Monday, April 22, 2013


In a show of Louisa, a local band at the Rotschild12 pub, I heard the words for a song "Tofes Machase" (getting to shelter) as "Tofes machar sex" (getting sex tomorrow)
Being that I am finally dating a girl from a dating-site tomorrow, I was amused.
Also, since she and another girl I had frienDated from that website (she was seeing someone at the time already) who are both Russian, I came up with a phrase:
changing the proverb "Lehakdim Trufa la'maka" (doing an act before something requiring future reaction) to "Lehakdim trufa la'paka" (paka being used as "bye" in Russian, being the first to say BYE while the Russian date seems to get going)

For people who are aware of what is dumpsterdiving, I came up with a concept (probably pre-conceived by others)  -  partydiving: getting in places and knowing ways to enjoy a night out without having to pay for it. so far, this one pub with shows is a rocking location for the becoming list.

Last week a thought about caring a weapon came to my mind. I thought about living in the southern part of Tel Aviv as it sometimes dangerous and therefore residents should be allowed to carry weapons if they will, like Settlers do.
About an hour or two later comes a phone call - my CV reached a jobbie as a security man. I did not even remember applying for it while throwing the CV in many directions but I am seeking a role I can do in shifts while being a student comes October.
I went to the interview and was already shown the security posts of the location. Since the Security Commander had to see me, not only the duty manager of the company I'd be signing to, an appointment was made for today. It resulted in a good conversation with the company's main manager and a fair impression made on the crude yet nice Commander. Regardless of the curiosity of possibly receiving a gun license unexpectedly, I was so thrilled - can it be said the first rock has been removed from my chest?

I later went to Mitka, the incredibly gifted with good energies performer friend, another mate of hers joined us in order to make a technical trio (I'd be the video-shooter, he'd be the editor). As he came in he recognized me. 
It took me a while, only when he reminded me the exact event we were talking in, I remembered his sweet essence from that moment, about 7 years back, lost in my mind. I had a good feeling about this incidence. We smoked a bit green and spread out. I was feeling too cheerful to be locked in the room I am staying in.

Oh yeah - the room. for a homeless looking for a place (a major rock on my Tel Avivian chest) I got a pretty lucky deal with my friend giving me the key to her room in Sheinkin / Echad Ha'am (Thank you Zahavit) for her time in Czechoslovakia. Her flight was cancelled due to a strike in El-Al which in turn extended my staying here.
Meanwhile the apt I saw for me and Myrthe (and her cat) to rent is on hold. The owner might be selling so we shall not sign a leasing contract. I really had a good feeling about that place. Not only its great location and non-frightening rent, there was even a cat entering the flat the first time I went to view it, as if sent to present the invitation of cat-ness to the realm. An alluring coincidence or merely a risky illusion of faith?

So I walk around Rotschild avenue, being presently so close to where I stay, with the aim of joining Tali who was said to be out in a restaurant called Mozes. I remembered a night a few years back I was walking the avenue and saw a bunch gathered to play chess in the mid of it in the mid of the night. I was deeply impressed with the joyous option of playing chess with fellow night-crawlers. This time I noted a few groups of grown ups playing Pétanque. knowing less than nothing about this refreshing game I asked a guy to explain to me what it is about. I was marveled at his skill even-though I was not sure what the rules were.
Having a profoundly nice occasional direct communication with the unacquainted night-training player had left me smiled up.

Refueled with sublimity I went on to Mozes. Tali had not answered whether she's arrived and seated in but I did not wish to wait outside and dared entering alone. A familiar face from the past arose out of a party o'six near the entrance stairs. An old colleague of University time was thrilled to see me, as I was with him.
"I just had a few drinks" (he admitted regarding his enthusiasm).
"That's cool, I just had a joint" (and so did I).
A small tiny talk led to say he is a CEO of his advertisement agency, while these were his employees he had a fine night out with.
He took my number and said he'd call me he'd call me in a day or two. I have no idea how serious his words were to be taken, but it was so sweet to tackle with him just like that. If there's one thing I adore about being in Israel is to feel familiar, recognized, every now and sudden, in this small land. If there's another thing I am allowed to adore is the cHummus!

