[voorlopig enkel in het engels, een simpele tijdskwestie. Deze pagina zal tijdens de reis af & toe geüpdate worden met mensen en speciale gebeurtenissen onderweg. // in English only for now (a time saving matter) + this page will be updated every now & then for on-the-road people and happenings]
The brad new electric Zero DS is generously lent to me for the journey by Patrick Naeyaert, electric nerd and owner of nLab in Bruges, one of the four Zero dealers in Belgium.
As a matter of course, without his crucial gesture this undertaking could never have taken off…!
RAD in Drongen, Belgium donated a few excellent motor biker’s attributes and I’m sure Jan Rozek personally pleaded for it to happen.
De Centrale in Ghent provided the most suitable departure location with their restored electric turbine hall, and the deployment of their enthusiastic staff. All this fell from heaven after some small talk with my brother-in-law Andrea Marrè-Brunenghi, leading to the most coincidental meeting ever, with general coordinator Luc Baeckeland.
Besides being a vibrating multicultural center for music and social encounters, they also organize the annual festival Istanbul Ekspres – the link was obvious from minute one.
A special THANK you to the musicians of the contemporary-classic Odysseia Ensemble who play for us at my departure. Just like me, they want to spread this often overlooked, fascinating music to a larger audience.
Another THANK you goes to Hilde Jacobs, civil engineer environmental issues and friend for over 30 years. She gave me a very suitable assignment during my journey: a small questionnaire for random people along the road throughout Europe about renewable/sustainable energy. It’s absolutely great to use electricity and have 0 emissions for EV mobility, but… what’s the use when all electricity comes from non-renewable resources?
NOT LEAST AT ALL, thank you Gaea Schoeters, author, (screen)writer, journaille, lucky bastard, and one of my two über-ex’es, for riding and driving numerous places in the world with me in the past and hopefully a few in the future as well. For doing all the inspired writing of our book and inventing the resonant title Meisjes, Moslims & Motoren (Girls, Muslims & Motorbikes). You know very well how much I would’ve liked you to come along on this new venture… But now your upcoming novel is calling for duty. Our passionate friendship is legendary even to us. #VRIEND
The other über-ex is Iris Heiremans who dared to take to the road the very first time for seven months back in 1999 having ridden a motorcycle for less then 3000 km, and face not only the rare crossing of Iran as two women on two motorbikes, but also picked me up from that dusty tarmac in Pakistan after a bad colliding with a pedestrian. Yet she took the road again with me 3 years later and we made it back and forth from Belgium to the Karakoram and Himalaya’s. Ever since, she and her girlfriend Veerle Cannoot have been supporters of ’my case’ in all kinds of ways.
Without my loving, caring and sometimes worried parents, Marc Hanoulle and Alena Kindt, now 81 and 78, I would —obviously— not even exist. But they ignited my wanderlust, probably unintentionally, when I was 18. Or even before, dragging us to nudist camping sites across Europe.
HERE’S to my sister Sabien and my ‘little big’ brother Stefan, to their lovers Andrea and Lindsey, and to their respective daughter Matilde and son Anakin. [the latter being a future adventurer – I know one when I see one!] They continue to cope with my chaos without much grumbling for which even I am sometimes surprised. POSTCARDS! SKYPE! eHUGS!
MUSIC MAESTRO! The stunningly fine composer Annelies Van Parys and the flamboyantly powerful mezzo Els Mondelaers have provided a unique contemporary-classic music playlist, just for me, to take along and accompany me on this long, slightly lone wandering. Check out their works and GO to a performance whenever you can. Just GO.
MERCI 500 x for the much-needed assistance in the making of 500 hand made buttons to the unbridled, energetic visual artist Anneleen De Causmaecker. 500 is eh… a whole lot. Besides the buttons there was a prototype of a small windmill for recharging the iPhone (one day we’ll make it work), the foldable reflection panel, the hand made postcards, the cigars, the toy car race, the sax tunes, the the.
I cannot and will not name my other BELOVED and LOVING friends, for I might forget one or two and NOOOOOO I don’t want them to feel left out. Most are linked on my fb, some are 100% off-www for good reasons. You know who you are and YOU ARE VERY DEAR.
UPDATE 16 July:
Friend-from-a-distance Sergio Russo whom I met live just a few times many years ago, but who kept in touch all the time and became one of my most dedicated ‘fans’, passed away some days before I left. My sister Sabien wrote a post on fb. I pick these lines: ‘Ultimamente viaggiava soprattutto seguendo mia sorella Trui. Mi dispiace, Sergio, che non hai più potuto seguire il viaggio che sta facendo adesso. R.I.P.’
I will think of Sergio often during this voyage as he would have loved it all and commented on it in Italo-Dutch, I’m sure.