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12-05-06; #6
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Travel Stories: Part III: Ham and Cheese @ Schiphol

By L-J Anjema © Dec 6, 2005
Laurens-Jan Anjema and SquashTalk LLC

Another lil’ update of the big trip … (see

… So after I qualified for Saudi Arabia in Weybridge
on Thursday evening (november 17th) I drove to my training base in Chingford,
UK, where I only had two things left to sort out: book a flight for the
next day and relax.

The huge trip I booked to Frankfurt (for Bundesliga,
the German league),  Qatar,
Hong Kong, Pakistan and Saudi Arabia respectively was with Gulf Air and
would start and end in Amsterdam. I would leave Amsterdam the following
day at 1’ clock, only I still was in London.

No worries. All I had to do was book a cheap lil’ easyjet-flight
which would get to Amsterdam in time before 1 o’clock. The problem
was that I’d left it too late so there were no cheap flights and
the ones that were cheap got to Amsterdam around 12 o’clock. After
my previous Easyjet-experience I thought I’d better not take that
risk anymore…

So after a bit of surfing I found a cheap flight straight
from London to Frankfurt with Ryanair. I called my Bundesliga-manager
to let him know my changed time of arrival, called Gulf air straight
after to let them know that I wanted to cancel my Amsterdam-Frankfurt
part but STILL wanted the rest (as normally if you don’t turn up
for only a part of your trip, your whole trip gets cancelled) and was
finally ready to CHILL.

So after a few stressful days (see previous
) I’m finally
relaxing while busy with a Jamie Oliver masterpiece (pasta with sausage)
which is hard enough if you’ve never used an oven and don’t
know you have to use a bit of olive oil to prevent the sausages from
sticking to the foil. “But hey, I’m doing great. All
set. My bags are packed. I’m ready for this huge trip, I’m
playing well. My flights are all sorted. My tickets are… My tickets
are… My tickets are… Oh no! My Gulf-air tickets are lying
at Amsterdam airport!! If I fly straight to Frankfurt tomorrow, I won’t
have my tickets to Asia with me!!

So straight back to stress-mode again.

… Oh well, EasyJet again … (photo © Easyjet

In order to pick
up my tickets at the annoying OAD-desk or whatever at Schiphol airport
I had to do everything all over again but then in reverse: call my Bundesliga
manager, explain what went wrong and notify him of my original arrival
time, call Gulf Air again to ‘un-cancel’ the
flight I just cancelled (which I’m sure they don’t do too
often…), basically throw away the Ryanair ticket I just booked
and book the only available flight with Easyjet to Amsterdam the following
morning at 6 and ask my coach for a ride to the airport at 4 in the

His response was: “Only if you promise me something”.
By this time I was ready to promise anything but I still tried to sound
convincing asking what.

“Only if you promise to never serve so poorly anymore”, regarding
the fact that Ben Garner hit about 12 roller-nicks of my serve in the final
qualifying round that day. In my opinion not my bad serve but his successful
risk taking and successful shot making. But I swallowed and said: “I
promise”, sincerely.

… breakfast at Schiphol …

The next morning when I almost sleepwalked into my favourite café ‘Old
Amsterdam’ at Schiphol-airport and the waiter asked me if I wanted
the usual, “Ham and cheese omelette and a café latte, sir?” I
realized I have anything but an ordinary life.


– Laurens Jan Anjema
Halfway in between Bangkok and Bahrain
Sunday 4th of December 2005









Jan Anjema:
PSA Ranking 11-1-2008: #14

Audio Interview
His website (
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