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a crack in your ear through which sound surreptitiously slips, or an illicit substance which gives your ears immense pleasure while enslaving them to a crippling addiction

Monday, April 10, 2006

jet lag

Travel, for me, feels a little like dreaming. The airplane takes you through clouds into another timezone, to a place where everything is just a little bit different. And the time shift makes everything feel sort of like it's happening in a parrallel universe.

I just got back from Amsterdam yesterday, I was there for a radio conference, where I was invited to speak about my work. I was the only American there, although one of the other speakers was Canadian, and everyone there spoke English. Almost all of the pieces they played were in Dutch, it was interesting to hear what their radio is like these days. I didn't hear anything that I liked more than anything I've heard before, but then, I didn't hear everything, because it was in Dutch, and I was in Amsterdam, and one's just got to make the most of these things.

This is the hotel where I stayed:

Amsterdam.toren

It was really really nice, right on one of the canals. I was spoiled by the festival organizers. When I looked down the street from my hotel, it looked a little like this:

amsterdam1

I had a good time, Amsterdam is a beautiful city, very old yet also quite progressive. When I first got there, roaming the streets with a few hours to kill, I was euphoric (and it wasn't just due to the "coffee"). There's something about being in a place with such a long history that just feels different. The canals were very beautiful, cobblestone roads, everyone rides a bicycle. Then there's the red light district, which I found a little creepy (full of obnoxious college boys in packs of 3 or 4, there for the sex and drugs and not much else). I wandered around and saw a street artist who made intricate and very colorful costumes, and there were men modeling the costumes in the middle of the square, posing, moving, posing, with money hats in front of them. I guess people were supposed to tip based on the costume. The interesting thing about it to me was, one of the costumes was a Roman gladiator (kind of to be expected), but the other was Jim Carry's character from "The Mask".

I love that kind of stuff. And I thought to myself, "I could live here..." But now, I'm not so sure that's true. For all of America's shortcomings, we've actually got it pretty good. I don't think I could make a living doing what I'm doing over there, radio funding there is dwindling (much more so than here). And people here, generally speaking, seem much more willing to express themselves openly, which is something I don't think I could live without.

2 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

hehe! hi jonathan!
that is all. :)

- jocelyn

12:59 AM

 
Blogger Muzachary said...

i saw the jim carrey guy when i was there! almost exactly a year ago. He had some pearly whites eh?

12:58 AM

 

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