Frieking cold in the Netherlands

14 Dec

I was rocking on the Dubliner’s dime to Eindhoven for an impromptu itinerary addition to catch up with friends, meet new people and freeze my ass off. Oh, and possibly the most amazing weekend of my existence.

If there is one thing I learned during my sojourn, it is that the Intoxicating Dubliner and I have exceedingly different traveling styles. I’m all about the meander, the gambol and slow walk and he — bless — is all about the manic Amazing Race style scramble, running for trains, muttering about queues and schedules. In short, things that do not exist in the Amoiroverse (this would explain his inquiry one night as to whether I were Oscar or Felix. The Answer? Totally Oscar.)

The morning after our arrival in a tiny, gorgeous town called Eindhoven, we reached Amsterdam by train, a journey that comprised our usual dialogue (see, hot oil torture as banter technique) and violence. After wandering the streets and eating dinner, we caught a bus to Villa Friekens, a squat north of Amsterdam and home to some amazing creativity as part of the “Paint & Beer” session.

You skitter delicately to the door where a distant Cthulu-esque persistent drumbeat beckons. Passing by discarded cars, caravans and furniture, you feel the empty cold so endemic to large spaces and begin to notice the colour. Tendrils and splashes and blotches trailing up the walls. Tags and pieces thrown against the brick and whatever object is moored nearby. Traipsing by some guys getting to work, the music gets louder and you cross the threshold into this:

This is what we call heaven, Amoir-style.

Some of the most amazing graffers I’ve ever wanted to witness working and meet were inside and they were deliciously humble, kind and approachable. We wandered around, making good use of the 1 euro beers to keep warm and photographed all we could as some amazing pieces unfurled.

After painting, we retreated into the club and warmed ourselves with Irish Coffee and cheese & onion tostis while sitting in a caravan inside the club as dogs and their owners danced and painters retired after a hard day and evening of exuberance.


The following day, we headed out with our friends and painted on walls. It was even colder than the night before but we were indulged with cups of tea and coffee and gorgeous soup as the rain fell.

That night we rested, curled into one another, farewelling and thanking and feeling a bit overwhelmed by it all. It was simultaneously the best and worst night of my life.

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