In at the deep end


July 31, 2008

Moons pass, seasons change, governments rise and fall, yet still the blog remains un-updated.
Ok some hyperbole involved perhaps but it has been a while.
I’ve been trying to write this post for the past few weeks but never get past the blank page on wordpress.

It feels as if my head is a saucepan which will overflow if I put the metaphorical ladel in to extract some info…But anyway, to the point… Last weekend my father and his girlfriend (which honestly sounds like a rather disrespectful term for someone of the previous generation) came to visit…
‘”I’m quite interested to try some”
“Well, then, shall we visit a coffee shop?”
“No need, I have a gram right here”
I hand the bag of grass, rizlas, filters and lighter to my dad, who expertly rolls a bi-generational spliff.
A few tokes all round, Jenny’s feeling a little light headed (not unusual if you’ve not smoked it before), James is feeling chilled out, whereas I can barely stand up and eating my pancake is a task akin to simultaneously solving a rubix cube while writing a thesis on the hidden nature of quarks and trying to play chess with Deep Blue.
I’d love to give a coy, in depth analysis of my father stoned, as it would probably prove amusing to those that know him, however I forgot (ahah!) to mention to the crowd that the name of this particular weed was “Amnezia”, which I thought was a cute nickname, rather than a bold statement of fact.

The simple chilled out effect was fun to see in my dad though, as when he was refused a glass of tap water by the waitress who’d just served us around 20 euros in food in drink I was expecting him to go ballistic…
You see, James is the last stalwart defender of common sense and decency, and sees it as his divinely appointed duty to stand up for these values where others would not.
So when he relaxedly replied “Oh, ok” I bust into a fit of laughter.
I remember him telling me of a time many years ago when he’d been refused a glass of water by a cafe owner, his reaction at this point was to reach behind the counter, grab a large carving knife and insist that he was given a glass of water.
To those of you that don’t know my father this may paint a rather agressive picture of him, but to appreciate the irony of these tales you have to consider my father is the principle of an EFL school, and is one of the most well spoken and highly educated people you could care to meet, so I find such tales from his past endlessly amusing.

The next day they had to fly back to blighty and I had to catch a train back to Rotterdam.
I’d been staying in a hostel called De Mafkees for the past two weeks and had been told that two weeks was the maximum anyone was allowed to stay. 
So imagine my surprise when I checked my emails and found a email from Hedi, a member of staff at the hostel (a kinder more intelligent girl you couldn’t hope to meet), telling me that everyone (apart from Lizbeth, who told me I couldn’t stay) had piped up for me with the “big boss” and said that I should be allowed to stay as long as I like!
Over the past couple of weeks I’d got to know the staff at the hostel really well, such friendly and interesting people made such a change from the heartless staff at the hostels in Amsterdam that sent a poor cripple laden with motorcycle gear trapsing from hostel to hostel for a week!

Before I left for Amsterdam to meet my dad, when I thought I was going to be kicked out, the night shift guy Niels even said I could stay at his place for a while, and seeing as even though 10 euros a night for a hostel was cheap, paying in beers/stew for a place to stay was even cheaper, I decided to take him up on his offer anyway!

And that’s how I ended up in a squat at 9am drinking beer.
Seeing as Niels worked the night shift I had decided to stay up through the night and tag along back to his place at the end of his shift.
11:45pm – 7:45am in a hostel is a weird time.
Old men in their boxers, Iranian ladies teaching you the Farsi word for marmalade, and anorexic Swedish girls that wake up at 5am, down three Rosé Weickes beers and then ask if you can roll.
On the way to Niels’ we stopped at one of his old squats.
It was exactly as you’d stereotype a squat, broken glass on the floor, A for Anarchy scrawled on the walls, suspicious looking pools of dried liquid, still, looked like it must have been a cool place when people were living there.
When we got to his current place it was a whole other story, clean, tidy, a helluvalot nicer than my house was in fact!

In a way it’s a shame that I’m not staying longer, I’ve got a bus booked to Munich on Friday evening!
Oh and in an amazing stroke of news, they’ve found my camera! Nearly a month after I left it on the train it gets handed in to the lost and found.
That’s right up there with Elvis-tap-dancing-on-the-loch-ness-monster’s-head in terms of likelihood.
Still.. all’s well that ends well right guys?
Once again, Adeui!

  • John

    I’d post something but I knew all of this yesterday ;)

    Good news on the camera front and good to hear from you matey.

  • James Daddy

    It wasn’t a large carving knife, it was a small vegetable knife – but hey!

  • toukakoukan

    I’m not convinced that makes much difference y’know!


    sounds like things are going great for you mister sam. catch you on msn some time soon.

  • Chimera2402

    Was beginning to wonder where you’d disappeared too. Good to see you’re getting into mischief still.

    Catch you on MSN some time.