Tag: amsterdam

Full breath, Dive deep

JOURNAL March 20, 2018

I find myself in this paradox of a day, between these canals

the sun making my eyes look ajar,

like sullenly,

 

drinking hot tea

and biting a good attempt of pastel de nata

the wind tangling my hair

 

on an early weekday.

 

And just like this,

I find myself with my legs crossed under a table too tiny for my uncoordinated manners

and I don’t have a clear picture

nor a draft of the path to go,

no sign suggesting whether to turn right or keep stumbling on those familiar errors

that my head doesn’t seem to let go.

 

I don’t have a clue about where I’ll be

or how I’ll fill those hours between goodnight kisses and a quiet breakfast before the house awakes.

I’m sure I wouldn’t be doing things any other way,

not following the tricks given by who knows me by heart,

but following stars calculated to spans

and approximate sums of the shades of coffee in the mug

or of wine on the lips.

 

 

It’s time to take a full breath

and dive deep.

 

I’ve got a swimsuit under my jeans.

 

 

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This is not an apology letter

JOURNAL March 15, 2018

For the past few months, I’ve tried to ghost away from my past routines

– quick additions of bad habits and the circularity of things I let happen. I broke patterns and slipped out of the uncomfortable suit I’ve been wearing for far too long

to please anyone else but me.

 

And I’ve travelled to colder countries to get the chill in my bones and feel myself again,

I’ve cut and run from all distractions, superficial anecdotes and unnecessary frills. I’ve turned down my daily low-income internship and with it the sense of purpose I’d swallow every morning with my coffee. I decided to take a leap and commit full-time to an ever-changing plan that jams in my head and changes shape according to the weather, the horoscope or the vibes of the day.

I’ve indulged in all things I craved at that right moment – little does it matter if we’re talking making out with someone for the sake of it, buying a new pair of sweatpants to make the lazy days look nicer or cutting the hair I’d been growing for years. I moved back home and then headed to the Netherlands to take one last breath of dizzy air, sip juice on the canals and have a bite of familiarity before making my next big move.

 

Because it’s important to be done with a chapter before starting a new one. I’ve tried shortcuts and improvised ways to get away with this ugly truth, but the only way out the messed up stuff heavy on your chest is to get rid of its tangles you’ve been ignoring, brushing them away from the roots  before they get too heavy.

 

Only then you can start over, lighter.

 

And what I came to realise is that these aching bones, lazy ass and thirsty eyes of mine are the only things I can always hold tight to when all things feel like they’re slipping from my fingers. At the end of the day, the only person I’m sharing the bed with is myself. And I might not have the tightest body or the wittiest mouth, but since we’re here I might as well make a hell good hookup out of it.

 

I’m sorry for everyone who found me at this weird moment where everything is still possible and I don’t seem to know how to take one step at the time. Sorry for whoever goes to dinner with me and has to wait for me to spend 25 mins reading the menu and then ordering the same pizza I’ve had since I was 10, for those who put up with me at the supermarket where I was supposed to buy a smoothie and got out with a bottle of wine and for those who are still trying to paraphrase my late night texts. And I’m even more sorry for those who haven’t found me yet and are about to get all tangled up in my perpetual indecision and attempts at adulting.

But the ones I’m most sorry for are the ones who’d rather sit on their asses and say sorry when they’re right and ask for permission before taking a coffee break, stuck in a life they didn’t dream about.

 

This is not an apology letter to my parents who see me leave every other month, for my friends whose birthdays I forget or acquaintances I haven’t seen in years. This is not a post-it to remind me to run more, drink less and stop falling for all the wrong guys. This is just some stupid late night mind doodle to remind myself of how far I’ve come and how long the way is. It’s going to be a hella ride but I’m sure it’ll be a fun one.

 

So here I find myself

yet another late night playing rock, paper, scissors to decide where to head next.

There’s some sort of pleasure in trusting the discomfort of not having a clue about what’s coming up next and just going at it.

Full speed.

 

 

If you can’t always do what you fancy,

why not at least pick a nice place to do it from ?

 

 

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PEANUTS FOR DINNER

JOURNAL September 11, 2017

There are many things in life i still have to figure out,  

like how to live on something more balanced than hummus and vino,

the opening hours of the supermarket and how to manage money without spending it all on shoes, smoothies and frilled t-shirts.

 

It’s like having a tangle made of a bunch of other tangles and the more you try to figure out from which one to start

the more you look clueless and decide to leave it there and keep your fingers crossed

it’ll solve its enigma by itself.

That’s pretty much how I approach life and its myriad of questions.

