Archive for ‘The Netherlands’

November 5, 2012

The endless conversation

She was asleep, and so I was alone on a near-empty train between Lilystad and Amsterdam. This places me in the Dutch countryside on a wet night void of any rain. It was one of those heavy nights where the air was cool and thick and still somehow refreshing. The train was stuffy.

Ahead in the car, maybe six seats up, backs turned, sat two strangers. They were strangers to me and strangers to one another, but they struck up this odd and winding conversation. I think one was clergy. Neither spoke English as a first language, but both were attempting English, and it was all awry.

“What!?” The man shrilled in this unearthly mess of a throaty froth.

“You know what I mean!” She shot back awkwardly and unabashed. “You know. You know what I mean! You know!”

“I do, I do not. I do not!”

It was like this for 40 minutes, this explanation and misunderstanding. After awhile they bled into the metal and plastic of the train car. They became the contrasting greens and yellows and oranges inside and all around us. I never saw their faces, but as we pulled into another station and they wailed away the acidic scene became perfect for a photo. Here was more dissonance in front of me, slightly to my right. The wait was forever, but as the train finally rocked again and they continued to bark like children over a toy the view slid into frame. I caught this whilst rolling away.
The endless conversation
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October 9, 2012

Where everyone has your same last name

My friend in The Netherlands took us to her family’s farm, and it was spectacular. Not in that way. No fireworks, no chrome skyscrapers nor flashing lights – but plenty of atmosphere. If I remember correctly, because this was now well over a year ago, everyone, or most everyone has the same last name in this little town. There are maybe 10 or 12 houses, and everyone assumed the name of the ancient monastery nearby. Something like that. I’ll have to ask her to fill me in the specific details again. Every now and again I completely create a story like this from scratch, so lets hope its actually true for the blog’s sake. I’m pretty sure…

Long story short, there were three things I loved about this place outside of the wonderful people, friends and family we had the privilege of visiting with. 1) The doors to the houses were all around five feet tall, which is interesting because Dutch people are on average quite a bit taller than Americans, Brits and the like. 2) Everyone wore traditional clogs, including myself, so we wouldn’t sink into the soft, muddy grounds. 3) This garage. It was like the cars were there first, and the structure was built around them. If the port itself was crumbling, the relics sat meekly underneath, happy campers waiting for a spin along the winding roads of the Dutch countryside. Roads that lead to endless and most interesting little villages like this one.
Where everyone has your same last name
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September 9, 2012

Amsterdam canal remix

UPDATE: Inspiration – I finally got around to posting some things I’ve just discovered or had almost forgotten about on my Inspiration page. Please take a look. I hope you love something there.

A few days in Amsterdam produced many empty skies. It remained light gray and vacant the entire time. The overcast was like an extra wall to an ultra-walled city. Everything here is up-close and narrow due to all of the old architecture and waterways. Sightlines crash into one another and destroy patterns, so finding an angle is more rare than in many places. After hunting for photos for 48 hours, this widening in the canal gave me just enough room to feel like I could relax into the space. Sometimes I need to feel that way in order to allow a photo to properly happen. This was taken with my point-and-shoot.
Amsterdam canal remix
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