I established a long time ago that the country I grew up in is not the country I want to grow old in. I just don’t fit in and there are many places I’d rather live. But if you insult my country, you still insult me. I grew up there and the Dutch culture is very much part of me. We’ve got some amazing and unique traditions and even though our little country is way too crowded, it has so much beauty. And yet, ever since I was a kid, I’ve always been more tempted to venture outside of The Netherlands. I’ve got 3,5 weeks here and I am going to make the most of it. I’m going to be a tourist in my own country.
So far I’ve been so busy catching up, organizing stuff and going to appointments, I haven’t really done many tourist things. It’s hard to change your habits and when I lived here I never really explored my backyard. A good example is the Glow festival in the city of light: Eindhoven. This week is the eleventh edition of the festival and yet I’ve never been, not even in the early years when I was around here much more. So this year I decided I wanted to see what it was all about. I’d been to Vivid Sydney, a very similar festival, and enjoyed it very much, but somehow yesterday night was the first time at Glow.
There were two routes to choose from, the regular city route or Glow next, where newer, more experimental projects are shown. Since it was the first time, me and my mum walked the 4,2km city route. Not knowing what to expect we followed the crowd through the city. It took a while before Glow really got my attention. First we walked past Wannaplay, a series of musical swings. When you swing, you create the music. A cool project, but not really what I expected at a festival about light. We also passed a lot of food and drink stalls and a photo station where you could have your photo taken for free.
At the Lichtplein it got more interesting. The project ‘Step into the light’ had several lights that were making patterns in the sky. You could already see it from afar, like there was a club or something, but up close you could see some really cool patterns. It got even better because it was drizzling and the rain drops created diamonds in the light. At the Stadhuisplein Glow got another dimension. Leading up to the project, several people were selling 3D glasses. My Dutch personality was a bit pissed that you had to pay 1 euro for this thing and at first didn’t get one. But really, it’s a free festival, why not spend that 1 euro. And it was worth it. The projection on the wall played with all kinds of shapes and patterns and was really worth checking out.
My favourite project was ‘Flux Apparition’. There was a huge crowd waiting in front of some black sheets. Everyone was staring at each other, deciding whether or not it was worth waiting for whatever was inside the tent. We had to wait several minutes and during that time a lot of people decided to leave. This was good for us, because when the crowd started moving, we just made it into the tent. There was a stage with what looked like some sort of box. Inside the box was a light display with a man moving inside it. He was dancing and the lights were showing his powers and moves. It was almost like he was a wizard. I love a good dance show, and this was bringing it to the next level.
All in all it was definitely worth visiting Glow. We spent about 2,5 hours walking around, looking at art and watching shows. It is all free and you start right when you get off the train at the central station. The main route loops through the city and brings you right back to the station as well. It’s a great way to see the city in a different light, also literally in this case.