I made it!

Welcome to Russia, the country where the roads are dusty, the women dress up for everyday life as if they’re going to a party, where no one smiles at you, where those you know will feed you endlessly.

I made it, darlings. This year, I made it. I could barely believe it when I got out of the plane. It was already really dark, I had been traveling all day, so when I got out of that thing, I was just smiling weirdly. Isn’t this one of the weirdest thing I’ve ever done? Going to Russia all alone? But I can tell you: I’m doing very well. I managed to slice my feet by wearing new shoes, but next to that it’s going well. People tell me I talk well in Russian, that I barely have any accent, and so far I’m not impressed by their lack of smiling or effort to be nice to strangers.

The amount of strange things here is quite great. Everything is in Russian style, but that makes it so interesting. Also, strange things can be very cool. Since last night I can add drinking apple juice at 3 am while eating a good salad after having danced like crazy in a pub to my list of Weird Stuff That Just Seems To Happen. Now that’s the kind of thing I like – random, absurd, but absolutely good.

In Poland it took me about a month before I seemed to do something, for real. But here I dived into it and now it feels like I’m making the most of it already. I’ve been drinking beer with friends, I’ve gone dancing, I’ve gone to my classes, everything seems to go faster.

And that is good.

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The Q&A

Hello there, dear readers, today is our national holiday, so drink a Belgian beer or eat some french fries to celebrate that Belgium exists, okay? There is nothing special today, shops are closed etc, and I must admit there was more of a Belgian spirit when we were in Brazil.

But okay. The real subject of this post will be the questions Zaychishka gave me. She nominated me for the Liebster Award. If I remember it right, I got one (or a few) already, and sometimes I forget or ignore them, but her questions were interesting. I’m not giving any  more random facts, because there are barely random facts left about me, and I’m not nominating anyone because most of you know each other very well. It’s purely the questions that I’ll answer.

Zaychishka is a blog on Russian and Ukrainian fashion. (Since I’m mentioning Ukraine now, I want to take a second of virtual silence for the victims of the plane that has crashed there. A very, very tragic situation. I’m incredibly sorry for what happened there and wish there was a way to console all the people who have lost someone.) Her blog is very inspirational, interesting, and of course very relevant for me!

Now, she’s given me some nice things to think about. Here we go:

1. What subject did you least like the most in school? (it could be from elementary, high school, college/university etc)

Hmmm, probably our religion class in high school, that wasn’t much about religion at all, or the philosophy class at university. Philosophy can be very interesting, but the way the professor approached it seemed to utterly bullshitty to me. I skipped at least half of the classes. No regrets.

2. If you could be any animal what would you be?

A cat, clearly. A cat that gets spoiled, like ours.

3,Which ancient culture fascinates you the most?

Hard one! Ancient culture are always nice to read more about. I’ve been studying Latin in high school, so I know quite some things about their culture. I would love to know more about the ancient Egyptian culture. And the Celtic mythology is something I never fail to like as well!

4. If you could talk to anyone in the world, who would be the person you would want to have a sit down conversation with? (dead or alive)

This question is too hard. Though there is this dancer in the Mariinsky theatre who has such a strong and almost royal attitude. I’d love to find out where she got it from.

5. Have you ever been mistaken for a celebrity?

Never!

6.  How did you build up the courage to put your words out their- with your blog, for all to see? (or did you even need any courage at all?)

I need less courage to blog than to talk about certain things, just because I don’t have to face you every day. Though I mind my words sometimes, since this is still the Internet. I’ve never got a bad remark or insults, so I feel like I can say about everything here. And that’s a very good feeling!

7.Where are you from? Which country?

Well, unless you skipped the first part, I think that’s pretty clear!

Not the classiest thing to eat... But still very good and very Belgian. Source

Not the classiest thing to eat… But still very good and very Belgian.
Source

8. What is a funny misconception about the country you are from? (Or stereotype).

That we all speak French. In fact there are three official languages here: French, Dutch and German. The German part is very small, but the other two are almost equally as big. I live in the Dutch speaking part.

9. What is something that you do that you consider relaxing?

Reading, and dancing in a way too. Especially when you’ve finished a class or something, and you’re tired in a good way, and you can sit down then…

10. What inspires you to blog? (this is a very good & timeless question)

The overload of things I want to share. I need to get it out, or it gets stuck in my head. I need space there, so I need to get the words and movies and songs out every now and then.

