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My 30th Birthday Party My 30th Birthday Party
My 30th Birthday Party
Clay's Personal / pAArty
February 9,2018
Clayton
Epica live in Bibelot Epica live in Bibelot
Epica live in Bibelot
Concerts & Shows
June 15,2017
Clayton
Back in Amsterdam 2017 Back in Amsterdam 2017
Back in Amsterdam 2017
Clay's Personal / Travel & Adventure
June 8,2017
Clayton
Lisbon, Portugal Lisbon, Portugal
Lisbon, Portugal
Travel & Adventure
February 28,2017
Clayton
Madrid, Spain Madrid, Spain
Madrid, Spain
Travel & Adventure
February 27,2017
Clayton
Barcelona, Spain Barcelona, Spain
Barcelona, Spain
Travel & Adventure
February 26,2017
Clayton
Once upon a time in Rome Once upon a time in Rome
Once upon a time in Rome
Travel & Adventure
February 25,2017
Clayton
The ferry from Oslo to Denmark The ferry from Oslo to Denmark
The ferry from Oslo to Denmark
Travel & Adventure
February 22,2017
Clayton
Oslo, Norway Oslo, Norway
Oslo, Norway
Travel & Adventure
February 21,2017
Clayton
Fosby, Norway – Cabin in the Woods Fosby, Norway – Cabin in the Woods
Fosby, Norway - Cabin in the Woods
Travel & Adventure
February 20,2017
Clayton
Stockholm, Sweden Stockholm, Sweden
Stockholm, Sweden
Travel & Adventure
February 19,2017
Clayton
Copenhagen, Denmark Copenhagen, Denmark
Copenhagen, Denmark
Travel & Adventure
February 18,2017
Clayton
From Paris back to NL From Paris back to NL
From Paris back to NL
Travel & Adventure
February 15,2017
Clayton
Château de Versailles Château de Versailles
Château de Versailles
Travel & Adventure
February 14,2017
Clayton
Paris City Tour and The Louvre Paris City Tour and The Louvre
Paris City Tour and The Louvre
Travel & Adventure
February 13,2017
Clayton
Road Trip to Paris Road Trip to Paris
Road Trip to Paris
Travel & Adventure
February 12,2017
Clayton
Update on 2017’s NY Post Update on 2017’s NY Post
Update on 2017's NY Post
Clay's Personal / Friends
January 3,2018
Clayton
New Year’s Eve 2017 New Year’s Eve 2017
New Year’s Eve 2017
Clay's Personal / pAArty
January 2,2018
Clayton
Happy New Year 2018 Happy New Year 2018
Happy New Year 2018
Clay's Personal
January 1,2018
Clayton
Drunk in love Drunk in love
Drunk in love
Clay's Personal / The Naked Truth
October 26,2017
Clayton
Clay's Personal pAArty

My 30th Birthday Party

By Clayton

So it finally happened… I turned 30 last week… the HORROR!!
I am just joking. It’s actually not that big of a deal to me and I actually do like my birthday. Since you only turn 30 once, I decided to throw a party… but this was not going to be just any regular birthday party… I mean, come on, have we met?!

Party Planning Stress
So it turns out that party planning is a lot of stress. If I had millions of dollars to spill I would have just hired someone to organize the entire thing and let them deal with all the stress. Since I don’t… I had to plan it all myself.

I had this idea for a karaoke birthday party for a while now. As you know, I love karaoke, despite the fact that I cannot sing. I also wanted a photo booth for memorable, crazy, drunk pictures. I also didn’t want every day decorations, so I went on Amazon and order all the decorations, photo props and whatnot that I needed.

As the day to the birthday party came closer I started to stress a lot more. Everything costs a lot of money and it’s a lot of phone calls, emailing and driving places to arrange things. Also I was stressing out because up until 2 weeks before the party the things ordered were not here yet, due to a delay in delivery with the holiday season. But luckily the arrived just in time, so I could ease up a bit after that.

During the planning period I had a few times where I came THIS close to blowing off the entire party and just plan a trip abroad… I luckily know enough people that could help and advise me on things, so once that stress was lifted and I knew exactly what I wanted and needed the party could officially be organized.

The location I had picked was Hotel Babylon. A small, but gorgeous hotel that is not far from my home. I visited that place 2 years ago for the first time and it had left a lasting impression on me. As I was looking for a location for the party, I somehow knew that this would have to be it.

Actual Birthday
On my actual birthday, February 1st, I didn’t do much of celebrating, but mostly drove around doing some shopping and ordering stuff for the following day. In the evening I went to my best friend’s house were we peeled 12kg of potatoes for mashed potatoes. We drank a bottle of champagne while doing so, but that was the only kind of celebration.

When I went home I still wanted to create a playlist for the party and test the karaoke stuff, but my friends advised me to go to sleep. As I get older I cannot pull those all-nighters anymore. And it was about to be a long day so I could use all the sleep I could get it.

(more…)

Concerts & Shows

Epica live in Bibelot

By Clayton

So last Sunday I went to see my favorite band Epica perform again for the sixth time.
Sixth time… but with Epica each time is a charm.

The show was in a very small venue called Bibelot, which is located in Dordrecht.
I think about 100-150 people were inside.

The stage was very close to the public, so it felt very personal. I think after seeing them in Paradiso the first time in 2011, this was the second time I’ve seen them in such a small venue. But it was great.
A small venue obviously meant no pyros or H20 effects. It was just Epica, the music instruments and light effects, but that was it. Nonetheless, the energy was there. The band members put up and amazing show and all the gimmicks weren’t even missed.

