Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Strangers have the best candy

Hello all,

I am still alive, having a blast. Internet is impossible in Italy, but I have been taking notes of my adventures and will update you all soon.

Ciao

(with kegan in Sicilia)

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Happy Birthday Gonzo

I`ve had some of the best riding and camping experiences of my life coming into Swtizerland.

We would climb a single mountain all day in the beating sun. Going UP UP UP. We would climb along the edges of cliffs, most of the other riders in thier lowest cog. I would zig-zag across the road in order to get the best power-distance ratio from my little fixed gear.

Compared to the blue ridge, these mountains are young and jagged, but every bit as beautiful, often more so. Catching glimpses of the Alps in the distance is quite intimidating, knowing I will be crossing them shortly. This is the first time I have had an experience that rivals the motorcycle trip I took with my father through Montana and Wyoming, through beartooth pass, and the Tetons.

We would climb so high in the summer heat, finaly reaching our camp site in the evening: high enough to have a snowball fight before dinner. My first time in the mountains since leaving Boone; a weight has been lifted, pressure released, I feel at home again.

After climbing all day, there is but one way to go in the morning: down. And down, and down, for hours. At ludicris speed, down. Picking bugs out of my teeth, down. Darting round corners, pedaling all the time, passing cars, down.

Down down down, lake Geneve in the distance. And eventually we made it to town, we went swimming, we washed the salt and sweat from our skin.

The caravan kids were able to reunite with some good friends that used to live with them in Lappersfort and I was able to meet some wonderful people for the first time. These people are what made Geneve worth seeing.

The group stayed at a small community garden just outside of town. It was a nice break from the city. We were able to continue our nightly routine of cooking dinner over an open fire and the space allowed us some much needed R&R. We spent alot of our time simply reading, playing music and backgammon. Lots of backgammon; the game has become a slight addiction among the caravan when there is any sort of downtime.

I finished several books durring my stay. One was called Stardust. It gives an account of how the heavier elements in the universe came into existence long after the big bang, created in the hearts of stars and scattered across the universe in many generations of supernovea (more specifically, the elements that are required for life on earth, and potentially elsewhere). It is not a bad read, if you don't already know elementary astrophysics or just want a refresher on who discovered cosmic background radiation or how the triple alpha process works. But if you already know the basics there is nothing that will really stretch your noodle, it might be worth just skipping ahead to the last two chapters.

I also read another Harukami book called Dance Dance Dance. He is a fun author. His books are surreal, entertaining, and can often be read in a day.

But I think my favorite was Kafka, I haven't read his stuff in years and someone on the caravan happened to have a collection of his short stories, The Great Wall of China, among others. I could read these over and over again.

We didn't spend our entire time in Geneve sitting about though. We had several mini adventures durring our stay. One day we all went swimming in the river, some of the kids climbed to the top of a building at waters edge (used for loading cargo onto boats). They brought climbing harnesses and ropes with them, and repelled off of the roof and onto one of the platforms extending from the building. Usually this platform would be used as a crane to lift the cargo, but that day it became a thirty foot high diving board. Although I have jumped off of things twice this high into water, the last couple times I have dislocated my shoulder (and once chipped my tooth). The last time I dislocated my shoulder was playing capoeira six months ago. This is the longest time I have allowed my shoulder to heal in the past eight years. I didn't want to push my my luck so I decided to withhold the urge to jump with the rest of the group.

That day Tovio and his friend Sarah spotted us swimming, they had just hitchhiked in from France. It was a pleasure to have them for the remainder of our stay in the city. A few other members of the caravan have left, at least for the time being. Kayne ended up heading back to Lappersfort, Gonzo to Austria, and Loki went back to the UK. They have all been missed and always remain a topic of conversation when good memories are shared.

We were all involved in two Critical Masses durring our time in Geneve. The first one was alot of fun. I would imagine close to two-hundred people turned up. There were some agressive motorists which is generally expected at any Critical Mass. Including one gentleman who climbed out of his Porshe to knock cyclists off of thier bikes, started hurling the bicycles midair into a crowd of people, and then pulled a self-defense baton out of his car door to provoke those left standing. I think he threatened to bust my teeth out, but my french still isn't good enough to tell. The gentleman's ego was finally subdued by a bit of pepperspray courtesy of a concerned bystander. So no serious injurries, no arrests were made, and we were able to have a relatively peaceful demo.

