Weblog Arie Taal
Arie Taal helped Poppa Neutrino to build a new raft. This time (he did already the Atlantic Ocean) Poppa wants to cross the Pacific Ocean, floating towards China. Arie Taal, being a member of the Frisian Secret Service since the sixties, has a deep and first hand insight in anything related to floating islands and rafts. We are glad to present the weblog of Arie Taal on this Ecoboot site. We hope to add pictures and more text soon, but don’t wait reading the stories that are already there, by clicking the title above.
a Weblog by Arie Taal
The Frisian Secret Service
THE FRISIAN SECRET SERVICE originated in Amsterdam. A copywriter named Mac Ernst had married a Frisian lady who always checked on him to see if he was sober. That was rarely the case. When she called, his colleagues at the advertising agency where he worked would hand him the phone saying: Friese Geheime Dienst for you. Later the term was adopted and given content by Jasper Grootveld, the anti smoke magician and prophet of the PROVO movement. The FGD developed into a network of free agents with no strings attached who would share sensitive information.
In 1988 the FGDB was started as a very occult magazine that few people have actually seen. More important are the archives, a sort of collective memory of events most people and especially the government would like to forget. Contributions are welcome. The FGDB supports builders of floating islands and rafts, such as Jasper Grootveld, Viktor IIII, Ina Munck, Poppa Neutrino, Eline en Jan Benjamins, Maarten van der Horst, Liva Luyat who gave birth to her child Hraban on her raft 888, Taartje Hoekert, Arno Baan, Gerwald Hazelaar, Martin Hair and Arie Taal. Thea Keizer died recently. She supported Jasper Grootveld for 31 years, and traveled on rafts with him. Esther Vos made beautiful floating gardens. I hope I have not forgotten any one on this list.
We want to show that floating land can be the solution for many problems in this world. 75% of the surface of planet Earth is covered by water. All the land belongs to someone; only the oceans allow freedom and a promise of something that has not been done before. New life styles can be experimented with without getting in any one’s way. To give an example: refugees can start building their own new land, instead of suffering from boredom and idleness in dreadful camps. A floating continent, the INTERCONTINENT, can be made by joining individually made islands. This is the Age of Aquarius. Water will decide the future of life on this planet. WATER IS WAT ER IS. PIEP ZEI HET SCHUIM DER AARDE EN KRAAKTE DE ZEE. DOE JE MEE?
FRIESE GEHEIME DIENST BODE
International edition issue 1 February 6, 2006.
San Felipe, February 6, 2006. Sea of Cortez, Mexico, hot and sunny.
Leaving Amsterdam was not hard. It had been freezing cold the last weeks. The plane ride was uneventful. I slept most of the way thanks to adequate medication, and had not gone to bed at home, after the visit of Helena and her beautiful friend. So much left to do, I got everything accomplished just in time. Even packed my suitcase with more care than usual. In L.A. Mick and Patrick Flaum were there to meet me. Strange enough it was quite foggy, and kind of chilly. Good to see them again. I was spending the night in Micks studio, amidst beautiful drawings of naked people.
Patrick I had not seen or heard of in more than 30 years. He had been through hard times, but pulled himself out of the swamp by his own hair. Now he is back on his feet again. In 1974 we performed a play I wrote, called Voices in the sky, in the Milky Way. Patrick was the Mad Genius. He is not so crazy now, still very smart, he’ll be alright. The next day I went over to see Anny Flaum, the godmother. In the process of moving to Oregon to be close to Shannan and Adam. She had been very sick, but looked better now. Chris, once called Choomy the question mark because he was always asking why, was packing as well; he’ll go to Oregon too. Pat cooked a great dinner at his place. Thank you very Dutch, and hope to see you when I return.
Next day I took the Greyhound bus to San Diego. Interesting confrontation with America’s poor, of which there are many. Mick told me Santa Monica is called home for the homeless. Saw many of them everywhere, more than in Amsterdam. They all looked dirty and bewildered. Crystal meth, a new kind of very strong speed has a lot to do with that. It is the new plague here, and since we follow the USA blindly and stupidly in everything, it’ll hit us hard soon.
At the airport of San Diego I met Keith Busha again after 33 years. My long lost American brother had found me last year on the internet. In 1964 I was an exchange student and stayed with his family. He had also been down at the bottom, but managed to straighten out, and is now living on San Juan island, near Seattle. We picked up where we left off, immediately we were close again. He is going to be my camera man in this venture. We’ll record Poppa Neutrino as he launches his new raft to cross the Pacific to go to China. For more details check www.floatingneutrinos.com.
