Saturday night I went to a poetry reading. Seven Dutch poets reading their own works. Well Dutch and Frisian to be exact. Just for completeness, they were Jan Baeke, F. van Dixhoorn, Elmar Kuiper, Erik Lindner, Nachoem M. Wijnberg, Martin Reints and Tsead Bruinja.
Interesting and a very good language exercise. And it also proved to me that poetry is very close to art. I don't get the amazingly deep arty-farty thing about analysing poetry. But sometimes a poem can just grab hold of your heart, sometimes stroking or caressing and at other times pulling violently. My two favourites of the evening were van Dixhoorn and Tsead Bruinja. The former for his multi layered poems with maritime connections combined with a great presentation and the latter for fantastic poems performed with musician Jaap van Keulen. Sometimes almost rap, very beautiful and kind of reminded me of Linton Kwesi Johnson, but with less Reggae.
I also ended up talking poetry with the aforementioned poets and a rather attractive female poet, Anne van Amstel, and I stayed quite late. On the whole a nice evening. Thanks Dave for bringing me along.
On the way home I saw several groups of people just hanging around in a rather sinister way, something I'm not really used to in Amsterdam.
Yesterday I slept late and woke up rather hungry and thought of going for breakfast in a local café, but realized I didn't have any cash, so I decided to make an omelet instead, since the cash dispenser is much further away than the café anyway. When I finally got out there was a haze in the air. Almost fog, but not quite. I saw some bees flying past and then a whole swarm came past. It still puzzles me, because it is really not the season for swarming bees. But I don't think they would have listened to me anyway.
After having got some money out and got myself some groceries from the almost always open but expensive little shop. I shuffled home again and I don't know if it was because of the haze in the air, but somehow the streets seemed emptier than a normal Sunday. The only people I saw were a group of youths in the distance. I ended up spending the evening watching television.
Although today is not actually part of the week-end I still wanted to tell you about this morning. I had promised to get some food for a friend of mine who is coming back today form a long travel, and I know how nice it is not to have to go shopping when you are jetlagged. So I went to her local supermarket and shuffled around the shelves just like everybody else, getting some milk and bread and cheese and all the usual stuff. I also found a very nice piece of Spanish ham, jabugo, which I know she will appreciate. At the cashpoint the cashiere stared at me with an empty and glassy stare and didn't say anything at all, and I thought that it's amazing how Monday morning can turn everybody into a zombie. As I took my change and left I looked back and I suddenly got the feeling that everybody in the whole store was slowly shuffling along after me.
I know I'm probably paranoid, but it made me hurry to my friend's house and lock the door behind me. Maybe I shouldn't have watched Shaun of the dead last week. I wish I had a cricket bat handy.