My experiences with thru-hiking

No BodyGlide? No Maps?

Posted in Hiking GR5, 1500 miles across Europe by onefootatatime on May 13, 2009

May 12 2009

May 12 2009

Got up late today and caught a bus into town. Berg-Op-Zoom is a bustling little place with a “Grote Market” full of retail stores. I’m happy the shops are open, so I go around buying stuff I need. Socks, anti-bacterial cream, antiseptic solution, cotton wads, stuff like that. I need some BodyGlide for my chafing thighs, but the lady at the pharmacy says they don’t carry anything like it. I seriously considered buying lube (they do come in different flavors, you know), but before I ask about it, she suggests Vaseline. I go with her suggestion. Not as tasty, but hey, I’ll go with what works.

I need maps, so I ask around and find myself at the “Informatie”. They don’t have the maps I need, but suggest I go to Antwerpen. There’s a place called “Grote Routepaden” that carry all the maps I need for the trail, especially the ones I couldn’t get my hands on in the States. Since I’m taking a rest day tomorrow, I think it’s a good idea to take the bus to Antwerpen in Belgium. Awesome.

I get back to the hostel to find I have a roommate. His name is Rajiv, an Indian from London. He’s here in Berg-Op-Zoom on work. I chat with him for a while, and go to the reception to use the Wi-Fi. Before I can get onto Yahoo, Annelies, a 58-year old Dutch woman, sweet-talks me into using my computer to check something. In the process, and with her broken English, I learn she’s in the middle of a divorce, loves Ikea, and shows me pictures of her house. Everything’s designed in black and white stripes, polka dots and squares. She loves that theme. She claps her hands gleefully and tells me so.  She gets on “Hyves”, some Dutch social-networking site like Facebook, to tell her friends that she’s hanging out with a friend of Barack Obama.

I just want to pause here and explain that it’s been difficult explaining my current situation. So when I say I flew from the US, everyone assumes I’m American, which is not a bad thing, because everyone here loves Americans, and they’re happy we voted Obama into the White House. Yes, I did write “we” in the last line. Might as well play along.

The hostel staff know I carry a Brazilian passport – they had to make a copy when I checked in – so a few of them chuckle at Annelies’ misunderstanding. She’s staying at the hostel, keeping away from her husband. She’s a riot.

 

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10 Responses

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  1. Bradlio said, on May 13, 2009 at 12:28 pm

    Don’t ask me how I know but Asstroglide works wonders and comes in a variety of flavors.
    http://thebikerackms.com/page.cfm?pageid=22&tipid=55
    notice the chamois is built into the crotch…

  2. Brandon said, on May 13, 2009 at 1:05 pm

    ‘BodyGlide for my chafing thighs’. Something tells me that phrase will be keeping me up at night.

  3. Christian said, on May 13, 2009 at 1:45 pm

    Ravi, the Vaseline using American… Interesting combination…

  4. Frank V said, on May 14, 2009 at 1:42 am

    Thanks to Ravi= I now know about BodyGlide…. and will be buying some ASAP! Perfect for long walks. Who knew!!??

  5. Frank V said, on May 14, 2009 at 1:45 am

    Just curious Ravi- do you have a handheld GPS with you? I would imagine that’s a MUST HAVE. Or do you prefer the charm of the good-old map (which uses a lot less batteries)?

  6. Mari said, on May 14, 2009 at 10:11 am

    You’re meeting such fun people. Try to take pictures of all of them if you can.

  7. Rad Tollett said, on May 16, 2009 at 10:26 am

    Ravi,
    Miss you, man. Sorry we (Barack, you and me) couldn’t get together before your walk. I’ll keep track of you through the blog and don’t hesitate to write.
    Also, post a map of your trek? I’d love to see the path in its entirety.
    Anne, Langdon and Kennon send their love. All is well here. Working on a lot of new business and loving it. Next up: Seventh Generation.
    Later on,
    rad

  8. Roxanne said, on May 16, 2009 at 4:18 pm

    I’m going to apologize in advance for this: Sushil says “Ravi, steal some diamonds from Antwerp for me”. Miss you! Make sure you stop for Fish-Curry-Rice at least once a week…or the Goan in you will die.

  9. Wendy said, on May 17, 2009 at 8:22 pm

    Dutch D.G. nice.

  10. Ravi Costa... aka "the other Ravi Costa" said, on May 18, 2009 at 9:07 am

    Hey Ravi…. so how do you manage the cold nites in your tent…. get lucky??? Beware of the Dutch clogs (those wierd wooden shoes) coz i hear that they make a heck of a lot of racket when they bang each other!! hehe
    Dude, your trip sounds like fun.. makes me want to get out my camping gear and hit the trail…. any plans on doing this in India sometime soon???


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