My first thought about the ISN Train Game, touted as an awesomely fun way to know the country! and to make friends! and have lots and lots of fun! was: “Oo. That might be interesting.”
The game was described as such:
Want to see a lot of Holland in one day? Join the Train Game! The Train Game is a scavenger hunt in small groups through the country. You’re free to pick the cities you want to see and (photo) assignments you want to do with your group: try to get as many points as you can. Whatever you do: make sure you are in Il Fiore restaurant in Amsterdam (Lindengracht 19-25) at 7.30 PM. We’ll have pasta dinner with all contestants. Afterwards you’ll send us the pictures you want to receive points for. The group with the highest score wins free tickets to the next Exchange Party (March 30)!
ISN Newsletter 12th March 2012
I discussed it with a friend where I asked him, if he could, sign me up if he was going to hazard a journey into the perilous labyrinth that contains ISN’s office.
Of course, like all things in my life, we had seemingly missed the sign-up date. ISN announced that all spots were taken up and we were to receive an e-mail later that evening containing our teams and all other pertinent information.
On Friday, I received The E-mail. It requested our presence on track 10A at 10am. Sharp.
“Hey, I thought we missed the deadline?” Because I had intended, with a Saturday not lost to train travel across the country, to spend the day studying for my mid-terms before I buggered off back to Blighty.
“My friend signed us up … BE EARLY.”
Aaaaand obviously, I arrived a few minutes (or more) late which was quite a successful mission being that I arrived on the back of a friend’s bike thanks to my realisation that I would not make it to Centraal within ten minutes.
At track 10A, I discovered Team 4 and my teammates. I briefly knew one of them, Jessie, from a gathering the evening before. Given the unlimited travel day pass, courtesy of Kruidvat, and an A4 pamphlet of where we could go and what we could take photos of, we shirked away from responsibility as the others took charge.
We visited Utrecht, Arnhem, and Nijmegen.
We also visited other Dutch cities but considering (a) we were only acquainted with their train stations and (b) they made us arrive in Amsterdam three hours past the deadline, I unfortunately don’t regard them that fondly to recall.
(Obviously, the bitterness at being unable to read a timetable correctly runs deep.)
The poses we had to do in front of particular buildings were fairly broad. There were things such as a human pyramid (somewhat difficult), hanging upside down, hugging an old lady or a child (guess which one we went for), Japanese style (which, to another team, does NOT mean pulling the slant-eye pose), and the Abbey Road crossing (of course).
It was heaps of fun. Running for trains, attempting to phrase “can we take a photo of us hugging you?” in a non-creepy manner to perfect strangers, fleeing the creepy Dutch guy who was forcibly hitting on one of our party members, finding a nice structure to hang upside down of, and then doing precisely that for about half an hour in front of traffic and tourists … It was quite an eventful experience.
And our deliciously yummy, if not slightly cold, pasta dinner:
flickr: 2012-03-16: Train Game.