enough. Leave it, I’ll add 2 more yogurt and make something of it. The coffee is even dirtier than my own solvent-coffe and I suspect they have first cleaned the windows with this ‘coffee”. € 5,- … What do you expect, Jon! But that half star I take them off again quickly. Not deserved!
Bags on the engine, skit-plate again under the strap and I’m ready to go. Handing over the door card at the reception and a small thank you could not finish it. Adios and I never see you again.
5 hours of driving, popping the highway and taking the limits. That’s the ride today. I can not make more out of it, I do not want to make more out of it. I stop at regular base and ensure that the tank is filled up if needed. I leave France, enter the always picturesque Belgium because that country is still between F and NL. I think about the GS weekend and that I am now in the country of Chantal de Paauw… Nice people I have met that weekend and I wonder if Joost did indeed followed my story. Brussels and Antwerp are soon behind me and then at the town called Meer it goes wrong. A bad accident happened and the higway is completely blocked. Taking the exit, turn right and then ehmmmm a quickly look at the navigation. “Ahh, I ride past De Meerselmolen,” I say in myself. The Meerselmolen is an old watermill where friends of me used to live. Hans was a miller and in my youth I have sailed as a buddy on his guestboat at the Wadden Sea and the IJsselmeer with paying guests. Hans unfortunately died too early and Ans stayed behind in the mill until she sold it. Hans and Ans …. Ans has found a new partner and his name is… Hans. Well, you do not come up with that yourself, do you?
But the mill is beautiful, wel maintained. The new owner continues the work of Hans & Ans well. I folow a few corners to the left and to the right and before I know it I see Dutch street signs. The border has been demolished, I am back in my own country. I drive onto the A58 and come along the big tree in the middle of the road near a viaduct. A tree like a tree should look like, but in a crazy place. I am quickly confronted with the harsh reality of daily life, I see 2 trucks with a familiar logo. The logo which is also on my payslip. Waving does not help, I have 400 colleagues and they probably do not know me, and certainly not when wearing a helmet. The A27 follows and when I see the Van Eck building I know that the A2 is a few kilometers away. Utrecht, Breukelen, Abcoude … And then, Zaanstad is on the next sign above the highway. 25 minutes later I open the gate, drive across the schoolyard and put my engine in the garden under the balcony. BAM! 6786.1 kilometers of experience my pocket. I stand still for a moment and realize that I have made an incredible journey. A tear, sorry … .. he’s back again. But a tear of happiness, the intense happiness that I can do this. What freedom we have. Today is May 4, today we remember the soldiers who left thier life for freemdom and tomorrow we celebrate our freedom, a freedom that I experienced in the past 3 weeks. We must be careful with this, together. Freedom is our existence!