Johnny was a weirdo.

Still on my way back from the emotional peak on the trip, life has gone pretty much to the way it was. Work is very, very slow (not the season), and I have not much better to do than sit at home or hang around in Ghent all day. The shitty thing is, many of my friends, who are still in school, have examns right about now, so they are all excited and want to hear my Crocodile Dundee-flavored stories but right now they don’t have the time, they have to study. Girlfriend: same story. That sure sucks.

I greatly underestimated what a rush it is to go on a trip by yourself, and see and experience all those things. After 2 weeks I was pretty much burnt out. Sitting by myself may have had something to do with it, though. Nevertheless, going "wow" a dozen times a day is exhausting.

So now we’re back in Belgium, where absolutely nothing has changed and there is no news other than more strikes and scandals among our top politicians, which isn’t news at all. I have come to the conclusion that I like Ghent, though. When we drove through Antwerp and Brussels I kept thinking to myself what a horrible place to live Belgium really is. But Ghent, is okay. It’s charming, in a way.

 

A nice work has recently been added to the street art here in Ghent. It’s a stencil the size of a display window, saying "WHAT ARE YOU DOING TO MAKE THINGS BETTER?" It’s detailed, finished nicely, critical and carries a message, yet still I don’t really like it. It reminds me of another stencil I saw,saying

I AM PART OF THE:

0  PROBLEM
0  SOLUTION

What bothers me most about these, is that this "problem" remains absolutely unidentified. They are just designed to work on your conscience, you can fill in whatever the problem is, yourself. Inflation? Globalization? No one knows. It’s easy being critical like that. No need to be informed, no one to disagree with you and start a discussion. It is just a sum of unfounded, unspecific accusations. But ey, it does look good, doesn’t it.

 

I realize very well I’m repeating myself, but it just doesn’t stop leaving an impression on me: again someone in my not-so-immediate surrounding has died. A familie that we’re friends with, their daughter had an accident. She survived, her boyfriend did not. They were together for about one year.

A friend of my sister’s had an accident with his bike; another friend of my stepsister’s, I don’t know the details;  a friend’s brother’s newborn child; a colleague of my father’s had a heart attack; my friend’s grandmother; the boyfriend of a friend-of-a-friend was found dead in his couch, probably suicide; the same family mentioned before lost a grandmother; now this.

It’s fucking with my head, seriously. All in about 7 months. There is only a few of these people that I have actually seen in real life. It affects me nonetheless because a lot of my close friends and relatives have to deal with it. And I feel so powerless, you can’t just tell these people it’s alright, because it’s not. Mostly they just want to tell about it, so I listen. If they don’t, I have no clue what to say that could make them feel any better. So I shut up.

 

I went to see ‘Jarhead’ with a friend the other day. I liked it very much, but if you’re not at all interested in the military, don’t bother watching it. It’s not that fantastic.

I think it displayed rather nicely what would happen if I would go to war. Supposing I make it through combat training in the first place, I would very likely go absolutely nuts there. That is also the reason why I chose to join the medical section: we’re just not all cut out to be killers. I’m rather proud to say that I’m not. Yes, I am a pussy.

Many people think they could kill a man. I’ve heard 20 year old girls say "I could easily shoot someone." Those people were obviously never in a situation where they actually Could. The simple knowledge of knowing that a twitch of your one finger can end someone’s live, his past, his future, his dreams and his happiness, makes your nads crawl up. You get used to it, of course, which makes it all the more dangerous.

 

To kill boredom, and to welcome the norwegian lady hostess I stayed with, who might be following me to Belgium, I’m busying myself with a small project. It’s not anything too impressive, but I’m pretty excited about it. I’ll write it down when I’m done, wouldn’t want to ruin the surprise. The friend that was originally coming offered his assistance, and with the two of us I think we can make this absolutely great.

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