Furtherly encouraged by this small occurrence of event, I carried on to meet Tali and her roomie. They had already entered the pub mentioned above and I joined their position outside , smoking back-alley. There she rolled a cigarette and asked a couple of gentlemen for a lighter. I then asked one for a filter and he asked if we need him to fix us with anything else.
I joked around saying "some green" (weed) and then added with a surprisingly serious tone "oh, and a flat for two roommates" to which he responded with "I can get a lead, on both issues". We exchanged phone numbers and let's see if the other rock is also gonna be removed soon! or if it was a delusional Fata Morgana
The show itself ignited my old-rock-affiliation and enlightened my fun-seeking spirit. 
At least one thing should be re-said : God gave Rock n Roll to ya!

Such a great evening to get my mind off the stress of getting by, reminding me why I wanna live in the city and to start believing there was a good reason coming to Israel & Tel Aviv

Wednesday, February 20, 2013


All (excluding first two) are thanked to Jeffery

La Haine / ´Hate´ (FR)
  3 guys (arab, african, jew) from a slum dealing with the police which forces them to turn to hate, with society that could not care less about them; supposedly good guys locked in characters that amount to no good, trying to live the best a low life could. Tension between friends, between individuals and the overlooking system; They manoeuvre their choices within circumstances that chase down their options. What does one - or three - do when there´s not much to do ? A stylish film that makes you love the kind of grown punks you would not usually afford to love.

Intouchables (FR)
  An unlikely assistant of a disabled wealthy man brings in joy to his rich but dull life style. They teach and learn from one another to be more daring and wild, and use what they got to succeed in their personal growth. Two different lives enriched by their mixture, somewhat chaotic, sometimes too straight, most of all fun is what they create. The film proves connections with others may significantly assist one connecting with himself. A chilled drama that makes you smile.

Fear Eats the Soul (DE)
   A German widower meets a Moroccan work-immigrant in 70s Munich. He is young and handsome, she´s old and boring. He is far from being integrated, she is submerged in an endless routine. Through their different classes, the film puts the casual cards of prejudices on the table, shows how people react according to norms before learning to achieve more acceptability.
Watching this film should raise awareness to how we (should) treat our neighbours, family, friends and strangers. It proves that actions of classism (categorizing) occur and cease according to various needs, and that dysfunctional normality is sometimes better changed.
A low budget minimal film, shot in the duration of two weeks.

Jonah will be 25 in the year 2000 ((Swiss) FR)
   An excellent film that takes several different charaters who believe the world should be slightly more thoughtful, friendly and inspiring, and try to make it better and together. It is about simple lives who refuse to be forced into despair, who persist on being kind and manifest their personal style. It is highly recommended to any viewer who sees reality slipping away from the dream it should have been.

Cutter´s Way (EN)
   In this one, dreams are already long gone and the only little bit in life worth saving is decency. 2 friends, a cynic Vietnam veteran and an unlikely hero fight their own indifference in order to fight injustice which was accidentally witnessed. The act was made by a person of the kind that always gets away (a man of wealth and fame). Entwined in the story is the wife of the veteran, who is a possible lover of the friend, who try to handle life surviving the bitterness of her drunken husband.
This might pose as a darkened early version of Big Lebowski, in terms of a small civilian put unwillingly against a big capable persona. For anyone who is tired of the despairing way of the system´s key-holders to get away.

Altered States (EN)   Inspired by the research of a famous real scientist, this film is about the effort to discover a different kind of a bigger truth. A scientist gathers his colleagues and position to reach higher states of consciousness that would reveal a wild prime force of nature. The sensational trip changes what he could know about life and creation before and his curiosity draws him to dig further and deeper in his eccentric method of experiment.
Quite surreal, it is interesting to feel the drama taken to the realm of (supposedly )scientific investigation, to the irreconcilable pursue of the beyond. Recommended to -but not only to- anyone who ever went to see further.

La planète sauvage / ´Fantastic Planet´ (FR)
   A great horrific old animated classic sci-fi, a collaboration between
Czechoslovakia and France from 1973. The Om race is what could be conceived as humans, a very small powerless creature compared to the Draags, the mastering blue Übermensch of that planet. Their high intelligence evolved into a magnificent culture which perceives the Oms as either cute tiny pets to be played with or wild nasty little pests worth of annihilation.

