Archive | December 2008

Storm at the dump

10 December 2008

Today we had a full loaded truck with trash because of the renovation of our bought neighbour-house. There was a strong wind, so we had covered it with a tarp to prevent it to blow away.

The landfill is located in a valley between lush green hills overlooking the sea. A kind of premium location for millionaires resorts. You must park your car on the edge and throw your waste 10 meters below. There screeching seagulls are flying around and it stinks like hell. On the endless waves of debris a truck perpetually drives around to ‘mash’ the waste. One of those jobs you didn’t realize they exist.
The last hour the wind had picked up to hurricane strength. And of course we had to throw our trash in exactly the direction where the wind came from. Well, I assure you … that’s worse than peeing upwind!
It did not work out. The pieces of wood were heavy enough, but the rest flew back to your face with equal speed. The mattress, glided like a flying carpet above the road where we just came from.
That was not the worst … more heinous were the bloody sanitary towels (of strangers!) which flew around with 80 kilometers per hour. The loaded diapers and plastic bags with slimy rotten eggs were attacking you full in the face. I felt scraps of indefinable waste of other people’s garbage all over and in my clothes. Puke. Ooow, I almost needed to puke!
But we had no opportunity to wait until the wind would slow down, because the truck was of one of the builders and he wanted to go home after we returned, preferable without a truck full of our waste.

I almost wanted to tear off my clothes right on the spot.

I rarely have had a more satisfying shower as tonight.


Gains II

1 December 2008

Language-wise … I don’t know … that’s for another blog. But after 3 years living in New Zealand I certainly noticed that slowly I got used to be here.
To some people such things happens very quickly. They are already accustomed -no matter where they are- right after 1 day. Put them under the Eiffel Tower and 1 week later they are still sitting there; completely furnished and surrounded with countless friends.
To other people it takes centuries to get comfortable in their new lifes. Every morning they wake up frightened screaming: “NO !!! Where am I ?!” Only during dusk you can find them outside their houses, carefully sneaking through the streets, eyes down to the pavement, with timidly bended backs. And as soon as they think doom is impending, they flawlessly can imitate a tree.
Guess who. That ‘s me.

Years ago when we lived in the Netherlands, we guided an American guest through Amsterdam. He was observing us and suddenly he said: “You guys have a ‘certain confidenced walk’, like you own everything here.” Now I think he had a point. There indeed is a difference; If you fast forwarding a video of a tourist, you will see his head turning in all directions. He looks around constantly, slows his pace all the time.
I notice that the last few months I’ve gotten back my ‘normal’ walk. That big sign above my head “SORRY I’M WALKING IN YOUR GARDEN!” is now pretty much faded.
And my car driving is normalized. I’m beginning to know the map. The streets have become mine. Know: After 3 years! In a town of 20.000 people, hahaha.
Okay, the autochthons still grabbing their mouths by everything I do in public, but habituation is something else than integration. If a decent integration ever will happen, I can not promise.