What I think about when I’m cutting through Bratislava on the way to work
Meditation, trepidation or tramidation during my daily commute. Don’t know what to call it exactly.
The process is worthy of its own name, because it takes me more than hour to get to work, so that’s a lot of time to reflect. I don’t even leave the city, so let nobody tell you Bratislava is small.
I used to read on the way over, but these days I’m just too tired, I just stand in the tram and see my thoughts float by.
My mind is a veteran vagabond and just has me swirling around in trolling thoughts. It’s a bit annoying, but at the same time it’s also addictive. I’m addicted to losing myself in my mental labyrinth. And hey, isn’t every addiction both appealing and annoying?
Like yesterday morning I considered the following, among other things:
My Clint Eastwood Complex. More on that later perhaps. I can’t find the discipline to focus on it right now, but my earliest memories include spaghetti westerns with Clint Eastwood. Come to think of it, my earliest memories also include a lot of spaghetti.
A longing for peace and children and all that.
A need to manage something big, like a flourishing business for example.
Why people are so afraid to talk to strangers, since everybody they love right now were once strangers.
If I should speak English or Dutch to my children. The only natural way for me to raise my children in Dutch would be to speak to them in my Flemish dialect. But they can’t use that language outside of the family then. And do I really want to pass on the vibe that goes along with that Flemish dialect? Probably not. So perhaps I’ll speak English to them, and start teaching them Dutch as soon as they know English, because I imagine their mother will speak Slovak to them.
The ups and downs of someone whose friend and mental support buddy I am and who is now looking for peace and healing in Pataya, Thailand.
Life in Slovakia is a lot tougher than in Belgium and certainly tougher than in the Netherlands, yet I choose to be here and don’t want to leave anymore. Do I seek out toughness? In Belgium I felt strangled by claustrophobia. In Slovakia I experience the opposite, no, I don’t mean agoraphobia.
I have a student who desperately wants to escape Slovakia and move to Holland, even though she has a good job here and her profile is not very sought-after in the west…
Why have I never moved to Holland? Fear of being bored there is the answer. Bored and spoiled.
My students, always my students. What can I tell them I wish I had heard when I was 16? And the decision: if I see something beautiful in a student, I will speak it.
Some of my friends who are currently in Asia and roll from one Asian woman to an other and my relief when I think: that’s really not what I want (otherwise I would move to Hué or Ho Chi Minh city tomorrow).
Making money. This week I heard one of the most committed teachers say there’s no money in teaching, so money is something I think about. I hope the Authenticity Diary will sell like strawberry flavored ice-cream stand across the entrance to a 4,000 worker steel plant and a 5,000 student highschool on a hot day during a 40-day drought with a cut in the water supply system and a temporary ban on soft drinks.
What exactly attracts me to Slavic languages, I mean, theoretically you would expect me to go and live in the US or London.
Why I am attracted to the almost binary attitude of Slavic people, the hardness and the almost psychopath coldness and kick in the teeth kind of formality on the one side and their embracing festive hospitality on the other hand. These extremes are most outspoken in Russia.
Can’t be left out from this list: Why I didn’t go running around the lake (I really do need to do something about that).