Afterwards, hundreds of cyclists and other human powered vehicle fans gathered in the local park for a night of good music and endless free pizza. Amazing pizza, made fresh on the spot by a team of cooks, working at a trailor the had been converted into a wood-fired pizza oven.

The second Critical Mass we were not so lucky. Bob, one of the girls in the bicycle caravan, was struck in a head on collision with a motorscooter. She was knocked unconcious for a few seconds, and eventually rushed to the hospital, leaving behind only a pile of daisies and a puddle of blood on the concrete. Bob is tough though. she recieved several stiches on her head and her face was swollen so much we could't tell if her nose was broken or not. But she was up on her bike again in a few days and ready for the road shortly thereafter.

By the way, I am really not trying to discourage anyone from participating in a critical mass. The demos are generally quite safe and I have witnessed all types of people participating, including very young children, and elderly folk. Just keep your wits about you and stay with the most dense part of the mass (this was part of what made Bob vulnerable). These are two relatively extreme and rare incidents that have happened and should not be taken as the norm.

And then one of the most exciting things happened in Geneve: Kegan & Connor, brilliant friends of mine from home and two of my favorite people in the world, found me in Geneve at a Voku one evening. And gave me a hug that felt something like being swallowed by a jabborwoki.

I was able to spend the next wonderful days with them. A few days in Geneve before hitchhiking to OffPride in Zurich (a queer/trans conference durring europride). Despite having a cold from hell, (my first time being sick since finals) which caused me to miss some of the more exciting events that took place (I recomend reading Kegan's blog and checking out pictures for more on that), I still thouroughly enjoyed the time to catch-up with old friends. And I even made some new ones: the wonderful people who offered to accomodate us while we were in Zurich were one of the best parts of the trip. One in particular who goes by Valorie (sorry for the possible mis-spelling) has a quick wit, is down to earth, and is a fantastic cook. She really made us all feel at home, and not only put up with our antics but joined in on them.

We said our goodbyes. Now Kegan and Connor are heading up to check out Lappersfort in Brugges and then woofing in Ireland: Have a blast guys. The bicycle caravan carried on ahead of me while I went on my detour to Zurich. So now I am going to try to catch up to them in Milano. I was planning on leaving on my bike imediately after getting back to Geneve, but I was welcomed in by some of my friends here and three hours has turned into three days. But I have been having an extraordinary time... in fact the past three days have been some of the best in Geneve so far: Skipping tons of food, learning french, climbing trees, having portuguees food for the first time, working in the garden all day. But best of all has been really meeting the people that live here one-on-one and experiencing thier community firsthand.


So that's it for now... I know I need to get another Camera, riding through the Alps I am starting to regret not having one, but that is the way life works out sometimes.

Miss all of you dearly.
For those who just graduated: Congratulations & I can't wait for the next time we will be having beer together... hmm, why not put off getting a job and come join me for one here!
For everyone else: Happy Summer Vacation

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

WOAPA!

Has been a while hasn't it? My appollogies, but it seems that paradise is lacking internet connection. Also, once again I am on a French computer with no English spell check, so please excuse any typos.

Where did we leave off, ah yes, travelling with a band called The Caliope Of The Future to Brugge, the starting point of a bicycle caravan to Italy for the G8.

I stayed in Brugge for about six days in a forest occupation called Lappersfort. A forest occupation is basically a group of people who live in a forest to prevent it from being destroyed. The Lappersfort camp has been occupying this particular forest in Belgium since October of 2008 in order to prevent it from being clearcut, in order to make another industrial complex for a corporation called Fabricom. Currently, there is more land in Belgium that is now industrial complex territory than there is of actual forest; naturaly many locals are concerned and motivated to preserve the little natural land that they have left.

Being a temporary resident at Lappersfort was nothing short of a dream come true for me. The place itself is breathtakingly beautiful and the people there are insatiably dedicated to the preservatrion of the land, animals, and plantlife that currently reside there. The members of Lappersfort are responsible for organizing this bicycle caravan, which I am currently a part of, and so the occupation itself was used as a meeting place for all of those spearheading the trip. I came a few days before the day of take off, so I had the opportunity to live alongside the residents here, fixing up bikes and exploring the camp.

There are treehouses which have been constructed throughout the canopy of the forest, I do not know exactly how many but I would estimate at least a dozen. Some are the size of small houses, all have full size beds and are completely sheltered and insulated from the elements. In order to protect the trees, none have been constructed using nails, but rather lashings of rope which are soft on the bark and can be completely removed, leaving not a trace of evidence that they were there at all (which is exactly what will happen once the camp has served its purpose).

