Schansbaan 8, 4661 PN Halsteren, Netherlands

the reality of moving abroad in your twenties | VIDEO COMPANION

10 January 2022


The run up to releasing a video triggers a curiously similar feeling as the anticipation I felt as a kid going to bed the night before Christmas morning. Giddiness. An inability to sleep. My mind swirling with the possibilities of what would unfold the next morning. A rough expectation of the outcome, and yet no less excitement due to lack of surprise. It's a moment that's crystallised and passes so quickly. What is it? Unbridled joy? Slightly bridled joy? A buzz of low level euphoria?

This video's been on an external hard drive since 2012, and to me, it's always been and will always be "The Netherlands in Orange." That's not a particularly SEO friendly title though. But it finally concludes my Trois Couleurs Netherlands series. What's the word for trilogy but with four instead of three instalments? Quartet?

In searching for some hi res stills of Breathless to drop in, I came across this website, Atlas of Places. A curious digital collaborative collection of images. 

"This will never make it on the internet because... drinking."


People always want to know where you got what you're wearing so here I am doing the Lord's work. Mind you, most of this video was filmed in 2012 and 2019 so manage those expectations, okay? My green top is long gone. Charity shopped? Lost in a move? But I'm fairly certain it's from Free People, back when I used to shop fast fashion.


The gig is none other than Childish Gambino's This Is American tour. It was a rescheduled date. Donald Glover had broken his... leg? Arm? He had broken something so a concert I had waited ages for was pushed back. When it finally arrived, I was elated. Only to be promptly deflated as soon as I settled down into my seat at the O2 Arena. He was a bloody pinprick on the stage. 


Thanks to the gifts of being in my first year of going freelance (then known as being mildly funemployed), during the wait for the bus home, I booked general admission tickets for the following evening. He must have added a second show due to the original gig delay, and that encore night miraculously hadn't sold out. So. Reader, I queued from noon to be in the god damn front row at a Childish Gambino concert. It was the last gig I attended. And even before the panini, I was at peace with that being the case. My video doesn't show how unpleasant an experience that front row night was. I mean, I'm glad I did it. But it was too much for me to ever want to repeat again. If it wasn't for my partner Ross being my human shield, I would have been crushed into the barrier gates from the heaving crowd behind us. One person fainted near us and we had to pass them over the fence for security to whisk them away. I'm grateful My Favorite Murder hadn't done their Hillsborough disaster episode yet or I imagine that's all I would have been able to think about. Once in a lifetime was enough of that.



The Moses Bridge

According to another delightful website that came up in my research for this video, Unusual Places, The Moses Bridge, or Mozesbrug gets its name as "people strolling across the bridge appear as though they are magically suspended in the middle of the water—much like Moses when he parted the Red Sea." After, I had locked most of the edit, of course I found Sanne's video from this day. And wish I had earlier so I could have dropped in some of her footage into mine. That's the way it goes sometimes.

As the dialogue in the video suggests, it must have been a landmark that Sanne and I found out about on tumblr (RIP tumblr). So when I visited to the Netherlands before I moved to London, that was on our itinerary to explore IRL. My grey top that day was an H&M handmedown and fairly certain the backpack was from the same place, though bought new. My don't-touch-me cream polka dot skirt looks like an American Apparel purchase from my Los Angeles days.

Laptop club

And it comes full circle by ending on present day me and Sanne. I love how adult we sound, dissecting the storytelling of the edit. That credit mostly goes to Sanne. I was just having her watch it to get her approval of the shots I used of her. I was vlogging that day in my red crop top mock turtleneck from Depop and my Specsavers Kylie Minogue glasses frames, and it turned out to be the meta ending this video was always destined for.

Did I miss anything in the video that you were curious about? Let me know in a comment and I can update this post.

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