vol. 4 #5 â€“ 8 February 2011
The Sentinel Amsterdam
Integrity, heart, humour
amsterdam style trends
Look into my eyes perspectives lifestyles TRENDs CARTOON Technology music SPORT CLASSIFIEDs
In this issue FEATURE
p. 03 Lifestyles P. 08 MUSIC P. 14
Amsterdamstyle ’I just kept pace, acted natural and thus ‘Dutch’’
Albert Cuyp market yes, please
‘The vendors, although ‘armed’ with long exacting knives, smile at you’
p. 20 sport
The Sentinel Amsterdam does not intentionally include unaccredited photos/illustrations that are subject to copyright. If you consider your copyright to have been infringed, please contact us at email@example.com.
ART The new collagists
TECHNOLOGY Techbit: Sio-bytes
Perspectives p. 16 Nothing as romantic as being a student in Amsterdam
e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org website: www.thesentinel.eu
‘The Dutch dance music public like four-to-the-floor’
p. 26 more:
The Gold Room
‘Eager beer drinkers and beautiful women; what more can a connoisseur wish for’
The Sentinel Amsterdam
Nice guys also make it
Editors – Gary Rudland & Denson Pierre Design, realisation and form – Andrei Barburas & No-Office.nl Webmaster – Simon O. Studios Webhost – Amsterjammin.com
TRENDS Look into my eyes
FILM REVIEW Room 2C CARTOON
p. 23 p. 23
Contributors – Eva Haan, Zonja Zech, Alina Croituro, Annegien Kok, Simon Owusu, Dirkje Bakker, David King, Colin Bentley & Maureen Kamp
Am ster dam style By Sonja Zech
‘In winter, I thought of being romanced by the adorable bridges and houses set against a blaze of light’ They say that you can’t unlearn riding a bike. This is true, yet riding a bike required completely new attention from me in Amsterdam.
going down a hill either, but sometimes there are tricky little declines. All those other lucky bikers pushed on by a tail-wind, crossing and smiling at you when your own face is reddened and distorted through effort, generate pure envy. In contrast, rainy days create a community-wide When I was at home, in Dortmund, and thought of Amsterfeeling of all being soaking wet together, trying to find a dam, I had the idea of thousands of bikes locked in special tree to share and shelter under or just going on our moist bike-parking areas. Even so, I still also made the romantic way regardless. association of sitting on one of those typical old black Dutch bikes (Omafiets), swinging through small, quiet But my deepest respect for Dutch cyclists emerged in streets along the waterways and, in summer, watching winter. After a few days, I had to surrender to the cold and relaxed people having their breakfast in the sun while sat snow, although I thought Amsterdam had taught me to be in their doorways. In winter, I thought of being romanced an experienced Dutch-style cyclist. Most other people just by the adorable bridges and houses set against a blaze of kept on cycling. light. Refreshingly, this lively imagination proved to be accurate, by and large. Top tips So, I have learned some very quick lessons on biking here. Two-wheel terror Always, and I do mean always, take a rain-proof suit with Biking in Amsterdam does have its rough and ready you. Try to stay as alert as possible to everything around aspects, at least if you are new here and have no clue about you, including pedestrians, especially in tourist areas. And the city. Trapped in the bike rush hour and feeling commost importantly, stay off small untreated streets during pletely lost in search of a specific street name, I just kept icy spells. pace, acted natural and thus ‘Dutch’. Two racing cyclists to the left, a scooter to my right, trying to cut across my At the beginning of my stay a friend told me that I would path, and to the side, a young mother with three little fall in love with my bike. Swinging through small, quiet children on her bakfiets – and these are just those heading streets on my Omafiets, I can’t help thinking that she was in the same direction as me. On the opposite side there so right. are also four lanes of people on bikes and scooters! On the first few outings this can cause a fair bit of cold sweat and confusion, but it always works itself out as long as you go with the flow (which also means missing several right turns and crossings).
