Archive for the ‘Dordrecht’ Category

in between

Sunday, September 25th, 2011

Ok, catching up!

My time in The Shelter ended with the end of August. I’ll write more about that another day, but to put it short: I had the time of my life.
The past few weeks I spent in Dordrecht with my parents. After a few days, Shelter-withdrawal set in and I felt a bit numb. There were also good things going on though, I got to hang out with a lot of people from home, went back to Amsterdam a few times, and had a new interesting experience: I went to my old highschool to teach some classes, as a part of a series on christianity.

But mostly I was occupied with preparing the next part of my adventure: my 6 month trip to Latin America! Tomorrow I am getting on the plane to Buenos Aires, Argentina, where I will spend a few days Couchsurfing with some people. And then.. you’ll have to wait ’till my next update.

Next update will be from the Southern Hemisphere!

summer vibes

Saturday, August 8th, 2009

I’ve been back home for over a month now, and it feels like my trips to South America and Florida were ages ago. It wasn’t that hard to get used to being back; I started working a couple of days after I got home from Florida, and before I knew it, I was back in the daily routine.

Fortunately, on the 15th I got myself another small break; I attended the 4-day Dour festival in the south of Belgium. It’s quite a big festival, with mostly underground music; anything from hardcore to ska to indie to electronic music. I went with Otto, Josse and… Tim! Who had surprised everyone by coming back a month earlier than he’d told us.

Sitting by our tents singing songs

“at a Frans Bauer show”

Fun festival! I hadn’t really thought about the fact that it was in French-speaking part of Belgium though. So every now and then I had to dig back into my highschool-acquired knowledge of French.. quite some time ago, but along the way it started coming back a bit. Sometimes however, when I wanted to say something in French, all that came out was Spanish.. haha. I saw some great bands like Isis and The Red Chord, though on the second day I didn’t see much because of a hospital adventure (this time it wasn’t me). And on Saturday, day 3, I already went back home, because I didn’t want to miss the Big Rivers festival in Dordrecht AND two Couchsurfing friends from Spain who would be there. They also stayed with me two years ago during Big Rivers, and liked it so much they wanted to come back.

Desorden Publico playing at the “big church” stage

with my CS friends from Spain

crowd at Scheffersplein

overview of Statenplein, while The Animals were playing

It turned out to be a good decision; it was fun to see my friends again, and the festival was just amazing. It’s become possibly my favorite festival over the years.. there is something about being able to see some great bands (anything from ska to blues to rock) on many different stages all throughout the old town of your city, accompanied by so many familiar faces. The festival was a bit smaller than last year, due the economical crisis, but still they managed to deliver a great line-up. Some of my favorites were Boo Boo Davis, The Upsessions, The Blackbirds (Beatles coverband from Hungary), The Toasters and Shiner Twins.

Besides that I’m trying to make something out of the summer, despite that I have to work. Ah, how I miss going to school and having a 8-week summer break.. haha. But it has worked pretty well so far. Of course there are the weekly concerts in the Wantijpark, always a fun place to hang out. Had a couple of barbecues with friends, visited some relatives, played a lot of music and biked to Rotterdam, where I visited some secondhand record stores and then took the Waterbus back.
I also had another Couchsurfer (from Austria/Italy) over earlier this week, and on Tuesday we set up our very own CS meeting, with about 15 people from Dordrecht, Rotterdam and Italy. It took place in one of the Irish pubs in Rotterdam. Great place, and they had this singer performing there, just with his acoustic guitar, playing Johnny Cash, Billy Joel, Simon & Garfunkel, Bob Dylan, The Kinks.. all in his own kind of Irish folk style. He was amazing. What a night.

While browsing around in the Plaatboef in Rotterdam, I found this little vinyl gem:

The other night I was listening to it on my headphones and noticed how fine the production was. The compositions may not be as good as Miles Davis’ Kind of Blue (though close), but it has an amazing sound I haven’t heard before on a jazz record. It’s just perfect.

back to daily life

Saturday, July 4th, 2009

I just got back from Orlando, Florida, where I attended the General Assembly of my church (Church of the Nazarene). But it will take a while before I’ll post anything about that, since I’m not even done writing about my South America trip. It was a great trip though!
On Monday I start working again, that should be interesting.. back to daily life! But I don’t mind. In fact, I’m looking forward to it (once I’ve ridden myself of this jetlag). There’s so many things I want to do, and I can do them right here, in Dordrecht, the Netherlands. I don’t have to travel the world to live my dreams (though I definitely want to keep doing that as well).
Now the trick is to not let this attitude slip away.

