A Very Strange Evening – Part I

It is an normal Amsterdam evening. The city is alive with people rushing around from one place to another. I am standing at a zebra crossing surrounded by a small group of unsuspecting pedestrians, all of us waiting to cross the busy road in front of us. Time pass, cars honk their horns, trams rattle along their tracks and cyclists cycle by. We wait. Eventually the green light gives us the signal that it is safe to cross. I take a breath and as we all step forward I do something that no one around me is expecting. I start talking to myself… very loudly.

“Attempting to cross any street or road in Holland provides a unique set of challenges for the average expat!”

My sudden and loud outburst catches everyone off guard. It’s not the kind of thing most people expect to suddenly happen when crossing the road. At first (after the initial jump) their reaction is to simply stare at me, confused and nervous, trying to make sense of what is going on.

“Not only do you have to avoid cars but you have to look out for bikes and trams as well!”

Having then decided that my behaviour is clearly not ‘quite normal’ the surrounding crowd slowly starts to edge away. I continue to narrate our journey across the road like a story teller who’s had a nervous breakdown.

“And if you do successfully make it to the other side alive you have to be careful you don’t over shoot the target and walk directly into the nearby canal. It makes the whole thing like one giant game of Frogger!”

By the end of my strange monolog everyone is avoiding eye contact with me. Perhaps they fear that doing so will result in me following them around for the rest of the day while providing a running commentary on whatever they are doing.

None of them have noticed the small, two person camera crew with the tiny camera set up on the other side of the street or the small microphone I am wearing. They all think I am mad. I don’t blame them.

“That was great,” the producer tells me when I finally reach the other side and my fellow pedestrians have dispersed as quickly as they can in a bid to get away from me. “We just need you to do it a few more times. Then we can move onto the next scene.”

To be continued…

14 responses to “A Very Strange Evening – Part I”

  1. Alison says:

    Ah, the price of fame! At least it leads to more great blog stories!

  2. Amanda Blog and Kiss says:

    Hhhhmmmm, very curious on this one, Stu! Looking forward to the Big Reveal.

  3. Amsterdam is full of “vreemde vogels.” By the way, did you do that in English or Dutch?

  4. Kaitlin says:

    Haha, it is like a game of Flogger! At least they didn’t notice the film crew, when I being filmed by students for their project, people kept on interrupting the shot. Lots of immigrants who would randomly walk up to the camera and start complaining about well, I’m not actually sure.

    Can’t wait to see what this is all about!

  5. Brandon says:

    I often encounter people babbling to themselves in Amsterdam. In the future, I’ll just assume they’re filming a television program. :)

  6. Jules says:

    Hahaha…I love the fact that you wrote “zebra crossing” instead of “crosswalk”. Y’know, like the rest of the English-speaking world :-D

  7. Terri says:

    Having not noticed that camera crew myself, I wasn’t sure what you were babbling about while reading this post. Had to laugh at the end…and can’t wait to hear why you’re being filmed.

  8. Hee hee hee. I think I know where this is going! :D

  9. Invader Stu says:

    Alison – It get’s better :p

    Miss Footloose – In English. I’m no that good with Dutch yet :p

    Kaitlin – Luckily no one seemed to want to interrupt me :p

    Brandon – I don’t think there are that many TV channels :p

    Jules – I’m old school English

    Barb the French Bean – You’ll have to let me know at the end if it goes in the direction you thought ;)

    Terri – Hehe. what did you think it was about?

  10. Gez says:

    Hmm. Guessing it was something to do with Ned3 on 24th Feb? (Saw your tweet, and caught it on uitzending gemist :) ). The beard looks so wrong after knowing you from your cartoons on here!

  11. Aledys Ver says:

    I think it’s quite touching that you are still talking to us, the small people in Expatland, considering that you are all famous. Fortunately, it seems that the pepernoten have not gone to your head, yet! :)

  12. Bart says:

    Watch it, somebody might think that you’re stoned! From what I hear, Amsterdam people get quite upset when they encounter stoners.

  13. Invader Stu says:

    Gez – It is indeed. Althought you might have already realized that a lot of the footage of me talking to myself was not used in the end. No idea why :p I can imagine the beard does look very out of place. I asked everyone to vote a while back if I should add a beard to the cartoon and everyone said no. Best just earise the image of the beard from your mind :p

    Aledys Ver – You can take the boy out of the getto but you can’t take the getto out of the boy… I have no idea why I just said that.

    Bart – I’m suprised I didn’t need to be stoned to get over the embarissment.

  14. Pete says:

    I often babble to myself when walking the streets of Amsterdam but have yet to find a good reason to do so – apart from being drunk and generally confused, I suppose. Now I have the perfect excuse to offer anybody looking at me like I’m a nutter – I’m simply filming a scene and the camera crew can’t be seen. Cheers Stu!

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