Life Abroad (DH)

Saturday, 11. April 2009

Hup Holland Hup

And here's part two of my seven day journey. I'm gonna keep it bullet point style, else I'd have to write a friggin' novel. All of the following by the way without once having inhaled THC induced smoke. This better not mean I'm 'growing up' or something...
  • Late arrival. Blow up difficulties. Midnight talkin'.
  • Extended breakfast. Strolling through the capital. Pillow fighting. German-spanish conversations. Lots of vodka. Empty club tristesse. Full club fun. Cheap beer and cigarettes. Neck-breaking beats. Almost neck-breaking bike ride home.
  • Lazy sunday at the park. Partially cloudy. KFC. TV. Sushi, mmmh.
  • Den Haag, take one. Seeing familiar faces. Courtyard chilling. Café chilling. Screen print room chilling. Seemingly nothing has changed. Reminiscing. Long ride home. Korean noodles from back in the days.
  • Rotterdam, here I come. Two broken headphones. %$&@!. Cruisin' through town on small bicycles. Hideous accumulation of architecture. Coke and apple pie. Bad case of cat allergy (first time). Wine at Cécile's. Beers at De Witte Aap. Intimate details. Short night.
  • Slow start. Dark grey skies and rain. Wine hunting in miserable conditions. Miscommunication. Long walks on empty roads. Tired. Improvised franconian dinner – the Sauerkraut didn't go well. Comedy channel.
  • Den Haag, take two. More familiar faces. Cutting prints. Folding prints. Carrying loads of cardboard. Sense of creative energy. Sense of 'stuff happening'. Sense of belonging. Feeling like I've never left. Short good-byes. Even shorter good-byes. In a rush. Creepy KLM check-in. Back in Oslo. Happy? I don't know.
Thank you Saskia, Cécile, Siebe, Ben, Claudia, Rebecca, Kate, Hae-Won, Fleur, Gauke, Barbara, Susan, Dylan and a couple more for the hospitality, the long conversations as well as the short encounters, the drunkeness and the many laughs. Really hope to be back soon...

holland2 holland3 holland4 holland1 holland5 holland7 holland8 holland6 holland9 holland10 holland11 holland12


Back from NL with the first of two updates. While over there, Saskia and me attended the World Pillow Fight Day in Amsterdam last Saturday. Even though we didn't participate due to lack of pillows and urge to rather take pictures, it was still loads of fun :D Fifteen minutes prior to the start it didn't look like much was gonna go down, so few people had shown up until then. But then pillow fighters from all over gradually sneaked in and made for a feathery mayhem – see for yourself. Next time I'm definitely joining the action...

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Thursday, 12. June 2008

A Funkanimal In Den Haag

My good friend Falko came to visit for a couple of days and we covered quite a program from 7:30 on Monday morning to 6:00 on Thursday morning:

Chilling – final presentations at school – lunch – chilling – beach – Holland vs. Italy at a crummy local bar with lots of beer, chips and fresh herring – beach – snacking at a night kiosk – sleep – breakfast chilling – 'photo shoot' with Cécile – tour of Den Haag – snacking at Havanna – coffee shop – good dinner – chilling – sleep – Amsterdam Grand Tour with stops at cafés, coffee shop and Club 11, a nice rooftop club near the Amsterdam harbor – a last snack at the night kiosk near my place and of course – some last chilling.

Overall a very nice time, not too busy but not all laid-back either. Still, some time to breathe now would and will be nice. Below the Triple-Falko. Falko on the roof of KABK. Falko on the 26th floor of Het Strjikijzen. Falko in Club 11.

Saturday, 7. June 2008

Night Sessions

Now in full steam. Two more to go and I'm done with this semester...

Sunday, 25. May 2008

The Crowd * The Gang * The Bros * The Hoes

Just like I did with my Danish connections, here finally some faces to the Den Haag names I keep telling you about.

cecile daniel ege leontios naima sayuri neele kate hae_won rebeca siebe dylan jos liz fleur cynthia urlie jerk

Cécile (F) – Daniel (GER) – Ege (TUR) – Leontios (ZYP) – Naïma (F)
Sayuri (J) – Nele (GER) – Kate (HUN) – Hae Won (KOR) – Rebecca (US)
Siebe (NL) – Dylan (NL) – Jos (NL) – Liz (NL) – Fleur (NL)
Cynthia (NL) – Urlie (NL) – Weirdo (GER)

Saturday, 24. May 2008


That basically describes the happenings of yesterday. It all started with most of my old class giving their reviews of the stages they are currently attending. Again very interesting and actually quite scary to see that even after my really extensive research of graphic design bureaus, there's still a huge number of really good ones I've never heard of. After that, as is customary, the school sponsored beers and some snacks and interested 2nd year students could talk with the 'interns'. So I stayed and had some nice chats with my old classmates. After a while everybody was gradually taking off and Dylan and Siebe asked me if I wanted to join them on their way to Haarlem to some fashion outlet sale.

I had about 60 seconds to decide and no plans for the afternoon / evening, so why not? Got on the train to Haarlem (the REAL one, not that fake copy in New York that's just named after it ;)), arrived there and started searching for the Lichtfabriek, which turned out to be a pretty cool location – an old factory building with vast halls perfect for big parties. I would really like to see how that place'd be cookin' with some bad ass electro beats. Anyways, the company that was having the outlet sale was Kuyichi, a brand that strongly emphasizes the fact that all it's fashion is made with 100% organic cotton and dealt fair trade. Not exactly my style but ok, ended up buying a belt.

