When in Rome

Or so the saying goes…except this was Amsterdam.
What’s a fish outta water to do? My first time in such an urban wonderland too. And trying out this new world for size, discovering that academia is intimately linked with increased caffeine and alcohol consumption, not to mention excessive hrs in front of a computer screen ‘researching’ the people and places you want to be…
And the snow is falling again outside the window, even though it’s almost April. The monkeys screeching in the Zoo across the road and the flamingos come out the same time every evening after work, next to the tram.

My bike route takes me past the local windmill-come-brewery, truly the sweetest, hoppiest, strong liquid you can find around here. We all sit outside, hands wrapped around cold beers, snow jackets and scarfs wrapped around us. It’s trying to snow again but it falls like shimmering fragments of glitter. The imagination is a wonderful thing.

Hitch a ride on the back of a bike, through old warehouses by another canal. One is surrounded with distorted metal beasts, a bonfire, sandy beach and army circuit course. Inside it glows and thumps to a beat all of its own. With dead deer skeletons, old empty TV sets, airplane seats, wood burning tank, ethical, unlabelled beer, piles of wood and boozy blues. Hipster was born here.

There are moments I waver, moments filled with doubt, a longing with no reason…If I can keep the body distracted, the mind occupied then maybe I can fool the soul a little while. More and more I begin to realise that in each moment a universe of possibility opens up… I’m on an edge, a corner of myself probably freaking out and the other clings tightly to the power of Now.

Helen Keller said,

“To keep our faces toward change and behave like free spirits in the presence of fate is strength undefeatable.”

Logic may dictate a certain course of action but there’s an inner or outer something that urges me in a different direction. And so I dance, fly, play…

And yes, there was a pole. When in Rome y’know!