woensdag 16 februari 2011

Mixed Feelings

It’s over, my time in Leeds. I’m already a few weeks back in the Netherlands. During my stay I blogged about my experiences in Leeds. You were a big part of that and therefore I wrote about you quite a lot. Sometimes wondering about you, sometimes laughing at you, sometimes showing how cool you were (OK, that last thing didn’t happen a lot). That’s why I thought it would be kind to write a blog in English, especially for you, to finish this blog with. Yes, also for you Grant. But, I’ll do it in a slightly different way: I’ve made a 46:59-minutes mix with songs I liked and/or I associate with you. Every song is one person, easy as that.

Just press play and there you go.

PS The songs are putted in totally different order, just to fit them in the mix. So don’t feel special if I start the mix with you! ;-) And please bear in mind that I’m not Grandmaster Nathan, obviously. Therefore the songs aren’t mixed that smooth sometimes.

Mixed Feelings by JannesWillems


Twin Shadow - Tyrant Destroyed
The only person I could start with is of course Lisa, my co-Dutchie in Leeds. Not only because she’s Dutch, but we also had the same flight to Leeds – how coincidently. Logically, she was the first person I learnt to know and we were still hanging around together at the end, which I  didn’t do with everybody, so that’s a good sign I guess. Although Holly had a reputation, Lisa was assumedly ‘second’s best’. You didn’t really see it happening, but she scored almost every night she went out. But besides that, it was nice to have a cool Dutchie around, with who you also could speak Dutch if you wanted to. Hopefully I’ll see you again. I guess, as the Netherlands are not that big. (By the way, 'your' song was first a song from Chilly Gonzales, but I wasn't able to upload that one, so that's why I choose this one.)

Mary Morris
Prince – Housequake
Mary Morris, hidden in Headingley, the international student accommodation. Almost everyone came on his own there, so in the beginning nobody knew anybody. But things changed rapidly, thanks to flat parties, Christmas dinners, playing Risk and other events. Most of the time with alcohol. Oh yes, what would we be without? Most of the times it was really fun, although it often needed some time to start up. But, there was always somebody to hang around with.
I couldn’t cover everyone in this mix, so thanks to Sarah, Sam and the rest of the Mary Morris staff. Jerry, Lucky and Élodie: it was nice to live with you! Also shouts to Bianca (I really liked that night out at a Nation of Shopkeepers, although my jacket was stolen...), Manish (troublemaker! ;-)) Miriam, Daniela, Charlie, Chris, JC, Gaetan, Bertrand, Marketa, Sean, Marius, Alexandra, Jazz, Martin, Jacky, Rosie and to all the rest I have forgotten...

Public Enemy – Party For Your Right To Fight

Tiga – Luxury
‘This is my reality, but for you it’s just called luxury’, sings Tiga in this song. Sometimes this period felt a bit like that. University was clearly second (however there were some days that studying had priority), as there were nights out, (weekend) trips to tons of cities and national parks in the North of the UK and other social ‘events’. Because of that, I would say it was totally different in a way from my life in the Netherlands.

Malcolm McLaren – Buffalo Gals

Ratatat – Neckbrace
Hanging around with Grant was always fun, however he had an American accent. Although many people saw him as a guy who always has a drink with him (why actually?), for me Grant was more than that. And he never has a bad drunk, or almost never at least, compared to others... Many mornings I woke up with a text of him waiting for me which he had sent the night before. Personal favourite? ‘If this apple juice could talk, it would speak Latin, Greek, German, Cantonese and be a professor of the language of love.’ Talking about professors, have you already subscribed to the Word of the Day? Just text ‘Word of the Day’ to +44(0)7869722693 and you’re English is improved before you know. If you’ll come to the Netherlands, I’ll give you some real apple juice. Do you take your autobiography with you?

Robyn – Don’t Fucking Tell Me What To Do (Acapella)

Breakbot – Baby, I’m Yours (Aeroplane Remix)

Leeds Met Hiking Club
Apiento & Co – She Walks (Pete Herbert Remix)
In the beginning, I just joined this club because they organised cheap weekends to destinations I wanted to visit. It didn’t disappoint me. Beautiful views from Mount Snowdon in Snowdonia (though it was a little bit foggy) and Coniston’s Old Man in The Lake District. And the weather wasn’t even as bad as I expected. But besides that, the people were cool too – Grant kept saying that they’re gay, but they’re not. Thanks to the committee (especially Andy), really had fun with you. And sorry to Stephen, because I kept you awake in Snowdonia.
I found this great song (good for disco moves!) when dj The Magician played this at a party organised by Diesel, with also Riton and Uffie on the bill. One of the best nights I’ve had in Leeds.