We managed to catch a bus to Tijuana just in the nick of time. Border town of despair. All these poor people trying to get into the US, mostly in vain. We slept in a hotel that was good, and were warned not to go out to eat, but order some Chinese food that could be delivered. Seemed exaggerated to us. So we went out anyway to eat. But the vibes were not so good, so we returned quickly to the hotel.
Next day we took the ABC bus to Mexicali and San Felipe. We went into a bar, one of hundreds, and miraculously, who walks in after 2 minutes but Poppa Neutrino. Joyful reunion. We last met near Brownsville, on the border of Texas and Mexico, when Poppa had just completed his descent of the Mississippi by raft, from Minnesota to New Orleans. He said it was more dangerous than crossing the Atlantic.
Poppa took us to Catalina, wife of Ed, owners of the only bookstore in town. We are staying at their house. Their hospitality is heart warming. They even organized a car for us to get around. Randy, their neighbor at the book store, lent us an antique Chrysler. Poppa is still working on his raft 23 km south of here. The Sea of Cortez is blue and beautiful. The landscape is desert like. This place has the largest variety of cacti in the world. What surprised us was the huge number of cars that went off the road down into the ravine. They seem to leave them there as a warning for other drivers. Our bus driver did not seem impressed. He drove so dangerously, overtaking other cars in corners with no view at all, that we decided to stop watching him, and look the other way.
The movies they showed on board were all about narcotraffic and American military interventions. This might be what the DEA does to prepare Mexican citizens for what is coming. Bush is more and more behaving like a monarch. King George II. King George I was madder than a hatter. King George II at first seemed only very stupid, but now seems to be loosing his mind as well. I am ashamed that my country, the Netherlands, supports his insanity by sending troops to Iraq and Afghanistan. We do this because we are told by our American allies that otherwise our financial investments in the USA would be compromised. Sounds like blackmail doesn’t it?
San Felipe Mexico Wednesday February 8th 2006.
Yesterday we went south to Rancho Percebu, 23 km south of San Felipe. Poppa is working on his raft there. He should be ready when the spring tide comes, a week from now. It was great to see the old sea gipsy again, 72 years old now and still crazy. Turned out he and Keith had a lot of common musician friends from North Beach, San Francisco. Today we go down again to help him with the work.
Getting this travelogue to you is not easy in Mexico. Our server here has been blacklisted by other servers it seems. Hope we get this problem solved. Reactions are welcome at firstname.lastname@example.org
FRIESE GEHEIME DIENST BODE
Final report of trip to San Felipe, San Francisco and San Juan.
Rising to Washington State
Must not forget Santa Monica where it all started. Mick Flaum sharing everything as long as I can remember, Patrick the mad genius became a fanatic surfer with a healthy obsession with the opposite sex. San Felipe sand blown with only one good store. The secondhand bookstore San Felipe Title Company with its owners Cat and Ed. For one month they provided the perfect setting.
Keith and I concentrated on the old sea gypsy, Poppa Neutrino. Interviewed him, added 8 blocks of foam to the Island Rooster so capsizing was out of the question. Sailed with him, Joel and Janine from Rancho Percebu to Puertecitos. The Island Rooster lacks buoyancy badly. Poppa lost some credibility there. Random Lunacy restored that. A masterpiece.
Both Captainbetsy and Poppa are invited to come to Amsterdam this summer, for the Futurological Congress. San Francisco is the city I love most in the West. Found Lem’s book and the circus of Dr. Lao in Citylights bookstore in North Beach. Went to SFMOMA, a creation of our friend Mario Botta, found it a bit sterile. More pleasure at Yoshi’s in Oakland, where Ray Hargrove’s Quintet played West Coast jazz to an audience of mostly very elegant Afro Americans and their ladies were breathtakingly beautiful.
We tried in vain to get to Bolinas; the inhabitants steal the road signs. Had a great trip to Clearlake, were in Mendocino, Ukiah and many more stunning places in the Napa valley. Ed was the perfect host, driver and bodyguard. Thanx very Dutch.
Off to San Juan, plane to Seattle, ferry to Friday Harbor. Keith and Susan have lived in this paradise for 15 years. I hope to return there as soon as possible. The abundance of basic materials, nets, and foam and the will to conquer the ocean by living on it shall bring me back. The bond with Keith and Susan was instantaneous. I am looking forward to seeing them in Amsterdam in September.