Braving the elements The much more difficult daily situation concerns the infamous headwind. It changes direction simultaneously with you; you can’t escape it! I didn’t expect difficulties
‘I didn’t expect difficulties going dow but sometimes there are tricky little
wn a hill either, e declinesâ€™
‘The Albert Cuyp market unfolds along the eponymous street, as alluring as it was 50 years ago’ By Alina Croitoru
You wake-up late; it’s the weekend in midJanuary. Outside, the wind is whipping against the bare trees. You’re in the mood for some fresh fruit and you remember it’s Saturday and you can find virtually anything you need two blocks away. You put on your thick scarf, some furry boots and out you go. You cross the street, slaloming between cars, bicycles and trams, then throw yourself at the waves of people heading to and from the market. The Albert Cuyp market unfolds along the eponymous street, as alluring as it was 50 years ago. Eternal spring From the entrance, vendors with tenor’s lungs invite you to buy sweet oranges at special prices. Alongside them, fresh flowers pleasingly catch your eye – with so much colour, it’s like a little piece of spring stays all year round in the Netherlands. All around, different voices and tourists from parts of the world you’ve never laid eyes on are running laps through the famous Amsterdam market, reputed to be one of the biggest street markets in Europe. Here, you can find anything – from puffy clogs and other Dutch souvenirs to vintage clothing, perfumes and outlet-priced accessories. There’s a large crowd everywhere, it seems, and you may have to wait a little while for a few oranges and a handful of strawberries. The vendors are quick but the buyers are great in number and want a little bit of everything on offer. The chilly wind, meanwhile, sneaks under and through your clothing, making your wait that little bit harsher. Above our heads, seagulls are circling and shrieking in search of discarded scraps of food. Crowd surfing After you purchase your fruit, you continue further along towards the middle of the market, which is also crowded and crossing the street becomes quite a task. For instance, you spot a furniture shop with some lovely bird cages to hang in the garden at home, given that they perfectly
match your forged iron bench, but you give up; you lack the courage to swim against such a tide of humanity. It’s better to make a quick pit-stop at the ‘stroopwafel’ stand and ask for a large one. It’s prepared on the spot and it smells delectable. You eat it slowly while looking on in wonder at the torrent of people checking out all the items, laughing, chatting and sometimes giving you quick glances. It’s a pleasure to be one of them, so you enter the crowd and swim with it again. Around the fish stands, it smells like the open sea in winter. The vendors, although ‘armed’ with long exacting knives, smile at you. They look like pirates thrown by a time machine into a future as uncomfortable as their rubber aprons. After you have browsed through oysters with fan-like shells and huge crabs staring at you from ice-filled buckets, you decide on a piece of smoked salmon. You do one more run to a colourful stand where an Asian guy is selling Tibetan scarves and woollen winter bags and then switch to a live demonstration by a garlic chef. Next to this, you find the stand with Dutch cheeses from which you never leave empty handed. In the cafés, tourists and shoppers, exhausted by the level of temptation cast before their eyes, are sipping ‘koffie verkeerd’. You also feel tired... Inscentivised Somewhere close-by exudes the enticing aroma of nougat, roasted almonds and candied fruit. It’s from the sweets stand where there’s always a line. You hurry past trying hard to stay away from the high-calorie goodies, at least this time, and the next stop is the spices store. There, you are lost for a while in a forest of bags filled with curry, white pepper, rosemary, ginger, caraway, coriander, basil, cinnamon and many other aromas. It is that hard to decide! On reaching the market’s exit, you don’t yet feel like leaving behind this beautiful piece of street carnival, with its music, colours, scents and stories. You want to go back, to return to the noisy mix of people you feel so at home with. And you look for a reason: how about buying some tulips?