Each night when it was time for bed I would put on a climbing harness, tie a prusec knot and slip my foot in, and begin the 60 foot ascent to my bed for the evening. This took some getting used to, but luckily due to lots of rockclimbing experience, it was not long before I was able to do this in under five minutes, seven in heavy rain. Sleeping 60 feet off of the ground is an amazing experience, as the wind literaly rocks you to sleep, swaying the tree to and fro. Each morning I would sit atop the tree canopy and enjoy the sun rise over Brugge, which I could see from two miles away. Then I would slip the rope into a figure-eight, hop off of the house, and repel down to the earth in all of four seconds. Who needs coffee in the morning after that?

The camp is filled with splendid people from all over the world, all with their own talents, idiosynchrasies, and different types of humor. This was a great opportunity to share stories, games, and skills. We would have knot tying workshops, juggling sessions, they have an extensive bike workshop on the ground, had I stayed a day longer I would have had the opportunity to learn to weld (although I am sure this opportunity will arise more throughout the trip). There is one English fellow (very English) who has more than a slight obsession with making perfectly golden-crisp fish and chips in a vat of oil over open fire, an obsession which I encourage greatly. Each night we would sit around the campfire and make dinner consisting of skipped food and indiginous plants that we picked that day.

You know Nettles? Those trecherous little stinging plants... they really aren't too bad once you get used to them. They are even quite beneficial for you blood circulation, and you can even eat them if you throw them in boiling water for a few seconds. As far as nutritional value goes, they are on par with spinach. They surround the camp and have been a staple on the ride as well, you can make everything from salads, soups, teas, and tinctures. One of the caravan mates even recomends an annual nettle bath:

"yeah man, just get naked and roll arround in a thick patch of them for a few seconds, that's all it takes."
"AHH! Doesn't the toxin get you high?"
"Sure man, that's half the fun. You kind of buzz for about twelve hours and trip a little. It starts on the skin and then it really gets your heart going. It's a brilliant cure for arthritus as well, sometimes I just sweep my hands through fields of Nettles. I wouldn't recomend a full on bath more than once a year though, I am not quite sure what the prolonged effects are."
"You're fucking crazy, you know that?"

... later on the bicycle caravan I had the extremely interesting opportunity of watching a few of my riding buddies take a nettle bath before we all went skinny dipping in a nearby stream. I was not up for it that eveing, but maybe one day. Who knows... I'll try anything twice.

Travelling with Tovio and Kayne from The Caliope of the Future has been an experience itself, each of them are extraordinarily tallented and have been skill-sharing as we move from town to town. Tovio has studied traditional Capoeira Angola for over a decade and has been giving me mini tutor lessons whenever we come across a green piece of grass; quite a blessing, as he is a great teacher and I have really missed playing these past few months. Plus I am able to explore Angola, a style and history that I have always been fascinated with but hardly exposed to in school. We have also been playing quite a bit of footbag, walking slacklines, and I am finaly learning to juggle. I am actually starting to get the hang of three clubs, though I still wish I had brought my diabolo from the states. Kayne and Tovio are fantastic performers as well; I had the opportunity to see them perform at a squat in Bruxxels called Puma one afternoon. They are each Velophiles, they provide good company in each bike workshop we stop in, we all tend to gravitate to the garages almost immediately. And between the two of them, they know more languages than I can count on my hand, Kayne has been helping me with my french as we ride down long roads that seem not to end.

We set off from Brugge on the first of the month and quite a bit has happened since then. The days tend to blend into one another, dates, times, and days of the week slip from conciousness and relevence when you are on the road. You simply start measuring time by the amount of sunlight left, and like a child on endless summer vacation, forget all esle regarding traditional calendars.

