A Christmas Surprise

Hello everyone,

It has been a couple of weeks since I wrote anything, but here are two stories to bring you up-to-date again. This story is quite long, which is why I posted the Dutch and English versions separately.

In the early afternoon of Friday the 22nd of December I took the train to Edinburgh Airport. I stood in a filled train with a heavy suitcase and a filled backpack. The train, packed with rugby supporters, felt like it took forever. This could be because of the standing for one and a half hours, or because I was really looking forward to the surprise. With the help of a kind gentleman I got my suitcase off the train, up the escalator and on my way to the trams. I arrived at the airport after 10 minutes. The luggage check-in was almost empty and within 10 minutes I had my suitcase on its way to the plain. I was going to see it again in Düsseldorf Weeze, so now it was onwards to security. After security I got something to eat and I read a few pages. I was getting more anxious by the minute, and at 3 o’clock I was at the gate in line to start boarding. In that line I met a German guy that had studied in Dundee for a semester, we started talking and walked to the plain together. After I found my seat, the nerves hit me. This was my first time flying alone and I couldn’t ask my family for tips, since they had no idea what I was doing. The plain takes off and everything I remembered of flying was not there anymore. Then we reach over the clouds and with the sun setting over a sense of peace washes over me. The rest of the flight went equally as smooth with almost no turbulence. The only bad thing was that my back is in the cabinet above my head, together with all my stuff. After about one and a half hours we landed in a dark Düsseldorf Weeze. After a little while I can make my way out of the plane, where I bump into the German guy again. We started talking again and kept talking throughout the passport checkpoint and getting our bags. Then we both headed towards the exit.

I see C?i R? and her youngest brother K?i. Together we walk over to her parents Carel and Gerdie. After leaving the airport we leave towards Venray, with a short stop at McDonalds so they can get there packages. That night we make Christmas photo’s with the whole family, Carel, Gerdie, C?i R?, K?i, her other brother Ming and me. The next day C?i R? and I were going to Arnhem to get some of her stuff. Afterwards we go to the city centre and eat some noodles at this amazing Japanese place. That place gets a 10/10 from me. After lunch we head into town and do a bit of shopping. In one shop they ran out of something we wanted, but in Nijmegen they have the same store so we went there. After finishing up in Nijmegen we went to drink coffee and talk at Starbucks. Then we took the train to Boxmeer where her parents picked us up. We went into town to drink something before going to our final destination of the day, my house. We arrived in my village at a quarter to six, got my suitcase out of the car and started the plan.

C?i R? and I called each other’s phone so we’d have a connection and we could hear what was going on at her side and my side. I hid behind the car with her parents and my suitcase, the neighbour’s dog barking at us. C?i R? rang the doorbell and my sister Judith opens the door after a couple of minutes. She lets C?i R? in and we hear the rest of my family greet her as she goes inside and enters the living room. She tells them that she is connected with me over the phone. I ask my family if they can hear the neighbour’s dog barking. They think I’m in Edinburgh for Christmas, and that the dog I mean is the one there. I’m telling them how I mean the dog of our neighbours in Ottersum. In the meanwhile I’m slowly walking towards the house with Carel and Gerdie. Slowly they realize that I am where I should be. Home. Nicole and Judith both run outside on their socks, followed by mom and dad who are still a little confused. Nicole wants to tell her best friend, but she already knew from the start, so I tell her that it isn’t necessary. I let her know that I was the reason they weren’t going out on Christmas Eve. We say goodbye to C?i R?, Carel & Gerdie and go inside. We put my suitcase in the hallway and watch All You Need Is Love on tv, Christmas Eve the way it’s supposed to be.

The day after it was the first day of Christmas and we started prepping dishes for the big dinner on the second day of Christmas. Kay was coming over to help at 2 o’clock, so that gave me time to go to my grandmothers to surprise her too. My sister drove and after dropping me off she went to do the last couple of groceries. A bit before 2 she picked me up again, and we went home to great Twan & Lionne and Kay. Halfway preparing the food that day I was walking downstairs after getting something, and fell down the last couple of steps. At night it was time to do present and eat food with my parents and sisters.

On the second day of Christmas we finished the last preparations of the day, after which Nicole and I picked up our grandmother, Theo and Ali. When we arrived home Twan, Lionne, Kay and Britt were already there. Not long after we could start with our first course, a chicken or tuna salad. The second course was Sunday soup. The third was a combination of various meats, vegetables and types of potatoes. Then came my favourite part, dessert. We had five different desserts. After eating we cleaned up and had a cup of coffee, before the night ended. Everyone left happy and with a full stomach.

On Thursday morning I left and did the last groceries for Scotland. In the afternoon Marlijn and Rayn came to my place and we hung out and played a game on the wii. Around half past 4 we took the bus to go to Nijmegen to meet up with Michelle. From the train station we walked towards the city centre. We went to the Dromaai for dinner. At the end of the evening we took some photos underneath the Christmas tree, before catching the bus/train.

On Friday I hung out with Marcha. We played games, we talked, and we basically just hung out as we used to do. It was very relaxed and after such a busy week a day of chilling out is exactly what I needed. The last time we saw each other it was with all other friends. In the evening Cor and Susanne stopped by for a cup of coffee, to catch up before I was going back. It was a good ending to a great week.

That Saturday it was time for me to go back. In the early afternoon my parents and I went to the airport. After having my suitcase checked in we went to sit upstairs in a café for about 15 minutes. Then I left to go through security and go to the gate. I was at the front of the line once more and got to board after priority. This time I kept my bag with me, instead putting it in the cabinet like last time. Once everyone was seated, it was time to leave. This time it was less scary, because I had done it once already.

I’ll see you in February!



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