On my way…

Archive for the category “Uncategorized”

When you are on the road…

Call that live on the road, sort of speak, you learn how to improvise, a lot! Otherwise, you are just not going to make it. It is very simple.

Suddenly unpacking is a pleasure because you are just fed up of living out of a suitcase. You find yourself neatly arranging things which will get messy anyway because there is no real way of fishing them out of your bag without messing it up and you will neatly fold it back because otherwise it will get on your nerves. You slowly start questioning if you are either compulsive or super tidy. Something you were never before. Almost never before.

You learn how to calculate and orient yourself in terms of space, distance and travel time. You learn how to time yourself and multitask on stuff and find the best way to carry as little as possible and suddenly the thoughts of having useless luggage of any kind emotional or material weighs you down a tonne.

Your phone becomes your life saving tool. In many ways. It goes beyond the usual alarm and time and calling and texting…

You have a mental emergency call list of people who could host you/pick you up from middle of fucking nowhere/feed you in case of emergency.

You learn how to quantify and plan your sleep, power naps or mental blanking because, mostly….

you are tired…very tired…and after a while…

you just want the place to call home…

This movie…

“La source des femmes”….made me cry…

Idd

idd = indeed, inderdaad, intr-adevar.

475 pieces

I could find of my parents’ and familys’  history…Of course there is more to it. They are back home in the rest of the albums, on the balcony where we spend the hot summer evenings and days, in the living room, all together in a small flat in a whatever city, whatever country which I refer to as “Home”.Since I moved to The Netherlands this word, split in half and the unavoidable happen.

I suddenly have two homes. Just like my mom had when she got married ……….

…..and my dad had already since he left his home town as a young boy.

The emotions and experiences associated with “home” captured a whole different meaning that it might have for some. I say that because I know a lot of people who don’t feel the notion of “home” and are perfectly fine with it and others whose entire set of actions and decisions and life is build within that concept. This is where I am more like my dad.

Coming from a very “family and friends as family” sort of upbringing, in the last 6 years I ‘ve balanced it quite a bit and this brought me in a “middle” spot. Spot in which I put “home” in the cozy corner as much as i put it in the “identity corner”. Of course since I moved out “home” is distant but a lot closer than it ever was.

This made me look even deeper and try to discover
who are the two persons who made that flat….

“a home”…

…. brought me an older brother…..

…so many beautiful memories of 18 years of life(spent at home) with ups and downs.

Two Persons, who with all their might and efforts, because they put quite some in me, made me the person I am today.

 

They gave me, strengths, weaknesses, love and everything else that guides my steps until today and further.

That is why I always go through their youth pictures. Also because i am endlessly curious of how did people live and had fun in those days. I have to say, in essence not much and everything else changed. Lovely times. Of course they wanted better. Hence the 1989, 25th Dec. day…

I made a further selection of pictures and almost managed to put it in a photo album.

Enjoy

Have passport – will travel

Recently I remembered how I got my passport.

Most kids can’t  wait to turn 18 which is our legal age of drinking and getting a driving license just to do just that: to get themselves drunken silly and get their driving license – hopefully not both at the same time.

I was just a few months over my 18 and I had to wait that long because I had to save money and have my passport done without my parents knowing :).  They are not, as I found later, the kind of parents to stop their kids from doing something they really want. Actually that turned to be one of their greatest quality and form of support they could have given me.

They knew they can’t really stop me. They could not ignore my rhetorical questions of  “Tell me, what can I do in this country to make it worth while my time and effort when I look around and I see people working and studying to exhaustion with no memorable result?”  “Tell me, what are my chances against nepotism and corruption and children with rich parents?”

It felt very unfair to tell them those things – it was not their fault, they did their best to raise me and my older brother, but it was the sure way to make them see my way.

My passport is the only thing I never lost, with one exception but then it wasn’t lost, it was stolen but even so I still got it back.

I learned in time that my passport, my bank pass and my legs seem to be the most important luggage I need to carry anywhere. The rest I can manage – and that is what I do on any given situation – I manage myself and the situation and any lemon that’s thrown at me becomes a lemonade one way or the other.

Two weeks later after I got my passport I was on a bus to Belgium. 38h of traveling, well actually sleeping in the bus most of the way. I was just 48-52kg and 1.60cm that could easily fit in two seats on the bus. Everyone around me was stiff and in pain – I was a happy camper.

I was not fed up and I was not bothered by anything and anything. I was talking with everyone on the bus and I was pulling  all the information that I could get out of them and never could find it on the Internet. (I just got an idea for future posts HA!) Except two old ladies who looked as if I just cursed their children into oblivion by poking a map at a gas stop. They were foreign and a sign I chose to ignore.Foreign people, in my mind, were not allowed to be snobs or arrogant or ignorant or mean or not fair. I was so naive  borderline stupid at that age it pains me to think about it…brrr.

