Tuesday, 31 May 2011

House hunting, levelling up and Avalanche management

Hello friends,

An adventuring creative such as myself sometimes just needs to calm down and let life do it's thing without attempting to interfere and mix things up. The river continues to flow regardless of my actions.

The last week has been a very interesting one, lots has happened. At the beginning of the week, Beauty and I were still in the position of desperate house hunting. We had hooked up with another couple who had just come over from the UK. Joe and Jess. Joe was from Sheffield and Jess was from New Zealand. Much like Beauty and myself, they had decided to come and try living it up in Amsterdam for a while.

Joe and Jess during a internet house-hunting binge
The Ballad of Joe and Jess 

Beauty had found Joe and Jess by searching though wanted ads on the internet that were in someway connected to Amsterdam. We had extended our own search to include some more 'creative' thinking and this connected us up with Joe and Jess. We made contact with them just before they left the UK to come to Amsterdam.

We hooked up with them the following day and had a good time sharing stories, smoking in the Dolphin, laughing, drinking and general merriment. We also decided to give a try to finding a house that would be suitable for two couples rather then just focusing our search on single rooms for couples (as this was already proving to be difficult). We also set up a facebook group 'Help the travelling ones find a home in Amsterdam'. Using all our facebook skills we set about telling people how very nice we all were and how we would respect the hell out of any property that we should find ourselves in.

Days were passing and things were not advancing as hoped. Beauty and I were in free accommodation as we were staying with friends, but Joe and Jess were in youth hostels spending out every night for a bed. We felt really bad for them, and we kept trying to find them temporary free places to stay, but still time was ticking (as it always does, unless you are some kind of timelord, which I doubt you are).

Rembrandt Park in Amsterdam, amazing place.

We all went and looked at a lovely place right in the middle of Rembrandt Park. The flat was beautiful, but the rooms on offer were both very small and the friendly man renting them out said they were one person per room. It was well outside our budget and left me thinking that we were all hitting a bit out of our weight with what we were asking for. Borders needed to open and looking further afield became a necessity. But still Joe and Jess were stuck in the centre having their money drained out of them by the Amsterdam canal goblins. The next best thing to do was go and find somewhere nice to have a beer and smoke a big phat Amsterdam Lemon Haze wonder-stick.

House hunting can drive you a bit mad. Trust me, after five hours of staring at descriptions of rooms, pictures of alcoves and lists of facilities included, you start to think strange thoughts. You want to invent things, create better ways of living with the simple stroke of a gherkin, build mountains out of napkins and cocktail sticks, count the hairs on your left arm and see if it's more or less then your right arm, see if you can stare out your reflection in the window, organise your very overfull email inbox into subcategories, try and speak backwards for ten minutes...the list goes on. Madness takes hold. So you need a game.

Level 1
Jess invented it, and I don't think even she knows the ramifications of it. It doesn't have a name (at least, not one I can remember) and as far as we are aware there are only 100 levels, but there could be more.

The first level involves drawing a house. This can be done in one pen move without taking it off the paper and without going over any line twice. Jess set the task and we managed to waste quite some time working it out. Much laughter followed as we one by one completed the task, all on a single sheet of kitchen roll I might add.

The work of art had begun, now with all of the challengers having completed the first level, it was time to take this up a notch and invent a second level to rival this most challenging first one. It took all of our collective stoned brain power to invent something even more mind bending.
Level 2 - all with one pen stroke ;)
We sat back and admired our awesome creation. It would take humanity years to work out how to complete this level without taking the pen off the paper and without going over any line twice.
We may have not had anywhere to live, but by god we were at the cutting edge of creative thinking at that very moment.

From there, the levels spewed out of us like fans at the end of a thousand Elvis's concert (what is the collective name for Elvis's? err, a record of...na, a jumpsuit of...hmm,nope, a religion, yeah, a religion of Elvi). Some of the levels are riddles, some are jokes, some are simple musings on which one should ponder over a cup of tea. They are all located on the sacred napkin, which Jess has in her possession. They offer the key to enlightenment, and the chance to "Level Up" into a higher way of living. None of us completed it all, for even us the humble creators are not worthy of ascending.

See, madness. It set in, and we ran with it. It was the only way to cope.

Time continued to slip away, things were getting very desperate. We had created so many awesome things for the universe, yet our goal seemed out of reach. There was nowhere. Desperate times called for desperate measures, we sought out an estate agent, someone professional, to get some much needed advice. We very quickly discovered that what we were looking for didn't exist in Amsterdam. We had to go further afield, but even that didn't seem promising. Joe and Jess had hooked up with a Canadian traveller called Mark, he was an Avalanche manager who is travelling for the summer months until the big Avalanches come back and he can go and manage them. What a legend. How do you manage an Avalanche?! I've known managers that couldn't manage three highly educated people, let alone a flipping giant wall of tumbling snow that kills people. Mark had hash he wanted to smoke up before he left, so we agreed to assist in that task and headed to Funky Munky for some rest and relaxation away from the house-hunting nightmare.

It all unravelled and changed so fast. We didn't see it coming. Beauty and I picked up a lead for a lovely apartment share in Den Haag that was within our price range and looked amazing. We got excited about this and went to tell Joe and Jess online. We logged in to discover that they were packing up to go back to England right then! : (

They will be back though, soon I hope. With Level 101.

My adventure continues in Den Haag...but that's for another blog...


  1. I'm impressed by the life you lead, I'm down with everything you stand for. In my eyes, you are the ultimate creative one.

  2. Thank you so much :)
    You have made me blush