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Thursday, 23 July 2015

Two days in Houten

Wednesday, 15 July 2015

Wednesday and Thursday Patricia and Dianne spent the day in Amsterdam and I went to Wim and Gerrie for a few days.  I dropped P&D off at the train station in Abcoude, but before I got there a light on the dashboard came on again, and this time it beeped at me, as to say: "It's urgent."  Not trusting this kind of thing in someone else's car I stopped at the nearest service station after I'd dropped them off, to get some information.  The friendly man told me it was most likely an engine problem, so sent me to a garage around the corner.  There I had a mechanic to check on the problem, which didn't seem to be urgent and I had to expect the light to come on intermittently.  However, it should be checked out by the garage that regularly services the car.  Oh well, a diagnosis and invoice richer, and a bit lighter in the purse I went on to Houten where Gerrie and Wim (who doesn't work on Wednesdays) awaited me with a nice cup of coffee.

So nice to be in familiar surroundings again.  We chatted some and later in the afternoon Wim watched the Tour the France on TV.  Since I had a bit of time on my hands I decided to try Telstra's 24/7 site on the internet to get my phone to work.  I could have saved myself the trouble.  Their phone number didn't work and the chatline put me at no. 17 in the queue.  Two hours later, and down to no. 5 I got disconnected.  For a while the service wasn't working and when it finally did work again I was no. 16 in the queue!  I wasn't going to wait for another 2 hours to finally be disconnected again, so I gave up.

In the meantime Heidi had arrived with 7 month old Guido, who was going to be looked after by opa and oma for the night and next day.  Guess where all the attention went?

Guido

Thursday, 16 July 2015

Before I went to Houten I had been in touch with another geocacher, Nicole, who I had 'met' through geocaching when I logged her caches last year.  She wanted to meet for real and so did I so we'd agreed to meet for coffee.  But first I went for a walk with Gerrie and Guido since it was such a perfect day for it.

 

After the walk I was allowed to take Gerrie's e-bike (!) to ride to the town centre to meet Nicole at the coffee shop.  We were both on time, but couldn't find each other...  Isn't Whatsapp great?  We discovered that each of us was sitting behind a big pillar between us and so couldn't see each other.  :-)

It was great to finally meet Nicole and we chatted over coffee until it was time to go, because she had more in mind: we were going geocaching together! ;-)  No serious caching, just finding one or two in the area if we could manage.

The first one posed a little problem: we found it alright, but needed a special tool to get to the logbook.  It so happened that Nicole's friend lived nearby, so we dropped in to ask for a magnet and sticky tape.  Nicole had a piece of string and with that we fabricated our little tool:

Rondje Kooikersplas 1



Angling for the logbook

Yes, it was somewhere there... ;-)
Soon we'd signed the log and were on our way to the next one, which... wasn't there.  As we didn't have big plans anyway we went to Nicole's house where I met her husband and we had a cool drink.  After that I rode my bike back to Wim's place and Gerrie and I had a late lunch.  Guido was asleep.

As we weren't doing much I tried to get in touch with Telstra in a different way, because the problem seemed to be with my provider/carrier.  I found a 24/7 facebook page where a friendly girl tried to help me, but after lots of messages to and fro we weren't any closer to a solution.  The advice was to ring and she gave me a number in Australia.  I talked to a man who wanted to help me, but couldn't either, so in the end I was given yet another phone number which I was to ring in the morning.

I automatically asked: "Your morning or mine, because I am overseas.", and the answer was: "No, I am overseas."   I said: "No I am."  He came back with: "No I am, I'm in the Phillipines."  I laughed and said: "Well, then we're both overseas, because I am in the Netherlands. So, I take it you want me to ring early morning Australian time?"  He saw the joke and responded with something like: I am working, you are on holiday, and we finished our chat. Unfortunately this all meant that I had to stay up till past 12 in the morning, because of the time difference.

By the time this communication had finished half the afternoon was gone again and Heidi and Pim had arrived to pick up Guido and have dinner with us.  We had a great time and even had a glass of bubbly.  There's always a reason to celebrate something, never have to look for one. ;-)

In the end I got to ring Telstra again and it appeared that I had a locked network, which I wasn't supposed to have, otherwise we would have cottoned on a whole lot sooner.  Anyway, to keep a long story short, I got my network unlocked, but not before I was told I had to pay $80, which I refused to pay.  Then it was reduced to $25, which I still refused to pay, as none of this was my fault and the staff of the Telstra shop should have informed me.  Then I got the pin code and didn't have to pay at all.  I could finally unlock the network and use my mobile phone!  But at what cost time-wise and frustration-wise...









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