Albert Cuyp market – yes, please
‘An Asian guy is selling Tibetan scarves and woollen winter bags, and then you switch to a live demonstration by a garlic chef’
‘With so much colour, it’s like a little piece of spring stays all year round in the Netherlands’
‘You want to go back, to return to the noisy mix of people you feel so at home with’
s t s i . g www ewcolla then .com
niCe GUys also make it copyright: Carlo Cruz
interview with Simon melia on his unique skip across from midEngland to international recognition jockeying recorded vinyl and digital sound- and vision-scapes. DP: Never mind the spliffs and decadence, did Amsterdam also appeal to your intellectual sense of curiosity? Being a graduate of English Literature, I wondered if there was a link between your love of books and your choice to move here in the mid-90s? SM: My choice to move here at that time was driven by the spliffs and decadence, more than literature, that’s for sure (lol)! Joking aside, I had just finished an English Literature and Drama degree but had never really viewed Amsterdam as a hub for writers. My father had just died very unexpectedly of a blood clot to the brain, so I needed a fresh start. It was whilst travelling, after spending a few months in Amsterdam, that I decided to ‘follow my heart’ and pursue my first passion,
which was music. This is what led me back here. Also, at the time I left the UK the ‘Criminal Justice Bill’ was in full swing under a long-term right-wing government. When I moved to Amsterdam, there were warehouse parties, a plethora of artists and a real sense of encouragement to let your artistic juices flow and establish something. Sadly, this ‘version’ of Amsterdam is now long gone, since what an American friend of mine coined as its ‘Juliani-fication’ (after the infamous ex-mayor’s ‘clean-up New York’ model). The ‘clean up’ isn’t totally negative, though. When I first moved to my ‘wijk’ of the ‘Oud West’, almost 14 years ago, it was a pretty dodgy area. I mean, you wouldn’t want to walk on the Kinkerstraat alone at night, or anything like that. Nowadays it’s totally refurbished. What was once a street full of ‘money whitewash’ phone shops is now strewn with cafés, clothes shops and so on. Anyway, when I first got here I was full of ‘piss and vinegar’, convinced I could change the face of Holland’s musical tastes by introducing ‘Breakbeat’. Since I’d listened to Techno for a few years and got bored with it, I assumed that they would have, too. I did many parties around Amsterdam, and further afield, but I’d say that the majority (especially in Amsterdam) were full of ex-pats from various countries. When I look back at my naivety at thinking I could change a nation, I almost laugh. The Dutch dance music public (not all, of course, there are always exceptions to the rule, just not that many) like four-
to-the-floor. It’s easy to understand and doesn’t require you to think too much whilst dancing. I guess I made wrong assumptions, due to having an English cultural background that, musically, has been heavily reliant on Caribbean influence (heavy basslines, broken beats) since the late 60s. ‘You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make it drink’. Or as a friend of mine put it: ‘You can lead a whore to culture, but you can’t make her think!’
DP: We live in a country and city shamelessly awash with standard, hollow, techno-house music and yet, somehow, you have managed to constantly re-invent your ‘pop’ self within the outgoing scene. How would you describe yourself? Who are your greatest creative influences and where do you now wish your art to take you? SM: Following on from what I said earlier, with ‘The SmokeEaters’ (the audio/visual outfit of which I’m part), more than 90% of our gigs are abroad. We had some great successes last year, playing in eight different countries and at top festivals, such as Glastonbury (UK), Sziget (HU) and Oxegen (IRE). We don’t play much in the Netherlands, probably because we aren’t strictly ‘Techno’ (lol). I think it’s very important to reinvent yourself as an artist, in order not to stagnate. Audio/Visual seemed like the next stage for the dancefloor. The ‘rave era’ is long gone, so getting people interested in going out needs extra sensory
appeal. With what we do, it’s ‘what you see is what you hear’ and that’s what makes it exciting and interesting. I‘m hoping to get to as many places as possible this year and to take this project all the way.
DP: Amsterdam has been many things to you but do you see it as an ideal base of operations to satisfy the needs you have previously outlined? SM: It’s near a major international airport and I can cycle around town easily. I live near ‘Ten Kate market’, which is great. Enough said.