I arrived in Dordrecht around 13.30hr and after a short walk to the venue and a quick fresh up in the toilet, I was in front of the doors to the main stage at 14.00hr. That was about 5 hours before the doors would open. Yes, you read that right. No more than 10 people (including myself) were just standing there and just engaging in some chit-chat. The hall was extremely hot and we often went outside for some fresh air. The hall didn’t really start filling up after 17.00hr and by 18.30hr there was a huge crowd in front of those 2 black doors. I think everyone was more than relieved when they opened and the gush of cold air from the air-conditioning inside filled the air. After scanning the tickets everyone rushed inside. I stood in the second row like I usually do.

The show started with a band called 3rd Machine.
I don’t know them, but their music was okay. However, I could barely hear a word the singer was singing. The sound of his mic was not good. But from what I could hear he sounded good and he also has a good stage presence. Although I think he struggled to get the crowd hyped. Then again, I highly doubt many knew the music of the band.
The band’s music (and the appearance of the singer) was very similar to that of the band Disturbed in my opinion.

Before Epica took the stage, there was this band called Evil Invaders.
Not my cup of tea at all. So to be honest I couldn’t wait for it to be over. But I guess if I was into that kind of music it would have been a good performance.

At exact 21.00hr the stage was clear and ready for Epica to enter.
The lights dimmed and the first notes of the intro song Eidola could be heard.
I imagined hearing that live since listening to the new album for the first time, but actually hearing it, seconds from seeing the band again, was pure magic.

As usual, the boys entered the stage and Simone made her way to the stage when the first song got played, Edge of the Blade. Simone looked gorgeous in her black and gold dress.
However, it didn’t even take 2 minutes since the band has started to play the first song that the fire alarm went off. The lights were all bright and all the music was cut. Simone kept singing but soon had to stop. All the band members went to the side of the stage and Ariën kept the crowd hyped with a drum solo until the smoke got cleared and the band could re-enter the stage.

And there it was, the second attempt and from there on there were no more interruptions.
The band kicked ass and had a very diverse set list. Obviously, I can’t remember which songs they played exactly, but I sang along to all. And jumping around and cheered them on.

My favorite track on The Holographic PrincipleAscension – Dream State Armageddon” was also performed and I was more than happy to finally hear that track live. They also played “Once Upon A Nightmare”, the only ballad on THP, which I hear they have never played live in Holland before (after the release show). It was a truly magical night and I obviously took many pictures and videos. You could tell that the band was also happy to play in their own homeland and I think they should do that more often. Coen and Isaac even got off the stage during the show to play right in the middle of the crowd. That was amazing.

Another favorite track of mine that they played was “Beyond The Matrix” and that had the entire crowd jumping along with the band. The energy was amazing. Nothing but positivity and I am sure that everyone for that one and a half hour forgot all their life problems. I certainly did.

After the show was over, Mark came to greet everyone, just like he always did and it was nice seeing him in person again. I could tell it was mutual.

Soon after I took my selfie with Mark I made my way downstairs. Got a ride from another fellow Epica fan and made my way from Dordrecht to Amsterdam. A trip that was not that easy. Had to take 2 trains and the NS bus and it took from 00.20 am in Dordrecht to 02.45 am until I opened the front door to the Amsterdam house. But for Epica all is worth and I hope to see them one day soon again.

For some great professional pictures of this show visit McSharq‘s Facebook page.

Clay's Personal Travel & Adventure

Back in Amsterdam 2017

By Clayton

Dear Diary… oops, wrong app.
Dear readers… you know, those two that are actually reading this…

Okay, enough joking around.

Hello,
To those still reading… wow, you really must have nothing better to do, huh? 😀

Okay, seriously now!!

Hi,
I am here writing from the Public Library in Amsterdam.
I cannot remember the last time I was in a library. I’ve been inside this library before a few years ago, but that was only to pick up something. Today I am actually here for the content of the library.

As I already mentioned I am back in Amsterdam; my “home”.
Not officially, but to this day it still feels like it and I doubt this feeling will ever fade away.
I’ve been here for 2.5 weeks now and have to fly back to my official-home in exactly 10 days.
Time flies. Times flies so goddamn fast that it’s not even normal.

What am I doing here in Amsterdam? NOTHING…
Yes, that is the honest answer.

(more…)

Travel & Adventure

Lisbon, Portugal

By Clayton

February 28 & 29, 2016
I have to be honest that before this trip, I knew little to nothing about Portugal. I just knew that it was some country somewhere in Europe, where Cristiano Ronaldo comes from. But I knew nothing about the weather, what it looked like or the culture. And with the limited access to the internet during all that traveling I had no time to do a Google research. So arriving in Portugal was a big surprise for me. A very pleasant surprise actually.

After Rome, I would pick Lisbon as my second city during this 2016 Eurotrip. Why?
Because it was just so different and unexpected, things were cheap… and remember I live in Suriname, so considering prices to be cheap in another place is saying a lot… also the weather was nice: not too warm and not too cold. Just perfect.

On the train ride to Portugal we were in a room with this great American guy named Matt, whom was backpacking through Europe for a few months. We quickly befriended him and got wasted at the train’s bar. This was quite a long train ride and had all the accommodation of a moving hostel.

So anyways, we made friends with the American, shared stories and were all just enjoying this once in a lifetime experience. We were being quit loud and the conductor had to shush us a few times. Ryan was already in bed much earlier than the rest of us, so when we were done drinking and making our way to our room, we wanted to be crazy and make a lot of noise to wake him up. So we barged into the room and started making noises like a maniac.

The problem was… THIS WAS NOT OUR ROOM!!!! 😮

Our drunken asses stumbled into the wrong room and woke up a bunch of strangers for nothing. As soon as we realized this we closed the door and stormed to our own room and locked ourselves in. Mission failed. But we did have a good laugh about this and quickly fell asleep.

