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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.

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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.

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

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.
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.

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