DP: I think it is great to mention these things so: Walsall FC to get to the Premier League within five seasons, Aston Villa to be in the Champions League within three seasons or England to win the World Cup before you retire? SM: Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha! That makes about as much sense as ‘Inception’. www.youtube.com/thesmokeeaters www.facebook.com/pages/thesmokeeaters/242488533214 www.simonmelia.blogspot.com
nothing as romantic as being a student in Amsterdam By Annegien Kok
â€˜But so does ministersâ€™ apparent ignorance of the fact that student life contains many more life-changing opportunities than just getting a diplomaâ€™
In these times when the 60s and 70s seem more back than ever, on both aesthetic and cultural levels, I actually started to feel them, too, as I watched footage of students getting into a big ruckus with the riot police last month. A demonstration against the government’s planned savings on education started reasonably organised and calm but, by the end, things got out of hand and a fair amount of students ended up being arrested. Fair enough, tripling college fees for students who take longer to fi nish their course is a bit radical and does call for a response. But so does ministers’ apparent ignorance of the fact that student life contains many more life-changing opportunities than just getting a diploma. Is it fair to fi nancially handcuff these youngsters to their student rooms and cut them off from everything that the most prominent Dutch people enjoyed when they were students themselves?
‘These post-modern times bring new luxury problems, like having too many future opportunities, possessions, locations and lifestyles to choose from’ Now, I must say that the average student’s life in Holland is pretty good. There are not many places where you can study for almost ten years without getting into trouble; financial or otherwise. Not every course, parent or attitude allows one to study that long and it is not necessarily a bad thing to feel the need to speed things up but, in the Netherlands, it is possible to take things at your own pace. It is also possible to become inadvertently stuck longer than planned in that ‘almost graduated’ period, which conveniently coincides with the quarter-life crisis that keeps students from feeling pressured to step into adult life. These post-modern times bring new luxury problems, like having too many future opportunities, possessions, locations and lifestyles to choose from, and some students might need a little extra time to arrive at these decisions. On the other hand, it’s not a bad thing to put a little more pressure on students to keep them from taking the full ten years. Nevertheless, demanding compensation for every single day a student’s studies are extended is both ignorant and antisocial. My main problem is that it is uninspiring to ignore the tradition of the student life, which is exactly what’s happening here. It might sound very shallow to claim that one needs boozing and snoozing as a part of development, but this is what humans do and it is actually one of the ways in which we find out who we are, as well as through socialis-
ing and networking. Okay, this might be a bit of an excuse, but I find it bizarre that certain facts are being ignored. Students go out. As soon as their courses begin, many join fraternities and live with fellow, full-time, noisy partiers, which makes it almost impossible not to fall behind from the very beginning. Being 18 years old, most students cannot be expected to be as organised and disciplined as adults, which is the case when every slight delay has consequences, since it is very hard to finish a course on time once you fall behind. And don’t forget that many students need to work alongside their studies to pay for everything. Punishing someone for not being totally organised, having just moved out of the parental home for the first time, is petty and childish. Leaving aside how realistic this is, it wouldn’t hurt the government to take a bit more of a romantic stance. Isn’t it important to allow people (including oneself) to be a bit disorganised whilst fledgling adults? Doesn’t this make people more responsible in later life, since they have had the chance to let themselves go and get it out of their systems? Does it not make someone a more interesting employee and colleague if they have had the chance to socialise, fl irt and enjoy life excessively, to balance out all the seriousness that comes later? Now, the 60s and 70s might be popular, but it would be a bit much to go full-on back to romanticism here. However, if only for the fact that Amsterdam students have been living outrageous lives since the 1850s, it is a lifestyle and a tradition that cannot simply be ignored. Oh, how practical and handy it would be for ministers if students dived straight into their books, because they could not wait to get working. This is not the reality, though.
‘giving students the freedom to live their student lives brings out better future qualities and selfesteem than forcing them to do nothing but study’ Students live the lives they do alongside their studying, because they naturally seem to need it, and that will not change. Why punish something that should actually be seen as a natural development process? I am convinced that giving students the freedom to live their student lives brings out better future qualities and selfesteem than forcing them to do nothing but study. The good thing about this situation is the fact that it does spice things up a bit, since the government is giving students the perfect reason to start protesting again, which is so retro.
