I had a good couple of days, prior to leaving for Harare. On Tuesday, Arnold stopped by for lunch with Damien, his one year old son. In the evening, Betsy and I had dinner with her family at Fat Kee in The Hague.
Both visits were rather enjoyable, not in the least because both had to drive significant distances to stop by.
Wednesday evening, lots of people showed up for my goodbye party. A pity Douma didn't get to tell his latest dating-experience. After splitting with his girlfriend, he's now back on the market and there aren't many people who'd take more advantage of that. And Zwan is heading for India next week to adopt his second child.
Also, it was nice to see Martijn and Edwin again. But I was most pleasantly surprised by Vahid showing up with his girlfriend. I met Vahid at the Iranian embassy in The Hague, where he helped me out in renewing my birth certificate and starting up the procedure for acquiring a new Iranian passport
In the end, Betsy and I went to bed at 4am. My parents showed up only 6 hours later. Of course, champagne, whiskey, wine and beer left quite an impression on me the following day.
I was surprised to see lots of police at Heathrow airport, all of them carrying machine guns. Nevertheless, I didn't get searched, either in Amsterdam or in London, although Nico had read that security had been stepped up significantly. I even got away with traveling too heavy.
Meanwhile, Ethan Zuckerman of Geekcorps fame sent me an email after he discovered inZIM.com through another website. He helped setting up the blogAfrica project and wanted to say hi and see if I'd be interested to join that bandwagon.
And thank god for the British. They have smoking areas at their airports. And so many Bluetooth phones, my waiting time is filled with bluejacking!
But today was also a sad day; I phoned a couple of car dealers and the plan is to sell my good old Ford Ka on Monday. My Ka has developed something of a personality over the years and I had to spend a quiet moment with him to commemorate the 96000 kilometers we drove together