Sunday, April 13, 2008

Bridges, highways, and een kater hebben

“Een kater hebben” means “having a hangover”, which is exactly what happened to me when I woke up this morning – drained, groggy, lightheaded, nauseous, and dehydrated. The last time I had a kater was last month in Budapest after the guys at work treated me to a round of wines that never seem to end. I was glad I made it to my hotel but woke up the next day feeling and looking like shit.

This morning was another kater morning. We went to a friend’s 40e birthday bash in Utrecht center last night and I swear I only had 4 glasses of white wine, or maybe it was 5. I guess gone are the days when after a booze-filled evening I can wake up the next day like it’s just another day.

“We are old. We can’t drink like we used to before.” the Dutchman resigns, admitting to the fact that we are past our nachtleven lifestyle. He only had 3 beers that night. Adding another one would be forcing him to wear just boxer shorts outside at freezing point.

So we got home almost 2AM with me cradled nicely (but my butt hurts with the cobblestones and humps!) at the back of Dutchman’s bike. Utrecht looked very different from behind the bike when you are boozed up.

Then we had to wake up very early in the morning to join the whole Dutch family for a hike in North Brabant in the Loonse and Drunense Duinen.

This is the Martinus-Nijhoff Bridge in the River Waal which is a daughter of the great River Rhine. Nijmegen is the nearest big city from here. It was 12C and the sun was up but earlier in the day we had some light rainshowers.

The A2 highway in the south driving towards the north. Those neatly queued up lanky trees are typically Dutch. The trees in the Netherlands always seem to follow a disciplined vertical and horizontal pattern. The Dutch like to keep things very organized, even their trees.

Well, as the story goes, I woke up with a (the famous Dutch word of the day) kater.

My day started with a very unpleasant morning and it was the first time in my entire Dutch life I wasn’t looking forward to a nature hike! Ha-ha my wanderlust itchy feet does not even want to believe? Of course I would love to go but this horibble hangover is hanging above me, controlling me, and following me around like a big dark heavy sad cloud. Eventually after a few hours the kater subsided and I felt better.

So stay tuned – coming up, in my next entry, our Sunday hike and fotos of the National Park Loonse and Drunense Duinen in the North Brabant region. Didn’t expect the Netherlands have a miniature inland Sahara!

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