The train conductor announced our arrival close to an hour and we brushed our teeth and waited to arrive at the train station. It was early morning so not many people out just yet. We strolled around a bit, went to see some flags and even spotted the Surinamese flag right there in Portugal. It was cool to see. We went to find to some breakfast and did some sightseeing.

Matt was about to stay longer than us in Lisbon so we walked him to his hostel. There we did a few more drinks and made friends with some more strangers. Soon afterwards a friend from Farid, whom originally is from The Netherlands, but now, is living and working in Lisbon joined us. We said goodbye to Matt and decided to go to our own hostel.

Finding our hostel was tricky. There was this mix-up with the reservation and the room we had reserved turned out not to be available at the moment, but instead we got an even better deal in another hostel. This was like a mini-hotel. We got a spacious room with a double bed and a small one, with our own bathroom and a balcony all for 40 euros a night. This was amazing.

So after getting freshened up we decided to go for a stroll with Farid’s friend. We walked around Lisbon and I was totally loving the city. We had dinner and afterwards we went out to some pubs. The nightlife in Portugal is something else. We went to this bar where they gave everyone a number and if you like someone or wanted to tell them something you wrote it on a piece of paper and gave it to the bartender, who put it up on a board. I had no one leaving me messages, but I enjoyed the place nonetheless.

Ryan at one point was too wasted and it was time to head back. He took off his shirt and walked around like that. I was scared that the cops would arrest us or something, but luckily nothing happened.

Back at the hostel Ryan went straight to bed and Farid went for a smoke break. I decided to take a long warm shower. I think I showered way too long, because when I stepped out the entire room was flooded. Literally!! The water had seeped from the bathroom, to the bedroom into the lobby. I grabbed all the towels I could find in the room and dried it all up. This was not an easy task and when I was done I wanted to shower again.

At this time I was wondering where Farid was staying, because it had been more than half an hour since he was gone. I figured he probably pulled another stunt like in Rome, or went home with his “friend” whom he was totally into, despite having been friendzoned the entire day.
I walked through the hostel, even went up to the roof balcony, but couldn’t find him anywhere. So I decided to return to the room and go to sleep.

The next morning I heard the room door open and there was Farid. Being escorted in by one of the hostel staff members. Apparently Farid was sleeping in the roof balcony room, because he had no keys the room and was locked outside. I had searched for him, but he was in that one place I did NOT look. -_- he cursed like a sailor and passed out on the bed.

After a few hours we all woke up and it was time to check out. Ryan had woken up earlier and went out to find us breakfast. As we were cleaning the room and getting to leave he and I had a little fight or something I will not repeat, but I decided to avoid him for until we arrived back in Holland.

Our plane wasn’t scheduled for a few more hours, so we went to do some more sightseeing in Lisbon and I was really starting to like this place even more. At one point it got so (comfortably) warm that we were walking around without our jacket. We went to the tourist-y places, had some dinner and finally made our way to the airport. The airport was quite crowded to say the least.

In the airplane from Lisbon to Amsterdam we had our last surprise when Farid suddenly had this major headache and felt like his head was about to explode. This was strange, but also over as soon as we landed.

Back in Amsterdam, we had to move out of the apartment that Farid used to rent and I went to stay at Patrick’s house. We had one last day and the next day we needed to go back to Schiphol and fly back to Suriname… back to reality.

And that was the end of our Eurotrip!

Travel & Adventure

Madrid, Spain

By Clayton

February 27, 2016
We took the train from Barcelona to Madrid and this was the most interesting train ride ever. The train itself was very modern and had a bar in the back. Well a lunch bar thingy, but that was not the interesting part. The interesting this is that during this train ride we saw all 4 seasons within a time span of 3 hours. First it was sunny, than it started raining, than we saw snow and then it was sunny again. It was weird, but very interesting.

Madrid itself is a very warm and calm city. I enjoyed this more than Madrid.
The people in Spain are hella-hot also. One of my favorite Instagram models – a long time instacrush of mine is from Madrid and the pics don’t lie. Also everyone has a big butt. In Spain that’s normal I guess, cause it was the same in Barcelona. Just saying… didn’t mind 🙂

Anyways, so Madrid, what did we do?

Just sightseeing. Walked around. Had some food here and there and walked around the park. The city is very calm as I said before and I quite liked it.

After we explored the entire town we went for some pubs that had happy hours and lounged at this polar bar, that was quite nice and cold, but we liked it. We were getting quite tipsy, but couldn’t drink too much because we had another train to catch and couldn’t be late… which we almost were, so in the end we had to run to the platform.

There also was a funny story about that train station. We went to find it first, before exploring the city, just to be sure that we knew where it was, also to leave our luggage so we could walk around freely. At the train station we all wanted to use the bathroom. Farid needed to go urgently so I waited outside the stalls as all others were busy. I noticed this one guy staring intensely at me. I got uncomfortable and went to wait outside the bathroom. Once Farid was finished I went in and still noticed the guy in the same spot. After I emptied my bladder I still saw the guy standing. Something was not normal. As I walked outside the bathrooms to wash my hands I noticed the cops entering the bathroom and… OMGGGGggg that bathroom was a freaking cruising spot!!! AAAhhhhh….. Seriously?!! LOL

Anyways, back to the above, after drinking and lounging we ran to the train station, grabbed our bags and entered the train. Our next stop was Portugal. This was another interesting train ride. See the next (and final) story.

Travel & Adventure

Barcelona, Spain

By Clayton

February 26, 2016
After a day in the magical city of Rome it was time to explore Barcelona.