I lived in Belgium for just 2.5months – as a first time trip that was good enough. I moved to NL in little slots from 3months to 1year over a period of 7 years in total, in 3 different flats, in two different cities. I lived in the UK from 3months to a maximum of 1year in total. I traveled to other countries for 1w-1month for work projects and for fun.I love Portugal and its ocean vibe that its people have in the South.

Sad enough, I’ve never been out of Europe but since I still have many things to do, places to go – I will do it when the time is ripe and for as long as “have  passport – will travel – will discover”.

Cheers,

Cris

Some of us…

…are inclined to believe that if something is wrapped up in a brand, its price and quality should live up to its name simply because it belongs to a certain brand and if it’s a generic looking product it should be cheap and of low to average quality .

The same can be said about nationalities, because “brand” as a term is quite universal and although it is used mainly for commercial products and services in reality everything we do as a group and/or as an individual it builds up to be the brand other people or nationalities put on us.

That can happen to simplify things which can’t be simplified, like human nature, or out of pure laziness and ignorance suddenly you wake up next to a group of features/qualities/faults that don’t represent you as a individual but can’t get away from it.

On the other hand, as a individual you could make your own opinion about a nation/group even if you want to mash it up or not. It is your own experience that should serve as a base for such an opinion, not what you read/see/hear in the media or from persons who just chew up some rumors and spit them out as facts.

This brings in my mind a few aspects I’ve observed of the Dutch and these can and most likely will change in the future, given that my experience or knowledge will be richer and I will build different perspectives.

Most are quite down to Earth, these naturally stand out. They don’t have to scream for attention through pointless behaviour or statements. They don’t need pseudo-identity- defensive.   (yes, I made that word up).

These people we leave them where they are because they are the ones who will work harder if they notice that their local job market is more competitive, they are the ones who will smile when choosing their shop, they are the concerned employee who will ask you if you enjoyed your drink, when they notice someone else didn’t. They are the ones treating you fair without making a big fuzz about it or go to extremes with it (just to make a point out of it). They are the ones who don’t expect you own the latest gadget and won’t judge you if you have it. They are the ones who won’t point the finger/ the blame at/on someone else for something that doesn’t go well in their own life. The ones who don’t make an official responsibility of an immigrant more complicated than it has to be, the one who will give you a ride to the train station at 3am in the morning, is the neighbour who will call the police and talk to them in your absence when you house is robbed, the ones who will let you sleep over so you  can pass over an already stressful exam period and give you a warm tight hug when the world feels as if it is crushing down on your shoulders, the ones who will not give you a layer of pretty strawberries over a box of rotten ones, the ones who look after their gardens, neighbourhood, family, friends and pets with the amount of emotion and care in reference to their own norms, value, ability and choices.

After 6-7 years of a challenging life in this country THOSE are the people I want to remember and more, many more that I want to speak of in my future travels and to my grand children.

I refuse to take with me the picture drawn to and of us by Geert Wilders and it P.V.V.. The picture of a vulnerable, self-victimized and a challenge failing Dutch person who lives in a protectionist soup of laws, written or not with a garnish of intolerance spread on the bread of  pseudo(or not) socio-economico and educational collapse.

Way to go Wilders! In your bitter attempts to “protect” the Dutch ways and people you’ve managed to boil a dish that will feed the seed of doubt…self doubt that is…

Switzerland…

…Turns out to be one of the places and experience I will talk about for at least my stay in this country.

I’ve only visited this place as a tourist and in the company of people that in general give me a good vibe. From experience I can say that being a tourist and actually living – making a living and a new life- in a new country with a foreign language, in this case 3 of those are two distinct situations.

I will give it two months of continuous stay. April and May. During this period I will have a plan. Volker told me that he doesn’t go to the toilet without a plan.

What’s my plan? MAKING THE BEST OUT OF THIS OPPORTUNITY

This might include – learning french or swimming or shape a perfect body…or meet new people…for sure to meet a lot of people and see nice places and let them imprint themselves on my memory and heart….smile a lot …dream a lot…laugh a lot and not miss a second to feeling sorry for anything.

I will make this one of the best time in my life!

Having a blog…

Tried it many times. I don’t seem to have the patience or the desire to share my thoughts and actions on a regular basis. I read blogs, loads of them. Always wonder what would I have to say to the World if I made myself heard. First I have to say something before that happens, so here it goes…

A blog about various things which occupy my mind, time and come into my life….another drop in the Ocean…because you see, while it is absolutely recommended to be happy with who you are it takes guts to show what you’re made from to the World and it takes wisdom to love yourself in a non-selfish way…

There are millions of blogs out there and some of them are really really nice to read/watch. Some people write for years and all their readers and information adds up over that period of time. Myself, don’t have the patience to see it grow. That is one of the main reasons why I never kept it a stable thing. That and the fact that I think it takes a lot of time to build a nice blog…well time in time. For now I am using this as a patience exercise and I’ll hope to give you a good reading/watching material, since I hate wasting my time and other people’s time…

Cheers’
Cris

Post Navigation