‘Sharing a Dropbox folder cuts out the need to e-mail documents back and forth’
TechBit: Sio-Bytes By Simon Owusu
‘You won’t have to fret about those changes you made to that proposal for the board, while you were still intoxicated from the previous night out’ What if I told you I could save your life, or at least your sanity? Sounds like a line from ‘Inception’?
hopefully not your shoddy guitar rendition of ‘Stairway to Heaven’ (you have YouTube for that!). Back-up - Not only are your files synced to multiple computers of choice but they are also backed up online on the Dropbox servers. If you have ever seen the movie ‘InCome closer and let me tell you how. Have you ever left an dependence Day’, you will appreciate the likelihood of the important document on your home computer when you city in which you live being totally obliterated by aliens. really needed it at the office or someplace else? Have you With all your computers wiped out in one swoop, those wished you could have all your music, movies and photos pictures of what you did last summer will still be there to with you everywhere you went, without having to carry incriminate you, once you rebuild society with the Fresh them on some sort of physical media player? Have you Prince of Bel-Air. Install Dropbox on a new computer and stored important information on a USB key and misplaced all your files are pulled down from the Dropbox servers. it, thus losing your mind and, with it, your plans to create You can also access your files from any internet-enabled the next Death Star? Well, you can thank me later, but computer with your login details. Log in via a standard inwelcome to Dropbox an easy-to-use and convenient way to ternet browser and you can view or download any of your synchronise, share and back-up your data. files (without having Dropbox installed on that computer). To top it all off, Dropbox has revisions enabled, allowing Sync - Installed on multiple computers (e.g. Home & Office), you to go back to an earlier versions of a saved document as soon as you save your files into your Dropbox folder, it (up to a 30 day period). You won’t have to fret about those copies them to your other selected computer(s). Simple. changes you made to that proposal for the board, while As you watch your computer dying the inevitable painful you were still intoxicated from the previous night out. death to which they all succumb eventually, you can be Skip back to an earlier version and next time try not to go quietly confident that all your vital documents are safe out on a school night. somewhere else. Think about that document you were pulling an all-nighter on to impress your evil boss and, Dropbox is compatible with Windows, Mac and Linux due to lack of sleep, forgot to e-mail it to the office. Worry machines and is also available on a wide range of mobile no more; the document would have made it in, thanks platforms, like the iPhone, iPad, Blackberry and Android. mostly to me (my advice) but also in part to your use of the It is a free service for up to 2GB of material. Dropbox folder. Share - Does Granny want to see the latest photos of her grandchildren? Select a folder to share and then send a link to invite the witch mother-in-law to see the cute little ones vying for her inheritance. Collaborating on a work project? Sharing a Dropbox folder cuts out the need to email documents back and forth, by giving everyone access to the latest documents. You can share with one person, a team or the whole world if you have something that important to share, like a clean sustainable energy source and
Follow this referral link to see a video demo and set up your account: http://db.tt/RBWhKR8 Simon Owusu is a computer scientist and grade A-1 tech geek. He lives in Amsterdam and also travels the world on corporate sojourns, using his acquired gadgets and Mac bias to ease his and our days. Simon is also a part-time web designer and an active amateur football enthusiast.
‘the crowning glory of a comprehensive selection of simply the best beers in the world, at reasonable prices and served by knowledgeable, attractive and engaging staff’
Gollem iii By Denson Pierre
It is always most pleasurable to see a leisure concept succeed. A sealed-off, well-ventilated smoking room for the ‘ash heads’, comfortable chairs, cushioned stools, sturdy tables, fresh and clean toilets, freshly made fi nger snacks or full meals, and the crowning glory of a comprehensive selection of simply the best beers in the world, at reasonable prices and served by knowledgeable, attractive and engaging staff. Gollem III is, as the name implies, the third incarnation of what has become the most recognisable chain of A-class bars in Amsterdam, designed around and fuelled by highquality beer. Of course, this involves mainly the magical and sometimes narcotic Belgian brews.
