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The Netherlands – april 2011

Angelica’s sister met in the Netherlands

One evening I had to go to Amsterdam. The city was about 45 kilometres away, so I decided to go by train. When I reached the station ticket counter office told me that I couldn’t go then because it was a peek hour, so I had to wait. When I got on train it was 6 o’clock. I heard someone calling my name, I turned back and I saw a girl. She was very cheerful and happy. I couldn’t remember her. She said she was Angelica’s sister Alexandra. I felt happy – it’s such a small world. We can meet each other anywhere and unexpectedly like that. She was very happy to see me, I felt the same way. We had a talk, she told me that she lives in Hague with her boyfriend. She was going to Amsterdam to visit her cousin, so she offered me to come to her cousin home with her. Then she called her cousin and it appeared that it would be a problem: I would have to keep the bike outside while visiting, so I decided not to and go to Lilian’s (my couch-surfing friend I was staying with for a while) home instead. We travelled together to the airport where I had to change the train, so I said goodbye to her. Next time I met her in Amsterdam was after one day since last meeting. Firstly it was planned that it will be five of us: Alexandra, her boyfriend, her cousin with her boyfriend too, but the problem occurred so they couldn’t come and I met Alexandra alone. We travelled around the city visiting different places. We went to the red-light district also. I saw how different it is in Amsterdam comparing to other countries. I mean how prostitutes work there: the girls are waiting for their clients standing by the windows with the curtains open, when the curtains are closed – it means the girl’s working. After travelling more we got cold and went to some pub where we had a cake and some coffee to warm up a little. Alexandra told me she was going to leave for Hague and I promised her if I’ll come to Hague again I will definitely meet her. The third time I meet her in Hague, I was very busy that day. I called her, she told me she will wait at the railway station where is the meeting point. We walked around Hague city meeting a lot of people. It was a nice walk, we talked a lot. Alexandra has an amazing personality. She’s a lawyer, she’s studying here. It was great to meet her again, she reminded me of her sister also, I felt like when she’s talking Angelica’s talking to me too. They have a lot of similarities, so naturally one reminds me of the other and it feels like I met both of them. I was happy to see Alexandra and I hope to meet her and her sister one day again.


08.04.2011 I’m so thankful that I met so many couch-surfing friends while being in The Hague. When I came from Amsterdam I was first invited by Sanne, she’s a couch-surfing friend, she hosted me for five days. She’s working in Ministry of Netherlands in The Hague. She’s a very good couch-surfer, a great talk. She is a very busy person, but within all her duties and work she found time to cook for both of us. I can’t help appreciating her care and also the time she spared for me. I’m happy I met her and grateful for what she did. I would like to thank another couch-surfing friend named Xaviers. I was staying at his place two days: 3rd and 4th of February. The 3rd of February I came to his place around 8 o’clock in the evening, we had a very good dinner together. After dinner we went out to the couch-surfing meeting in the city centre where we met more than 30 people from the couch-surfing community. It was a great evening out. 4th of February I was also staying at his place. He is a very hard-working person. It was a memorable time I spent with him and I’m thankful to him for inviting me to stay at his home and for the good moments I had there.

I met Karen from cs, I was staying her place for few days we cycled, we went to see some forest and visited two schools. I already had a place to spend the night when I got a request from five people who are from Spain and Portugal, asking me if I could stay at their place. They are five people living in the same place, I told them I already have a place and I would come to visit them. At the end we met for tea. I’m really happy I met so many people during my stay in The Hague, it was a wonderful time. Every single place I visit leaves a piece of precious memories in my heart and I carry them along wherever I go.



2 Responses

    1. hello i would like to get in touch with you..i am coming to holland on 24 and i would need a place where to stay for 4 days till 28.this mounth.

  1. oprisan george says:

    hello..i would like to get in contact with you..i am coming in holland on 24 till 28 and i need a place where to stay..



    When I was in The Hague I went to Indian Embassy.

    The first day I met Mr.Raja Muga, he is 2snd secretary consul – I went to the Indian Embassy hoping to meet him as I had already heard about him from 1st secretary Mr. Jetendra Kumar in London. When I arrived I gave my files to the ambassador. It was nice to find out that she’s from Bengal. I left the files for her to get acquainted with them. She said she will see how she can help me.