11. What would be an ideal dinner & dessert? Any scenario would work, let your thoughts run wild.

I would like a walking dinner, so I can try everything. And some vegetarian lasagna with olives and a glass of wine… And of course I never say no to french fries with beer. Maybe not very lady-like, but too good to refuse. Seriously. And afterwards, some sweet melon, or tiramisu, or how is it called… You know, it’s a chocolate dessert, hard on the outside, but still fluid on the inside. That is good. That is very good.

That was that for now! Feel free to be inspired by this and answer the questions as well, and go say hello to Zaychishka 🙂

Arrival of the Birds and Spring

Not to make you jealous or anything, but spring has arrived here, with his flowery hat and a big smile. Here ducklings, some sun for you. At first , it was just sunlight that woke you up. But then gradually it started becoming really warm. It started becoming spring. The world somehow seemed brighter at moments, and there is this sense of possibilities that spring carries with him. Though these possibilities never really turn out to be true, at least you get that feeling.
The biggest problem with spring is that I don’t want to be locked up inside. As soon as I see the sun from behind a window, something in me starts screaming GET OUT GET OUT THERE’S SUN. I haven’t had a productive week. I spent quite some time outside a cafe, embraced by sun beams, discovering a new beer to add to my list of Favourite Beers. Despite all the work I have to do, I have been just enjoying what we get. It could soon be over – last year it started snowing again at the end of March. While this year that seems unlikely, you just never know.
Next to that you should always try to enjoy what you get. A few days ago I heard the news that one of the people I went to high school with, who’s as old as me, has gotten cancer again, for the second time in about a year. It doesn’t look good. It looks really bad actually. I don’t know this guy all too well, but that doesn’t change the fact that it’s really confronting to hear this kind of news. Therefore I completely forgive myself or not doing anything this week. It’s the worst thing to say these days, but you only live once is true after all.

So I’m just trying to take what I can get, try to have fun while it lasts, try to get more vitamin D and beer. Healthiest of healthy things. Next to that there’s other great news. This weekend I have a dance show – I like! As we always have dance shows when the weather’s nice, I associate sunlight and warmth with nights spent at the theatre. I’m really looking forward to being on stage again. And even better, we’ve got great music to dance to. I believe this is the closest to perfection one can get: spring, sitting outside a cafe with beer, having a dance show with very beautiful music.

Hell yeah.

And I’m back!

And we’re back! I hope you guys had a great time while I was gone, but I don’t doubt it. Did I have a great time? Oh yeah, totally! Thanks for asking. It was amazing. We did a lot of Belgian things together. She was a great tourist!

We drank some typical Belgian beer. Because unless you don’t drink at all, you should try them. Nothing represents us better than our fluid gold. You’re more of a wine person? Well, that just means you haven’t tried the real Belgian beer. It is pretty impossible you don’t like any of them. According to Wikipedia there were 1150 original beers counted in 2011. Let that sink in for a moment.

Wait for it.

Yes, that’s incredibly much indeed! But we reached the good amount of trying six different ones in a few days. Yay!

She ate vol-au-vent, the favourite dish of many people here. It contains chicken, so I’m not a fan, but well, it’s something you have to eat if you come to live as a student here for a few days. No way around!

She ate a warm waffle. As in, a waffle, warm, with a lot of sugar. It’s something you find on every corner of the street here, more or less. Because Belgians sell so much food on the street. I never realised how focused we are on food and drinking.

We even have these places where you can buy only French fries and meat to go with it. And some drinks perhaps, but that’s it. You go there, ask what you want and they’ll prepare it right in front of you. It’s awesome and cheap and tasty. And it’s food, again. We like eating.

I hhave come to realise I’m not a bad guide, so if these pictures make you hungry and thirsty, feel free to book me! 😉

When maturity kicks in…

It struck me a while ago. I was in a book shop, where you can buy textbooks and pens and that kind of stuff. The people who work there are always in a bad mood. It’s always crowded and the queue’s are long.

So I was there.
And I bought an agenda.

I did this before, but it was never much like this. And it only got worse – I used it. I actually used it.

So now it’s impossible to close my eyes to what’s happening. People – I’m getting mature!