Once again we took a plane from Vueling airlines, from Rome to Barcelona. The flight is only 1 hour and 50 minutes, which went by quickly, especially since I am used to 9 hour flights. We took the metro at the airport and made our way to the city center of Barcelona.

To be totally honest… I was quite underwhelmed. And I know exactly why. After having been in a city like Rome the day before, Barcelona felt like a bit of a downgrade. So maybe I should visit Barcelona on its own again. Don’t get me wrong, it was fun and all, I just wasn’t left with a big WOW-effect. But anyways.

We had some tapas for lunch, drank sangria and just enjoyed the view of the city and strolled around. We stayed in a hostel, walked some hills… Barcelona has many hills and we went to view all the well-known places in Barcelona.

We deliberated if we wanted to enter the Sagrada Familia, but decided to just walk around it. Again, not something that impressed me much in Barcelona. I actually found it to look like a piece of messy architecture… but that’s just my opinion.

In the evening we had paella for dinner and walked back to the hostel. The new city would be Madrid… and I liked that one a lot more.

Travel & Adventure

Once upon a time in Rome

By Clayton

February 25, 2016
Before I begin let me start by saying that during this entire 2016 Euro Trip, Rome has been my favorite city of them all. It’s just like in the movies, but just 100 times better. This place truly is magical and I definitely plan on returning and even stay longer.

This trip to Rome was also my first time taking another flight within Europe. Our chosen airline was Vueling, because it was quite cheap, and cheap is what we needed.

We had to be at the airport very early in the morning. These low budget airlines are no Surinam Airways or KLM. My gosh, I have never seen a flight attendant roll her eyes at a passenger. In her defense, the guy was acting like a spoiled brat. Complaining that the seats where too narrow. Lol, I am not talking about myself, but about this guy sitting next to me.

Farid, Ryan and I all had window seats, so we sat in a row behind each other. It was mid-winter so the plane wings had to be defrosted before we could leave the gate.

It was a short flight and soon we arrived in Rome’s international airport. Once we were standing outside it didn’t feel very “Roman”, but that’s because we weren’t in the city’s center. We took a bus and made our way downtown near the place where we were about to stay. Again, we found the room via AirBNB, which is the best option for traveling on a budget.

As soon as we unloaded our bags we decided to find something to eat, before exploring the city. We found this all –you-can-eat restaurant that was only 10 euros and the food was amazing and A LOT!! Seriously, I have never eaten this much in my entire life for only 10 euros. See why I wouldn’t mind returning to Rome?

After having filled our tummy’s we walk towards the ancient Colosseum. We only walked around it and didn’t actually go inside, but that was more than enough. Too be honest the Colosseum is quite photoshopped in pictures, because it looked quite rusty, but still great nonetheless – But just saying. We walked around the area and saw some more ancient ruins of the city.

The first quite impressive building we encountered was the Altare della Patria (English: Alter of the Father). Now this was very “Roman” and on top of the building you have a nice overview of the entire city.

After that city view we went downtown for some minor shopping, sight-seeing and be all tourist-y.
We went to all the must see places like The Pantheon and we went to see the pope in Vatican City. Okay, we didn’t actually see him, but we went to his “office” St. Peter’s Basilica and well that is one big office. I felt instantly small with the size of the building and the statues. But it all was so ethereal and majestic – which is exactly the point I think. I can see why this is one of the holiest places on earth.

As a major Dan Brown fan I once again was fanning out, just like in Paris, by all the places I have read in his book Angels & Demons right in front of me. I felt like I was on some sort of quest.

After visiting Vatican City we went to stroll around Rome some more. By then it was already starting to get dark, but that didn’t stop the people from being out and about. I must say Italians are B-E-A-uuuutiful people. Everyone looks like a runway model. I was totally staring at those fashion models, which were probably just regular people.

We went to the Trevi Fountain, and as tradition we tossed a coin in it.

Fun fact: do you know what the coin tossing actually is all about? No, it’s not for your wishes to come true, but to one day return to the city.

The rain soon poured like crazy and we took shelter in a tunnel. Once the rain stopped, we made our way to the apartment where just drank, ate some Italian snacks and we just went to bed. The next day it would be another early morning for us.

There was this brief moment when Farid stepped outside for a smoke and didn’t return for hours. Allegedly he was locked out, but we all know he probably was hooking up with some hot Italian. So the rest of us just went to sleep and eventually he came back home. This story will have an added value, in one of the other blog posts.

After the alarms went off the next morning, we showered and made our way to the airport again. Our flight to Barcelona was waiting for us. Viva la Barcelona.

Travel & Adventure

The ferry from Oslo to Denmark

By Clayton

February 21 & 22, 2016
After we all had our own private time in Oslo, we met up by car in the parking lot. We drove to the entrance of the Stena Line ferry. We parked the car inside the ferry and we made our way to the elevator to find our rooms.

The ferry was huge… to imagine that there are way bigger ships floating around the ocean. Anyways, yeah it was pretty big. We went on the deck to have a view of Oslo and after that went for a stroll in the ships shopping area.

After we roamed around the ship we went for drinks in the entertainment hall. There was some live music going on – a band that played covers and we were getting quite lightheaded from the beers. After a while the ferry was hitting some major waves, but at that point we couldn’t really tell if we couldn’t stand straight because of the waves or the alcohol.

Ray got very seasick and needed to rush to the room and spent some time in the bathroom to let it all out. We then went to bed and got woken up a few hours later by the announcer that we were nearing the shore of Denmark.

We showered, got dressed and went back to the car. As soon as we docked we drove and made our way to Germany. Along the way we had a few stops for breakfast and pee-breaks.

Eventually we reached The Netherlands and that was the end of our Scandinavian Road trip.

