Quiet Starts And Familiar Faces

Trip Start Jan 31, 2010
Trip End Jul 21, 2010

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Where I stayed
Robert's House

Flag of Netherlands  , Utrecht,
Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Today I wake to an empty house

Today I get my official document papers – something that should have been easier than it turned out to be.

Today I begin work on my zine

Today is a nice day to slow down

Today I watch Robert upstairs as he records songs to practice again and again

Today we have takeout for dinner; the place recommended the first night I arrived, non-Dutch at its best.

Today becomes tonight. I head out into streets still light strange for the hour, heading for Café Averetcs and knowing I may not get a spot. They usually fill quite early, much like the GB in Richmond, and the night will have already begun before I arrive. One of the now green parks is slowly filling with tents and marques, no signage just folds of white and metallic poles a plenty. In the playground next I sight upon two familiar faces. Oison and Florja are atop a bench with another on one of the strange spring things. Oison's guitar is out and the three are laughing about. There is a curios look when we make eye contact, they thought it was me a mile away but weren’t sure enough to call out. Their friend introduces himself as Vincent, and has a rather soft American accent to his Dutch. Like an educated American. They were going to find a place to play too but ended up here, and there really is no time to make it to the other side of the town. So there is another that they know of, much closer and without a list or queue. And so we make our way to Café DeRat, a place unknown to me but a local for the three. There is to be a poetry/open mic night on Monday, which I am cordially invited to. The pub is quiet and one of the good vibe places, with just enough crazy people, bordering on the possibly touch so. Loving couple express their love of Amsterdam and their weed collection, as they touch and kiss and more. One likes to pout in a way that pronounces her overbite, a squinting look that she applies to every emotion, leaving me unsure of what she really thinks of anything, if at all. The other has large hands, slightly raspy voice, well pronounced adam’s apple and gives a detailed expedition into the piano she could not afford to move downstairs, so took apart, complete with images. The songs begin slowly, with some Old Crow Medicine Show, Bob Marley and more. There is a girl with a broken foot at the bar, sharing a cheese platter with the barman. She came for a holiday from Italy about a year ago with intensions to only stay two weeks and never went home. You can really fall in love with a place like this, Utrecht being lucky enough to not have the reputation of Amsterdam, while still keeping a competitive music scene.

Vincent and I share Tom Waits covers till after midnight, when it’s suggested the night finish due to neighbourhood intervention. I will be back on Monday for sure.

As Robert sleeps upstairs I finish part of the zine, the sky slowly lightening as I make my way to bed.
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