But honestly, it was about time. With all the work I have now, it’s almost impossible to do what I did last year. My first year of university was quite relaxed. I did what was necessary, got good grades, but I also went out a lot, in the last months often two times a week, and when I went out, I drank too much. I never really did something stupid, but I wouldn’t be well awake the following day, and I wouldn’t do anything productive either. When I had class at 11 am or even 2 pm I didn’t do anything (except for washing my hair). I can’t even remember how I did that. How could I be so… stupid? Yes, stupid. I got good grades in the end, but I hated every and each morning after a night of drinking. My limits weren’t limited enough. How could I not see that going out late is even more fun if you aren’t exhausted the next day? (Drinking less makes the morning after so much nicer!)
It was a year full of going out and confusion situations. One very bitter experience in the beginning of this school year has made me think though. It was enough. It was too much. I was sick of this weird things happening when having drunk, I was sick of being tired, I was sick of people in general.

Because sometimes, maturity can’t express what we really want.

So then things really started to change.

Not only did I buy an agenda, I never drunk that much anymore, I started studying, I woke up earlier so I could do school stuff before class. I’m becoming boring, but responsible. There’s no more drama. There’s no more annoying, tired, headache-y morning afters. Instead I go home in time and accept the fact that those wild nights are no longer possible. I’m just so overwhelmed by all the work I have. It’s only been the fourth week of our school year and I’m already panicking.

Becoming mature isn’t fun.

It has to be said. It’s better, it’s healthier, I guess it pleases the people around me, but it’s boring. My life is changing into ‘school and school only’ and I don’t like that. There are no more stories to tell because I don’t go out late with a lot of beer anymore. There are less bizarre events (though still too much – in an unpleasant way) to laugh with. Life is studies. Yes, I like to be well awake and the lack of the aftermath of beer. That’s great.

But now I want exciting things to happen again, in between studying and eating and sleeping… There might just be a minute left for the non-mature part to show up again!

Treasure Hunting # 3: A Belgian Blessing

Since we went to Europe last time, it’s only a small effort to visit Belgium – so here we go.
There’s quite some treasures to find here of course. You probably know the beer, the chocolate, the ancient painters (Van Eyck? Rubens?), waffles, French frites and so on. Long story short: you won’t be hungry here, nor thirsty… Which is great!

But that’s not all. With all the States drama and the Russia controversy and Syria fights, I have come to the conclusion that here in Belgium, we live a good life. As small and innocent as we are, we’re not in a fight with anyone, nor do we stop functioning when something goes wrong. We’ve had our political problems, but we didn’t shut down the entire country. If you lose your job here, you will find help. If you get ill, you will find help. Everyone pays a lot of taxes, but in return we can count on the system to keep us alive when needed. We have a relatively good climate. I mean, people here will complain – “It’s too hot!” “It’s raining all the time!” – but we barely reach extremes. In this small little country you can find both mountains (more like hills actually), the sea, and many cool cities. We have historical buildings and everything, we’ve got a history I’m quite proud of. We’ve fought in wars, and the Dutch part of Belgium fought for the right to speak Dutch, or Flemish, as you please. We got that right. Thanks to the linguistic diversity most Belgians speak at least two or three languages.

We don’t have that much to say in the world, though the European Parliament is settled in Brussels, but somehow that might just be a good thing. People don’t hate us – because honestly, what can you hate about Belgium? (Though abroad they tend to think we’re German, and Germans aren’t appreciated everywhere, so that sometimes causes some less pleasant situations.)
People don’t have guns here, there are barely shootings. Most people are atheists, so religious fanatics are rather unknown. Being gay isn’t accepted by everyone, but our prime minister is openly gay (and rocks the bow tie) – it could be a whole lot worse. Everyone can go to university because the costs are quite low. That means many students eventually give up their studies, or try many different studies, but it also means everyone gets a chance – not just the rich.

It’s good here.

 

On the music:
*The first song is Ne me quitte pas from Jacques Brel. It’s a song on a breakup; he begs the woman not to leave him and promises her a whole lot – a quite sad song which I like. In French, one of three official languages.
*The second song is I’ll stay here from Balthazar, a Flemish group. The title fits the text, as I actually want to stay in Belgium for the rest of my life perhaps…

For once and for all

Addiction.
The moment you know exactly what you should do, but you don’t. The moment you know you should turn around and leave, but you stay. You stay and kill your conscience. Living in the moment, but not in the good way.
The feeling you should wave him aside and you don’t. Because you can’t really miss it. And you want more. So you stay, just to get more of this. Even though it’s certainly not good for you. And you know it.

But you stay.

Addiction.

