With good reason: We opened the door, and I felt as if I was entering a new world. It was the dark music, the gloomy colours and the people staring at me for at least 10 seconds before turning back to their conversations. But this is no volkscafe. There were twinkly lights. And fairies. And tree stumps for seats. It was tiny.
Although we had just had a rare week of intense sunshine in the city, none of the dreadlocked bar guests seemed to have been exposed to it. My insider bought me, appropriately, a glass of Gulden Draak. We took a seat, and he introduced me to Christine, one of the two owners. The charming 20-something from Limburg, who seemed to come out of a fairy tale herself, told me that she started the bar five years ago with her boyfriend Pieter, who immediately appeared when she pronounced his name.
Boven de Grijze Wolken means “above the grey clouds”, so people think the bar is a place “where the sun always shines,” says Christine. “But that’s not true. The sun doesn’t shine here; this is a night bar. Dark and light at the same time. To summarise: once upon a time...”
The next thing I knew, Pieter and Christine were introducing me to their sleeping seven-month-old son Vladimir and the bar dog Kaya. In my brief moments of solitude, I dreamt away staring at the black-light lit flowers on the ceiling and the obscure African and Christian-Orthodox ornaments against the walls. “We don't have a concept, you know,” Pieter tells me. “We just put up what we like.”
Feel free to step inside Boven de Grijze Wolken without an insider. After the initial 10 seconds has worn off, you’ll be glad you did.