With distinct images that feel like recognizable historical features, this totally surrealistically illustrated film gives you shivers as well as sniggers.

Le feu follet / ´The Fire Within´ (FR)
   Pursuant to my tendency to this matter, this is my personal favourite in the list: The same way Altered States is about tripping, this film is about depression. Its maker´s friend who committed suicide was the basis of this slow sorrowful journey of a decaying heart. The main character is an amicable person who lost touch of everything that is life. His associates wish him to let go of his melancholic intuition, to step out of his distress he is so immersed in, but it seems improbable for him there is a chance for a real hold of himself in this world.
The film being black and white and in French only adds up to the gentle fragility imposed on the viewer. Detachment was hardly as touching as in this one.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Eternal sunshine of the pot-head mind

December. I moved to the cozy studio apartment. A fresh beginning of being happily locked for a month, being busy with my supposed Munchies at Tiffany's period. It was meant to be dedicated to writing the story of my former love.
I had to re-motivate my writing process by buying a new typewriter (laptop). Rather than sorting it out on the first week, it was pushed (I pushed it) to the second week. Yet, I have accomplished setting up a chill-out mattress zone next to the radiator and have placed my selected printed photos of South Africa on the wall.
The rest of the week = the weekend, was a Thursday-to-Sunday hang out time. Very much fun, Very not productive.
Sometimes it strikes me I am immobile. I can only move by being moved. I had to use Nat to get me going on searching for laptops. She's a student (thus laptops-oriented), she knows Dutch and she's a friend. She's also a girl so I wished her advice about cloths. We met at the city center and headed to the Spui. At the square we saw a bunch of colorfully dressed youngsters waiting for a sign to go applauding and cheering and jumping as a person comes out of a booth that said "TELEPORTER" on it. I was ardent and took a shot of it.
A few hours later, after having been at the American Book Center, several computer shops on Centuirbaan and one pizza place on the way home, I realized I do not have my camera as I spotted a building i wanted to photograph for being well lit and decorated for Xmas.

How could I have been so lame? Am I smoking up too much lately? I always smoke and I never lose anything. It's that Teleporter, shifted my camera.

Back at the studio we smoke a bit and check online for laptops. so many questions i do not know to weigh: Should I buy online or go to a store? which store? which kind of laptop? If to order it online - which website? a local Dutch one or a cheaper one abroad?
It is questions like that, rather than smoking pot, that burn my brain.
We focused on two items (mainly one) online and called it a night with movie&popcorn.

The next day I go back to the American Book store but did not find my camera. Almost lost on top of it a glove I just bought the other day since I lost my right hand glove recently.
An officer at the police station guided me to seek at the Lost & Found , and there I was told I do not need to come in, just to phone and ask if the model of my camera was received. I am not even sure which manufacturer my digicam was. I withdraw and go back home. The more I try to hold on the hope it will be returned, the more I linger in the loss.
I was expecting my friend or my CouchSurfing guest would come but I am home alone. The only plan I had was to view laptops online and go to see a free movie screening. The laptop I want is not delivered to The Netherlands.
I use the time to wash my cloths. The machine breaks down in the middle of my laundry and it is all soaked. I try to squeeze it and dry it somehow. I am already about to be late for a film screening, I just wanna get to my bike and leave this day behind me. As I reach my bike I find that my notebook dropped out of it. I go back up and find it. I am definitely late now and do not even feel like going to the movie. This day has made its point - just stay home and do nothing but letting it end.

Before I bunker myself in the studio room, I go to buy Chocomel. Even the cheap supermarket is closed one should not despair. I find an AH that's opened and even get to serve as "hero of the moment" when I allow a couple of shoppers in front of me to use my AH bonus card to get a discount for some of their products. It was a good timing in a good placing and I was happy my presence fulfilled some effect that helped another soul.

It is not my photos I lost, it is the center of my attention.
It is not the notebook nor the glove, it is me who is lost and need to be found.
It is not the the washing machine that got stuck, it is me who broke down.
My life, at this point, feels forgotten and hidden.
But like the Chocomel sweetening up the mood - I do not despair yet!

I must look at the good things I have
enough money to buy food at the AH
friends who make me feel belonging
cloths to wear so I can be warmed and look decent.
Why is it never enough?

