Saturday, May 31, 2008


Two questions are running through my head:

Q1: how do you chat up a girl in a laundrette?
Q2: why is the European Championship football allocate to two countries who could not care less about the game 9or better: who are not as passionate about it as the rest of Europe is?

Ad1: I did my laundry in a laundrette today, and a very attractive girl walked in. She looked quite arty, dressed very 'now' and seemed a bit aloof- hence interesting. But how do you get in touch with her, while you are studying while waiting for your underwear to dry without looking to sheepish: "Airing your dirty laundry?" (uhuhuhuh). Not a good line. "Do you come here often?" ("Yeah, about once every week. My stuff gets dirty, you know. Moron.") Not very sharp either. Maybe a conversation about washing detergents can be a good one. Or one about the temperature of the water. Problem is that I would look like one of those characters from a washing powder commercial- and I have been informed that those are the most hated commercials. So please, input, my friends. Input.....

Ad2: The European Championships are starting in a weeks time, and although there are several games in town, the EC-buzz has not caught on yet. I do see some adds, some shops with Swiss fan clothing, but no big, waving flags, no newspapers with comments about the Swiss national team, no football banter in the school cafeteria. The only things I read about the EC is that the police is glad the English are not coming, that the Swiss like the Dutch fan legion the most of all fan legions and that the local bars are pissed that when they are located in an official fan zone (yes yes, fan zones: place the fans have to watch the game, and where the commercial rules of the UEFA count) they are obliged by law to serve the beer from the official EC sponsor, instead of their normal beer. A lot of talks, but not of football. Usually I would mind this- I mean the fact that the biggest European event is held in a non-football nation. Now I do not care. Because I live here, and I get the full blast of it. Nice!

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Een oorlog die de mijne zou zijn

It has been a while since I wrote- not because nothing happened, but exactly the opposite- too much happened. It has been busy days.

Last week I was in Holland for the start of the wedding season: one of my friends got married to his girlfriend, in one of the more beautiful castles in the Netherlands. A very nice, and particularly warm day. The wedding was nice, and saw some people I had not seen in ages. besides that- the wedding was uncontroversial, unlike the wedding in this story. Quite moving, and quite shocking: it was in the US, and it was not 3 centuries ago, but while my parents were my age...

While in Holland, I had interviews about my book, and gave two lectures about it. I still do not see myself as a writer, just as someone who wrote one book, but one radio- and two newspaper interviews (see the radio interview by clicking here. I am being interviewed about 30 minutes into the show) as well as two presentations about it, did make me feel as if some people are genuinely interested in what I have written. I am far from modest, but compliments about my book make me blush- maybe because it is a very personal book? Haven't really figured it out yet...

After Holland, I went to France, for a two day kayak-trip on the river Drome. It was a trip of almost 50 kilometer; I am currently writing this with a muscle ache i did not have since I had growing pains. Although it was raining the first day like crazy, we had great fun. Anyone going to the Drome region, I would recommend to stay at L'ermitage de la mure- a gite run by a Dutch couple who are trying to set up business in the Drome valley- a valley in South eastern France, where the unemployment rate is about 15%. Their initiative might hopefully lead to some employment in that region.

In the coming weeks i will have exams again- just at the moment I seemed to forget that I am a student at the moment. And that brings me to the idea behind this blog entrance: whenever I bitch and moan about my boring life, my exams, my lack of future or stability and start to feel sorry for myself, refer me back to this blog. Make me read it, and tell me that it is extraordinary to be studying at the age of 30, to do all this, and not to be stuck in a job or in responsibilities. Because I am sometimes a bit short of memory, and tend to easily forget that what I am doing now, the easy life that I am leading, is actually quite cool...