*abjuration: for those of you who still may be unaware, my last post was fabricated in the jestful spirit of April Fools Day, April First. I am not married, I do not frequent the club scene, and I most certainly do not (and never will) work for Nike.
I am finding quite a comforible niche here in Amsterdam (a sign it may be about time to head on soon). I spend alot of my time reading, most sunny days dangling my feet over the edge of a canal with a cheap beer and a good book. The author list includes, but is not necessarily limited to: Haruki Murakami, Hunter S. Thompson, and Viktor Frankl, Edward Tufte.
This city is relatively small; it is nice to see familiar faces and friends randomly about town, this reminds me of Boone in a reassuring way. One friend of mine is starting a bike workshop in town (similar to BBI or 56A) and has tons of scrap bike parts lying around his basement. He invited me over one afternoon. I found a frame, some wheels and cranks, added some handle bars and a chain, inflated the tires, and was able to ride back to the squat that eveing with a bike. He simply asked that I return it before I leave so that he can recycle it into the community, and invited me to be a part of the workshop if I stick arround town for a while.
Under The Bridge is coming along quite nicely. We have a billiards table now (I do not really play here though, I have been spoiled by playing on really nice tables) and a ping-pong table (which is what I am really excited about). The squat now has a free-store that a few of the members worked hard to get open this week. We still do voku almost every night, and I am pretty sure there is a band playing this evening. I am really growing to like this squat and the people here, but that is not to say I don't find myself jonesing for the London group now and again. I miss them quite a bit and haven't heard news back from them since G20, so I am only hoping that everything is ok.
The MKZ (I am told is an abreviation of a dutch play on words for "mad cow disease") is another squat (now legalized) in south-west Amsterdam. They are quite active and have regular events. They also have their own infoshop, bike workshop, and get this... a sauna. The squat even has an industrial restaraunt-quality kitchen for voku, which I had the pleasure of using last night. Two friends of mine from the office I do design work in (who are also activists) and myself cooked a fantastic vegan meal for about 45 people: ginger-squash bisque, salad, black bean chili, vegetable tempura, and an apple crisp topped with vanilla yoghurt.
It is hard to eat healthy when you are riding. Vegetables are expensive, heavy, and take up lots of space. I usually end up eating alot of bread & peanut butter on the road. So I am taking advantage of being in one place with plenty of access to free vegetables. I am eating an entirely vegan diet again, which is very refreshing. Most mornings I start with a breakfast tea, whole wheat toast, tomato, avacado, apples and tahini. I even started doing sit-ups again.
The website is coming along nicely too, it will not be too much longer before I have a pretty solid prototype that I can send out for critique and/or approval from the web team that I am working with.
I have also been involved in a squating action that took place last weekend, and will be participating in another tomorow. For security reasons I would rather not discuss those here, but if you are curious let me know and I might be able to explain further at a better time.