a tale of two citites, well, one and a half – july 3, 2009
December 1, 2011, 9:10 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

i woke up late the next morning, ecstatic to be in holland and finally well rested. i started the day by doing what else! visiting a coffee shop. well stocked i proceeded to take in the amazingness that is rotterdam in the way most suited to it. to say the least, the city is incredible. a mecca of creative and unique design, for anyone with an eye for detail and quirky-ness rotterdam is visual paradise. while it doesn’t have the overt insanity and beauty of amsterdam, the randomness of it’s public art and the thoughtfulness of it’s construction are noteworthy. it’s true evidence that destruction breeds creation. a large part of the city was completely bombed out during world war II and in it’s place was erected a new city with wild deviations from tradition. obviously i loved. i’ve had tremendous luck so far, in almost every city i stop in there is some sort of festival going on. in rotterdam, there were somewhere between 5 and a gazillion. outside of the eye candy, i loved rotterdamn because i made a friend! nicole, an aussie architect who had just moved there to pursue her passion; she was sleeping underneath me in the art room. we were fast friends and spent the next few days bumbling around the city being really excited that we had someone to share it with. finally! we said, someone we can take pictures with!

and boy did we. we took a day trip to amsterdam and met up with some of nicole’s friends, went to parade and watched drunken people jig their hearts out to gypsy funk, not so slyly became groupies of a late night break-dancing crew, made street art in the night and took questionable photos with the city’s public art. all in all, had about the best time ever. i also made another great friend in rotterdam, wojciech, a wandering pole who had just relocated to rotterdam. we decided we would take our love of star wars and bad movies from the 80´s on the road and have an adventure in rotterdam. we started by making a coffeshop and bar tour, but ended up at a restaurant where we could take a break and just chill for a minute. while doing so in their street seating it began to rain. sprinkling at first, but growing into a steady downpour complete with lightening and thunder. the waiter came out and began to close up the area; considering we had nowhere to go and were poorly dressed for a sudden storm we asked if we could stay. he said sure, he still had another two hours or so of clean up, so we could hang out inside until the rain stopped. we moved into the comfort of the restaurant and watched the storm outside while the waiter, calvin from the dominican republic, continued to play the jams that had first brought us the the restaurant anyway. an hour and a half later found us all with flaming shots, dancing to justin timberlake and daft punk and enjoying the unpredictable but glorious night. eventually the rain stoped and we parted ways, with promises to come back and visit. we walked around the now clean rotterdam and watched the sun come up over niuewe maas. glooorious. the next day i left for paris to meet up with heather and finally started making the way to corsica. i was sad to leave rotterdam, the people were so kind and the times so beautiful it truly bruised my heart to leave it. c’est la vie.

the bus trip to paris lasted for 9 hours which should have been seven, during which i was entertained by the plannings of the senegalese man and his romanian compantion behind me. apparently they were new friends and had much to learn from one another, what it was like to be in jail in the others country, how much and how satisfactory the prostitutes were, you know, all the highly important cultural aspects of a place. we finally made it to paris after driving around in circles for about an hour.5, our bus driver was new and didn’t know the route- i hate to sound like a spoiled snob but honestly, there’s no google maps in europe? anywho, i made it to the bus station minutes before it closed down and about half an hour before the metro shut down. luckily i had the savvy senegalese man with me who helped me get home. i made it to my friend’s metro stop and had a moment of panic when i couldn’t find her, but the universe crossed our paths and all was well again.

oh it was so good to see my beeps! we were in the same dance company in high school and it had been years since we’d seen each other face to face, and in the way it always is with good friends, it was like not a second had gone by. souls now smiling, we spent the night talking and catching up and i watched the sunrise in paris, which i would do every day that followed. i was planning to put paris and rottedam together but it seems that will take too long. the rest of paris will have to wait, not to mention nice and corsica!

all past journeys aside, i start the firmer path towards the camino today. at 8 o’clock i will board a train that will take me from an end to a beginning. i’d like to say i’m not nervous, but then i’d be a liar. it is a little daunting to have this dream that has lived with me for so many years now be so close i can almost smell it, or maybe that’s just my beach sarong :-). oh well, although i will be walking by myself i will not be alone and my lovers always give me strength. ok, now to go and re-pack for the millionth time! until i can catch the internet again, be well!


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