Kyra (Kiki)
I-Robots ft. Spacer Woman – Frau (Acapella)
One of the few international students that will stay in Leeds for three years. To me, that seems to be a big challenge. However, Kyra enjoyed herself already (or at least it seems so!), with cheerleading, sporting, hanging around with Cera and others (Grant, vielleicht?) and much more. Probably because Kyra was international too, she was one of the only ones who was really open at our faculty and I really liked that. Lisa, Grant, Kyra and I’ve been to Liverpool (one of the nicest cities in the North I think) together, which was a great weekend. That was not the only place we’ve been too. When I was looking back pictures, I saw that you were also in York. Already forgotten that!

Het Goede Doel – België
If you’re ever get fraped (Facebook-raped), it’s probably because of Jérémy from Bruxelles. Miriam can tell more about that if you want. A big sport fan and – I didn’t expect that – a diehard Metallica fan. It was fun watching matches together at The Box and visiting places like York and Manchester, with your dry humour. And that without a government. At the end you surprised me (and I think also a lot of others) with your relationship with one of the Italian girls. (Have fun together!)
This song is by the way in Dutch. For you non-Dutchies, the chorus is something like ‘Is there any life on Pluto, can you dance on the moon, is there a place where I can go to between the stars? Belgium, Belgium, Belgium, Belgium!’

Duck Sauce – Barbra Streisand
OK, this song was maybe a little guilty pleasure of me. But I guessed my neighbour Nick likes it too, or at least I hoped he does. Otherwise, time in his room would be quite hard. This picture is taken on one of the first nights and showed a quite different Nick than I was ‘used to’. This was the Nick who was showing his dance moves diligently and went to Lady Gaga in Dublin. The other side was Nick with a pair of trousers, which was obviously too short, sleeping and skyping in his room during the day (and night!). I’ve forgotten to mention all your travelling, I think Nick defeated everyone with that. And that was not only because he was the guy with family everywhere in the UK. I mean, almost everywhere in Europe, Israel now... Have fun (although you’re almost finished if I’m right)! And thanks again for the Justin Bieber calendar, I gave it a prominent spot in my room in Groningen.

MEN – Of Our Backs
One of the concerts I went to in Leeds was with this trio from New York. The lead singer is JD Le Tigre, a famous hardcore feminist. Yes, she does have a moustache and yes, their music is really good as you can hear. A bit of a weird gig though, because, according to Grant, the crowd was mainly woman, fat and lesbian.

De Jeugd Van Tegenwoordig – Get Spanish
Denisa told me when Clara left quite a funny story, which changed my perspective on her totally (in a positive way!). OK, maybe totally is too drastic, but what I mean is that I wasn’t really sure what Clara was thinking about me before, so it made more sense now in a way. Clara is especially good in drinking I guess, if you saw all the wine bottles coming out of her room. Thanks to nights with Maria or the other Spanish people! One of the results of being tipsy was knocking on someone’s door... ;-)
The song is from one of my favourite Dutch artists; De Jeugd van Tegenwoordig (translated literally ‘The Today’s Youth’), who’re trying to rap in Spanish.

Leeds Met
Fort Knox Five – Learning It The Hard Way (Kraak & Smaak Remix)
Then my university, Leeds Met. Kind of a big shift from my home university. More interaction, more informal contacts and mainly essays instead of exams. I really liked the shift, it’s nice to see how other universities are working. Contacts with my classmates were sometimes a bit hard, because I followed courses in 2nd and 3rd year and I was the only international student. However, it was fun to work on some projects and to hear some real English accents. Group discussions were hard to follow sometimes as a result.

