Saturday, September 22, 2007

Working man's burden

The beauty of studying is that you will never have to wear a suit, nor a tie. If something is meant by 'working man's burden', than that must be it- pin stripes and a tie.

However within a week after arrival, I was proven wrong: I did need a suit to wear. And I did not bring it.
The UCIHL, my 'school', was renamed last week, and has become a new institute, the Geneva Academy of International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights.

The Swiss take their education very seriously. Very seriously. The opening was therefore grand. Champagne, foie gras and the mayor of Geneva, the former head of the International Committee of the Red Cross, several other dignitaries and the President of Switzerland attended and held speeches. So far for not wearing a suit, nor tie.

Student days have changed, I feel old. All my other student colleagues had a tie, and a suit. Thank god one of them brought an extra suit. I could borrow it.

From now on I shave, I wear clean clothes to class and I even start doing my homework. Student life here is like working life, and I will adapt to it. Without any problem, I guess. It is not so different from my life the last 5 years. however, it is far, very far removed from my study days in Groningen.....

Wednesday, September 12, 2007


"Excusez-moi, j,ai une question: Gdje je ulica... I mean... Ou est la Rue de ..?"


"Hvala. I mean... Merci bien"

Six years of French in High School, and two years mandatory in University. And as soon as I am to speak it for real, I mix it up with Bosnian, which confuses me so much that I end up talking in English. Well done.
I am in Geneva. And will be here for a year. Geneva is small, calm and clean. Or so it seems on the first day that I am here. No bullet holes in houses, no pot holes in roads, no red light district, no Times Square, no litter. Just Swarovski, chocolate, the UN, Porsches and big shades. A place where everybody stops at the traffic lights, and where people are polite to each other.

My body is in Geneva, but my head not yet. Hopefully it will follow soon. In the meanwhile, my body will keep writing blogs.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007


Tormented, mysterious, intriguing. That is what a writer should look like on the picture on the back-side of his book. Not like he just put his fingers in a socket and is being electrocuted. And that is exactly what I looked like when the professional pictures for my book were taken yesterday- electrocuted. As if I combed my Afro hairdo all the way up, without the curls- fluffy; the pictures were taken outside, while the wind was blowing at 9 Beaufort.

A second chin, a chubby face, bad skin, thin hair- I have it all, and I have learned to live with that pain. So that is in the picture, whether I like it or not. But my hair should look cool, gddmnt!! I am a vain man.

So today the pictures will be re-taken. And again I have to shave, iron my shirt, my pants, hold in my belly, make sure I do not stain my clothes on the way to the shoot and act like I am a professional model. After all this, I think I can do 'tormented'. The 'mysterious' and the 'intriguing' are to be imagined in the pictures.....