Nat helped me as a friend would. She came over at night. We talked about my darkness, we eased it up with 3 joints and have accomplished ordering a sufficiently exciting choice of a laptop from
We shared beautiful moments and revealed gratitude.
The next morning I had work for a day.
The tide is changing. fresh water will redeem the mind from the weed that grew there unattended.

Friday, December 28, 2012


In the military I never bonded with the fellow men & women. My position was was better than many other shitholes in the organization but did not provide any belonging. When the unit was disassembled we made a casual gathering, with the commanders, drinking and feasting before each of us was to be reassigned. At the circle where everyone lied about how good was the time spent together and faking a nostalgic future in which they'd miss all the rest, I chose to lay out some of the shit we endured thanks to our commanders and among ourselves.
Well, I did so at least till I was ordered to cease, so the circle could happily carry on.
A few good selected associates revealed to me later on their admiration of my move.

End of my Bachelor's degree I wrote my Manifesto complaining about a large amount of nonsense that the academic method had us encountering. There was just way too much shit not to be let out shining. I enjoyed being a student, just did not care for the studying part as much. Making fun of the degree and receiving fellow students' identifications felt more belonging than actually participating as a student.



A cute young couple I've hosted half a year ago had told me how they walked the streets as some artists called them come up to their house party. I wondered how people get to such an occasion and wished myself to be invited.
For Xmas I was invited to a party by being on the Project Goleb residents list. The flat was 2nd floor wish a good view of A'dam's quite nearly central side. It held a bunch of artists and associated fun-seekers who did not bother to spend the holiday at their families' homes/countries. A few Bulgarians, several Greeks, a Scot man, a Gerry n' me'self. A few dishes, several wines, a bottle of vodka, a beer & the good herbs.

After sitting down had its time, the table was rotated and more space was "anschluss"ed to the elegantly rugged living room. Youtube supplied the music market and the dominant demand (or joyful concurrence) was old pop theme. We were dancing to songs like I WANT CANDY (Bow wow wow), Maria Magdalena (Sandra) and One Way Ticket (Eruption). Bringing up heaps of memories of times I never remembered, celebrating a holiday I never grew up on.
Beyond the fog of the Tobacco and the humidity of Alcohol, the major fun particle - which, even though rarely, I have tried - came to be MDMA. A baggie of fun loving powder rounded its way in the fun living room.
We all have a blast, dancing gay and smiling like apes on mushrooms.
In the funky ambiance I met so many cool people that inspirited me with art thirst. I had that old latent wish accomplished. I even came up with some funny stupid ideas which were appreciated, like a sign "Merry Greece-mess" or a joint put into Jesus' statue's hand, as some took photos of these.

The party lasted all night, and since night in winter Noord-Holland is very long, only a bit after dawn at about 8:30 I lied to sleep on the couch. The other left-overs carried on the good mood as we woke up and one said that I am now a part of the family, after I've lived through the night with them.
Yet, eventually these are all random acquaintances, fellow foreigners in this sweet exile I am not sure I belong to.

This is the negative side of that sort of FUN. It leaves you with memories of good harmony and illusions that these may last longer than the night of acquainting. Guess in a culture where casual sex is approved, casual fun is just as much encouraged. Nevertheless, it is the falsity that bothers me, the miscalculated motives that make someone totally agree that "we should hang out more and investigate more together" yet we are not likely to do so in the common reality. This misleading enthusiasm is unnecessary.

In a party in Ruigoord I met a grown man who shared some weed and stories with me, he was really interested in Israel/Middle East and in Hebrew. He gave me his phone number so we can exchange language teachings and I was satisfied to meet the man. I forgot my motivation to learn Dutch for a bit but about a week and a half or two later I tried to reach him - call, SMS, nothing. Where did Mr. Armand go ? Did his passion for Hebrew vanish?

Back on the good side, on that same Ruigoord party I met a nice young girl who lives in Breda and cared to keep in touch by sending mails. She disliked the cyber communication so she gave me her house address. I sent her a mail once I got to it, and she liked it enough to send back a couple of times.
So sometimes the encounter endures, as far as the Pythons sing on the cross: Always look on the bright side of life!
Just don't get blinded. 
blindness leads to expectations. expectations may cause bitterness. bitterness can facilitate blog~writing!