THE MOST DELICATE MOMENT after a long trip is the TIME OF RE-ENTRY. The body has arrived but the mind is still somewhere else. Not having slept at all on crowded airplanes for many moonlit miles, thousands of them, YOU CAN BE VULNERABLE to what I call the CRITICAL SHIFT IN YOUR MENTAL EQUILIBRIUM. SUDDENLY YOU CANNOT SLEEP AT ALL ANY MORE. This happened to Adriana the beloved mother of my son Michel. She came off the train from Switzerland, and the first thing she said was I AM DYING. Six weeks later she died. It happened at this time of the year.
Spring finally coming, tulips everywhere, fields of them, perfectly square, PAINFULLY PERFECT. PAINFULLY SQUARE. I found again my balance by booking a return trip to Tokyo. MISSION IMPOSSIBLE more when I return, older and wiser, I’ll celebrate my 60th birthday in Tokyo, I hope with Reiko. Dear Cat thanks for your message and the forwarded mail. Let us stay in touch.
Randy, I received a well written report on Poppa’s early departure and how The Flying Dutchman caught up with him. Was that from your hand? By the way, most of my travelogues never got to their destinations. Is this a conspiracy to keep people in the dark about recent developments concerning a certain David Pearlman whose movie RANDOM LUNACY is a masterpiece. Heads off, no I mean HATS OFF FOR THIS DIRECTOR.
He turned out to be the worst raft builder I ever met. The Island Rooster is a provocation. I hereby declare that I am provoked to build finally this sailing catamaran raft called OOXOO, pronounced Oak Saw, the third force at work. Two square bananas are ready. In total 8 cubic meters of flotation, buoyancy, call it what you like. No wet feet with 50 centimeters between the deck and the water, that’s for sure.
Lots of goodies in the mail for you. Take a week at least to get to you. Sent off yesterday. Hope you like the cartoon, Ed. What do you think of the play, Cat? Let me know. And read Stanislaw Lem, The Futurological Congress. Love to ya all, Arie
FRIESE GEHEIME DIENST BODE
FGDB Travel report Japan.
MISSION IMPOSSIBLE, april 18th 2006.
The only way to find my balance after the trip to Baja California and the Western Seaboard was to leave Amsterdam as fast as was possible. Just before I left I bought a tiny tugboat called CORRY with a Mercedes 180 Diesel engine of 55hp. It has a tiny toilet, an even tinier kitchen and two places for sleeping. It definitely was love at first sight.
Seeing my Japanese long lost lover after 27 years in Hokkaido was really good. But she told me right away there was no way she was going to come back with me to Amsterdam. My proposal to marry her was not accepted, because being a Jehovah Witness means being married to Jezus first, to a fellow Witness second, but a heathen such as I am no way. I sort of knew this was going to happen, but I had to ask her to make good on a promise I made.
Everything is clear now. Friends we shall be till the end of time.
Friendship means a lot to me, more than marriage.
I was very well received by Reiko and the Sasaki family. They put me up in a beautiful wooden house in a forest with more snow than I ever saw in my life. Two meters high piles of snow everywhere. Good place to get over jetlag. The traditional Japanese bath also helped. I went to one with Mr. Sasaki, and also took one on the ship that brought me from Otaru to Maizuru. The ferry was very fast doing around 30 knots per hour. After 23 hours we got to Maizuru. I went to a hotel near the station. The receptionist gave me a key to a locker and a bath robe. I took off my coat and put it in the locker, but the receptionist told me to take off all my clothes and accompanied me to the bath, the third bath in two days. After feeling cleaner than clean somebody showed me my next destination: a big room full of capsules, 1 by 1 by 2 meters. They looked like coffins but I slept very well. The door was made of woven material, and inside was a panel with many buttons for TV, music, ventilation, alarm clock and other functions unknown to me. I did not dare push the unknown buttons, for fear of being ejected or locked in.
The next day I took the train to Kyoto. Near the station I found a ryokan, that is a traditional Japanese hotel. Slept on a futon, and enjoyed the Japanese esthetics in architecture and food. I came to realize that I love this country, and hope to come back and stay longer.
Yesterday I visited some temples and the Imperial Gardens. Blossoming trees everywhere with ecstatic Japanese celebrating hanami and their love of nature. I am going to try and make my next floating island look like a Zen garden.
Kyoto is very impressive. Ultra modern next to centuries old traditional buildings. Lots of beautiful girls everywhere. I feel very frustrated not being able to talk to them.