Travel & Adventure

Oslo, Norway

By Clayton

February 21, 2016
Just before heading to Oslo, we stopped along the roadside a few more time for some amazing scenery photos. Snow is beautiful… the more the better. You can see that in the video below.

So after that snow storm, we made it safely to Oslo. We were in the middle of the city’s center and we walked around the Oslo Opera House for some pictures and after that went on a food hunting trip. Oslo is beautiful, but hella expensive. I bought the most expensive burger I have ever had in my entire life. I believe it was about 20 euros just for the burger. It was good though.

Oslo is definitely a place I want to return to one day. The city is beautiful and we only got to see a small part of it and we didn’t have that much time. We needed to catch the cruise ship from Oslo, back to Denmark in a few hours.

However, we did have one hour to kill after lunch… so we decided to all split up and explore the city by ourselves. The plan was to meet up back by the car in the parking lot. We opened our favorite apps and we all disappeared. I met up with a very lovely Greek… in Norway, I know… but yeah it was a fun encounter. Definitely returning one day… I better save up a lot though.

At night time we met up at the parking lot and boarded the ship. I had some major Titanic set-in-modern-times vibe on this ship… this was also quite an unique experience. Tell you all about it in the next post.

Travel & Adventure

Fosby, Norway – Cabin in the Woods

By Clayton

February 20, 2016
The following morning we had another early wake up. Norway awaited us.
So, quick shower, packing, head to the car, scrap the ice off again, and everyone load in… Clayton wrapped in the big blanket again, off to Norway.

Along the way we stopped for some breakfast at this side road dinner and eventually arrived (though the heavy snow) in Fosby, Norway. Fosby is located somewhere in the middle of nowhere in Norway and not many people actually live there. It’s the people of Norway there outhouses, where they go to enjoy the summer vacation. Don’t know how Farid even heard of this place, but he found the cabin via AirBNB.

It was quite relaxing. No one was around, no wifi… just 4 friends, alone in a cabin, surrounded by snow and wild life. Okay, that sounds kinda scary… which is was… especially when walking outside in the dark. But inside it was warm and cozy.

The boys cooked dinner, and we just chit-chatted and listened to music.
The cabin is definitely a place I would like to visit again… away from the real world.
It was magical and in the morning I saw deer prints in the snow outside our bedroom.

For breakfast we had eggs and after we packed our bags we left the cabin we made our way to Oslo. On the highway, we were hit by a snowstorm, which wasn’t that great since the car had no snow tires and we basically almost slit of the road and died. Well… we didn’t die obviously, but it was very scary. But hey, the adventure life, no?

This post has no pictures, but 3 short videos, which I am sure you will enjoy!

Travel & Adventure

Stockholm, Sweden

By Clayton

February 19, 2016
After Denmark we headed towards Sweden. We first stopped in Malmö for breakfast at McDonalds (the atrocity, I know). After that some sightseeing and shortly after made our way to our hostel in Stockholm.

This was the first for me sleeping in a hostel. The concept is quite interesting and for the low costs you get to experience a lot. Like chatting with this hot Polish guy sleeping shirtless across the bed from yours… just saying.

After unload (and locking) our luggage we went to stroll the beautiful city of Stockholm.
We found quite a fancy restaurant and had köttbullar for dinner. If you don’t know what that is, that is Swedish meatballs and it is TOTES AMAZEBALLS!! The name is even funnier if you speak Dutch, because it sounds like a curse word.

After dinner we went to walk around and ended up in a pub. The locals are quite interesting and not to mention good looking. The overall atmosphere was amazing and I seriously would like to return to Stockholm and stay a lot longer.

When it started getting too late we made our way back to the hostel and went to bed. We had another early day and road trip the following day. Norway was next on the map.

Travel & Adventure

Copenhagen, Denmark

By Clayton

February 18, 2016
After we had a few days to recover from out Paris road trip it was time to pack our bags again and loads the car… this time it was time for the Scandinavian Road Trip, from Amsterdam, through German, to Denmark, to Sweden, Norway and then back again.

And this time Patrick and Raymil would join us, so the car packed!! Yay, ROAD TRIP!!!

We drove towards Hamburg, Germany and got greeted with big pack of snow.
I have seen snow before, but none of this magnitude. It was amazing. A total winter wonderland. Soon Ryan started having snowball fights with the other boys and I was just there taking in the view… and taking pictures.

In Fehmarn we took the ferry to cross the Baltic sea towards Denmark.

Once we were in Denmark we made our way to this house which we found via AirBNB.
The house had several rooms rented out to tourists like us.

After we unloaded our bags we went to explore the city of Copenhagen, had dinner and later that night returned back to the house. But to be honest, I was not that impressed by Copenhagen. Having said that, it’s still a nice city. No disrespect obviously.

The next morning we packed our bags and drove to see the famous “The Little Mermaid” statue. After that we all went back to the car, I rolled myself in a blanket and we made our way towards Sweden.

Travel & Adventure

From Paris back to NL

By Clayton

Date: February 15, 2016

Paris was fun and all, but unfortunately we had to go back. But this was only the beginning since we had 2 more trips to make, so it was all good. But I wasn’t about to leave Paris without saying hello to my friend Rachel that recently moved to Paris.

Rachel moved from the US to Paris and we met in 2011 in front of Paradiso in Amsterdam where I was about to see Epica live for the first time.

 

We’ve had contact since the day I drove to Paris, but due to a lack of reception and mobile data it was a bit hard to arrange a meeting. But luckily before we were about to leave the apartment she came over and it was so great seeing her again after all these years. Even if it was just a short visit.

After we said our goodbyes we went to the metro station, picked up the car and made our way back to Amsterdam.