‘Sexually suggestive fantasy content ﬂoats into the freshly filtered air, lubricated by yummy, rich, high-yeastcontent, fruit ﬂavoured and robust beers’ Eager beer drinkers and beautiful women; what more can a connoisseur wish for in one place? This is, however, only an additional bonus of a visit to this centrally located, easily accessed and cosy address. It seemed like all the classy and stylistically cool beauties living in the Dutch capital dropped in during my last visit. Sexually suggestive fantasy content floats into the freshly filtered air, lubri-
cated by yummy, rich, high-yeast-content, fruit flavoured and robust beers. There is also wine but, as good as the range is, it does not generate as warm and raunchy a glow of love light as the brews from across our nearest border. Ooh, they also serve Vedett. This is the most earnest and refreshing pilsner uncovered in 2010. It is simply great and reminds my taste buds of that German giant: Jever. Try three of both soon.
‘Just take a dip, take a date or take a few friends along who can handle their alcohol’ For those who have been living in the city for a while and have not yet been to Gollem III, do not expect the rustic, quaint and romantic charm of the original Gollem, just off Spuistraat, or the unremarkable ambiance of Gollem II, in De Pijp. Gollem III, on Overtoom, might just become an instant first choice for all that is desired and expected from a top-class, yet relaxed, grand café/bar. Just once, or before you become fed up of the dozens of uninspired main bar tap offerings of ‘piss water’ available all over the city, the opportunity to drink through ranges of taste and herby intoxication awaits. Thereafter you may well find it difficult to go past this cafe without its magnetic attraction causing you to temporarily suspend your other plans. Just take a dip, take a date or take a few friends along who can handle their alcohol and savour Dionysian Amsterdam. But do also take your time, as the beers on offer are generally on the rather side of strong. Directions and further info: http://cafegollem.nl/?page_id=2
Look into my eyes…
‘Or big eye lenses, which create the effect of much larger (almost cartoonish) eyes’
By Dirkje Bakker
Not only what we wear, buy, eat, want, feel and say (new verb of the month, as far as I am concerned: wetransferring) is submitted to Trends, but also our bodies and physical features are constantly being influenced by hype and fashion.
In art, the ‘big eye’ is nothing new and even in Europe, bigeye art is actually something that we have been familiar with since the 1950’s, through artist Margaret Keane. In the late 1950s, Margaret Keane created her very first bigeye painting. Her husband, Walter, a clever businessman, marketed her work in the form of mass-produced prints, which were sold in a myriad of department stores, as well as published on the back pages of comic books and magazines. Today, the cost of an original Keane can soar to The eyes: practical, magical, mysterious, poem inducing, thousands of euros. What was once considered low-brow so-called ‘mirrors of the soul’. One of the most written art for the masses is now highly regarded and avidly about body parts in poetry, fiction and certainly song. Horror-inducing eyes, like those I saw this week in the leg- collected by well-known celebrities. Owning an original Keane has become a status symbol. Celebrity Keane collecendary eyeball soup in the timeless masterpiece ‘Indiana tors include Marilyn Manson, Jerry Lewis, Robert Wagner, Jones and the Temple of Doom’. Dreamy eyes harbouring and Tim Burton. unending fantasies and promising paradise, like in the portraits of Marilyn. Eyes with a memory, like in the By contrast, the big-eye lenses are readily available for movie ‘The Eye’, the remake of the Hong Kong film ‘Jian Gui’, where a woman receives an eye transplant that allows everyone and easily ordered from Asia online, starting from as low as US$20 a pair. Be aware that they have been her to see into the supernatural world. subject to health and safety warnings, but if you want to impress your Asian friends, you know what to do… Eyes tell stories, eyes hide the truth, eyes witness, eyes imagine. In Asia, the ‘in’ thing to strive for at the moment is to have eyes that look as much like those of a Manga or cartoon character as possible. Wildly popular amongst teenagers in the Far East are circle contact lenses, or big eye lenses, which create the effect of a much larger (almost cartoonish) eyes. The effect is quite dramatic, especially when enhanced by dark make-up; think of the eyes of those old fashioned dolls that you could twist to make the eyes open and close, or a Teletubby, or even better, a puppy begging for a treat. Originally invented in South Korea, they are now taking the world by storm (especially since Lady Gaga used them in one of her videos).
