Friday, 3 July 2009

Old Zeeland

So this is the Old Zeeland that Abel Tasman was thinking of in 1643 when he arrived off the west coast of New Zealand. What was his wife doing all that time? Was she perched on top of a dijk like this one looking out at the moon and watching the ships roll in?

I'm not sure why he named it New Zealand, there isn't an immediate resemblance other than the water, which let's face it, would have been everywhere from his point of view. It was a brutal voyage for him he lost half his crew to sickness on his way to Japan, then lost another 4 to the fierce Maoris when he dropped in on New Zealand before heading up towards Fiji. When he got home the Dutch East India Company who were paying his wages were unimpressed since he had no trade agreements nor short cuts between places they knew already existed. He must have been a bit annoyed I imagine. Perhaps this is why he called it New Zealand, he was simply hoping for something a bit more like home.

Here is Abel Tasman's bicycle, sitting near the windmill waiting for his return. It's quite possible his wife left it there since it was cluttering up the hallway and he was clearly not going to be back for quite a while.
I'm not sure if the attraction was me or Tasman's bicycle.

Eva, Whoopi and Flor from Antwerp. These guys are no strangers to travelling, they're spending the summer with the circus, that's gotta be every kids dream surely?

He came, he saw, he hung out on the front lawn. He had some interesting insights into Zeelanders, though he didn't mention anything about wearing sox on his head.

These are officially the best shoes in Vlissingen.

And this is the owner, dressed top to toe in the best natural lighting filter you can find.

Also bathing in the evening light (in film they call it the everyone-looks-so-beautiful-filter) were my two new friends from Vlissingen with inside information on the what's hot and what's not in town. I was supposed to send you the photo and I've been looking for the email address, Ahhhh!

Enjoying tea.

And meet Greta and Melina from Fransbrood, their first visit to my house.

And finally a few words of advice from locals in the know.

(I'm told an open heart is one that won't last forever, but considering we only just met I think that's ok)

Not sure who SFW is, he just knelt down to deliver this then he was off. Now I am worried that he is out to eat me. (perhaps that's what was meant by keep looking - as in, keep looking he's still out there)
Here is note from one of the people of Vlissingen, I think the sentiment is pretty close to Tasman's and perhaps Tasman's wife as she sneaked his bike outside under the moonlight wondering if she was doing the right thing.