"Every Thing Goes"

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

How I got INitiated

What is the difference between a tourist and a traveler?
The tourist plans how to spend a limited time in order to return with anticipated memories. A traveler endeavors a journey to witness new realms of nature, to interact with new kinds of people. Often enough these people open new ideas of what to do, allowing the traveler to collect inspiring notions, new phrases and sometimes different behaviors.

I never cared for smoking pot, and I was inclined to trust it is fucking up the mind. However, when one concludes his mind was fucked up already, there's not much to lose and much more to gain.
The first time it came to me while traveling was in southern Ethiopia by 2 Israelis. The effect it had on me, colorful shapes running on the screen of my mind, scared me that it'd control me and not vice versa. Coming to think about it now, perhaps it was the alcohol involved or the Lariam pills, this was an extremely rare time for me to experience visuals out of smoking. Eventually I fell asleep and learned it was not all that troubling.
A truck from the border to the next town in Kenya put me with a couple of British bicyclers, both young medical doctors, and the dude explained Marijuana is not likely to harm the majority of people. He also convinced me to buy a crappy bike and join their ride, crossing the desert. Amazing as it has been, it was tremendously exhausting so I sold the bike on the other side. In that small town I coincidentally ran into a couple of friends I knew from my university. The well experienced travelers offered me some of their experience and some of their weed.
From this point an occasional spliff was a matter of timing and probability: In the city with a Kenyan host and an Argentinian/Spanish couple of bicyclers; with a French dude trekking a mountain; on the hammock of the rooftop on an island; with a local Malawian on the lake's beach; with Australian/American siblings in guest houses and the middle of a road (TIP: don't trust awkward seeming "taxi"s on an already awkward "road" in rural Zambia. They might have a tendency not to complete the ride)... My backpacking sphere has taken in the socializing habit.
The finest weed story I was told was of a South African liberal, who I randomly met. He was drafted at the time to the war in Angola. While patrolling with another soldier, they took a break, went to the woods, put down the weapons and rolled up or took out a joint. As they were, some 5 soldiers of the opposite side find them in the forest. They approach showing their rifles; my friend shows up the joint, and they lower their rifles and sat next to them. As the spliff was passed, they said they were Cubans who got stuck in this war (assisting the communist Angolese rebels) and only wished to be home already, away from all this nonsense that does not concern them. Afterwards, they all go back each side to their own camp.
I loved that story.
Enough to say I advocated the Ganja (or Dagga in Afrikaans). Yet I have not bought it myself so far.
The first time I actually bought weed was in Cape Town, after living there for several good months, in which alcohol was still my drug of choice.

That altered a bit at first by a world traveler friend and much more later on in AfrikaBurn. The South African version of Burning Man got me drunk and doped about 3 days continuously. The festival's spirit of sharing and having a good time was also broadcasted on weed, which played a part of neighborly welcome manners. It was there that my body inhaled THC in such intensity that it acquired its flavor and its favor.
A week after the festival I move to Amsterdam. Unplanned, I lured myself into the typical foreigner's image, thrilled by the legit scene. While it still remained a good socialization utility to begin with, I began as well addressing it with personal interest.

Getting high got into me. The Need For Weed was a need of examining aspects less examined.
There's a reason why at times of being high the eyes seem glassy, there's some freshness and vividness in the senses. A person can seem so pretty, nature elements become more enchanting, ideas spoken may easily fascinate, street noises sound like a soundtrack of life - the cycling sound, the beat of hard machinery, sirens, people's speech, kids' laughter - Cannabis helps tuning-in to a vibe in which you can feel the rhythm in things. it enhances the liveliness, the breathing of an event, shines a trail of awareness on your perception.

Regarding creativity: The ability to go far away drifting in associations. Smoking too much could get a person disoriented but smoking just about right can truly sharpen the mind to whichever intellectual tendency it holds.
Communication: More frequently than when sober, I can actually get the meaning of the other person better than the words that person used. Even if that person would rephrase, the true intention behind the words was already received. As if words are like beams of light carrying a message that the Marijuana helps getting directly without needing to decipher the verbal coding. Moreover, the plant serves as a key to a world of meanings and terms that could be followed up in future sessions, like understandings buried in a shallow grave and can be brought back to life, pinned to remind us concepts previously built up.