I’m not good at saying ‘no’. If I want something, I want it now, immediately. There are times I really think about the future, but sometimes, I don’t care. What matters is that I’ve got the chance now to feel like someone cares, so Iwant to take the opportunity. There’s nothing as addicting as feeling like someone cares about you. Affection is probably the worst drug.
It’s easier to see myself as a victim that way. After we had met, it quickly became clear that this would lead to nothing. You can’t keep up the enthusiasm if you never meet each other, so I was sort of prepared for it to fade out, which it did. I truly believed we wouldn’t meet again, and above all, I believed it didn’t matter for him whether he saw me or not. I was like the optional part in his life. Which doesn’t mean it didn’t matter to me when it all really faded out.
But things changed again. We met again. It mattered again. At least it seemed to be that way. I was never sure though; was I being pathetic? Did he actually like me? Did he care? And how was I supposed to find out when we would never meet on purpose, when all we did was meeting at night by chance? I was constantly balancing between something and nothing. The voice of reason in my head was pretty clear: this is bullshit. He doesn’t care and never will, so stop wasting your time on it.

But how tempting it is to feel like  someone cares… So I killed that voice of reason, ignored it, burnt it down. Sort of. That’s when things only got worse. If someone brings you a teddy bear in the middle of the night, wouldn’t you think you weren’t just optional? That you mattered to him? When he leaves his friends for you, wouldn’t you think there would be coming more than just another night of drinking together?
Maybe I’m just wrong.
Or maybe he’s just an asshole who in fact never cared and who just tried to take advantage of me. At least the voice of reason in my head made sure I wouldn’t do anything too stupid, that would make it all the more confusing afterwards.
You know, after that, when it all faded out again. I returned to optional. Everything started to be ‘a long time ago’. We didn’t even meet at night anymore. You can’t live on nothing and so this died.

Of course I liked the nights with too much beer, cigarettes, him and his friends. But they weren’t quite healthy and mostly they made the morning after pretty hard. I shouldn’t blame him for the fact that I drank and stayed up such a long time, but he certainly didn’t help. His bad habits were slowly changing into mine too. It was all quite addicting, and that’s why I would never have made it stop myself. He was the one who let it fade away.

It’s probably better for you to have the source of addiction removed. But I truly hope I will see him again someday, just to show him what he misses and that I won’t be tricked again by him. Because really, I should have stopped you from using me this way, but while I couldn’t, you should have ended this twisted something right away. Like you subtly, vaguely said you would. But you didn’t.

So sincerely: fuck you.

In this context, please don’t interpret this song as a song on BDSM. Thank you.
Related posts:

* To get me out
* Running over the same old ground…

* Beauty in the breakdown
* To darkness and to me

Life Choice # 1: Beer or Wine?

In life, we’ve got to make plenty of choices. Will I go to university? Will I marry him/her? Will I have children? What will I order at the café? If you are like me, you’ve got a hard time making decisions. Every and each of them could lead to regret. That’s a scary thought.

But, luckily, we can always ask for other people’s opinion and see if they’ve got some wisdom to share. So let’s see what choice you make!

Today, the choice’s between beer or wine. There are two other options as well though – the hard stuff like rum and gin and wodka, or no alcohol at all. I don’t want to make it seem like everyone should drink. Let’s first say that all of this can be delicious, but not if you drink too much of it, obviously. But we’re never drunk or close to drunk, are we? Good.
Personally, I totally prefer beer. But hey, I’m Belgian, and we’ve got the best beer in the world. Besides that, there’s a lot of different sorts of beer. Very different of the Heineken you probably get served in your country (unless we share our homeland). Especially the dark beers have my preference.
Wine is different. White wine is okay, but red wine doesn’t always taste that well. It also turns your lips red. Somehow, such coloured drinks immediately leave marks on my lips. Don’t know why. Very annoying.
When I started drinking though, I was totally ‘wodka-red bulled’. Probably because it was so sweet. But it’s also expensive, and well, I don’t know, I just don’t drink that anymore. It seemed fancy when I was 16 (legal age in Belgium to drink!), but now I feel more casual when drinking beer. And you can be assured of some surprised family members when suddenly drinking these ‘heavy’ beers. But it tastes so well…

So I’m choosing beer. What’s your choice?

Beer – Leffe

 

Fancy wine picture

Sober (part 2)

“I have to go home”, you said. “I have to.”
“Shall I walk you home?”
“Maybe that’s a good idea”, you lisped.
“Come one then”, I urged. “Where do you live?”

