Photofile: The Great Belgian Bowie Search

Just recently I had the pleasure of spending ten days with a Belgian boy I’ve known for years and years. He lives off of waffles and dark chocolate courses through his veins. Say hello to Lorenzo.

“Hello, Lorenzo!”

(That’s how the Dutch say ‘hi’.)

Lorenzo is more than a little obsessed with David Bowie, so when he arrived he didn’t even bother to say ‘hi’. All he said was ‘take me to Bowie’ and locked himself in the guest bedroom.

So, what does one do when a crazy foreigner locks himself in his temporary room? Find Bowie, of course. So, without further ado, I present to you our ten day search.

If you think ‘eccentric’ in New Mexico, you think Santa Fe. We started there.

No Bowie, just some sugar skulls and Dias De Los Muertos guys. We decided to give White Sands National Monument a shot. Lorenzo was excited because David Bowie filmed a movie there and Rens insisted we’d find him if we looked hard enough. Unfortunately for Lorenzo, he didn’t grasp just how vast White Sands actually is until we got there. Once we did, he took in the enormity of it with slack-jawed wonder.

The sun eventually set over the dunes and, still without Bowie found, we had to give up the search until another day. We moved on to Lincoln, New Mexico, thinking that maybe we could find Billy The Kid’s ghost and ask him where the enigmatic Ziggy Stardust was hiding. Unfortunately for us, Lincoln truly is a ghost town. There wasn’t a soul to be found. Not even a dead one.

Giving up on New Mexico altogether, we decided to search the Grand Canyon. We figured, it’s only the biggest hole in the world, heck, anything could be in it, including a musical space alien from Mars. So we hauled ourselves into Arizona to continue our search. This, too, was far bigger than Lorenzo had imagined; even bigger than White Sands, really… so he simply stood there peering through borrowed binoculars, cursing under his breath.

Not there either. That’s when Rens had an idea: maybe the Grand Canyon was too desolate; maybe Bowie had moved on to bigger and better and more industrial things, like the Hoover Dam. It was on the way, so we checked there too.

While the Hoover Dam did resemble a weird space station, Ziggy wasn’t there either. At this point Rens started to cry. “We’ll never find him!” he wept in his funny Belgian accent. I patted him on the shoulder and shook my head, trying to comfort him, but he was inconsolable. Eventually his weeping became embarrassing and I shuffled him back to the car. That’s when we started driving again, not toward home, but toward the dazzling lights in the distance. Because if Las Vegas is good enough for Elvis, it’s surely good enough for Bowie, right?

First, we checked The Strip:

We found a lot of hot babes, but no Bowie. Next, we searched the casinos:

We eventually ended up on Fremont Street: our final searching place. Luckily, the King was there. Unluckily, he wasn’t very helpful. He’d only speak to us for tips. So we said ‘screw that’ and continued our search on our own.

And then, in the distance… could it be? Rens was so happy! Not only did we find Bowie, but we found a friendly Elvis too!

Finally, our ten-day search had paid off! And all it took was like… two thousand miles of driving. But it was so worth it. Look at that Bowie. Okay… don’t look at him for that long. The effect wears off.

The next day I climbed into my car and prepared to drive for another ten hours while Lorenzo waved at me with a big smile on his face, truly satisfied because the Southewestern leg of his tour has resulted in nothing short of victory. So that, dear readers, bloggers, Tweeps, and friends, is how I spent a week and a half with a crazy Belgian. Thousands of miles traveled, dozens of restaurants visited, miles of pavement pounded beneath our weary feet, we finally found Lorenzo’s unicorn.

If there’s a moral to this blog post it could be this: follow your dreams, you’ll find what you’re looking for.

But really, it boils down to: if you’re looking for something, you’ll find it in Vegas.



4 thoughts on “Photofile: The Great Belgian Bowie Search

  1. Great post, Ania. I’ve been planning to visit the southwest but after this, I feel like I already have so, like, you saved me a few grand. Thanks.

    Say, when’s the new book coming out? SEED fans are waiting…


    • Hi Tim,

      I’ll have an update for you on The Neighbors release here soon. Still figuring a few things out regarding the release date. 🙂

  2. I’ve never visited all of these places in one whirlwind week, nor have I visited them with a Bowie obsessed Belgian, but these pictures brought back a lot of memories. Thanks for sharing. And best of luck getting the release date for The Neighbors all squared away!

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