Or i google them until I find some ridiculously long explanatory article and get distracted after a handful of seconds by all irrelevant things like how to cook 3-ingredient pancakes or how to find your soulmate in the snacks aisle.  

 

And it takes quite a few hours of my week to try and figure this ever growing list of

‘things people my age start to get together and rearrange in bullet points’ out.

But at the same time I realize how little this cleaning up mind space suits me.

I’d feel completely out of place, like when I try to put some makeup.

Nobody knows where the hell you’re supposed to put all those palette colored things anyway.

 

And it gives me that sense of contentment to know that I’m not the only one not painting my nails or curling eyelashes,

like when I get on the balance in the morning before breakfast

tricking my brain into thinking i’m fit. and it’s all a matter of psychology, you are what you think of yourself.

 

 

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To come to a compromise with grown-up responsibilities and do something about my absent mindedness, I took one of those personality tests that take an hour of ticking boxes and skim-reading questions that are too articulated for me.

 

Turns out I’m an impatient, easily-bored and impulsive human being.

And according to the results I should work on my incapability of being consistent with what makes my eyes spark for the moment, I should turn my stubbornness into my drive to finish at least one of the ideas I have when half-asleep and write down in confused notes.

I like to call myself creative and like all creatives I use it as some rubbish excuse to go on dealing with my messy bedroom, my ugly calligraphy

and terrible relationship with timing,

living on extremes like buying four pairs of the same trainers because comfortable or eating a whole party-sized bag of peanuts just because.

But I don’t mind dedicating all my effort or none at all to what surrounds me. It shakes my days up.

 

Like bike rides through the canals on a late night, sipping whiskey to cure a cold and going to birthday parties of strangers.

 

The only thing I figured out taking that test is that you can’t expect a computer to solve the tangle that your personality is.

The results slap you in the face with the truths you hide behind smiley emoticons and lipstick and other things from the makeup vocabulary – sorry I ran out of girly terminology.

 

Nobody needs to be reminded of his flaws,

especially if he embraces them like I do.

 

It’’ll all work out.

Eventually.

 

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JONATHAN

PORTRAITS August 31, 2017

Meet Jonathan,

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21-year old skater from somewhere near Gent,

whistling Growlers songs while skating his ass off around the streets of Europe and doing tricks I don’t know how to pronounce.

Also, he forced me to start our interview saying ‘hey guys what’s up ?’ and it felt very lame.

He swinged by Amsterdam for a Martini,

a catch-up on life and to try the apple pie they sell down the road that’s been my topic of the month with everyone for the past five months.

I truly like that apple pie.

So what do you want to talk about today ?

‘Interviews aren’t really my thing.’

So you’re a skater ? Why not a blader ?

‘That’s a good question. Blading is super cool, all those tricks. That’s how you get the chicks.’

When and why did you start skating ? Any broken bones or bad scars so far ?

‘In 2007. Is this video thing working for real or you’re joking ? Damn it’s rolling. Well, I got a playstation and my grandma bought me the Tony Hawk game, you could unlock bonus videos promoting the brand shorties, it was pretty big back then.

As a kid I wanted to try and flip the board in real life, slide down the handrail.

I’ve been quite lucky. I like jumping staircases but I haven’t broken anything.

The main thing was losing some skin during this one tour, I messed up my chin but scars play as a good icebreaker.’

And how’s it going now ? Do you want to become a professional skater ?

‘That’d be sick. It’s nice to earn money doing things you like. Iight now I’m doing my best to get better at it, skating everyday. Though I always forget to stretch.

Competition out there is tough, you have all these kids doing crazy tricks and all sorts of jumps just like that, making it look so natural.

Training plays a big part but you need to be lucky too, being at the right place at the right time, be seen by the right people and not acting too arrogant or too shy.

People don’t want to invest in someone who goes around and acts like a prick but you also have to get out there, take those headphones off and talk to who’s around, skate together. You never know.’

Do you want some peanuts ?

‘I’ll have some peanuts. Is there more Martini and juice ?

California is pretty big for the skating scene, are you planning some trips there ?

‘I’d love to, but it’s expensive. That’d be (he whistled and i’m not sure how to write the sound of a whistle). I think these vans shoes are a bit too hipster so I only wear them in Amsterdam.’

Any advice for young skaters out there ?

‘I’m not good with advice. Don’t drink too much. Stay focused.’

The interview ended with us stealing quotes from Ali-G and other irrelevant details that made it a hell lot of fun of an interview.

Like me taking half an hour to learn how to say kickflip backside lipslide or serving peanuts, martini and juice for dinner.

Keep it real kids.

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All photos were shot by talented @joselitoverschaeve

good at taking pics, awful at choosing horror movies.

