Monday, June 15, 2009

Utrecht

- hrmm trains to expensive and not direct
- buses only go on Saturday
- guess I'll try hitchhiking for this one :)
- get a ride from Frank back to Cologne, and then to Belgium
- he's cool guy, has all sorts of degrees and is planning to be a genetic scientist
- sees me studying my Bible and asks me about it
- we end up talking for the next several hours about God and religions
- he is a rather anti-religious atheist who only believes in chance and physics
- but he really wanted to talk about things
- a few key things I recall
- he talked a lot about the "miracle of birth" so much has to happen just right
- "humans are the only animal with pity"
- but he doesn't see anything good from religion
- talked a lot about the history of Europe and what influenced it
- I need to get better at my history...
- ethics are they important, or even valid?
- pray for him if you would
- drops me off in Belgium
- hard to find someone going where I want to go...
- meet some nice people from the Dutch military
- they'd take me but it's not allowed
- eventually I just end up taking a ride into Brussels
- hmmm wrong part of town to get a ride going north...
- I guess it's train from here
- grrr the machine only takes cards
- thanks the friendly guy that helped me out with my ticket!
- hehe the ticket guy on the train looks just like Harry Zidler...
- Antwerp has a realllly cool central train station!
- Great mix of the old and new
- Train to Utrecht
- Meet a professional Jazz sax player on the train, Really cool!!
- Arrive in town
- huh, can't find a tourist info center to get a map from
- can't find Internet either
- eventually pay to much to use the library's
- sweet, now I have my couchsurfing host's info
- give him a call
- no answer
- wander around town
- really pretty city with canals, trees, and old buildings
- tis nice
- find a spot to sit and change my mandolin strings
- a sorry looking and very stoned guy stumbles by
- searching for the dropped stubs of joints between the cobblestones and smoking them...
- sad
- I finish retuning and play for a bit, not performing just playing
- a guy comes up and sits on a nearby bench
- probably 15-16 years old
- first talk about normal surface things, travel, music
- somehow God comes up
- he comes from what sounds like a very Godly family
- especially his mother
- he seems to understand the gospel
- that it is Jesus alone that can save us from our sins
- and that we are to live lives following and worshiping him
- but...
- he feels stuck
- really hard to get a job as an Armenian immigrant
- family doesn't have much money
- so... he is dealing cocaine to give money to his sister (that's why he was waiting there)
- that way she can go to university and have a chance at a good life
- he sees this as sacrificing himself for his sister
- I doubt his family knows about all this
- but I could see God working on him, Jesus can save him!
- Please pray for him!!
- I go wander some more
- find a spot to sit down and eat something
- a guy is busking with a djimbe down the way
- comes over and talks with a friend who is next to me
- we start up a conversation and he lets me play his drum
- we end up jamming for the next... 3 hrs :)
- mandolin + sweet percussion = awesome
- give Henk another call and come over
- Henk is a musician = guitars, hand drums and all sorts of cool music stuff
- turns out he lives next door with his family
- I'll be staying with 3 other guests
- Philippe, a French guy in town to apply for the music conservatory as a piano player
- Titus, a Polish guy doing an internship
- Robbie, an American traveling as a singing, guitar playing, robot on the streets.
- fun group
- Philippe and I have a sweet jam session with guitar and melodica - yes!
- Yay plane tickets finally all totally figured out and paid for!!
- Thanks for the help Mom!
- visit the Rietveld-Schroeder house
- this would have looked realllllly crazy in 1925
- the moving walls are pretty darn sweet though!
- the Utrecht university has some really crazy buildings
- loooots of colours
- I think the library might be my new favourite building
- such cool layers, sections, the entry and the atrium spaces are sweet!
- huh, Koolhaus building
- am I in a piece of famous architecture?
- or in a converted warehouse with classrooms and a home-made skate park
- day trip into Amsterdam
- take along a borrowed folding bike
- nice old town, definitely seems more industrialized then Utrecht though
- some really really cool new buildings
- not so sure about the new library
- but the music conservatory next door is really coool!
- I'll just pretend I'm a student that happens to have a camera so that I can explore the whole place :)
- the new housing developments on the old harbour fronts are really sweet
- fun to ride through them all especially since we talked so much about them in classes
- bike riding feels different here much more laid back then in Denmark
- Henk was sick the first few days so didn't see much of him
- but as he got better we got to jam a little bit, he's a great song writer
- to bad every day seems to have an afternoon downpour
- means no mandolin playing...
- horray for a washing machine!
- off to Delft...

Nights stayed: 4
Amount earned: € 12 (didn't play much cause there was to much to see :)
Things that made it all worth it:

That Jam session on the street with random people and instruments

Riding on a tiny bike while taking pictures

Hanging out in the kitchen talking with such different people with all sorts of experiance

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