OutKast – Where Are My Panties? (Acapella)
Partyanimal number one was without a doubt Holly, and that with a 9-to-5-job! Respect, because you’ve to be very disciplined to last this – Mama J can’t. Hungover or not, she kept going to her work or to the gym. And she doesn’t go out for nothing. Do we call this a chick on a mission? When you enter a club with her, within a second she was gone and flirting with anything not nailed down. No, kidding. It wasn’t as worse as I suggest. Ibiza and Miami, you better prepare.

Gorillaz – Feel Good Inc.
Together with Holly responsible for the English part in Lawnswood, our flat. And a real Englishmen you were: making Yorkshire pudding or English breakfast. Actually, cooking isn’t so English as expected, because English people are always eating ready-to-go food. Anyway. Adam’s humour was definitely English, which I much appreciated. Hopefully that isn’t gone, during your quest to find a job.

Julien Clerc – Quand Je Joue
Hoe gaat het met u? Always nice to hear some Dutch, even more if it’s from a Walloon (or better: a Bruxellois). Good (futsal) footballer and a big Barça fan. Always on the phone, walking through Mary Morris. But also talking a lot with Gabriella in her room. Gabriella? I mean Gabush of course. Salah gave many people nicknames, which are still used by a lot of people.

Hot Chip – Shake A Fist

Umberto Tozzi – Gloria
Gabriella definitively gave our flat some cheerfulness, with her singing and dancing all around the flat, especially in the shower. But she was also nice to have a conversation with; I think she has heard a lot of secrets (and with that I mean not just from me). Gabriela was also quite good in imitating others (‘rude!’, ‘that’s awkward’ and ‘best night ever!’ to name a few examples. No prices for guessing who these people are.). Furthermore, she and the other Italian girls were really proud of your Italian roots. Basil, tomatoes and mozzarella: the holy trinity for inhabitants of Naples, we know now. Much better than all the English crap you could buy in the supermarkets for sure. It was quite hard to find a good Italian song for this mix, hopefully you like it.

Blondie – Denis
I know, Denis is not the same as Denisa, but I didn’t want to put ‘Dragostea din Tei’ in the mix, as that was the only song I know from Romania and I don’t like that one. Imagine Guy singing this to you, when he comes to visit you in Romania. I already saw on Facebook that he was making jokes about Romania and maybe I was also making too much jokes about that. Maybe that’s why you thought I didn’t like you? Which is obviously not true, otherwise I wouldn’t go together to places like Manchester. Which was a bit of a deception as I expected way more of that city, but that’s another story.

2manydj’s – DJ

Empire Of The Sun – Walking On A Dream
Somebody once said to me that Emma would be way more fun if she didn’t had a boyfriend. I disagree, because parties showed me something else, for instance in that horrible place called Evolution and that night out with my Dutch friends. Also a really nice person to hang around with. I could always knock on your door if I was bored and have a chat. And there were quite a lot I guess, as I knocked quite often (also on Ayla’s door; see below). Sometimes Emma could started giggling all of a sudden and she couldn’t be stopped. For example, because of hovering (yes, ladies and gentlemen, in Australian they call that vacuuming). Hovering will never be the same.

Kurupt – It’s Over (2manydj’s edit)

Joni Mitchell – California
Ayla became famous in our flat as a bit naïve. To name just one example, position 96, uh? But I really liked that. You were really yourself and didn’t really care what other people were thinking about you – or maybe you were, but it didn’t seem so at least. Also, just as with Emma, when I was bored, Ayla was always willing to talk. Of course if she wasn’t skyping with her boyfriend. One negative point: why did you throw the poster in my covert away? When I was making this mix, your song was one of the first in it, as this song fits you perfectly, in my opinion.

Blur – Magic America
Guy, the guy how’s good in imitating others and always chilling out. Always up to drink a couple of beers. Almost since the beginning having a relation with Denisa. Still together, which is remarkable. (In a positive way, before you both start commenting on that!) Good place he had to hang out, with his big computer screen, Mario Kart, pool, darts and not to forget the stroboscope. In this song, I especially like the sentence ‘With all the magic people’. You wish, fucking Americans. JK. Hope to see you in Amsterdam soon!

Flying Lotus – German Haircut
Although Justus was gone already quite early, he had to be in this mix, as we pulled together quite a lot quite often, along with Lisa, especially in the beginning. He was the only non-Dutch reader who read this blog too, respect for that. (OK, Grant was an exception with always copying my blog into Google Translate, respect for that too.) This song had to be yours, because I can remember you were looking for a new haircut. I’ll probably see you too again, vielleicht in Deutschland or in the Netherlands!