Along the way, somewhere in near the border of France and Belgium we stopped at this beach, located in Escalles (France), which had the most beautiful scenery ever. The below pictures are unedited, because they didn’t need it. The light was great and so was the background. I really enjoyed this very small, but amazing beach. You will also see pictures from our second stop in Cap Blanc-Nez, another beautiful place in France.

After the beaches we stopped in Belgium where we had dinner and then finally arrived back in Amsterdam in the evening.

Road trip 1 – completed!

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Travel & Adventure

Château de Versailles

By Clayton

Date: February 14, 2016

So about last night…

After we came home from dinner Ryan quickly went to bed, but Farid and me, the “party animals” that we are kept on drinking and didn’t want to end the night there. I mean, how often are you in Paris?

So after a quick shower we decided to experience the Parisian night life.
I do not recall where we went exactly, but we ended up in a pub that was in walking distance of our apartment. It was not that crowded or entertaining, so we went to find another place to have a good time. We ended up in this seedy bar. Not that seedy is our thing… We were just very much intoxicated in Paris. So we had a couple more drinks, made “friends” with the locals in the dark-lid bar. Farid and I shortly after lost each other, but I am sure we both had fun. What happens in Paris, stays in Paris.

We later found each other again, and wanted to head back to the apartment. The problem was, we had no idea where we were. What do you do in this case? Well Google maps on your phone. But what do you do when you phone isn’t there? Wait, what? Yup…. Farid’s phone had vanished into thin air. Yup, he was robbed or left it somewhere. Depending on what you choose to believe. Either way, there was a missing phone and mine had no internet so wasn’t much help either. We somehow found our way to the apartment without internet and just went to sleep.

The next day…

Later that morning we woke up, still in disbelieve what had happened, but it did.
Ryan’s cousin was about to pick us up to head to Château de Versailles. Before that day I had no idea what that was. Yes, I didn’t do enough research on Paris before going there. But after the visit I became obsessed with the story of the things that happened in that infamous chateau.

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Travel & Adventure

Paris City Tour and The Louvre

By Clayton

Date: February 13, 2016

The next morning we went for a city tour. Our main destination was The Louvre Museum, but we took our time to explore the city a bit first and started off with a real French breakfast.

Notre-Dame
First stop on our Paris city tour was: Notre-Dame. This cathedral is big and ethereal.
I was looking to see if I could see Quasimodo lurk behind of the pillars :p
Actually before entering Notre-Dame, we went to this underground museum right in front of the cathedral that displays a history of the Notre-Dame.

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Travel & Adventure

Road Trip to Paris

By Clayton

Date: February 12, 2016

On the early morning of February 12th, 2016, Farid, Ryan and I did a road trip in Farid’s VW Polo car to Paris. This was my very first time in Paris, so I was very excited. However it was very early though.

We drove from Amsterdam, via Rotterdam to Antwerp, Belgium.
We arrived just after sunrise in Antwerp. We decided to explore the city a bit and go grab some breakfast.

Antwerp
First thing we visited was the Antwerp train station. That building is ginormous and gorgeous. We had coffee near the Antwerp Cathedral and walked around the shopping area.

Brussels
After Antwerp we drove to Brussels see the Atomium. Another ginormous construction.

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Clay's Personal Friends

Update on 2017’s NY Post

By Clayton

Before I was about to post my 2018 “Happy New Year” post I re-read my 2017 post.
It appears that I still need to write an update regarding that post since a lot has changed.

Quickly read that post first before reading the below.

Friendship
The friendship between my best friend and I was restored, shortly after that post – around my birthday. It mostly involved another person that caused interference… let’s call it that and leave it at that. It’s over and all is good again.

Sleep
In 2016 I probably slept more than I have in recent year. Not nearly as much as I should, but I have at least tried to get some more down time, to prevent myself from burning out. However, this also meant a lot less projects and a lot less money. So I need to find the perfect balance between getting enough sleep and still earning enough to maintain my lifestyle.

Love
Pfft, I bet my blog posts are getting repetitive. This is still a NO-GO for me.

That one crush that started in late 2015 (or 2016), still has been going through all of 2017 and actually reached it peek…. But it also sunk right after that, and I am done.

This is not going to work. I cannot keep falling for someone that never appreciates the things I do, doesn’t see how much effort I am putting in trying to be a better person or never gets any of my signals. At several times in 2017 I even was at that point where I just wanted to blurt out all my feelings, but each time I had to pull back on the last minute because I knew that it was not the right moment or that I would just end up getting hurt. And maybe in some wear twisted part of my mind I rather live in plausible deniability than accept the truth… but now I am done. In retrospect maybe its best I never blurted it out, cause this person will never feel the same and maybe isn’t even someone I really need in my life “in that way”.

Can we move on now?!

College

Yay, I finished my damn college…. Got my degree… Bachelor in Applied Technology… but what is next now? I don’t know, but I am certainly not going back to any form of school. My knowledge shall be gained through self-study, work experience or any other type of training. I just don’t think I can do any full time study anymore.

So yup… that was 2017 more or less.

Clay's Personal pAArty

New Year’s Eve 2017

By Clayton

Actually I wasn’t done with my last post. I totally forgot to write how my New Year’s Eve was.

Well it was TOTES AMAZEBALLS!! 😀

Let me first give a short back story: I actually HATE new years’ eve. I am like the Grinch of New Year’s Eve. This is mostly because of my childhood fear of fireworks and my social anxiety (I don’t do large crowds of strangers)… not to mention the heat.

But last year I went out to the annual Galaxy street party with my friends from Holland, and it was fun. It was warm, but not to warm and the music was good and so was the crowd… although it was really crowded. I ended up dancing on the stage, thanks to my “connections”, but I was way too sober, so I thought I should better next year… well I did.

