October 20th, 2022
After driving Mel to the airport, I headed to the Hague. I was excited to go there and meet my friend Majid. The last time we met was back in 2013 just before he moved to Germany. We were childhood friends and had family connections too. Especially we were good friends during high school and university. I was extremely tired. I put Majid’s address to the navigator and got there by 7:30. I decided to park the car and take a nap. But my nap became a deep sleep and I woke up at 10 AM. I wrote to Majid and he came downstairs to say hi. He had meetings and had to get back in. He gave me some tips on where to go and what to do until 3-4 PM when he finishes working. I took my bike and headed to the Hague.
The city is known internationally for its political importance. The international court of justice and many other international organizations are present there. Also, it is a very historic city with many stories and important figures from there.
The notable sights are the peace palace, the Binnehof, Noordeinde palace, and Madurodam. The peace palace houses the International Court of Justice, the Permanent Court of Arbitration, The Hague Academy of International Law, and the Peace Palace Library. Binnehof is an administrative center for the Dutch government. Noordeinde palace is the Dutch king’s office.
Madurodam is a miniature park where replicas of famous Dutch landmarks, historical cities, and large developments are displayed there.
After visiting the Madurodam, I headed to the beach. I just strolled around and looked into the beautiful ocean. I just sat there and watched the wave as they were making their way and crashing to the shore. There is a beauty in waves that nobody can describe. As I was just walking around at the shore, I got a missed call from Riina, my old colleague whom I call mama Riina even though we are more or less the same age. I called her back and just like in the old days we got caught up talking and didn’t notice how the time passed.
Friends catching up
I still couldn’t believe I was with Majid in such unexpected circumstances. Here I was traveling and living in my van and there he was in living in the Netherlands. Our vibe was still the same, the same childish talks, and then next thing you know we are all sophisticated and talking about complicated science and the work we do. I have to admit he hasn’t changed at all. The same fun-loving guy he has always been. His wife, Shabnam, was just incredible. Just like Majid, she had a witty yet sophisticated sense of humor.
I went back to Majid and Shabnam’s house. After a quick refresher, Majid and I left with his car for a quick sightseeing over Delft. We just drove around and he showed me some of the sights of Delft and the surrounding area. We walked on the main streets and had a stop for a quick famous Dutch fries with ketchup and mayonnaise.
They had prepared some great food for dinner. After we finished eating we went through our memories and told stories to Shabnam about our youth and what kind of things we used to do. We talked about life and how we have been doing. We shared our stories and what has been going on in our lives. It was an amazing feeling to still have such an amazing connection.
It was, however, unfortunate that they had to leave for Brussels early in the morning. They woke up at around 7 AM to leave and they left the keys inside the house so I can lock the door behind myself after I leave. I woke up while they were leaving, said goodbye, and continued sleeping a bit longer. When I woke up, I realized they even left me the leftover from dinner so I can take them for the way. I was very humbled by their actions. I tried tidying up the place, had a nice breakfast and coffee, and left for Eindhoven. Here is the view from their balcony. Gorgeous, ain’t it?