Marijuana is said sometimes to be a medicine. The reason it is addictive (though it is not) is that it remedies life from being overly dull. The reason it is illegal (though it is not) is that it cures better than alcohol. The potential drawback is that when the high drops, the strength to have reached some conclusions fades away, like waking up from a dream, not being sure how relevant or profound it really is. But it is.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Bear with me

"zo stoned als een garnaal"


It was scheduled for last week - "speak with D". It stands for a Hebrew name, literally translated as "Bear". Not a code name, just a well known Israeli character in Amsterdam.

Lazily, I'm getting up from the sleeping bag near the heater in the living room, and ride to his office.
I fear he'll ask me "What would you like to work in?"
I am an immigrant, any job would do for now. My dream is to work in the cinema and is quite far enough from my present self. Actually I fear the dream, not the question. Running away from it led to other objectives (such as find yourself living in another country making a living and friendships) in search of greater self reliance and confidence.

After sharing the script writing dream D' shared his movie-like immigrant's ascension story: 16 years ago a young man, with no passport other than an Israeli one, came here without knowing anyone yet with a strong belief that things will go well. He first went to a hotel, booked a room for a month, and bought a lot of dope. Once in a while he'd got out to a grocery store and sometimes inquired about a job. Mostly he was stoned, but still a believer.
His hotel neighbor was a successful prostitute. One night she got into a quarrel and got beat up. He was nice and caring and made her some tea, helped her out. Kindly enough, she paid a favor back and set him up working for a restaurant, knowing about 5 phrases in Dutch and inviting potential customers to get in.
The restaurant was owned by an Egyptian fella and had an Egyptian chef who did not care for Israeli D'. He'd always ruin his break meal on purpose which led D' to quit (rather than wanting to kill him). He found another job working in renovations. He noticed all the workers are eating separately on their break time and one day decided to gather them all up for a proper meal he bought for them all. For the first time, the foreigners of different origins sat and ate together. It became a routine.
D' assembled the crew and managed to get it a reconstruction job. His team did it so cheap and efficiently, in a shorter time than expected, that he went on establishing a construction company. In time he initiated a project of maintaining and renting out apartments for owners and another project of purchasing and selling. Thus, he has became the well respected mediator, the one who gets the job done and knows everyone.
One thing I particularly liked about him is how he learned to speak Dutch and Arabic off the street. I felt comfortable with the bear. It is not for no reason that people trust and love him, nor that he loves and has faith in some sort of a supreme force, as I suppose he does.

As he was busy with phones and people, I was talking with his plants master, my first to know Serbian person. I liked him since he was both crazy and simple. What I mean is that things were quite clear to him regarding the hells his countrymen have known. His mind is all too made up about communism, Albanians  NATO, Germans, and more. Come to think about it, these people got fucked over and by so many sides, no wonder he says they revolted against the police and made personal arms legit.
Minding fucking, he also told that homosexuality is strictly way off any Serbian norm. The straight traditional people are so convinced that according to his tale, two gay Germans were kissing together in a pub and a guy took out a knife and stabbed them. "The fact that they are Germans was extra".
Forgiveness is a harsh virtue, and just as unacceptable as any other shit endured in their history.

At some point of his telling, he then mentioned he was once caught at the border from France to Italia. He had a lot of marijuana at the time but was only halted for not having a passport. His weed was returned to him and he even smoked at the border-police station. At this point I understood he uses MJ so I suggested we smoke one now. He then offered me what he was smoking (I mistook it for merely tobacco). I only took a few puffs but it was strong enough.

All this while I am waiting for D' to finish his phones, however when he does, he must attend some errands and he takes me for a ride. Some day to choose not to take my jacket with me... Hack the wind chilled my face to tears and my body to shake! We get on the scooter and go to several places he has businesses in. His mind is generally multi-occupied. He talks on the phone, call after call, while riding, sending a kiss to the cycling Rabbi from across the street and once in a while converses with me in the back.

Being a bit buzzed this whole meeting and riding from one place to another - it felt like tripping. That feeling I liked so much about traveling - meeting new people, getting to new places, unveiling new situations, opening for new opportunities, revealing totally new histories ... It all sums up to people just liking one another. This bear, he is an honestly human liking one.

