I haven’t posted for a while, nothing new has happened, but things are evolving, and this post is about one of them.
I don’t have any friends in Europe. My nearest true friend is Mel in London, and everyone else is in Australia, 21,000km away. This is not a sad story. I am not lonely. This situation has given me a kind of freedom, I am a stranger in a strange land. And I use this freedom.
I go out a few times a week. I don’t go out to pick up, I don’t go to discos or nightclubs. I go to cafe’s (bars) to drink beer and meet people. The first few times it was a bit awkward. I would go into a bar full of strange people, speaking a strange language, and get a glass of beer. I would stand there by myself, watching them. Sometimes I would start up a conversation with someone, but the Dutch are a bit aloof and more often than not they would turn their back to me. But sometimes they did not. Sometimes they would talk. That’s how I got my foot in the door of Amsterdam society.
For some reason I keep meeting photographers. I am now on a first name basis with some of the top young photographers in the Netherlands. Supposedly.
It is currently almost 5am, I have been writing this for 30 minutes already. I wanted to get down what happened tonight.
I went to Weber at about midnight. I was Tokyo subway full, so I really had to push and squeeze to get in to the bar. The barmaid (Fleur?) recognised me and had a beer waiting when I finally made it to the bar. I looked around. None of my friends were there, I wonder who I will target? The decision was made for me when Stiev (not his real name) came up and cheersed me. I met Stiev on Tuesday night when he tried to chat up the girl who was trying to chat me up. He has a dodgy tan and is older than me.
We had a few drinks, a few laughs. but as time progressed it became clear that, despite his denials, Stiev was in a hunting mood. He spied a group of sixteen year old girls near the door and he was locked on. He kept mentioning them, and before long he was sitting with them. He was unsubtle in his approach, and although some of them seemed to be enjoying it, it was clear to me that this was not right. It took a little while, but I convinced Stiev that we should leave and go to Leidseplein (“for the women”). As Stiev went to get his coat, the barman leaned over and shook my hand for getting him away from the girls.
So I led Stiev to Leidseplein, and he took me to places I had never before visited. Dodgy pickup clubs. I spent the next few hours with him, drinking beers as he pointed out and harassed decreasingly attractive women. He was a pure percentages man, and his only real techniques were volume and unsolicited touching. This is not a game I can play, I need to have a conversation with a girl before I can be truly attracted, and a noisy nightclub with 50% slores is not the place.
We ended up at “Surprise Bar” (I think) which was, despite being dodgy, not as dodgy as the last few places. We shook hands with the bouncers and were let into a secret side entrance. Must remember that one. This place, still a meat market, had a higher grade of meat in it. There was some kind of toast going on, so we joined in and I bought us each a “green drink” for the purpose. It tasted like bubblegum. We went up the back and danced with some girls until he scared them all away.
I left then and got a shoarma and coke on the way home, to prevent a hangover. I am writing this as I drink my mandatory 2 litres of water before bed.