The day didn’t start off great. I wanted to make my way to the city’s center, but decided to stop to fill up my car’s tank. When I was done and wanted to drive away the car wouldn’t start… the battery had died. I had to call my dad for help to help jump start the battery with car and I just drove back home. I almost decided to simply stay home, but I called a cab instead and he dropped me off as close to the city’s center as he could.

I was there quite “early” as it was not that crowded yet. Said hello to the Galaxy owners and started drinking. I soon got bored, since I knew a lot of people, but no one I actually am used to hang with on a regular basis, so I walked to my other friends that were about to meet up nearby. We gather there and started drinking some more. As we had enough we all walked to Galaxy for the street party and by then it was packed with people.

It also started raining, but that didn’t spoil the fun. I eventually ended up on the stage again, same way I did last year, and this time I had a GREAT TIME… little did I know that the best way to have fun on New Year’s Eve was to get wasted.

After a while I went back to my friends and we danced until nearly the end of the street party. I soon was grinding up on 2 hot tourists like it was the pride month closing party or something. I didn’t care much. I was having fun.

After the party we all walked back to the place where we gather for an after party. I may or may have not ended up making out with the tourists (read: I totally did), but this was the best NYE EVER!! After this after-party, one of my friends and I drove to another friend for some food and all I drank there was cold water…which tasted like the sweet nectar of the Gods at that moment.

A little after 10pm I was dropped home at home and later I took a shower and by then it was almost midnight. At midnight I wished my family members a happy new year and went to bed.

Best way to end the year! 😀

Clay's Personal

Happy New Year 2018

By Clayton

HAPPY NEW YEAR EVERYONE!!!!!

HAPPY 54th BIRTHDAY MOM!

So that was 2017 and what a ride it has been.
Was it special? I guess… it was okay.
Could have been worse, but also could definitely be better.

Quick recap: Finally finished my college, met some new awesome people, went on a much needed vacation, got to see my favorite band perform live for the 6th time, my older brother got married, work has been very good and I learned a lot this year… and probably much more.

Those that know me long enough know that I stopped with making resolutions long ago.

I do want to work on a few things though…
Like, I need to stop being nice to people that take my actions for granted. Not that I expect anything back, I just really need to learn to think about myself more.

Also I have neglected my blog for way too long and want to actively work on that again.

Last… seriously cut back on my bad eating habits.

Hmm, do these count as resolutions?

Anyways… uh… happy new year again, all the best, etc etc etc…
I am going to eat and watch TV now.

Clay's Personal The Naked Truth

Drunk in love

By Clayton

The other day a newly-made friend asked me why I am still single.
Each time I get this question – which is all freaking the time – I answer by saying:
“If I knew the answer to that question I probably wouldn’t be single”.

However I suddenly had an epiphany today. Apparently I am only liked when there is vodka, rum or weed involved. Yes, that’s when I am “romantically” attractive to others.

Yes, I admit, I like my glass of wine before a date (feel to interpret that word as broadly as you want), but for me it’s more a courage thing. But yup, I think that is the answer.

Where did this sudden epiphany come from? There I was sitting at a social event across someone I have seen naked on two occasions… I was wondering: why are there no sparks flying this time? Well, probably because we were both completely sober.

Another example is the case of my two-year-secret-not-so-secret crush. Open the bottle of vodka, pour us a few glasses, get the music just right and we will be making out on the dance floor before the break of dawn.

The other day I was looking at our pics and I was asking myself: why the hell are we not dating?
It’s probably way more complicated than that, but maybe because we both can’t be perpetually drunk, which is why this will never happen.

So…. Yeah…. I am mostly drunk in love, but I don’t see any sober love happening any time soon.
#CallMeWhenYouReSober

DISCLAIMER: I don’t smoke weed, nor have I ever… but certain people around me do.

Clay's Personal Nerd Herd

My new eyes

By Clayton

First thing I did when I arrived in Holland was order contact lenses. You may or not remember an old blog post from 2014 where I stated that I did some research on Lasik eye surgery or contact lens implants. Both were advised not to do so, as they would not work for me. However they did advise me to try hybrid contact lenses. Hybrid contact lenses are a blend between hard contact lenses and soft contact lenses. Since I have very bad eyes I can’t (or couldn’t) get soft contact lenses when I first tried contacts back in 2004. I got subscribed hard lenses and I simply never could get used to them.

After I booked my trip to Holland for this year I went on Google and searched for places in Holland where I could purchase them. I eventually mailed a supplier of these special contact lenses here in Holland and they referred me to an optician, as they do not deliver directly to customers.

The day after I arrived I had my appointment. The supplier of the contacts also came with his kit full of contacts. Together with the optician they checked my eyes and finally decided upon the best solution. Not a cheap one, but I wanted them.

These contacts are custom made in the US and would arrive within 1-2 weeks from the day they were ordered. Well they actually arrived 4 weeks later on the very last day in Holland.

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Travel & Adventure

Last day travel drama

By Clayton

Since I didn’t write a blog at 36.000ft on my way to The Netherlands as I usually do, I’ve decided to do this on my way back home.

So that that my month in Amsterdam… I wasn’t emotional when I left, mostly because I was way too exhausted to think. I still am very exhausted, but for some reason cannot fall asleep. So I just switched on my laptop, put on Epica to play and started writing.

The total flight is 9 hours and 20 minutes and currently we have about 4 more hours to go.
So I am going to try to do another attempt at sleeping in a bit, which I seriously need as I didn’t sleep last night. I went out with a friend, afterward went to say goodbye to someone I met (nuff said) and opened the doors to the Amsterdam house at 6 AM. The entire room was a mess as I did some last minute shopping that afternoon and just put everything on the bed and decided to pack in the morning and simply sleep on the airplane… which I am NOT doing at the moment.

