The Games are over...

Published: March 5th 2010
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Hey guys!
Finally, another post on my weblog! I know… it’s been a while since my last post, a lot has happened, and I would have loved to keep you updated more frequently, but if you simply have no time to write a post, you can’t post anything!
That’s basically the story of the last month. Busy, busy, busy… but sooooo immensely awesome, it’s going to be hard to describe! Well, let’s try.
I just read my last post to check where I’d left you, finding out that I’ve not managed to write anything since the day before the Olympics started! That’s so long ago! So what has happened over the last three weeks?
The Holland Heineken House (HHH) opened its doors on the morning of the Olympic opening ceremony. My job at the HHH was as service crew member at the Lodge, the “à la carte” restaurant. Every day we opened up at 9 in the morning for coffee and some pastries, the kitchen opened at 11:30 for lunch, and we had two dinner shifts every night, one from 6:30 till 8:30 and one from 8:30 till 10:30. Before the games even started, we were already fully booked for all the dinner shifts, which was a good thing in my opinion. This way you already know what to expect every night. The Lodge was situated in the main medal ceremony hall, but build on a higher level so we had a perfect view over the crowd and the stage where all the ceremonies and performances took place. The total service crew contained of little over 20 people of which 7 worked during the day (a shift from 9 till 5) and the rest of us worked at night (starting at 5 till everything was done). Visitors were a mixture of locals who visited the HHH to view games, drink beer and party, Dutch supporters, sponsors and family of athletes, and Canadians with a Dutch background. I’ve seen so many old Dutch passports from the 40s and 50s over the last few weeks, I didn’t know there were still that many! All the Dutch-Canadian were really friendly though, all were happy to talk a little bit Dutch again (most of them with a very, very thick accent), and enjoy the Dutch specialties (pea soup, hutspot, boerenkool stamppot en zuurkool stamppot), ow and the Heineken beer of course! Most of my shifts were night shifts (fortunately), so I could party after work, sleep in a little bit, go to the HHH to watch some games on the big screen, eat, and start working again. That was most days what a day looked like.
But of course I’ve also spend time doing other things. On Friday the 19th, it was my turn to go and visit a game. I had tickets to go to the Men’s Ice Hockey game between Germany and Finland! So after working a day shift, my colleague Marije and I went down town to have dinner and lined up at Canada Hockey Place to go and watch the game. It was awesome!!! The game was not as good as the Canucks games I had attended there a year earlier when I was studying here, but the atmosphere was great and it was an adventure to experience this official Olympic ‘circus’.
But this hockey game was not the only game I’ve attended during the Olympics. A couple of days earlier a Dutch guest at the restaurant which I had been serving a couple of days in a row came to me and told me that the Men’s Super Combined event at Whistler he had tickets for, had been rescheduled due to bad weather conditions. The day it was taking place now was on Sunday, but he and his family were already flying back home on Friday, so he could not attend himself. “Do you want to have the tickets?” YES PLEASE!!! He gave me 4 tickets as tip!!! So I invited three of my colleagues to join me that Sunday to go to Whistler.
The event started at 9:30 which was good since we all had to work in the afternoon, but since Whistler is a two hour bus ride from Vancouver, we had to leave the hotel at 5:30 in the morning after working a night shift, which was pretty tough. We arrived at Whistler at 8:30, had breakfast, and went up the hill to watch the game (man what do downhill skiers go fast!!!), had lunch, left Whistler again at 1:30 to be back at the HHH right on time to start working. A short trip, but well worth it!
The time at the HHH went by so fast with all the crew parties after work, after parties at the hotel, some daytrips down town riding tandem bikes round Stanley Park, being interviewed by some Asian news channel “Yes, we are the Dutch bobsleigh team!“, just lots and lost and lots of fun! And now it’s all over already… Most of my colleagues left on Tuesday and so did I. The only difference is that they all went home, and I left the mainland here and went back to Nanaimo on Vancouver Island where I’ve been studying little over a year ago. I’m staying at Dennis and Michelle’s place, recovering and rehabilitating from my life at the HHH. Yesterday the weather was nice, sunny and around 14 degrees Celsius, so Dennis and I went for a round of golf. Tomorrow we’ll head up the mountain for a nice day of snowboarding. I love this island!!!

My stay here will last till Wednesday, and then I’m flying out westbound again continuing my trip. The next stop: Hong Kong! Looking forward to it, a new city, new adventures!

Ok, guys this is it for now… I hope you are all satisfied with this update, and again sorry it took me so long! I just posted new pictures on my facebook (I think the album is public, if not add me as friend) and videos are uploaded on my YouTube channel as well (t82online).

Cheers from lovely Vancouver Island!

PS. Please leave notes, messages and comments! But include your name so that I know who is wishing me what! 😉

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5th March 2010

nice nice
Hey Tom, great story so far! Busy as always and still enjoying it so it seems. Hier in het koude kikkerlandje is het gewoon werk als altijd :-( Hoewel we natuurlijk de MFWHBRT p XI gehad hebben en er wat nieuwe taken in de pijpleiding zitten :-) Ik zeg veel plezier en zorg dat er weer een paar mooie verhalen bijkomen over Hong Kong en verder! Ciao, Kurt
6th March 2010

Leuk verhaal!
Tom, Prachtig verhaal om te lezen en heel veel mooie ervaringen en mooie mensten op reis. Groet, Ewald en Mieke

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