I arrived in Amsterdam a few days ago, and a friend picked me up from the train station. It would be simplest to say that it felt good: for the past four years since I left this place, I’ve had constant reoccurring (pardon my spelling: the browser is set to underline everything that isn’t dutch) dreams about coming back to Amsterdam. In most of those dreams, I can’t find my friends, all the squats I knew were gone, everything was changed and I was a stranger.

That stuff is only partly true. The scene here is a lot more divided than it was four years ago, and an anti-squatting law is looming over the country like… like something bad that looms. Like the threat of Voldemort. Squatting is only legal here because the squatters fight tooth and nail for their spaces. In the 80s, some ridiculously large percentage of Amsterdam was squatted. Now it is a fraction, but it is a vibrant and wonderful fraction.

Anyhow, that first night, I woke up at dawn and went up on the roof of the place and took pictures. The cat was kind enough to join me.

(click on pictures for slightly larger versions).

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