1. The banana challenge

I had 40 questions for my students today. One of them was to go and get a certain item and bring it back to the classroom in under 5 minutes.

Filip from II D happily accepted the challenge and stormed out of the classroom.

To my great surprise he came back 8 minutes later, slightly out of breath and all sweaty, but with a banana.

He said: ‘I would have made it sooner, but there was an endless queue at the supermarket’

It turned out he had raced straight out of the school, had run to the nearest supermarket (about one km away), had bought a banana there and had run back.

Congratulations, Filip!

You could say, why did he even bother? What does it bring him?

But what does it bring his classmate Mišo China to sit there like a sullen statue and ask to go home every lesson? And when I say he can go home, he doesn’t budge and stays put, because he wants the others to leave with him.

I think Filip had a lot more fun and he made the rest of us laugh.

2. My hand writing in shaky trams is getting better

I’m combining three jobs, four if you can call writing a job, so I prepare some lessons in the tram to work. Today I noticed my handwriting was quite legible. A couple more months and I’ll have the steady hand of a surgeon. The perks of being a teacher are countless.

3. Drink more water, drink more water, drink more water

This is the first day since quitting coffee that I don’t have a headache, and I’m thinking it’s because I drank a lot more water today.

4. I have exactly one hour to prepare a class for 5 students who are determined to master Dutch

I will be home round 21.00 today and am getting up at 5.30 tomorrow.

What’s so amazing about that?

At least I don’t have time for brooding thoughts, panic attacks, anxiety, paranoia.

The internet claims Einstein said it: Life is like a bicycle, you have to keep moving or you will fall.

5. Can’t I just write a poorly written bestseller like Fifty shades of grey?

My huge obstacle here is that I find it hard to ditch a strong urge to write about realistic people, in real life settings, real life circumstances and real life qualities.

If I want to write a superficial bestseller I seriously have to try much harder to give the public what it wants.

To live out their deepest desires on the page, apparently.

There must be many women out there who have a secret longing to be totally dominated and ‘sluttified’.

Today I met a girl in the tram, she was reading Fifty Shades of Grey. I practice something called ‘social freedom’, so I asked her if she liked it.

She said it was an easy read and that it relaxed her. She said she preferred reading the books of a local erotic novelist, Matkin is his or her pseudonym.

I told her something about The history of O (l’histoire d’O) about a woman who wants to be taught to be completely submissive and wants to be the property of a man (or several men).

Her reason? Whenever her owner is nice to her he actually wants to be nice to her, he’s not pretending, because he can do whatever he pleases with her.

To my surprise the girl liked this idea so much that she asked me to write down the title and the author on her arm.

I didn’t ask for her phone number, because I felt there was no vibe to continue beyond that, but it was a nice exchange.

It’s a pity we are so trained NOT to talk to strangers. That’s one of the saddest cultural reflexes we have.