Lots of people, lots of sangria, lots of food, lots of presents, lots of sun, lots of beer and lots of fun that sums up my farewell party yesterday! It was really great to see everybody one more time before leaving for Japan. It was great to have everybody together at my house, but they were just too many people to be able to keep up the catching up with everybody, which was kind of too bad because I wanted to talk to everyone!
I was proud of myself because I didn't cry one tear the whole day! Mainly because I kept telling myself that the whole moving-to-Japan-thing wasn't really true, and it worked! Some people did leave my house teary-eyed but the whole party was mainly cheerful and sunny. I made pictures with all my guests and warned them all that it would be showcased on this blog, well here they are people!
Oma & opa: Guido's parents and therefore my stepgrandparents. They brought me bouquets of white and red roses and they were here very early to help out with everything and opa was a sausage-throwing-BBQ-cook for a large part of the night :).
Minke: one of my Bon Jovi friends and one of my best friends. She made me a wonderful picture calender of our Bon Jovi adventures in 2006 in which almost all my guests noted their birthday so they're probably all expecting birthdaycards from Japan ;).
Gyano: my 10-year younger brother. During the months that I've been living here I've been crashing in his room, because I don't have my own room here (the house is pretty full with 7 people). So although I'm sure he is going to miss me when I leave for Japan he'll be happy to finally have his room all to himself.
Jitte: one of Gyano's best friends who hangs out at our house almost daily. I heard that he actually started wobbling around the garden even before the BBQ started due to an overdosis of beer.
Femmie & Geert: friends of my mother who have known me since I was about 6 years old. They gave me a beautiful silver four-leaf clover necklace for luck and some fun pictures of when I was still a cute little girl.
Arvin: another one of Gyano's best friends who hangs out at our house almost daily. After the party we (Minke, Negin and me) actually went to Gyano, Jitte and Arvin's favorite bar in Veldhoven to see what all the fuzz is about. Well I wasn't impressed (but I have never been a bar girl anyhow) and came home smelling like a chimney! But Minke and Negin seemed to enjoy themselves, especially Negin who ended up dancing on a pool table with Jitte!
Steef: Guido's best friend and my fellow witness at the wedding last week. He brought me some fun gifts including an orange stuffed Dutch lion and a ducky wash cloth and some kind of light-weight device to display my pictures in my apartment in Japan.
Jurre, Casper & Myra: my stepsiblings and 3 of the 7 inhabitants at our house and of course they were also part of the farewell party. The boys drew me some beautiful pictures to put on my wall in Inuyama.
Louise & Guido: my parents and the people who threw me this wonderful party. I am so grateful to them for so many things like allowing me to live in their house and this party but mostly for their support and love. I am going to miss them so much!
Jesse (a.k.a. Jamai), Leonita, Martijn, Kirsten & Hella: my EXPO coworkers. They gave me a nice picture book with letters and pictures of all the people I worked with at the EXPO (some of them couldn't make it), some nice bracelet ornaments and a 1000 yen bill which apparently was very hard to come by!
Elroy: the boyfriend of my EXPO coworker Leonita. While working at EXPO Leonita told me many stories about her life with her boyfriend and it was fun to finally meet him.
Marieke & Jeroen: friends from my time in Maastricht. Marieke lived in the same studenthouse in Belgium and moved with me to the same building in Maastricht, and Jeroen moved into her room when she left Maastricht and he also was a student of International Business at Maastricht University. The 3 of us have been trying to make a dinner date for ages, but something always got in the way. But luckily they were both able to make it to my party and brought some beautiful orange (the color of the Netherlands) flip flops and they framed a funny picture of the two of them.
Chantal: my mother's sister (kissing my mother's husband in this picture). She was the only one at the party I didn't get to take a picture with :(, but she was really here and this is the only picture I have to prove it. She brought me two beautiful pink roses and a great surprise: a karaoke set! She borrowed it from a friend for us to use at the party. Minke and I sang our hearts out with Bon Jovi's Livin' On A Prayer, but none of the other guests felt compelled to do some karaoke... Yeah, Dutchies on average are too shy to let other people hear their poor singing skills (unless they're really drunk), I used to be the same until I discovered the joy of karaoke in Japan with Yasu. Late at night, Geert actually joined me in singing some songs and Minke and Negin sang the night away with Guido's kids.
Negin: one of my Bon Jovi friends and one of my best friends. She gave some nice silver earrings and one part of a friendship keychain set, she kept the other part. She and Minke both live pretty far away and they both stayed for the night (after 'partying' at the local bar Jerry's with Gyano and his friends).
Floris: a very old friend from highschool whom I hadn't seen for about 8 years! We kind of lost contact after we went our seperate ways after high school, but after having reconnected with several old friends in the last couple of months I thought it would really be fun to catch up on eachother's lives a little before I left for Japan. It was great to talk to him again after such a long time and he brought me a very funny Lonely Planet book filled with pictures of Engrish signs all over the world called Signspotting.
Piet (a.k.a. Coen): a friend from the gym. He is really tall and it wasn't easy to take a picture with him! He brought some lovestory books to read on the plane, but we already enjoyed them at breakfast today with the whole family, they are written in quite a silly way!
Rini & Ingrid: my uncle and aunt from my mother's previous inlaw side of the family. When I was 3 years old I was actually their cute little bride's maid in a blue/white dress, and I still remember it! Besides a small financial contribution, they made me pictures of their whole family with all their kids and their girlfriends and boyfriend, I really appreciated that! Also my aunt gave me a beautiful crystal star to hang near my window in Inuyama, and when the sun shines on it it will make all the colors of the rainbow appear, what a wonderful gift!
Steffie & Remy: my cousin (son of Rini & Ingrid) and his girlfriend.
Marjolein & Danny: my cousin (daughter of Rini & Ingrid) and her crazy boyfriend.
Maikel & Emily: my cousin (son of Rini & Ingrid) and his girlfriend.
Janny & Henk: my aunt and uncle from my mother's previous inlaw side of the family. Besides a financial contribution to my Japan adventure they gave me a very funny picture of themselves in crazy Brazilian dancer costumes (or something like that), in which my uncle even wears lipstick! I was really happy that my aunts, uncles and cousins could make it to the party, because I don't get to see much of that side of the family and it was nice to have them here all together to catch up a little... very little because there just wasn't enough time for me to catch up with them as much as I would have really wanted to, but it was great to see all of them again!
Paul: and old friend from highschool who I hadn't seen for more than 13 years until last week when we went to dinner with Yasu to do some catching up. We only spent about 1.5 years together in highschool when we were about 12-13 years old, but I found him again on Hyves and it seemed like fun to catch up again. He had other engagements last night but decided to stop by afterwards, he was the last guest and arrived late at night when almost all the others had gone home.
Minke and Negin stayed here until today and we spent the day doing some more talking and eating and drinking a lot of yesterday's leftovers. I dropped them both of at the busstop near my house today and those were actually pretty sad moments and we ended up hugging and crying at the busstop with 3 guys who were also waiting for the bus staring at us wondering what on earth we were doing! I am really going to miss these girls and I can't wait for them to come and visit me in Inuyama!