Compared to the pace at which I usually travel, the caravan travels VERRRRRY slowly, on average about 50 Km a day (a little more than the distance between Raleigh and Chapel Hill but with more hills). To give you an idea of this difference, Kayne and I decided to ride ahead of the group a few days ago to reach Dijon ahead of schedule. We set off at seven in the morning, and arrived at seven in the evening the next day. We rode 240 km (a little more than the distance between Raleigh and Charlotte but with more hills) with two-hour lunchbreaks and a lengthy nights sleep. Not bad for two kids on a fixed gear and a tall bike. But with 13 people in a caravan the odds of a bike breaking down increase exponentially (especially when all the bikes have been skipped, scavenged, and completely homemade). There are also quite a few new riders and some with quite a bit of stuff that they are carrying (guitars, juggling gear, cookwear, xylophones, clothes, etc...). I must say though, overall I am quite impressed with the group as a whole, everyone has eachothers back, the newer riders are perservering very well, and the assortment of bikes that people are riding (including trailors) is a spectacle that will turn anyone's head (for those of you who know Vicky Grube, she would fit in perfectly with this group). And so long as I am able to stretch my legs occasionally and speed up once in a while, I certainly do not mind the slower pace. Riding with a group is alot of fun, especially this one.

We have lost one rider, who may or may not rejoin the group when he is feeling up to par: Tovio from the Caliope of the Future has tendonitis and had to split off from us in Liege. So we are one good friend and one tall bike down, but hopefully it will not be long before he is feeling better and we meet again as I miss him quite a bit already. After one long day of riding he was not able to pedal anymore and walked the last 33 Km, arriving at the squat at 5 am the next morning, with tendonitis: badass.

memorable skips include: 7 750ml bottles of top quality Belgian beer, Gourmet Belgian Chocolate, a full wheel of brie, caviar, bottles of wine

We spend almost no money while on the road. We skip every chance we get and recieve quite a few donations from generous and curious shop owners along the way. When we stop into towns in Belgium which famous belgian beers are named after, we almost always find a small pub willing to donate beers to the group: Orval was by far the best. We have one guy with us with a particullarly cute and sympathetic face. He is notorious for recieving more donations than any girlscout I have ever come across. He has gotten us more bags of bread, bottles of beer, plates of chips, and even bike parts from local shop owners who, after taking one look at him, just want to give us anything to help us out... the tall bikes help too.

One of the best things about riding alot everyday, is that you can eat anything and still not gain weight. I easily eat 4500 to 5000 calories everyday of all the important food groups: fat, sugar, chocolate, bread, and alcohol. Of course protien and veg is important too, but we usually save those for the evenings when we have a campfire to cook on.

Camping on the road is great (of course it has its hard times as well, there is still frost some nights, and one morning I woke up covered in ticks and leaches, but overall it is fantastic). We swim when we can, have a bonfire everynight with a good dinner and beer. Each morning we have a full breakfast with coffee and tea. One night we had some open space on a farm and all of those who have experience juggling fire brought out the torches, poi, and fuel and gave a half-hour performance for everyone else. There are some truly marvelous jugglers in this group and for sure the best fire-poi artist that I have ever seen. Certainly not a bad way to celebrate a long days ride (and a great resource for picking up more street performing tricks to turn a few euro later on down the road).

I am staying at in Dijon (the squat is called Les Tanneries. As the name implies it is an old leather making factory, ironically now with a vegan kitchen, as well as lots of other fun stuff to play with, and more incredible people to meet). Last night there was a concert here, I had the extreme pleasure of hanging out with, and seeing the performance of, Defiance Ohio (http://defianceohio.terrorware.com/) as well as a girl whom I only know as Madeline (but you can see her play here http://www.ifyoumakeit.com/category/pink-couch-sessions). I am sure many of you already know these artists, but if you don't check them out because they have some really kickass folk.

Well it is a long entry, but it has been a while. I will try to update as often as I have internet connection, but right now the group just cought up to Kayne and I and are walking in through the door of the squat as I type this. So for now I must say goodbye.

The group likes to play word games and tell riddles while on the road, so I will leave you with one: There is a little red block in the middle of the road. There are houses and a car. If you run into the little red block you owe someone alot of money. What is the little red block? You can ask yes or no questions only, but I was able to figure it out without asking any, so give it a shot.

PS- The boy with the cute face just told me that on the way here he was talking to a pizza shop owner. He told the owner that everyone was on the way to Italy, but before they got there they would like to try the wonderful pizzas that France had to offer. The owner gladly gave him two large pizzas and a bottle of wine fore the group to split.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

graffiti language

Well, stayed in Brussels longer than I was expecting yesterday and ended up casually wandering around the city looking for a friend to meet with a couch to share (not that I couldn't have stayed at Matarcar another night, but I had already said goodbye to everyone and was ready to start a new adventure). This city is starting to grow on me more and more, I suppose it is an acquired taste.