It might just be that the next day I feel all these possibilities are denied and give false hope, but for this day... I learned it is nice to smile optimistically again, to regenerate energy by believing eventually things will go just fine. Even if my main achievement for a month is to get stoned.

Saturday, October 20, 2012


Spirit of this prose "Susan's House" by Eels (

I got up late, lazily letting time go by till I was late for a train to Leiden. Usually I tend to act out the procedure of buying a discounted ticket (40% off) which requires "teaming up" with a local who holds a card that enabled a friend's-discount. It is a reasonable chance I'd find such a blessed stranger while waiting for the train. Finally I see which platform I need to run to but I missed the train by 12 seconds. Another person who ran to that platform went rushing for another. Trusting he might pursue a similar destination, I follow his running. The train is departing just about NOW. I've missed the "while waiting for the train" phase but taking my chances anyway.
I ask passengers if I could tag along their journey but they're either not destined as far as Leiden or not capable of enabling a discount. As the coaches are uncomfortably packed with passengers, I only ask people at the spaces between the carriages. A woman comes to the passage coughing. I ask if she could help me. She nods her head and coughs some more. "Perhaps it is I who can help you. Water?" I offer and let her my bottle. At least some good was benefited by my approaching people.
I feel lost. What happens if i get caught? How humiliating and painfully expensive it might be. I should have just paid the full-fare rather than be haunted with anxiety and guilt of putting myself in this situation.
It seems I probably avoided the control once by switching between the two floors. The stress messes with my mind. I yield. I sit down and let any controller have me. Time for me to learn a lesson. I get everything for free anyways (movies, music, programs), it's about time I pay for my usage of services. LET THEM COME!

A controller passes next to me and walks on.

Leiden is sweet. pretty, peaceful, slow. I meet Roni and Manon. Taking a break from their gallery I walk around a little bit, to see the town and smoke a joint. Roni says it is illegal, "because of the new law". Cautiously, I roll one near a gorgeous cathedral and the authorities-phobia charges me again. This is not what Holland should mean!

Earlier today Nathalie asked if I am to show up at the weekly ping pong night at OverToom301 ex-squat. I grant that I shall and she admits to come as well. A few good hours into the evening, still in Leiden, I eventually SMS that I will not make it. She updates me she's also waiving the night.
What purpose was it intended to serve, declaring and assuring at first we'd go there?

After a most lovely evening with the couple, being presented to art, educated about fine music and talking about love and life, Roni and Manon drop me back at the train. This time I get the fully priced ticket.
Night time, alone in the train, listening to music via the radio of my simple phone.
Pressure to be productive. "Read that book you're delaying with" stresses a thought in my head, "use the time". I never get to fully enjoy listening to music anymore. I choose to be with it, and not having the music once again serving as a background dish for some main activity. 
A great tune is on. How could I ever get this track? Surely a trained Buddhist would be able to enjoy this one time listening to it but I am possessive, and possessed by the will to be able to recapture this joy. No title is given for it. Does GOOGLE really know everything? Would it find a track that was played on 104.40mhz at 1:50am? I used to use a forum to identify songs according to lyrics, but this one has no lyrics. 
Once, back in a pub in Cape Town  I asked some guy about a song that was being played so he checked through some App on his smartphone and approved it was the band I guessed it was. How could they have already developed an app that detects the room's music and matches its title? How does the algorithm work? Who prepared the database?! It drives me crazy sometimes I have no clue how this world is being managed by these invisible forces which keep it going to new stages.
I tried to remember now which song it was back then. Then the following song, on the radio, was the same song I heard that Cape Town night!!

2am. Amsterdam Central's such a big station and the exits are closed except for the one on the far end. That means I'd have to go all the way back to this side where i got off the train from to fetch my bicycle. One could be pissed off about it, or sink into observing the city with joy. Easing in, I find myself spectating the central station's magnificent architecture. I notice new ornaments built into it, new to my own attention. Across the street is the marvelous Victoria Hotel.
The voice has changed, more calm and reassuring: "Enjoy the city for what it is, like listening to music rather than putting it in the back".
I love this Amsterdam, it holds so much grace.