a tale of travels from Holland to the Coachella Valley told by Jens and Tim
I met Jens and Tim at friend/film maker, Steven Preston’s, house a couple days ago. They are two young, tall, handsome young men who have traveled all the way from Holland to the Coachella Valley to write a book on the desert’s generator-powered music culture. Having never been to California before, I was quite intrigued on what their opinion of the Coachella Valley might be. An outsider’s perspective. Are we cool? Are we lame? Only Jens and Tim would truly be able to tell us.
I slept on the idea and within a couple days I tracked down Jens’s phone number and ask him if they would like to be guest writers to the Coachella Valley Art Scene for the time that they are out here. I thought it would be really cool to hear all about their travels and their experiences. They are from the same generation, yet, from an entirely different culture, making it that much more intriguing in what they have to say. I told them they could have complete creative freedom with this feature and put the ball in their court.
Turns out, Jens and Tim were game, and the rest is history.
So, without further ado… I present to you… two desert nomads Jens + Tim...
“Rolling into the promised valley of Coachella, the franchises splattered over our windscreen, quickly wiping of the promised image of the desert as a tough, barren place. Consumers, laughing stock of nature, drive by us and consider us a part of the flock. Guess we are, dutchies on a trip; first stop Wal-mart. All stocked up we check in at the very eastern end of Indio – google told me it’s the cheap block. Palm Tree Inn…why did I ask if there’s wifi? Hi, I’d like to have my laptop stolen? That white Cadillac sliding a-booming past our door, black panes; are we now a part of the Mexican drug war too?
Part of this visit is business, this book must be written. Part of this visit is pleasure. We aim to mix those, and head for the dark side of the Indio Hills. As we leave the gritted concrete, the gravel on both sides of Dillon Rd. makes us realize we are travelling to another side of America. The Sky Valley experience, what we came here for, it serves us now with a fresh dose of all-American bullet-hole gourmet – all you can eat and then some. There’s no one here to monitor this sand and we feel it. We halt our euphoric zig-zagging, yelling ‘dip!’ at the top of every wave; ‘Welcome’. Hovering around the sign that connects us, via a record player in Amsterdam, to this desert, I catch ill-at-ease fluids dripping from my armpits. Another car, grey Honda, black panes. I saw two figures staring at us when they drove by eastbound, now the sun hides silhouettes behind the glare of the glass of the grey Honda. It’s engine, idling at 30 feet across the street, asks me that same question: business or pleasure? Out of the sun, into the car, into drive, out of the shade of the hills, into the whitewater, now ask me again. ‘Pleasure.’ ‘ Mooove along, sir.’”
words written by Jens van Dongen
illustrations by Tim Heijmans
Make sure to come back next week to read more on our friends from Holland’s newest experiences and opinions are about their trip to the Coachella Valley.