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EEK Meet 1.0: Report


Message-ID: <aj0fh8$r8d$1@library.lspace.org>
From: Leo Breebaart <leo@lspace.org>
Newsgroups: alt.fan.pratchett
Subject: [F] EEK Meet Report
Date: Fri, 9 Aug 2002 13:19:36 +0000 (UTC)


EEK Meet Report
---------------

Date:

    Saturday 3 August 2002

Location:

    Delft, The Netherlands

Attendees:

    Boris Bret
    Eelco Giele
    elfin
    esmi
    Jennifer Sjouw
    Jeroen "Labrat" Metselaar
    Jeroen Burger
    Kai
    Kimberley Verburg
    Leo Breebaart
    Maarten Kreuger
    Menno "Flexor" Willemse
    Patricia Sjouw
    Patrick Dersjant
    Reinier Sjouw
    Rolf Milde
    Uwe Milde

Absent With Official Leave On Account Of Feeling A Bit Poorly:

    Jos Dingjan

----------------------------

The first week of August saw esmi (noted afp clue fairy #1), elfin
(noted afp clue fairy #2) and Kai (2.5 year old clue fairy progeny)
coming over from the UK for a visit to the Netherlands.

This joyful occasion provided Reinier (clue fairy family host family
pater familias) with a great excuse to organise an afpmeet in his home
town of Delft (where, incidentally, I (humble meet reporter) also happen
to live). It'd been too long since the last one.

As if to make up for that long wait, last Saturday's EEKMeet was a
tightly plotted, densely scheduled, multi-location extravaganza of
boats, bugs, and beers, that had even veteran meet-attendees gasping for
breath as they sped from event to event in criss-cross patterns spanning
the town ("and you will know them by the trail of their balloons...").

At first it looked as if the gods were not smiling upon us. All morning
it had been raining most miserably, and consequently the prospects for
our first scheduled activity, a trip through the canals of Delft on open
peddleboats, looked as grim as the skies themselves.



Although it had stopped raining by the time we reached the boats (after
meeting up at the railway station first), they had been left out in the
open and were consequently littered with debris and filled with
considerable amounts of water. Upon enquiry, we were shown a mop and
bucket, and encouraged to clean the boats for ourselves if we wanted to.
This idea was not received very well, and novel applications of the mop
onto the proprietor's anatomy were considered, but eventually rejected
for a more peaceful alternative: we would take the guided tour of the
canals (in a covered boat) instead.

Since this was something that the various mothers and children might
also enjoy, and since the next tour was not for a while yet, Reinier
went to retrieve them, and the rest of us relocated temporarily to the
cafe Kobus Kuch for tea, coffee, generous helpings of apple pie, and a
look at an unstable unicorn.

    <http://www.kobuskuch.nl/>

After a short, cozy hour basking in the glow of warm drinks and friendly
waitresses, it was time to head back to the boats. It was also, rather
to everyone's surprise, still not raining, and a hesitantly hovering sun
was even starting to appear. Unfortunately, Reinier and the others did
not, and after telephonic consultation we all decided that, as taking
the next tour would mean waiting another sixty minutes, it was best to
just set sail in our present, still-incomplete configuration.

http://www.rondvaartdelft.nl/gbtour.htm> -->

We toyed with the idea of taking our revenge for the mop-and-bucket
incident by requesting the guide to give his presentation in four
languages, which would have been entirely legitimate to do as our group
at that point already contained Dutch, English, German, and French
afpers. We settled for only Dutch and English -- let it not be said that
we are not merciful.

The tour was reasonably interesting (I've been living in Delft for more
than twelve years, and, needless to say, I'd never taken one of these
tours before). We learned that swans as church tower wind vanes have
religious significance, that the Old Church of Delft was not really
built on cow hides, and that Johannes Vermeer was a painter our guide
clearly presumed to be very dear to our hearts, seeing as how his name
was invoked about every other sentence.

    <http://www.xs4all.nl/~kalden/verm/view/Vermeer_main.html>

After disembarkation, we caught up with Reinier, who had Jennifer, esmi,
and the two young 'uns, Kai and Patricia, in tow. Because by now we were
running behind on schedule, our originally planned next event, a visit
to the Army Museum, was flexibly changed into a visit to the much
smaller reptile zoo Serpo.



I like Serpo. It may look a bit run-down and shabby (this is mostly
because of a chronic lack of funds), but, possibly partially as a result
of that, it has character and atmosphere. And plenty of creepy crawlies,
many of whom were disconcertingly active. I expect my snakes and
crocodiles to be lethargic creatures of the jungle that just lie there
like statues, occasionally blinking an eyelid at glacial speeds. I do
*not* expect my mamba to mambo and my crocodile to jump in the line --
or at least jump in our direction (which Kai seemed to enjoy very much).

After Serpo, we met up with latecomers Eelco and Patrick, and went off
into town again, this time to _Proeflokaal 't Bierhuys_, a local pub
which I understand to have the largest beer collection in Delft. I'll
leave that for others to comment upon -- they also served Cola, which
more than covers my own interest in these matters. Loud music kept
things lively while we drank and chatted. Patricia and Kai had
absolutely no problem sleeping right through all the noise, which I
thought was impressive. 'Love like Blood' at 110 dB would certainly have
been enough to wake *me* up.

The weather now firmly continued to be nice and sunny for the remainder
of the meet. Those who wanted to escape the music and the smoke sat
outside or went for a walk. Around half past six it was time to relocate
again, this time to the chosen venue for our dinner: Eet en
Proeflokaaltje 'De Kurk' (where we were joined by our last missing
afpmeet-attendee, Kimberley). Reinier had gone through considerable
effort in order to get a menu sorted that contained suitable options for
everyone, and we spent a very pleasant couple of hours eating and
talking and geeking (or escaping from geeking).

After dinner, a scouting party was dispatched with the mission to find a
suitable pub for us to spend the remainder of the evening in. To the
delight of the Guinness lovers, that location ended up being Locus
Publicus, known from many a previous Delftmeet. It was still warm enough
for us to be able to sit comfortably on the terrace outside, where we
continued talking, only mildly inconvenienced by some rather drunken
locals (including a man in a full-body Tinky Winky suit -- with mouse
ears) who thought the fact that we had a toddler running around at
midnight hilariously funny.

And so the meet gradually ended. Jennifer and Patricia and Boris had
already left after dinner, others now needed to catch trains or head
back to cars, and at one a.m. Locus asked the rest of us to leave
because they had no permit to keep the terrace open longer than that.
Finally, only Uwe and Rolf, who were crashing at my place, remained, and
we went home tired, but -- certainly as far as I'm concerned -- very
satisfied after yet another good afpmeet. Shame about the peddleboats,
but at least that means we all have a good reason to come back to Delft,
say, next summer.

--
Leo Breebaart  <leo@lspace.org>


P.S. I did not pay close enough attention to remember if any meet
pictures were being taken, but portraits of most of the EEK Meet
attendees can be found, as usual, in the A Files:

    <http://www.lspace.org/fandom/afp/a-files/>




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