 

 

You can have the best apple pie in the whole world at

Winkel43 – Noordermarkt 43, 1015, Amsterdam

 

Stay tuned for recipes of food i don’t cook and tips on how to have a diet made of Thai food and vinos but keeping it so casual that people think you’ve got your stuff together.

 

DON’T FORGET TO PLAY

JOURNAL August 22, 2017

I read in an article that if you really want to be a global citizen or any of that other millennial bullshit, it’s not enough to fill a backpack with cotton t-shirts, extra underwear and adventure all those photogenic places just to check them out of the cool-corners bucket list and spit some adventure travel stories once you’re back home with those people who are still living under their parents’ roof.

That’s too easy, and smooth things never made good stories.

I’m not sure if it’s because of the fresh air,

for my tired legs

or the lack of sleep.

Nor i’m sure if this whole idea i like to mold in my head of getting free from what keeps me anchored in a place is what keeps me moving or what makes me question all things I thought clear.

But if there’s something I’m pretty sure of is that

there’s nothing more terrifying than forgetting how good it feels to get in the car and wander until the landscape is well lit,

grab a bottle of wine and let the flow of things wash away all heavy thoughts on your chest.

That’s what I did.

When days started to look alike, flavor of the month turning into flavor of the season, and all weeks being already written down by someone else,

I got on the ferry and got lost in unpaved streets and unknown faces.

And what i found was nothing but familiarity.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So go ahead,

close your eyes, pick a country and move there.

Go through the struggle of applying for a visa, surf web pages looking for a place to call home for a while, spend the first weeks going to bars and keep your fingers crossed people will make conversation with you.

Get out there and experience what it really feels like to be the new kid in the place,

learn a different language,

get used to flavours that aren’t familiar and explore the world.

And i’m not talking about renting villas in South-East Asia and taking photos of smoothie bowls (and I’m a big fan of smoothie bowls).

Challenge yourself.

You’ll be surprised how good you can be at life starting from scratch.

You just have to give it a shot.

Because you won’t remember those days spent with your ass glued to an uncomfortable chair, those small talks in the elevator or the grocery list you haven’t changed in weeks.

What you’ll remember are late nights betting with life,

unplanned trips, short night sleeps

and random combinations of time, words and coincidence.

 

 

What I’m saying is that it’s not boring to settle, to turn a house into a home and follow a balanced diet of daily rituals and people.

Just don’t forget how nice it is to listen to what your guts whisper,

no matter if people around you will nod at that or turn that into the topic of the week at their aperitifs.

And if it doesn’t work out,

if the country doesn’t suit your taste in people, if the morning sky is too gray or if who you share your nights with doesn’t fit your dreams,

then pack your things and start again.

Nobody ever regretted experimenting with life.

It’s liberating knowing that it’s okay to go wrong.

 

Just don’t forget to play.

ALL GOOD THINGS TAKE TIME

JOURNAL July 23, 2017

There are those raw days when you feel something’s missing,

 

and you look for it, desperately searching for something you wouldn’t recognise the shape of, the colour or the smell.

So you jump from an addiction to the next, trying to fill this void of feels,

resolving it with the conclusion that it’s not the moment yet,

that it’s a matter of perfect timing,

good combination of ingredients

and a pinch of letting your days in the hands of this something that is puppeteering the world, like the recipe for a pie.

 

And in those raw days, when everything starts to crash, hold tight to this thought –

you’re here, now.

 

And it’s not the places you’ve been,

the people you shared the sheets with or the times you let your eyes drown in salt that make you, you.

 

What matters is if you’re ready to let yourself try,

and sometimes it’s good to let some homework in the hands of fate.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And it’s probable that you’ll have to go wrong,

collect scratches and learn how to deal with voices you don’t like,

houses you can’t make home and the rain.

And it’s probable that you’ll have to learn a new language, make do with the food and fly for miles.

 

But there will come the time that all this experimentation of different lives every handful of months, moving furniture and packing your life in a backpack to carry on your shoulders, living out of the basics and not forgetting to keep it light,

well, that’ll all make sense.

 

And you may not have a balanced diet,

the safety of an income or a quiet bedroom to go back to at the end of the day

Stop finding excuses, trying to fix people’s lives to keep your mind distracted from your big plans, greedy to save who doesn’t want to be rescued or leaving room for your insecurities to take over and make you doubt about all small things.

 

If you don’t allow yourself the freedom to go wrong and letting people in and out of your days,

you’ll miss all the fun of this hell of a ride.

 

 

So here’s to changing currents,

things come to an end and new beginnings.

So get out there, play your cards and turn your life into poetry.

 

All good things take time.