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North Sea Odyssey

From the latest in sad drama stories where the main character gets pushed to the edge, driven to insanity and shoved under the very figuratively spoken bus, I bring you now the story of the time a mother and a daughter decided to go on a weekend-long journey. Luckily not with the very figuratively spoken bus and luckily not that dramatic, but well you know me. Always bringing the sass, this time all the way to Rotterdam.

T-minus four months  When my mother decided in April that she wanted to go to North Sea Jazz Festival in Rotterdam, she also persistently decided that I was the one to accompany her. Just like that. And just like that, she booked a hotel for one night for the one day we would be attending Jazz heaven. She then decided a few days later, just like that, that she wanted to extend the trip and book another night at the festival and hotel.

T-minus five days  Fast forward to five days prior to the short road trip, and the second day-tickets are still not sitting nice and safe in mother’s nice and safe plastic map with all other documents that are tucked away nice and safe in her purple suitcase. You know, just to be safe that she packed every little household thing that you could possibly need for a three-day trip.
Throughout the next few days I have extensive phone conversations with the website company that sold my ‘nice and safe’ mother our second day-festival tickets, because apparently said website looks like the shadiest of shady websites where concert tickets are sold to very internet savvy mothers who desperately want to go to a sold-out concert. Internet-safety is a thing that hadn’t occurred to her. And thus, instead of the long romantic phone calls I’ve been longing for all year (hello single life, where’s my ring), I got to have long not so romantic phone calls with customer service. Well, it’s a start, no?

T-minus twelve hours  Saddened by the fact that my sensual deep female voice couldn’t persuade customer service to send tickets into my sensual hands and therefore I would miss the chance of seeing jazz legend St Germain play, I dragged my mother in front of my own digital screen to point out safe websites where we would still be able to book tickets -and go to the festival- for that already doomed second day. Half an hour later and

a lot of mom-reading-with-reading-glasses and mom-not-understanding-internet, we were finally able to secure very safe tickets and therefore were all set to leave early in the morning. 

T-minus one hour  Wonders do still happen in the world, sadly not to my love life but to shady ticket services in the Netherlands. Mister Unicorn from customer service worked his magic on a Friday morning et voilà, there we were with double the amount of tickets and no way to get a refund for their truly *magical* — read: shady —way of working.
Oh and did I already mention that somewhere along the timeline, I had to pay a visit to my wonderful doctor because my head was — apparently, according to the wonderful skills of said doctor — suffering from sinusitis plus a full-on migraine? (Needless to say I am very well-known now in the Netherlands for being the hipster kid that walks around with sunglasses outside and inside 24/7. Too school for cool, yo.)
I believe I’ve never seen my ‘safe’ mother feel so unsafe when I told my boyfriend of customer service— look, we had been on the phone for over a week, that’s a relationship — that we were so over and that I was changing my relationship status on Facebook again #allthesingleladies. Also, I just wanted my money back. And just like magic, it’s apparently not my sensual voice that gets things done and gets money thrown back my way, but my crazy psycho stalker ex-girlfriend screaming voice. Well, good to know. Watch out, boys. 

T-minus five minutes  Road trip. A CD got stuck in the car’s CD player hence no more playing of the CD-kind anytime soon. Update: it’s still there. 

Rotterdam  We arrived at the hotel. I’m picking the hotel next time. We established once again that internet savvy mom shouldn’t become a superhero anytime soon. We luckily made it to day one of the festival in one piece, after some more ups and downs mind you. We drank, listened, ate, cocktail’d, danced, cocktail’d, drank, G&T’d, well you get the picture. 

We also cried.

Because we’re too school for cool, remember. And also because 80 year old blues legend Buddy Guy still rocks the stage with the same emotion and intensity I feel when eating food. Buddy Guy has also been living in our living room since forever in form of

my daddy Guy — his name really is Guy, true story. Oh hi dad — playing the guitar all the while yours truly minus 20 years was bouncing to the rhythm in her little crib. Needless to say that nostalgia came rolling through the concert hall, hearing the embodiment of both dads. One the father of blues, the other Buddy Guy (my dad will love me for this). 

Over the next hours, we danced to Pharrell Williams; I saw the heels of my dreams walking by while getting food; my mother’s necklace broke; the zipper on my mom’s purse broke on the way home; we broke open the purse in order to get tram tickets from said purse; we had to wait too fucking long for a tram; we had to wait too fucking long to pay the carpark fee; we had to wait too fucking to leave the carpark along with half of Rotterdam; we had to pay the carpark fee again because we had to wait too fucking long and the ticket wasn’t valid anymore. Anyway, you get the picture. By the time we got back to the hotel, we were already hungover, too tired and way too sore. No more cocktails. No more carpark. No more purse. And well, no luck apparently. 

The next day we had breakfast at three in the afternoon, like real rockstars. I accidentally found and bought that exact same pair of shoes of my dreams while walking by a store window, like a real shopstar. We discovered some new artists at the festival throughout the day —shoutout to you, mr Jacob Collier — while being hangover as hell, like real rockstars.  I sobbed violently while James Blake belted out his beautiful lyrics — like I usually do at home when feeling like the anxiety is coming to bite me in the ass again — like a real rockstar. We danced to St Germain‘s jazz like Beyoncé dances to *Flawless*, like real rockstars. I broke my purse this time, like a clumsy rockstar.
While Earth, Wind & Fire closed off the festival day, I sat on the tribune because I felt like Christine plus a 100 years. My mother was still shaking all the way through their repertoire though, she is inevitably the real rockstar here. 

To shake off all that rock ‘n roll and the added 100 life years, we ended the weekend at the beach. And boy, it was windy. Luckily all that wind blew me back to my 21 year old self. And luckily my hair always and forever looks like it went through a hefty wind hose anyway. 

I also discovered my inability to put color and light onto a polaroid photograph — apparently that is necessary in order to produce any visible image; I now have a bunch of pitch-black pictures with white dots that conceal all our memories of Rotterdam. And yet somehow, these perfectly portray the not so perfect-perfect weekend. Well, it’s not that dramatic. But you know me.


WEARING   MASSIMO DUTTI dress — MASSIMO DUTTI shoes — VINTAGE bag — ESPRIT jacket — SACHA sunglasses — VINTAGE scarf



WEARING   MANGO shirt — VINTAGE skirt — VINTAGE bag — TEVA sandals — SACHA sunglasses



WEARING   ZARA shirt — VINTAGE shorts — VINTAGE bag — SACHA sunglasses — VINTAGE scarf


@christinesmeyers