Purple Hazy

Posted by in Dispatches

Canal Walk in UtrechtAh Vancouver, er, Amsterdam. The weather here has forced your two fearless travelers under the limited protection of one teeny bright green umbrella – clutching it together as we walk the canal-lined streets of Amsterdam through the winds and rains. Yes, it’s been a wee bit pissy. But our day in Amsterdam yesterday was still great, i got my important interview with Hubb Roelvink, programmer for the EU’s Docuzone (now called CinemaNet), the world’s largest digital cinema distribution and exhibition network. I was quite happy to learn in the interview that the network has kept it’s focus on documentaries, although it could use a bit more political cinema. In the end, I got a good 70 minutes of discussion recorded for my article that i’m writing for POV, and it’s a good thing i got it before the purple haze set in…

Me interviewing HuubAfter the interview (that’s me with Hubb in his office at the left) we walked around Amsterdam, through the red light district complete with women in underwear sitting behind glass doors waiting for customers. We sat in a coffee shop and Svetla ordered some “Purple Haze,” which was indeed purple, and indeed created a massive haze in this non-pot head’s brain. I was a little spaced out for much of our walking around after that…We spent the day checking out architecture, people and shopping for a dress for Svetla to attend her best friend’s wedding this august in Bulgaria. I snapped a photo of how i felt about the shopping (below and to the right).

Shopping sucksAmsterdam is full of tourists, many of whom come to do things they can’t do in their own countries, and so it is nice to get on the train at midnight and zoom through the night back to sleepy Utrecht, where we’re staying. If only I hadn’t been suffering from a little purple haze, we might have made it from the train station to Bram and Ilke’s in the ten minutes it usually takes. Instead i had us walking in circles all over Utrecht until we realized (by pulling out the map) that we were nowhere near home. That must be why i prefer drinking beer.

And so, after getting a little wet and hazy, and a few conversations about prostitution and drug legalization, we have had our first day in the big city of Holland. We’re heading there again today to go to some museums, including the 400 year anniversary of Rembrandt exhibition and the Van Gogh Museum. Tonight we’re meeting with my old roommates here in Utrecht for some drinks.