I spotted some graffiti in the part of the city I was in, among other tags was an anarchist sign and the ubiquitous international squatter symbol: good signs of good people. Sure enough, what used to be a squat but is now (from what I have understood) a type of social housing collective, was close by. The people outside spotted me first, called me over, and offered me a place to stay (I had my bags loaded on my bike and looked like a traveler at the time). They seemed like good people, and I was of course looking for a place anyway, so the offer ended up being the first of many serendipitous happenings of the evening.

The house, 123 Rue Royal, offers residents (i think about 25-30 people estimation) a place to stay based on a very reasonable sliding scale rent. I also understand that they occasionally take on people, like myself, for half-week periods for free, and then ask for a small monetary contribution for each day after that. There are hot showers, a bike workshop downstairs, a full kitchen, and I think about five or six floors in the building, mostly residents I presume.

I was given a tour of the house by a local political figure and activist by the name of R├ęginald de Potesta. He is extremely hospitable and a wonderful conversationalist. I think we ended up staying awake until three in the morning just talking and watching films.

During the tour of the facility, I met some familiar faces: A couple of other American kids whom I met a few weeks ago at Under the Bridge in Amsterdam. Their names are Kayne and Tovio and they are part of a band called "Calliope of the Future" (myspace/thecalliopeofthefuture). They are meeting up with a bicycle caravan starting in Bruges (a town in Belgium I have come so close to several times but have always missed) in a few days and casually riding through France to Spain and finally ending up in Italy in July for G8. I was planning on meeting Kegan to backpack in the Pyrenees anyway so I decided to join the caravan as well for at least the first leg of the trip (and potentially even join up with them later on down the road closer to G8, after traveling with Kegan and Connor).

Anyway, these two kids are uplifting and lighthearted and it is a brilliantly random and happy occurrence that we have crossed paths again, especially with the opportunity to ride together. As much as I am in love with my little black fixie, I must say I have a bit of envey, as they are each riding on tall bikes which are loads of fun and quite a spectacle rolling down the street. I never imagined that anyone would ride across a continent on a tall bike but as they rightly pointed out, I am the crazy one on a fixed gear. They at least have brakes, multiple gears, and lots of vertical stacking space for luggage, street performance & juggling equipment.

So that's the plan, I am going to spend another day tuning my bike in Brussel, then it is off to Bruges for the start of a bicycle caravan to G8... really could life get better? how did I get so lucky?

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

£€$$

Here is a link to a film called Surplus:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5AEiwOM4fAY

I am not trying to advocate any particular viewpoint made in this film, but am presenting it because I think it is worth seeing. So if you have an hour and you are in a Koyanisquatsi kind of mood then check it out and let me know what you think. This link is a ten part series that takes an hour, but i think somewhere on the interweb is a full version.

I cannot get enough of the sun, and I keep humming Polyphonic Spree

Back in Bruxxels, still not my favorite city in the world, but it has some little hidden treasures here and there as well as some fantastic people, now good friends.

I stayed at Matarcar again, I really love this place and all of the people here. The morning I came in everyone was sitting around a banquet size table eating brunch and rehearsing lines for a film that they are about to make there (from what I understand, it is a modern remake of an old french play, I believe 1600s. It is in a style similar to the new remake of Romeo & Juliet, you know the one with Leo). Everyone was wearing a big smile and invited me to join when I came in that morning, so I grabbed a baguette and looked over someone's shoulder to follow along the french script as best I could.

Truth be told, I was a little worried when I did not see my bike where I had left it. It took some searching around the massive laberynth downstairs to locate it, but after a bit of hunting I felt my heart flutter a bit when I finally laid eyes on it again. I cleaned up my beautiful machine and took it for a ride around a sunny Brussels, blissful.

Falafel bars are everywhere in Brussels, most of them are ok, but not as good as Neomandes or most places in New York. I finally found one that I have fallen in love with and will be going back for lunch today. It is called Mr. Falafel, it is a completely vegetarian place. They only have one thing on the menu: a falefel sandwich for 3.50. Handed to you across the small counter comes pita bread with 4 fresh falafel, you are then directed to the salad bar chock full of traditional middle-eastern salads, fresh vegetables, and sauces to pile on top. Simple, independent, cheap, healthy, delicious, authentic; can't ask for much more.

The middle-eastern community is one of my favorite things about this city. The people are colorful and friendly. Everyone pours out onto the streets in the late afternoon to talk to neighbors, play football, and visit the markets. Everyone seems quite tight-knit, I imagine that a lot of people spend their whole lives on the same block.

