Wake up to the Sunday morning, hop on your bike, cycle to the park, and feel the smell of the trees around you, listen to the chirping of birds, feel the wind breeze. It’s spring, and we’re at the Oosterpark. It’s 10 a.m. and unlike later on in the afternoon, it is quiet over here, and there’s SPACE. My friend Catarina from All In Yoga is about to start the class. As much as I love dancing the night out, the feeling of starting the day early, and in this fashion, is incomparable.
Yesterday I was thinking of the downs of living “abroad”. I must say I very rarely put myself this question, but I know that this is a very relatable topic to most expats. If you are one, you might immediately have a whole spectrum of ideas on it. Things like the absence of friends and family might automatically pop into your mind, or the missing of certain foods, your hometown, the weather, or a type of human warmth very specific to where you come from. Personally, the following sentence immediately banged in my head:
The only moment of the day in which you can quietly walk along the city center of an overcrowded Amsterdam is at the crack of dawn: that’s the time when you carelessly go around parts of the city you would otherwise avoid. That is also the moment in which, as a local, you feel that the city is yours again ( was it ever…?) – even if just for a couple of hours, before the sea of tourists awakes. However, and despite the fact that I love this sensation, I somehow really need to have a strong reason in order to wake up early. And the good reason for me is always art-related.
In Portugal, where I grew up, there was an un-written code of conduct for “decent women”: whatever you do, never. make. the. first. move with a specimen of the opposite sex. It didn’t matter if that move was nothing other than trying to keep in touch with someone you had found pleasant, interesting, or just worthy of having in your social-circle. Never. make. the. first. move. was not something to be argued against, and by this I mean the reasoning with yourself. The “we live in the 21st century, for god’s sake” argument wouldn’t be of use. The experience of having attempted a first move in the past (or giving the impression you were making one) had been powerful enough to teach any girl that, in such a situation, whatever could go wrong, would.
I graduated in theater some years ago. Taking this info into account, you might think it was easy for me to start following what is going on in the city, theater and performance wise. In fact, it took me the longest time to get acquainted with the field, in the low countries. In the beginning it was all very intimidating.
Last week one of my theater mates proposed we went to see the “De Andere Stem”, a theater play which starting point is Jean Cocteau’s classic “La Voix Humaine”( “The Human Voice”). I am an enthusiast of classics, especially in The Netherlands, where they are always staged from a contemporary perspective. I am fond of Toneelgroep Amsterdam as well – the company resident at the Stadsschouwburg, the national theater located at Leidseplein. The stars seemed well aligned for a proper theater evening.
I love the feeling of being in love. I guess most people reckon with this. That’s why I want to talk about it while it’s still hot and burning.
With this late-tropical summer we are facing, I’m sure a lot of our original plans are going to be replaced by outdoors options. Anyway, the program for this week looks like an exciting one (as usual), so maybe we can find a compromise between sunbathing / barbecuing and feeding mind / soul. Yes, vitamin D is also very necessary to the soul but well, you know what I mean, right? Don’t forget that the names of the events include a link to its website, and free events are signaled as well. And we’ll start out tonight in the best of fashions, with the fiery rhythms of my dear friends Guzanghida.
Welcome to this huge square full of tents, stalls and improvised ‘homes’ in the style of old circuses and fairs (let’s fantasize over this together). You know that every other address offers a theater performance of some kind, and they run continuously, during each day.
This article comes a couple of days later than expected. In fact its completion was a challenge as i only have one available hand for typing. The other got swollen as hell after a wasp stung on Monday morning, while i was cycling to the coffee place, to work. It was fierce, and still after some strong medicine and rest – and being high half of the time -, it looks red as a bell pepper. Well, despite everything, i’m very happy the blog post is ready! So i won’t make you wait anymore.