I have a very vivid memory of something that happened during the summer camp in my third year of scouting and that often pops back up when the centigrades reach the upper echelons of the thermometer and I’m caught in the middle of it. The sun was blazing down on our tents, peppering down on those helpless green tarps. These tents were usually poorly situated in the middle of some wide-open, cowdung-filled, bee-infested field. At noon, when the sun radiated heat that would have sent Pharaohs weeping, we holed up in the tepid shade that the tent provided, focusing ourselves on directing all our of remaining, unevaporated bodily fluids to our brain, biting down and trying not to pass out from the heat.(slightly exaggerated for dramatic narrative purposes). The entire camp came to a stop and a mandatory siesta hour-long was instored.
Social conventions are a funny things aren’t they?
The Oxford English dictionary defines a ‘clique’ as “a small close-knit group of people who do not readily allow others to join them” Life is populated with these cliques, and you usually tend to evolve through them gradually, as life passes by.
Entering one of the oldest, most archaic social circles in the world was probably one of the most daunting things I ever had to do in my life. Few societies are more archaic, custom-based and relying on limitless respect for your elders as a Bar Association. Upon my first introduction to this society a few years ago when I joined the Antwerp Bar, I quickly found myself hopelessly lost in the indecipherable ocean of age-old customs, social faux-pas, unwritten rules, and mute understandings. Do I bow? Courtsy? Jump? Bark?!
Depending on where you live, spring has sprung. This means there are millions of people looking in the mirror right now and realising that their summer body is not en route and that that last piece of pecan pie might have been a bad idea. Not me though, I never regret pecan pie.
If you’re anything like me though, you are constantly running out of iPhone space. Be it the decade-long hamstering of pictures of cats, cats and even more cats that you’ve got in your iCloud, the endless array of downloaded Spotify playlists (320kbps is a BITCH on memory) and a couple of apps and games later you’ll find yourself running out of disk space faster than a Goldmann-Sachs stockbroker running out of coke on a Wednesday.
Rest assured, the rest of this article won`t be as illegible and serious as this New York Times-worthy headline, and will be accompanied by the usual logorrheic levity of my other blogposts about the slightly surreal experience that is touring Cuba in 2016.
As I sit her typing on my iPad in the lobby of the Aeropuerto Jose Marti, waiting to board the
8mm thick aluminum tube that separates me from explosive decompression plane back home, I realize the extent of my disconnection from modern civilisation the instant I notice that my iPad is still on Belgian time, and that it hasn’t automatically adapted to the timezone applicable in Cuba, which it usually does automatically when first reconnecting to the internet. iCloud is prompting me for the umpteenth time to connect to the internet in order to back up my iPhoto collection, of which it warns me more and more that failing to do so soon might result in ‘lost files’. I don’t know if it’s a legitimate threat or a clever way for Apple to find out where I’ve been hiding for the past two weeks, not that they’d care.
Plata o Plomo?
Sleep or no sleep?
It was 3.21 A.M. Everything in the building was as silent as a tomb, except for the sound of the ventilator in my laptop which was wheezing like an asthma patient during a marathon. My eyes were fatigued by the blue, fluorescent light emanated by my laptop screen depriving me of my precious melatonin and throwing my circadian rhythm more out of whack than a smile in North Korea. My arm was going numb every five minutes from the weight of my head resting on it. My neck had given up on supporting my upper-body cerebral Kinder Surprise in this 45-degree inclined angle a long time ago, and rested in the pillow that had now permanently taken the shape of a dried taco-chip. My mouth had grown as dry as the Atacama desert, my eyes as tired as the weary doctor ending his graveyard-shift. I was just about to embark on the 10th episode of Netflix’s latest form of legal drug, Narcos. ‘Just one more, I’m almost at the end’ I pleaded with myself like a cheap crack-whore looking for a quick fix in the dark and somber alley called Bingestreet.
It was then, at that very moment in between episodes, when Netflix was purging the last bytes of the old episode and preloading the new one, that it promptly asked the completely rhetorical and self-exploring question:
“Are you sure you’re still watching “Narcos?”
I’ve already told you that my biggest fear for the future is sassy programming, and now my reaction could only be summarized (in a thematically correct way) like :
The best piece of advice I ever got was the following : when you meet or are about to meet someone who is imposing, or important to you, and this makes you nervous, or unsettles you in any way, never forget that how big and mighty, how powerful and awe-inspiring that person may be, at one time or another in their life, that person was on his or her hands and knees with explosive diarrhea, praying to their God for a hasty end to aforementioned rear-pipe decompression. Visualising the subject of your idolation in a state of agonising flatulence will pretty much level the playing field you and that person. Gone is the anxiety.
In 2016, 3 things seem to keep propagating as fast as a bad case of ebola, and all of them are as annoying as having to fart whilst out for a spacewalk in your EVA-suit. Every week at least one of these three things happen : either a new Kardashian pops up somewhere doing something unimportant and instagrams it ,or a new case of Zika-fever pops up or finally (and most likely) a new CSI/NCIS spin-off premieres on some channel.
I mean seriously, the last spin-off, CSI/NCIS New Orleans should have been the one to finish them all. No, that’s no joke, there is an entire (sub)series dedicated to crime solving in New Orleans. What marketing genius over at the studios woke up one day and thought “You know what I bet people want to see? Crimes being solved in New Orleans”. New fucking Orleans. I mean come on.
Lately I’ve been vacillant as to what amuses me more when it comes to news from Saudi Arabia. And by ‘amuse’ I mean ‘whose irrationality scares the living shit out of me’.
Electing a country notorious for its relentless violations of the most basic of human rights as the leader of a UN Human Rights Watch panel on human rights-violations just doesn’t strike me as being a good idea. Kerry’s mannerism in that photo even suggests a pre-emptive apologetic speech. ‘I know, we done fucked up now, but they’ve said they were really, really gonna try you guys. Give em a chance. Plus, they got us really cheap oil, so they cool.’
It’s basically the same thing as telling a recovering coke-head to guard a stash of cocaine, but also instructing him not to touch it. ‘No man, I swear. I’m done with that shit, it ruined my life’. You wouldn’t even have the time to turn around that he already would’ve blown through that pile of white powder faster than a pastry chef during ‘Croissant Week’ in Paris.
But hey, at least they obtained it fairly.
The other thing is this : I don’t know if you’ve been following the news lately but on the 21st of January the Financial Times opened up with a banger, showing that there does in fact seem to be an monumental discrepancy in between how Saudi-Arabia interprets the word ‘irrational’ and how the rest of the world interprets it. Anyone could have thought that already, given the constant stream of irrational behaviour originating from there, but this takes the cake.
I have successfully lured you away from
the possibility of doing something useful on the internet looking at another batch of cat pictures and/or getting into an argument on the internet about Trumps’ impending presidency and why the last Star Wars movie sucked (it didn’t).
Yes, I realize that aforementioned luring-away might have upset you, but I don’t really care.
Just as Montaigne stated while prefacing his seminal work – Essays – let me in turn start my preface by saying that I preemptively excuse myself for not being apologetic anymore in the future (not that I compare myself in any way to Montaigne, besides the fact that I’m partially french and have been in Dordogne.)
Browse this blog at your own risk of wasted time-expenditure.
Everything I write here is going to be some version of some version of something that happened to me. Or that I witnessed. Or that I heard about. Or that I imagined. Or that someone else imagined, and told me about afterwards.
If you still want to know more, by all means, continue on.