CS meeting

Tuesday, February 17th, 2009

Getting home at 2.30 am on a Thursday night (so technically Friday) is not something I do regularly. In fact, I wonder if I’ve ever come home that late on a working day. It wasn’t my intention either, I was thinking maybe 10-11ish, but I failed miserably.

Last Thursday the first Dordrecht CouchSurfing meeting took place. We’d been plotting one for a long time, but finally we made it happen. That evening I wasn’t feeling too great and I was even thinking about skipping it. But I figured it would probably make me feel better, after working at home all day by myself.


The idea is just have a fun night out with local CouchSurfers, or people who are ‘surfing’ the town, and anyone who wants to join. In Rotterdam for example, they have a meeting every week, with about 40 people.
Cafe Merz was the place to be, so I went there with Tim. Two other guys that I knew a little a bit where there, and besides that, 9 other people who I’d never met before. Had some great conversations with some of them, about music, traveling, languages.. it keeps amazing me how CS brings like-minded people together. I decided to hang around until the end and then Tim and I convinced ourselves to pay a visit to a shawarma/falafel place, for old times sake.

img_3691One of the organizers had this idea to bring a bunch of buttons he’d made especially for the meeting. Kind of hard to read, but it says: “1st Dordrecht CS-meeting: I WAS THERE”.

Oh, and the funniest thing.. I was talking to this couple who just moved to Dordrecht, they just signed up for CouchSurfing. And I ask them where they’re from originally. The woman says that for her it’s kind of a long story, she’s lived all over Europe.. in Denmark, Czech Republic.. then another guy asks: where in the Czech Republic?
She: “Oh in Plzen, Tachov.. ” (a small town)
Me: “Hey, I’ve been there.”
She: “Really? Oh and also Milíře” (an even smaller town; just a couple of houses)
Me: “I’ve been there as well!”
She: “What? You serious?”
I explain I was there with a group of friends in the summer of 2005, staying at the house of the guys’ father.
She: “That wouldn’t have happened to be Wanja?”
Me: “Yeah, Wanja..”
She: “That’s my brother!”
So we had been staying there, with her brother and her dad, at a house where she’s lived. Is that bizarre or what!
Also, not as bizarre, but still cool, another guy I met once saw a Pride Runs Deep show. And yet another guy I think I’ve seen at my church the other week..
Things like that make me want to burst into “It’s a small world after all”.

the new year

Saturday, January 24th, 2009

So, 2009 is here. Actually it has been for over 3 weeks now.. I’ve been busy and this post has been pending for some time, but now I finally got around to finishing it.
I kicked it the year off in Rome, which was great. Very interesting city, incredible how much ‘history’ can be packed into one place. I’ll try to write more about it later. Pictures are here:

For me this is going to be one heck of a year, I’m sure. The quiet days of last fall are over, I have to watch out to not get too busy again.
I’m still taking Spanish lessons, and I’ve started a bible course at church (Binnen 2 jaar de Bijbel klaar), where we will read the entire bible in two years, and discuss it about every two weeks. Also I will probably join the ‘Zorg voor de Wereld’ (care for the world) committee at church. The purpose of the committee is to think about how we as a church can mean anything (practical) to our neighborhood and to the rest of the world. And to set up some concrete plans. I’m not really sure if I can do it, but I might as well try.
Musically, besides playing at church and with Double Sound, I’m getting together with some friends every now and then to jam a bit. Just seeing if anything good will come out of it..

Mostly though, it will be ‘one heck of a year’ when it comes to traveling. Of course first my trip to Peru and Ecuador (only 2.5 months to go!). But after that there won’t be much time to catch up, because a couple of days later I’ll be off the Orlando, Florida, with my dad. We’ll be attending my church’s General Assembly there. My dad is a delegate, and I will be just checking the whole thing out a bit, and hopefully meet a lot of fellow Nazarenes from other countries. I’ll see what happens, shouldn’t be too hard to kill some time in Orlando!
Once back in the Netherlands, I’ll be looking forward to the Big Rivers festival and perhaps North Sea Jazz again, if they have a good line-up (thought I don’t doubt they will).
At the end of August I might go to Brazil.. I know, would be insane! But some people from church are organizing a mission trip there. I have to think and pray about it, but it sounds incredible.
If I don’t go to Brazil I might go WWOOF-ing for a couple of weeks in Europe during the fall. Or, if I really enjoyed being away from home while in South America, and still have a decent amount of money left, I might take a long trip (half a year or longer) and ‘WWOOF’ my way around the world. But for now I’ll just consider that a crazy dream.