    When I came to Indian Embassy next time I met Minister Sharma ji. He asked me how he could help me, so I told him that in every country I’ve been to I was getting one Ambassador letter which is like a recommendation letter and letters from Sport, Health, Tourism and Education Ministries. I told him that I would like to meet the Indian Community in The Netherlands and mentioned that I would need some financial support also. He asked me to leave all those files that I brought to him saying that they’ll prepare the letters I need and then he’ll call me.

    I didn’t get any calls from him for some days so I went to the Indian Embassy again. I met the Minister again and he told me that the letters are almost ready, just had to be signed and stamped. After two hours I got those letters, two were for my note verbal Bulgarian – Greenland, one appreciation letter and three letters from ministers of External Affairs, Sports and Education and Tourism.

    Then I went to Denmark Embassy to get a Greenland visa. When I came there they told me I need to print the visa form for Greenland and then I can apply for Greenland visa. Later I went back to the Indian Embassy, met the minister and told him that I would like to meet Indian Tourism in Amsterdam. He said he’ll call Tourism department and make an appointment for me. I can talk to them of the support I need and they will see how they can help me.

    I would like to thank all the people from Indian Embassy in The Netherlands, I’m very grateful for their help and the support they showed. I hope to meet the Ambassador again before I leave for Belgium.

    Before I left The Netherlands, Her Excellency arranged a Farewell and flag off ceremony  both in the same days when The Indian Business chamber of Commerce gave a reward and I started my journey for Belgium.



    When I came to Lilian’s home it was about 8.30 or 9 o’clock in the evening. I had no number so I couldn’t call. One friend helped me to reach that place, he was going the same way by bicycle so we rode big part of the way together. When I reached Lilian’s home I shouted out her name, so she came downstairs, opened the door and invited me to her home. She made some bacon and tea, it was my night dinner. Then I got one very good bed, I had a wonderful sleep.

    Four days I spent with her and her colleague. One other Lilian’s friend came to visit us during my stay there. One day we were together in a pub, we spent a lot of time with other friends. It was interesting to talk to them, they are very good and friendly people.

    Later I came from Amsterdam to Hague again because of Embassy work I needed to do. By the time of my arrival Lilian was going to fix some appointments with yoga class and community people and also some social organizations. Every time I get a chance to give presentations and spend some time with people from different communities and organizations I intend to use it, it’s a great experience for me and for them also.

    I’m very happy I met Lilian and her friends in Amsterdam and I’m very greatful for her hospitality, kindness and wonderful moments I had with her and her circle of friends. Thank you very much and I’ll see you again, my friend.

    Categories: Featured, Netherlands

    One Response

    1. Christine Roberts says:

      Hi, please may you tell me how I may contact Lilian. I desperately need to stay just 1 or 2 nights.. I come from Kenya, East Africa, a ‘white’ Kenyan =))) My Mother is a Swede/Fin and my father is born in Kenya -descent English. I had a BIG problem last night where I am staying, with who i thought was a ‘FRIEND’ from the past 20yrs+ from Kenya too living now in NL…not a nice situation last night =(((((( I am packing up now and need to GET OUT ASAP!!!!!!!!! I need to stay tonight 3rd JULY 2011… The reason I need to couch surf is I am waiting for a money transfer, it’s SUNDAY of all days…for banks etc… I really need some HELP. I got a phone…no credit.. no cash ..at the moment..a few days I’ll be fine and on my way. I am a freelance graphic designer & scuba dive instructor, traveled vastly.. India, East, South & North Africa,S.America…. I am honest and just in urgent need of HELP PLEASE….. At the moment I am in Duivenrecht (can’t spell it!!) =))) Any help is So appreciated… I need to stay with a GIRL ONLY… So if Lilian is not free???…. I keep trying, I’ll check my email..then i can put tel no..etc.. I hope n pray to receive sm thing so soon, by the evening time. THANK YOU SO MUCH Christine

About Somen Debnath

Dear friends, my name is Somen Debnath. I am a resident of the village of Basanti, Sundarbans, West Bengal, which is a great mangrove forest and the largest tiger reserve in India. My "Around the World Bicycle Tour for HIV/AIDS Awareness Programme & Presentation of Indian Culture" started on 27th of May 2004, two days after I acquired Bachelor degree in Zoology from the University of Calcutta. I have also completed 'Visarad' in Fine Arts from the Sarbabhartiya University. My goal is to cover 191 countries till 2020. I will travel 200.000 km in the whole world and reach nearly 20 million people. 118.000 km I will travel for charity, that's why I'm selling my Km to people. The support I will get from people buying my kilometres will help me fulfill my other dream: to build a Global village in my native place, Basanti, Sundarbans.

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