Beach House – Take Care
It’s maybe a bit rude or selfish to end with myself, but after ‘discussing’ you all, I won’t spare myself. Jannes was a bit weird, with his own dance moves, strange jokes and filthiness. Although, he was a good guy to hang out with. But when he drank too much, he couldn’t behave himself. As a result, girls were throwing up. Which gave him a bit of credibility, as he didn’t throw up himself. Jannes ruined a lot of pictures, as he wasn’t a big fan of people who were taking pictures of anything anytime. This song is probably the song he played the most in Leeds, although nobody would expect this as he’s always listing to noisy dance music, according to others. Which isn’t true.

Leeds, I salute you. It was definitively a pleasure!
Take care & hopefully till another time, wherever!

dinsdag 8 februari 2011

Aan alles komt een einde

Nadat ik afgelopen zondag Boer zoekt vrouw heb gezien, kan met recht weer zeggen terug in Nederland te zijn. Dat betekende dus geen mooie groene heuvels met stenen muurtjes, maar weer rechte stroken Hollands platteland. Het is erg fijn weer thuis te zijn, vrienden en familie weer te zien en gewoon weer lekker Nederlands te kunnen praten.
Voordat ik vertrok had ik nog een gesprek met de opleidingsdirecteur. Hij was erg tevreden en voor zover de cijfers al bekend zijn, heb ik goede cijfers behaald. Daar ben ik dus erg blij mee. Helemaal ook omdat er geen aanmerkingen op mijn Engels waren. Bij wat essays die ik al terug heb stonden gelukkig niet allemaal spellingsverbeteringen of aangepaste zinnen.
Na nog wat formulieren te moeten afhandelen, was ik klaar voor mijn laatste week in het Verenigd Koninkrijk. Die heb ik doorgebracht in een groot deel van het noorden. Mijn reis begon in Scarborough, een kustplaatsje ter hoogte van Leeds. De kust was hier een stuk ruiger dan in Nederland, met veel kliffen. Het weer was alleen niet heel mooi en Scarborough heb je na een paar uur wel gezien, dus achteraf had ik misschien wat korter daar kunnen blijven. Dit was tevens de enige plek waar ik niet in een hostel zat, maar in een Bed & Breakfast. De reis begon dus in een eenpersoonskamertje met TV en een eigenaar die de volgende ochtend een full English breakfast voor me maakte.
Vanuit Scarborough ging de reis door naar Newcastle. Op weg daar naartoe zat ik in een bus (vergelijkbaar met de bus van Nijmegen naar Millingen, maar dan twee keer zo lang), waar halverwege opeens een groep oudere mannen instapten. Aardig aangeschoten, zo te zien (het was natuurlijk al 17.00) en eentje had zelfs een biertje uit de pub de bus binnengesmokkeld. Tot Middlesbrough bleven ze liedjes zingen, van The Beatles tot ‘the wheels of the bus go round and round’ (vrij vertaald: ‘hé buschauffeur, de hele bus moet plassen’). Ze nodigden me nog uit om mee een biertje te drinken in Middlesbrough, maar daar moest ik ze helaas/gelukkig achterlaten, want ik moest nog met de trein naar Newcastle.
Newcastle was heel tof. Net als Leeds een echte studentenstad. Dwars door Newcastle stroomt een grote rivier, de Tyne, waar veel mooie bruggen overheen zijn gebouwd. Riverside, motherfucker! Inmiddels begrijp ik waarom Justin Beaumont, een docent van mij die oorspronkelijk uit Newcastle komt en altijd in de kroeg te vinden in Groningen, zo’n uitgaansbeest is. Hij zou Paul Ike eens mee moeten nemen, want die bruggen zijn in beginsel een kolfje naar zijn hand. Samen met een Australiër ben ik daar nog uitgeweest. In een pub waar wat conservatorium studenten zaten te musiceren, raakten we aan de praat met een meisje – denk type Adele – die uit een theepot bier zat te drinken; hoe charmant. Verder was Newcastle wel een toffe stad, misschien nog wel leuker dan Leeds om te studeren. Jammer dat ik er maar voor een nachtje was.