Room 2c film By David King
The Bridge over the River Kwai (1957) Fact: David Lean is a genius of cinema. This classic movie, about British POW’s being held by Japanese forces during the Second World War, demonstrates his gift for filming on the grandest stage with the biggest stars, and golly can he tell a story. Drawing on the most dubious traits of imperialism, the acting is so good that the naturally astonishing Burmese backdrop is almost reduced to playing second fiddle.
Cartoon By Colin Bentley
Their new signing doesn’t look much good.
They say he eats, drinks and sleeps football...
He just can’t play it!
Min 5 participants – themes: voice, creativity, communication, connection There is a place; times will /can be arranged .
Costs for a workshop are Euro 300 for up to 7 participants & Euro 400 for 8-12 participants.
Feel, want, need? exchange, enable, permit supportive, relaxed, fun
Contact: Fire Lotus Email: Lennie St Luce - email@example.com Tel: +31 (0)6 2866 5886 Feedback vocal empowerment Oct 2010:
“Thank you so much for an extraordinary evening , it’s all still running through my mind....it was spot on.” - Ingrid“The evening was fantastic, all the women were very enthusiastic and happy.” - Truus-
Stud marks By Maureen Kamp
By the time you read this, I will be on the other side of the world. But while writing, I’m still in Amsterdam, trying to concentrate, although my mind has already left for Bali. I will be meeting up there with my friend, L, who I haven’t seen for almost a year, since she moved back to Australia. And a wet year it has been for her. Australia has been a bit more like the centre of the world just lately, with all that flooding, instead of just Down Under. L told me that it has basically been raining in Brisbane ever since she returned, so the flooding came as no surprise; first the pool then the city. Rain is not exactly the first thing you think about when asked to define Australia. It’s usually more like kangaroos, koalas and, of course, UGG boots. Now, I know they have a lot of sheep down there but does that mean you actually need to wear them? Pretty weird that from an island which is very hot (and as we’ve recently found out very wet), come these ridiculously warm boots that are absolutely useless in wet weather. And shock, horror, my dear friend L confessed that, since being back there, she’s been wearing nothing but... Tim Cahill comes from Australia, although he is half Samoan. He’s currently at the Asian Cup and I just found out that the Socceroos made it to the final. I hadn’t thought of him at all, since he wasn’t in my team, but when L went on a stroll after the floods had left for Victoria, she bumped into to an inhabitant that probably got a bit lost because of them. She made a picture of it; a koala, which is quite rare she assures me. Looking at the photo she took made me think of Tim Cahill. He can do his kangaroo boxing with the corner flag goal celebration as much as he likes (although he has recently replaced it with a phone call gesture to encourage people to donate to flood relief; good man), but if you look into his dark eyes, you must admit that there’s a lot more koala in him than kangaroo. Mmm, I can almost smell his fresh eucalyptus breath... So, it’s just a few days before I leave for Bali, where it’s very hot and there’s a bit of a monsoon going on at the moment. I wonder if they sell UGG boots there and I wonder if Tim wears them when he goes home...
‘Rain is not exactly the first thing you think about when asked to define Australia’
the Gold room By Denson Pierre
player-of-the-Season preview Joy to the fantasy world of football, as many have come forward to exhibit a high order of skill and effectiveness this season. More so than last season, we have a group of players on this shortlist who can properly lay claim to the title to be announced in issue 7. So, without further ado, I present the contenders, whose order of appearance and size of illustration in no way reflects a ranking. The winner and reasons for the award will be explained in the forthcoming issue. petr cech (chelsea) – Has been so very good, even during the substantial dip in form and performances by Chelsea, that he is simply an example of how to focus on your own job while others around you are lapsing. nemanja vidic (manchester United) – Captaining the team that has evolved to become the new favourites for the Premier League title. carlitos Tevez (manchester city) – Captain and scoring dynamo of the team suddenly making loud noises. nani (manchester United) – This season’s main eyecatching player at this glamour club. Samir nasri (Arsenal) – Has stepped up to justify the original hype. gareth Bale (Tottenham hotspur) – Continued improvement and devastating impact. Andy carroll (newcastle United) – The new, young, big gun.
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