One thing I love about nights is the darkness. No on can see you clearly when it’s dark. It’s a veil for you and for everything you do. I need a veil to cover myself up. You could have seen my face, my urge to get it over and done with, if only the sun had been shining. But I’m smart and the sun wasn’t there.
We walked side by side, I was keeping you upright. You tried to walk straight, but you failed.
“That woman”, you started talking again, ” she was abused by my friend.”
Anger is like a fire that licks our fingers and ends up eating your heart and brain.
“You knew it?”
“I did.”
“Why hadn’t you done something?”
“I wanted to”, you defended yourself. “I wanted to tell her she should accuse him.”
Talking was obviously taking a lot of your energy, but you insisted on telling me this. I slowed down to let you talk. I needed to hear how cruel humanity is. You know, if you turned out to be worth killing, it would be much easier for me to hurt you.
“You have waited too long”, I blamed him.
“I only found out that day”, you sighed. “That night, at the cafe. I was planning on telling her that I knew it and that she should do something about it, she should accuse him. He was my friend but no longer after I had found out and-”
“Calm down”, I commanded.
“He had made me swear I would not tell anyone, but I wanted to help her and I wanted to tell her she should accuse him.”
“Why haven’t you done it?”
“Because”, you sighed, “she left and walked to the railway station.”

We walked on, in silence. I thought about that woman and felt her pain, and his pain. He wanted to help her. But she died.
“I just want to start this over”, you murmured. “Where are we going?”
“Trust me”, I said. I felt like I was all ice inside. For the first time that evening, I felt mercy and even remorse. This time though, I could no longer mold my future. I saw the empty street, lit by a few lanterns, and it hurt me as it seemed to be life: empty and impossible to escape.

I should not have drunk so much.

There’s a shadow just behind me and it’s shrouding every step I take. When we arrived at his apartment, I concluded that he wasn’t worth killing. There was no other reason for it than taking away his regret of not having saved her. He didn’t even ask me in nor did he attempt to force something. With an unstable hug we said goodbye.
“Take care”, I mumbled and I left, walking the hoar streets alone as usually.

The easiest way of killing someone is by paying their poisoned drinks. The easiest way to kill regret is by preventing the heart to beat.

Sober (part 1)

Have another glass. Drink some more. Here it is, my dear. Drink it all.

I’ve never cared about you, really. You were there, that was all. Another face. Another pair of eyes, staring at me. Another hungry look. You were starving, weren’t you? On the edge of dying for attention. I saw it and I answered your call. I gave myself on a silver plate. Trust me.

“Why can’t we not be sober?” you murmured, drunk.
“Because I pay”, I answered. You laughed. You grinned. Have another beer, my dear.
“Stop doing that. Tomorrow I’ll be so dead”, you sighed.
Yes, you will.
I smiled. “Does the world not look better with a touch of alcohol?”
“Sure it does, but the next day everything has turned black”, you sighed. You started sighing as if you knew your fate. Fate is nonsense. Fate is like clay. The future is what you mold and pinch.
“Black?”
“The next day is horror.”

Horror, that’s true. I’ve seen so many other faces just like yours, and all of them reflected that horror. It’s not me who made this world what it is. You created it yourself. It’s all in your hands, but you throw it away. That is what you do. And the difference between us that I don’t do that. As I said I start molding. I start molding men like you until I get them where I want them. Until they tell me I’m beautiful.

“You’re so beautiful”, you babbled.
“Am I?”
“Yes.”
I lit a cigarette and blew the smoke in his face. What to say when someone compliments you? I breathed slowly.
Ask it.

Ask it.

But no, you just took another swig and started avoiding my eyes. Don’t ask me why they always want to tell something. There’s always something. Ever and always.
“Once, I knew a woman as beautiful as you”, you sighed. “She was just so nice and perfect…”
“Of course she was.” They are always nice and beautiful and perfect. They were the one.
“But she didn’t know. And one night, I hadn’t even asked her if she wanted a drink of me or anything, one night, she walked to the railway station and-”
“And what happened then?” I feel no mercy at this point. Just tell, let’s get it over and done with.
“Then there was a train.”
“Suicide?”
“Who knows?” you said full of misery. “Who knows why beautiful women die before-”
“Before?”
“Before they live.”
Another swig. Silence. You are different, aren’t you? But trust me. I will find the centre in you.Trust me.

“It’s so spoiled and tragic-”
“Drink another beer.”
“No”, you pushed my arms away, the glass away. Shaking head.
“It will only make things worse.”
It will indeed.

“Do you understand?” you asked, suddenly ardently speaking, in a sad way.
“Yes.”
“No one deserves to die in such anonymous way.”
Maybe you do, my dear. Maybe you do deserve to die that way.