De reis vervolgde in Glasgow, de grootste stad van Schotland. Een echte havenstad, die nog steeds veel schepen maakt voor legers. Veel industrie dus, wat ervoor gezorgd heeft dat het een relatief arme stad is, helemaal als je het vergelijkt met middle class Edinburgh. Maar ook deze stad was weer een geweldige studentenstad. Een mooie universiteit met daaromheen een hele toffe studentenbuurt, West End. Hier zijn veel pubs, bars en leuke winkeltjes te vinden. Ook staat hier het meest bezochte museum van Schotland, the Kelvingrove Museum & Art Gallery. Hier is aan de ene kant zo ongeveer elk beest opgezet te vinden en aan de andere kant hangen meesterwerken van o.a. Rembrandt en Dalí. In het centrum was nog the Gallery of Modern Art (GoMA) te vinden, met een leuke tentoonstelling met grappige kunst. Google eens op David Shrigley, een erg grappige cartoonist/kunstenaar.
Inverness was mijn laatste stop en dat is echt noordelijk (bewijs hier). Midden in de Schotse highlands is dit de grootste stad en daardoor een main transport hub. Vanuit hier heb ik wandelingen gemaakt naar Loch Ness (dat meer is lang!) en in de Cairngorms, een nationaal park met de meeste bergen in het Verenigd Koninkrijk. In de winter is het een grote skipiste en een van de bergen beklimmen werd sterk afgeraden, alleen met professionele gear konden deze bergen nu beklommen worden. Ik ben er dus ‘maar’ omheen gelopen, wat ook mooie plaatjes gaf. Enig nadeel in deze afgelegen gebieden is dat er maar een paar bussen per dag naar deze plaatsjes gaan, dus goed plannen is essentieel; zo niet, dan moet je anderhalf uur wachten op de volgende bus op een plek waar verder niks te doen is. Erg chill, zo merkte ik.
Het hostel in Inverness was heel erg leuk en gezellig, met een soort huiskamer en een staf die je wél wilt hebben. Dat was in Glasgow wel anders, waar ik in een soort Oostblokflat zat. Vroeg je daar aan de staf of ze nog een leuke plek wisten om uit te gaan, was het antwoord een simpel ‘nee’.
Goed. Na een lange terugreis (Inverness – Leeds kostte me zo’n 10 uur, plus een dag later nog een uur vliegen naar Weeze), ben ik nu dus terug in Nederland. Daarmee eindigt dit blog. Hoewel het niet aan de reacties was af te zien, hebben meer mensen dan ik dacht dit blog gelezen. Bedankt voor alle reacties, via hier, de mail, Facebook, Skype of andere kanalen! Allerlei statistieken werden van jullie bijgehouden. Tot nu toe hebben maar liefst een kleine 1700 mensen deze pagina bezocht, veel meer dan ik verwachtte. Andere statistieken: ik weet nu dat 29% van jullie via Mozilla Firefox deze pagina bezoekt. Jullie kwamen vooral via Facebook, Hotmail en Google op deze website. Via Google werd gezocht op ‘Jannes in Leeds’ (16x), ‘Leeds Groningen’ (2x) en ‘huisvrouwen op avontuur’ (1x) (huh?) om op deze pagina te komen. Er waren bezoekers uit de VS, België, Duitsland, Indonesië, Noorwegen, Spanje en natuurlijk Nederland. Dit soort statistieken vraagt natuurlijk nog om een grondige analyse. Wie was diegene die zocht op ‘huisvrouwen op avontuur’? Welke Noor is op mijn pagina gekomen en waarom?
Wie weet een volgende keer. Dit was het dan. Bedankt voor het lezen en tot snel hoop ik, in real life!

PS Op het eind heb ik nog maar weinig foto’s geplaatst, maar op mijn Facebook is wel een mooi overzicht te vinden.

Op de terugweg heb ik er persoonlijk voor gezorgd dat mijn Ryanair vlucht winst heeft gemaakt. Aangezien mijn bagage maar liefst 2 kilo te zwaar was, kostte me dat €50 extra. Dat het vliegtuig niet eens half vol was, maakte natuurlijk niet uit. Betalen moest ik.