So my last day was kind of not that great. Let me summarize a very long story as short as I possibly can.

If you are Surinamese you always, read ALWAYS have to bring crap… I mean stuff… for your family. These things can be the most ridiculous things and will make you ask just one simple question: WHY THE FUCK?

Anyways…. So the deal with my mom was to have her sister fill up a suitcase with stuff for her. Everything was pre-paid for the extra luggage. The idea was that I would pick this suitcase up on my last Friday in Holland. However, my Friday was jammed pack. I went to Heerhugowaard to the birthday party of my former boss and after that I had a kiki with friends in Amsterdam. Both were great, but I was traveling from left to right.

So on Saturday morning, I woke up very early to pick up the luggage. I arrived there and the bloody suitcase was nearly 40 kilos!!!! FYI: the limit is 25KG. So that had to be resolved.
What I thought was a resolution, was still not good enough, cause as I started walking with the suitcase to the metro station the wheels started breaking off and I had to return to the house. There we transferred all things to a new lightweight suitcase, but even that turned out to be not a great idea, cause that one broke much sooner than the first when I was walking to the metro station again. So I had to go BACK to the house again.

Meanwhile, I also had an appointment to pick up the custom-made contact lenses which I had ordered. More about that in another blog.

As it was getting later and later, I told my uncle I would leave the luggage and later that evening he can bring it by car. Obviously in another suitcase. After that I made my way to the city and arrived one hour before the optician was about to close. Got my new contacts and learned how to insert and remove them… after that I went back to the center in order to do some last minute shopping.

And that was exactly when my uncle called and said he would bring the other suitcase within 10 minutes. Now, I know my people so I knew that 10 minutes meant 30 minutes. Which was exactly the case. Mostly due to traffic, you can’t drive with a car in the street I was staying in. Nonetheless, my precious last few hours in Amsterdam were spilled. By 17.00hr all the luggage drama was resolved and I had about 2 more hours before the stores would close.

I bought some shirts and some other random stuff and all threw them on the bed. After that I had to help my friends unload their car and finally I showered and went to my friend’s house to eat and drink. He and I went out and as I mentioned above already that went on very late, but it was my last night and I was not about to spend it sober.

Clay's Personal

Reasons to move

By Clayton

DISCLAIMER
The below might be a bit of a rant post, but everything is written in total honesty, so I hope that can be respected. If not, feel free to close the tab and go watch some porn like you’re used to.

__________________

I have never made it a secret that I want to move to Amsterdam.
One of the things that has been holding me back until recently was my studies. For no reason was I about to just quit that and I needed to finish it. Which I successfully did, which you can read in my previous post.

But now I am here, in the city I hope to call home soon.
And yes, I know it’s not all about rainbows, glitter and unicorns. I am way too old and have been here way too often to know this fact. But mentally I just know I belong here. Yes, I have been born in the wrong country and I plan to do something about this as soon as possible.

Now that I am almost 30, I would like to…. wait, what? Seriously?! Ugh… 30… okay, whatever… moving on. Now that I am almost 30, I would like to make serious plans for my exodus.

What are my reasons for wanting to move?

  • Amsterdam just feels like home
    It feels more “home” to me than Paramaribo has ever had. I just belong here.
  • The people are on my wavelength
    It’s great to be among people that share the same thoughts and ideas as me.
    Open-minded. I love that word(s) and it describes me perfectly.
  • The weather
    If you know me, you know I like the cold weather.
    Give me rain, give me snow. I just don’t like the heat and I hate to sweat.
    That makes Holland the perfect place as its colder more often than it’s warm.
    Also the weather is unpredictable and I hate living a predictable life.
  • My non-active love life
    If I ever want a chance to date someone, even if it’s temporary, I would have to move. Back home I cannot seem to find someone that is on my wavelength. Here… let’s just say there are some potential candidates that I would like to call my own. And for a few it even seems mutual. I would be nice to have someone to come home to.
  • Travelling
    It’s a fact that it’s much cheaper to see the world from here. A fact that I have been able to experience myself last year during the 13-country Euro trip. Why stay in one place? The world is ours. But intercontinental flights are not cheap. Certainly not from where I am from.
  • The music concerts
    The type of music I listen to is mostly created by European bands. They do travel the world, but they never visit Suriname as this would not be profitable for them. Even traveling with a full stage set is very expensive, which is why EU tour shows are usually a bit bigger than the abroad one. I would like to have the opportunity to just head out to a concert or several in a row, instead of what I need to do now and plan months ahead, save up a ton on money and hours of travel time. Although I like it and makes the experience even bigger, but sometimes not all shows are at a convenient time for me, because I can’t travel in that time period.
  • The bad economy back home
    If you follow the news of Suriname you will understand that the economy is bad at the moment. Like seriously bad. And although I don’t have a horrible paying job, I will not be able to afford my own place or even a new car any time soon. I see more and more people leaving for this reason and I think I seriously must do the same to survive.
  • My freelance business works better here
    I don’t really like working freelance for people back home. This is not a pride thing, this is a money thing. People don’t pay or don’t like to pay. At the moment I have 2 pending payments and I am sick of waiting. If I deliver something for you, it’s your job to deliver the funds. And these aren’t even big amounts. I am seriously not even charging what I should and want, but I try to compromise. But in this way, having to constantly ask when I am getting paid, I cannot do it. However when I have jobs here, we make clear agreements and I get paid just like we discussed. Everyone is happy.
  • Happiness
    As I already said, this place feels like home and it makes me happy.
    I cannot wait to find my own place to live, have a job I love, be with someone I love, walk amongst the cold weather (call me crazy) and just simply be happy.
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