After that we went to visit Dylan's brother who works in Haarlem at Pepperminds, a relatively big marketing agency. Very cliché in fact, with oh-so-hip modern interior, we-are-a-team propaganda plastered all over the walls and hyperactive and overly friendly staff, some of them seemingly on coke or something. We had a couple of beers there, played a game of pool and continued on. Dylan went to Amsterdam to some party and I went with Siebe to his place, where we were soon joined by his girlfriend and a friend of hers. Had a nice chat and at about ten decided to go to town.

On the way to the city center I could see, how pretty Haarlem actually is. Lots of cozy little streets, small canals and cute houses – very nice! I was told that a lot of people move here from Amsterdam as soon as they have kids only because they want them to grow up in these surroundings. Anyways, after a bumpy bike ride with me pedaling and Siebe on the back seat we arrived at a street with lots of bars, endless rows of tables outside and hundreds of young people. Kinda how I would imagine a Botellón, just that the people aren't sitting on the ground. We were greeted by more of Siebe's friends and I ended up having one of the coolest, chilled out nights since my arrival here. Cool atmosphere, good conversations and lots of hard flirting. Just that last part would make it worth coming back...

Sorry folks, no pictures this time, as none of this was planned :)

Sunday, 4. May 2008



All I wanted to do was to take a quick trip to the beach to watch the sunset. I left my apartment around 8 and somewhere on my way (pretty much where the pink and blue lines split) must've completely lost my sense of direction – instead of going north-west like I thought I was, I headed north-east. After about an hour of restless cycling I came to realize my mistake and took a turn (on N44) – the sun long gone. I made it maybe 500m when the fucking bolt of my left pedal loosened and after another 500 came off. Not having any tools with me and not being able to screw it back in – it was slightly damaged and therefore constantly jamming – I had to walk.


After about a half hour walk of cursing and deliberately trying to cycle without a second pedal – totally fucking ridiculous of course – I found a bus station, giving me at least a slight idea of where I was. There were no stations shown on the map but from the bus lines I could guess my position: way off. To make a long story short, I arrived home at about 11. Instead of 7km, I made a 29km round trip of which I walked half. Instead of biking for about 50 minutes there and back, I was on the road for three whole hours. I didn't even see a glimpse of the beach nor the sunset. And all that after having the maybe best party here in Den Haag two days before.

Damn karma.

Thursday, 1. May 2008


Yesterday was Koninginnenach or Queen's Night, the night before the traditional and very Dutch Koninginnedag or Queen's Day on the 30th of April. What originally started out as the celebration of the queen's birthday, today is only an excuse to totally freak out and party all night (and day) long.

You could already see huge concert stages being build on the major plazas of Den Haag over the past few days as well as posters announcing all sorts of activities and events. We, the exchangies, were told it's best to spend the night in Den Haag and take look at the spectacle in Amsterdam the next day. Well, in the early evening it became clear what kind of event this would be: thousands and thousands of Dutch people wearing at least one piece of orange clothing crawling the streets, getting drunk and listening to 2nd class bands blasting from the stages. Everything ranging from families to students to elderly people was there, literally the whole city seemed to be up on their feet.

Well, upon seeing what awaited us, Cécile, Naïma, Daniel and I decided we were not cut out for this kind of 'national holiday' and instead would just have a couple of drinks at Naïma's place and later sneak past the crowds into the Paard van Troje to see DJane Missile in action. And that's what we did. After a couple of beers and some wine we headed out into the night eager to party. Only to discover that Missile wasn't as good as she sounded in her online sets, the crowd was extremely... um... drunk and village-fairish and we still weren't ready for the full frontal patriotism that was apparent everywhere – there were so many Holland flags hung up behind the DJ it almost looked like some fascist propaganda speeches were about to be held. Very strange.

After one and a half hours we called it quits and headed back to Naïma's place for a relaxed chill out session. Upon looking at some pictures of what Queen's Day in Amsterdam would be like, the four of us had also decided that it would probably be fun to look at for 15 minutes and after that we'd just be annoyed by the 'spectacle'. So instead of doing that trip today was spent recovering from last night and bundling strength for tomorrows big party.

By the way, Naïma lives in the coolest place I've seen here so far – it's an old squatted school building, where each 'apartment' is basically one of the old 60qm classrooms, with one big shared kitchen and showers in the basement. The whole thing is just crazy and looks like a mixture of run down artist's atelier (e.g. there's a small screen printing room on the first floor), junkie den and fraternity house. Gotta go back there some time and take more pictures. Those two below are almost exactly three hours apart by the way.

Friday, 25. April 2008

Afro Blue Legends Of Jazz

Siebe, a friend from my old class, yesterday opened his first solo exhibition in a small gallery in Leiden, a mid-sized university town north of Den Haag. A relaxed evening with real good oil paintings about American Jazz artists, wine, a very nervous speech, weird conversation ("So, how are the streets in Germany?") and the conclusion that I'm living in the wrong town. Because Leiden is actually really beautiful – looks a lot like a small Amsterdam with all its 'cute' streets and canals, just not as loud and missing all the tourists. Definitely worth coming back! All except Cynthia seemed to think so, as she constantly got stuck in the pavement with her high heels...

siebe1 siebe2 siebe3 siebe4 siebe5 siebe6

Master Blokland

In class with Frank Blokland – commander of the broad nip and pointed pen. Seriously, I'm learning so much about type from this guy, I wish I could spend another semester here and just do 'Letter Ontwerpen' from the very start.


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