Kate and Bron's Diary for 2002-08-24

Stayed the night in Amsterdam

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From: "Bron Gondwana" <brong@brong.net>
Date: Thu, 5 Sep 2002 21:59:03 +1000 (EST)
Took our packs straight to the train station rather than leaving them at
the hostel, which turned out to be very sensible later when we had to
grab them in a hurry! Walked back through town and did some shopping.
The Belgian chocolates were very nice, and we haven't saved any for
anybody else (though Paul in Amsterdam got a couple).

I'm doing some work for HRS while I'm over here, and the new manager
insisted that I sign a separate contract for the work I'm doing here.
Unfortunately, the contract as it was first provided was completely
unacceptable - it basically left me with no rights to anything I thought
up, totally uneven termination clauses, and worst of all an "until we
are satisified" clause. I called Hugo (who thankfully still runs the
company) and got the OK to remove the offending clauses. I would have
been quite happy just to do the work and get the money without all the
messing around - and it's not like I haven't already built up a trust
relationship with the company I've worked for during the past year and a
half. But enough ranting about this.

Kate got to try and remember things in French - actually as soon as we
got into Luxembourg I told Kate that she was responsible for arranging
everything now, since we'd moved out of the area where I knew the
language better!

We found an English book store, and replaced our supply of reading
material - we'd both finished absolutely everything we had with us.

It started raining, and we rushed off to the music museum - lots of cool
old instruments - though I don't know how practical some of them would
have been - far too complex looking! The audioguide only provided
samples of music from the instruments, and there were no English
translations. The music was very interesting, but it was all infra-red
based, and you had to stand in exactly the right spot or the music
wouldn't work. Even worse, there were frequent reflections off the glass
which distorted the signal if you weren't in the right place. It was
definitely worth while though, and the display of the building of a
violin was great. We saw a piano that was curved, all the keys slightly
narrower at the front and an equal distance from the player.

Had to run for the train again, and didn't have time to get any decent
food, so we grabbed some burgers from the 'Quick' fast-food chain, which
was not only as bad food as every other chain in existance, but
definitely not quick. The girl spent about a minute just straightening
out the top of the bag that she'd put the food in, while we were getting
more impatient. At least we made the train.

We'd been planning to stay with either Paul (Dwerryhouse, used to live
about 50 metres away from me in Brunswick!) or Bruce (Campbell, ex
Brisbane chorister) - and by many SMSes discovered that Paul had more
space, so we decided to go there. He'd also emailed good instructions on
finding his place.

It was raining heavily when we arrived, so we were completely soaked by
the time we made it. We'd missed the bus (no 18) from the station, so
had to stand around waiting for the next one - then just missed the
number 3 tram we were supposed to connect with. In the end we walked the
last 15 minutes or so rather than waiting for the next tram.

Paul has the third floor of a 4 story building, as well as a separate
room in the attic. We had the entire attic to ourselves. I had to sleep
on the cussions from the couch (which meant taking them back upstairs
every night and down the next morning), but it was very comfortable. He
also had an internet connection that I could use even when he was at
work, so it was rather slack that we didn't get these diary entries done
there! Oh well. Kate hasn't written the paper diary for these days
either, so I'm doing it from memory!

Paul cooked us scrambled eggs and toast, gave us drinks and a warm
shower with nice big towels - bliss! Once we were comfortable we
contacted Bruce and made plans for the next day.

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