“Hi” I say into my computer’s microphone.
“Hello, how may I help you?” Comes the response on the other end.
“I’d like to change my flight.” I tell her.
“OK, let me look into your options.”
And so it began. I had decided that I wanted more time in London. The first eight days had been amazing! They didn’t, unfortunately, include enough time working with Marcello. I was scheduled to leave London on Friday morning, but wanted to extend this to Tuesday.
“Sorry there’s no flights from Amsterdam to Buenos Aires on Tuesdays.” Said the voice through my computer’s speakers. “You could leave London on Tuesday night, but then you’d have a one night layover in Amsterdam until continuing your flight on Wednesday morning.”
I smile to myself. The wheels turning. “That could work.” I tell her. “However, would you be able to get me to Amsterdam a little earlier?”
“Let me check.” Comes the response.
When first planning my trip to London I was hoping to spend about a week in Amsterdam before heading back south. Two close friends of mine live in Amsterdam, and I don’t have the chance to see them that often. The reality of my budget wasn’t going to allow for a reunion, however, on this particular trip.
“Sir?” Breaks the monotony of the elevator music.
“Yes.” I reply.
“We could get you to Amsterdam by 7:30 pm. Would that work for you?”
“That’d be perfect. Yes.”
She continues on with the details of my flight change, but I’m already thinking about how great it will be to see my friends, Arthur and Torben, in just a few short days.
Tuesday arrives. I finish trading at 2:00 pm, then hurriedly pack my bags.
“Wherever it’ll be, it’ll be a great time. Safe travels, my man.”
We hug it out, and I’m on my way. The past 12 days had reinforced in me the excitement I have going forward with our partnership. His drive, passion, and hard work are a showcase of hustle. To put it bluntly – he gets shit done. To think, a year earlier I had searched for “traveling day trader” on Google, and that’s how I had found him. Amazing how life works.
I hurry my way to the London Underground to catch a train to London’s Heathrow. My flight is at 5:30. I calculated an hour to get to Heathrow, which would give me plenty of leeway. The whole process goes as smoothly as travelling by air can go. A slight delay before takeoff, but nothing out of the ordinary.
The wheels touch down at Schipol airport in Amsterdam. After what was most likely the longest taxi in my long history of flying, we arrive at the gate. My bag is checked through to Buenos Aires, so I grab my carry-on, rush through security, and greet Torben.
“Hey Torb! Long time!” I joke with him.
“Ya! What’s it been? Nine days since I saw you in London?” He jabs back.
“How time passes.” I jokingly reminisce, “I think you’re right.”
“That’s all you have?” Pointing at my laptop bag.
“Yup, the rest is checked through to Buenos Aires.”
“That’s convenient. Well, you ready to go?”
“Let’s do it.” As I start walking with Torben towards the parkade.
We stop off at Torben’s apartment to freshen up, and drop his car off before we head out for the night. He has a new pad since I was last in The Netherlands. He shows me around from room to room. It’s a beautiful place, with views of a large canal out of the living room and bedroom windows.
“Ready?” I ask him.
“Let’s go.” Comes his reply.
“Where are we heading?”
“We’re meeting Arthur at a very traditional Dutch steakhouse. It’s really good.” Torben tells me.
“You two are the locals. I trust you know where to take me. I can’t wait to see Arthur.”
“Ya, he’s doing really well.”
Arthur and I were roommates in a small dorm in South Korea. The size of the dorm, along with a lack of general privacy could have made for a very long, uncomfortable, and bad experience. However, the exact opposite was what happened. I couldn’t have chosen a better person to share such small living quarters with. We got along immediately, and shared many important life happenings, goalds, and dreams with each other. Over the course of four months I had made a lifelong friend. This I knew.
Since leaving Korea we had kept in touch, and I came to visit him in October of 2010. It had been nearly five years since we had said our goodbyes from the dorm in Suwon, but it had felt like we hadn’t missed a beat. On this given night, Arthur had made it to the restaurant before us. I see him in the corner of the restaurant. I walk over, shake his hand, and pull him in for a big hug.
“Damn buddy! Great to see ya! How ya been?” I inquire while admiring his sharp sense of style.
“Doing great! Welcome. Welcome. So cool that you had a chance to stop by Amsterdam.” He says with his slight Dutch accent.
“I agree buddy. I’m so glad that it worked out this way.” I say while sitting down at our table.
The next few hours are filled with some great Dutch steak, fries with mayo, a gigantic salad, a few Heinekens, and of course the most important ingredient of all – conversation. The three of us update each other about our lives. Our triumphs, and setbacks. The women we’ve loved, and the women we’ve lost. We reminisce about the past, and dream about the future. In short, a great reunion. Maybe the next one will be on my side of the pond.