today was the versaal book launch party at the sugar factory in leidseplein. after some difficulty finding my way there from the university, i paid my 5 euros and entered
the "sugar factory".
sitting at the table with molly and barun i meet amal chatterjee, whose novel "across the lakes" has been making waves.
the book launch event was kicked off by music from the band zorita, who deserve to be better known. later, they would be applauded back on stage by the audience.
the readings from versaal 7 included jennifer dick, whose collaborative poem (with someone from new york) struck a chord of movement and loss. there was also an excellent short story capturing the child's view of an eccentric teacher at school.
during a break, i came out to find that my bicycle was gone. i had locked it, but not "to something"! so many people had warned me of bike thefts, advising me against buying a new bike - more likely to be stolen. god! one week in amsterdam and and my bike already stolen! i was completely down....
i went around the square trying to see if someone had removed it. after some time i suddenly spotted it... a wave of relief!!! i took it immediately and locked it securely to one of the fences near melkweg. later, the girl at the counter told me that the manager had moved it because it was too near the gate!!
after the book launch, barun and i stayed on for the night club, expecting some other bands to play. we heard rumours that more than one band were waiting in the green room. we took a stroll outside and came back in, but it turned out to be only djs, playing what sounded like a fusion of techno and elevator music. but then, people kept pouring in and by midnight, a completely revamped crowd was jamming the dance floor. apparently amsterdammers start their partying well past midnight, with the crowd peaking at two am; parties don't end before four. barun left by the night bus a little past one, and i too left soon.
pedalling down the night streets of amsterdam is such a pleasure, especially if your bike has recently been un-stolen...