Ah, the excitement!

Meanwhile I’m going to think about a new job. By the summer, I have been working at AGF for about 3 years. The initial idea that I would only work there temporarily, but it turns out there is so much to do that I got offered a permanent contract last summer. I have great co-workers, the work is ok and I have a lot of freedom. Downside is that I could probably get a better salary and that it would be nice to try out something new. Maybe even something completely now, not even IT-related. Perhaps my trips will give me some new insights, we’ll see..

best Sunday ever

Sunday, November 23rd, 2008

In the morning I went to church. This lady got baptized, which is always kind of special to see, and it was just a good service in general.
After that I went to my parents’ for lunch, as usual. Always good to be there. Meanwhile it had started snowing; and not just a little bit. When I went home it was still going on; it felt kind of nice, biking through the snow.

At 3 there was a [F]luister show at the CBK, with two Japanese artists. I hadn’t been sure about going, but I figured I should.
Sure felt nice to enter a warm room, as I was half covered in snow. Tim and Jan were there, and some other guys I sort of know from the local music scene. It was nice to hang with them. Now the great thing about the [F]luister shows is that it’s in a very nice setting (a sort of art gallery located in an old building), the music is usually pretty relaxing and they’ve got a whole bunch of beanbags lying around.


First up was Midori Hirano and then Kazumasa Hashimoto. I liked them a lot; both combined their piano-playing with electronics, though the first leaned a bit more toward electronic music and the latter toward classical music.
During the shows it seemed like some people were either falling asleep or just sleeping, haha.. must admit that at times it was hard for me to keep my eyes open as well. Not that it was boring, but the whole thing was just so relaxing.

After the show I figured I’d go home, but Tim and Jan said they were going to grab a bite somewhere and I figured I’d go along. We ended up at Miró, this great Spanish tapas bar. We told the waitress to tell the cook to just make us something nice.. and boy, he did. It wasn’t exactly cheap but man, it was so worth it.

Somewhere in the evening, missing out on a BlueFish show at the Anarres goodbye party. But after having played there with Powerslib on Saturday, and seeing the interior of the place in its current state, I really had no intention on returning there.. haha.

Surely this had been one of the best Sundays ever.

tstgu review

Thursday, November 13th, 2008

Last week I saw The Spirit That Guides Us in Bibelot. Figured I’d write a review for 3voor12. In Dutch of course.



Wednesday, May 31st, 2006

So last Thursday I got a text message from a friend of mine who works at a hostel in Amsterdam. She asked me if I could accommodate two Americans for one night. I figured, what the heck, and said sure. After that I didn’t hear from her anymore, but then on Friday, early in the afternoon, I got a call from an American guy, asking if he and his friend could still come to my place. He said they were running late and would probably arrive around 9 pm. I didn’t really get that, but whatever.
Until sometime in the evening I had no idea who they were or what they were doing here, I figured they were probably in a band who had to play in Dordrecht. Then, around 8, I talked to my friend and she said they were two guys from Alabama, who were biking from London to Budapest. Wow.

So around 9.30 someone rang the doorbell and there they were. I felt pretty sorry for them since it had been raining all day. Actually the weather had been pretty bad since they got here.
We just ‘chilled’ at my apartment, listened to some music and talked about all kinds of stuff. They were into some of the same music (MxPx, Five Iron Frenzy, Simon & Garfunkel) and movies so that was pretty cool.
Then in the morning I had to go to work. They went along with me and I showed them were to go. Their next stop was Antwerp, Belgium. They told me I could stay with them if I’d ever need a place to stay. I said I’ll definitely go to the USA again, but I just don’t know if I will go to Alabama.. hehe.

So I guess this was my first couchsurfing experience, be it not through the couchsurfing website. I liked it a lot, wish I could do it more often. Not only was it fun, it’s also cool to be able to help out some people.