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Subject: [ANNOUNCE][F] NL 31 - The Meet That Wasn't Announced
From: Jos Dingjan <>
Newsgroups:,, alt.books.pratchett


 - Grampa, grampa, will you tell me a story? *Please*?

 - A story? Hmm, let me think, a story... What kind of story would you
like, Timmie T.?

 - Will you tell me about another Aye Eff Pee meet? I always like those
stories, they're full of funny people doing funny things. They sound so..
so.. so *gezellig*!

 - Oh alright, I will tell you about...

                  ...The Meet That Wasn't Announced

Ah yes, I remember it well, that meet. Me and a whole bunch of people got
together in Leiden, it was, a couple of weeks after wotsername, the Dutch
queen, Beasomething, visited that city. We were still a monarchy back
then! A nice and sunny Saturday in May, May 20th, if I recall correctly.
Yep, that was the date, 20-05-2000, a nice and sunny day in the
Netherlands. Or was it cloudy that day? I can't remember, it's been too

Anyway, the organiser said he'd be in The North End, the pub where we
usually got together, from 16:30 onwards. When I got to the pub I was
greeted by a bunch of the regular people. Or were they still meet-newbies
then? Not that it matters, such things were not important at those
NL-meets. You'd feel right at home, usually. Ah, a nice pint of Guinness
they served at the North End pub, and Caffrey's, too, if you were lucky.
And they had coke, pint-glasses full of it, with ice, or without.

Do you know why The North End was called The North End, Timmie?

 - No, grampa, do tell, please, do tell! *bounce*

 - Well, The North End pub was located on the corner of the "Rapenburg",
which still was a canal back then, and the "Noordeinde". And "Noordeinde"
is Dutch for north end! That pub was so easy to get to: you'd just exit
the Centraal Station, walk straight ahead through the Steenstraat (if my
memory doesn't deceive me the Steenstraat was a bit messy back then. They
were working on a bridge or something, but pedestrians and cyclists could
use the temporary bridge). Then you'd see the Beestenmarkt on your left,
which was an open square with a couple of trees and a canal on one side.
Then you'd follow the main road across a bridge, the Blauwpoortsbrug, and
right after the bridge you went right. And after another, ooh, hundred
metres maybe, there was the pub, on the corner, on the right hand side.

After we'd all gotten together there we went for dinner at Cafe Bacchus,
in the Breestraat.

 - The Breestraat? Where's that? Still in Leiden?

 - Yes, still in Leiden. The Breestraat was just as easy to get to as the
pub: when coming from the station, instead of entering the pub you had to
go left at the crossing and there you were, in the Breestraat. Cafe
Bacchus was on the right hand side, I believe. 

Well, we got to Bacchus at around 19:00. And there we had dinner, and more
drinks, and we talked, and we laughed, and we told stories. Ah yes, great
fun, those Dutch AFPmeets. We regularly got visitors from abroad even, our
meets were *that* famous! That particular evening, let me think... Ent
arrived late, and he was as hasty as ever. We geeked, we threw fluffy
animals at each other, someone waved a mysterious brown envelope. Ah,
those envelopes were something to dread, you never knew what would come
out of 'em. Heh, we geeked even more, there were all kinds of chocolate
edibles, neon-nerds (or were there? The organiser kept mentioning 'em, but
I never saw any), things that trumpeted, things that went "boing", things
that went "baa" (oh, and Dolly too). People waved Leathermen (of the
multi-tool variety. They didn't really wave people, like old Mr. Brandt or
Mr. Krabbe). They even waved huge computers with numbers for names, such
as "5", and "Vx", ah yes, it was marvellous...

 - Grampa? Grampa?

 - Hmmyes, Timmie? I'm sorry, I must've drifted off for a moment.

 - Grampa, if you were in Bacchus from 19:00 onwards, what about the
people who couldn't make it to the North End on time? How did they find

 - Hrmph, nit-pickinggrandchildmumble. As I *said*, Bacchus was just about
as easy to find as the North End pub. Breestraat 49, that was the address.
All the people who couldn't make it to the North End on time just went
straight to Bacchus. And if they got lost, or terribly confused or
something, they'd just call the PCU of of one of the people there. Mobile
phones, they called 'em back then, not personal communication units, and
the organiser had to mail them the numbers. It may sound incredible now,
but not everybody had a "mobile" back then! Can you imagine, they were
voice only! You couldn't even *smell* the person contacting you!

At the end of the evening everyone went home, happy and in a good mood. Of
course, there were people who stayed until it was so late they couldn't
get to their own homes anymore. And that was why we had a thing called

 - Crashing? Brrr, sounds scary!

 - Nono, it wasn't scary at all. It just meant that you could use
someone's floor to sleep on. Of course, you *did* have to bring your own
sleeping bag and things, there were far too many people. The meet
organiser arranged all that. People would mail him with a request for
crash space, and he'd make sure everybody got a place to sleep. And in the
morning we'd all have breakfast, and talk and laugh some more. Sometimes
we even juggled, especially if the weather was nice.

I'm a little bit hazy whether we juggled after that meet. It's been too
long, I'm afraid. But we sure had fun!

And that's the story of The Meet That Wasn't Announced. Did you like it?

 - Sure did, grampa. But there's one thing I don't understand. Why is it
called "The Meet That Wasn't Announced"? If it wasn't announced, it wasn't
a meet, right? But if it was a meet, it must've been announced!

 - You're very right, dear Timmie. There wasn't a regular announce for
this meet, summing up where we'd get together and at what time, what we'd
do next, and all things like that. But mysteriously enough, a couple of
weeks before the meet a story appeared in all the regular places, the
Story of The Meet That Wasn't Announced. Many people read it, and many
were confused. Was it an announce? Was it a meet report of a meet long
past? The moderators of decided it was an
announce, and they approved it. A whole group of other people also thought
it was an announce (because the wise moderators of afpa thought so), and
mailed the author of that article to tell him they were coming. So he made
the necessary arrangements for dinner, booked a table and stuff.

And thus it was that The Meet That Wasn't Announced happened.

 - Oh grampa, I *wish* I could've been there, it sounds like so much

- -- 
If time and space are one, building walls is useless - Loesje

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