So my plan is to finally ride into France. I am going to try to stay with a friend of mine in the city tonight if he is available and then head out early in the morning. Riding in this weather is going to be fantastic, no more putting on shoes that are covered with frost first thing in the morning, I might even get tan.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

moddern art = i could do that + yeah, but you didn't

I mentioned that I was taking part in some squatting actions, one of them went like this:

Approximately 70 people gathered in a squat one morning to discuss the following days events, which focused around the goal of opening a new squat.

One of the topics discussed was how the laws about squatting work here, this is how I understood the discussion: In Amsterdam all squat openings are done in the middle of the day because they are legal. So long as a building has been unoccupied for a year, people have the right to then inhabit the building. However, in Amsterdam, you can be evicted from the property if the building has been occupied more recently than a years time, or the new residents (squatters) are not "properly inhabiting" the building (according to Dutch law, a building is properly inhabited when each resident has a chair, a mattress, and a table in their respected rooms).

So the door is opened. With help from others, the ten new occupants each carry a chair, a table, and a mattress to their respected rooms (this is all organized before the opening so it takes less than two minutes to carry everything in).

On a really good day: No cops, no problems.

On a good day: Concerned neighbors call cops, cops come and simply find a properly inhabited building (hence the reason for the hasty entrance, all tables, chairs, mattresses, and residents need to be in place before the police inspect the property), police explain to neighbors that "actually this is legal in Amsterdam and that there is no need for alarm." Police leave, no problems.

On a not so good day: Something goes wrong, that was this day.

A good action is well planned, researched, and organized. This was a good action. The building was checked out and was indeed empty for a year, people were informed about what could go wrong, it was made clear what to do if you chose to be arrested, and if you chose not to, everyone wrote down the lawyer's name and phone number on their arm, we had media reps in place to talk to press that might come, we had police liaisons, we had a medic, food, and letters in several languages explaining to neighbors that we meant no harm and what we were doing.

The first part all went to plan, but when the police came they did not inspect the residence as usual. They claimed (incorrectly) that the residence had been occupied in less than a years time. They were determined to get us out.

A football game was taking place in Amsterdam the next day. Riot police had been brought in to the city to help control the event. They ended up getting some early action when the local police called them in to evict us.

Most of the day was spent sitting, waiting, and prepping. The doors were barricaded, food was brought. If the police were able to break in, all those inside would knowingly be arrested (which they were, I believe 20 in total). Naturally I chose to remain outside the building, not having any status in the Netherlands.

Once the riot police came, we realized we were going to lose the squat. They outnumbered us, had armor, shields, giant beating sticks, and horses. Quite a few of our members put up resistance, staying together in a tight mass in front of the door. This prevented any single person from being arrested (which is a much bigger hassle than a large group being hauled into jail. Police do not like lots of paperwork, but one or two people taking a fall is no big deal to them) and also kept police from immediately breaking through the barricade. This group put up one hell of a fight and gave us good publicity with the media, but were ultimately displaced (beaten and pushed) by lots and lots of riot cops. Those who could not afford to get arrested had opportunities to show support in other ways, and to remain at a distance (which is what I did).

Turns out, the squat had been legal all along, the building had been empty for a year, and the squatters were illegally evicted. The next day the mayor held a press-conference. He even almost apologized for illegally evicting the squat and for the extreme measures that were taken by the police force. While in jail, the arrested were able to enjoy a hot shower, free food, and tetris. All of those who were arrested were let out without charge; upon leaving one person even had his weed returned to him by an officer.

...something tells me it will not be long before the property is squatted again.

So, onto new topics...

Under The Bridge is now in the process of transitioning from an occupying stage (recruiting people to live in a newly squatted building after it is opened) to a social center (more operational, focused more on events and less on housing). This means that it is time for me to move on from Amsterdam, luckily I have also reached a stopping point for the Copenhagen website.

Amsterdam has been a blast. It is a great city, but almost a little too much like Boone. It is time to travel again. I am really looking forward to being on my bike, especially in the nice weather. I should be in Brussels by tomorrow morning, as I have found a ride there which is leaving later today.

I also have a bit of disappointing news. I know I promised photos to everyone, but after the last big party we had at the place several cameras turned up missing. Despite keeping mine quite well hidden, and searching all over for it, it appears that it was among those taken.