Bad Language

What does one do, when on a Sunday night, the past 24 hours have been utter shit and they want to vent it somehow? My bad moods are commonly known and trust me, they go deep. No one wants to put up with that and besides, it’s past midnight and any friend I’d be calling would already be in bed because they all work or attend school. Okay- so do I, but apparently I don’t take my sleep cycle as seriously as most do. To me, it is more of a… suggestion.

I don’t own a punching bag. I don’t have a pet to be mean at. There’s no one around willing to be scolded. What do you do, then? I suppose I have little other options than to simply sit it out.

Laundry day in itself is guaranteed to fuck up my mood, but that’s only where it begins. I walked about 6 kilometers today, most of it in a hurry, for fuck-all. First, while my laundry was in, I had to go back to the Vieze Gasten to get my cellphone, who were fucking closed. They’re conveniently located on the other side of fucking town.
Go back, get my 4 tons of laundry, dump it at home, and sprint to the Kinky Star club (at yet another end of the city) to do the sound for a band who brought their own god damn sound tech. An arrogant piece of shit who stands there masturbating over his high-end microphones but has to ask me what the buttons on the mixing desk do. The most fruitful thing I did all day was fetch the assclown a beer.
Several friends were supposed to come, but all cancelled because they had better shit to do- like not coming.

So my day was shit, thanks for asking. Furthermore, I woke up early in the afternoon so it looks like it will be continuing for a little while longer, since I won’t be able to sleep.

Bet your fucking ass I’ll recover my phone and find messages like “Hey we’re two bars away from your place, care to join?” Or better yet, none at fucking all.

I don’t really care about disappearing languages. I am convinced that eventually, we will all be speaking English (because the Chinese are learning English but not vice versa) and frankly, and I’m sorry about this but it’s the truth, I don’t give a shit. Indian, Inuit, Masai, whatever languages that are spoken by less than a dozen people are bound to disappear forever, very soon. While I feel sad about the culture tied to it, I fail to care about the language itself. And I think, if everybody should ask himself this without bullshitting anyone, I am not alone.

So then, it’s very ironic that when my internship mentor, whom after two days I’ve begun to see as the father I never had (Ohhh burn), asked me where I was from, it stung a little.
You see, I am perhaps the only Belgian proud of his heritage without disrespecting others’. We, the Flemish, the Flandrians, have shown ourselves a strong race of bastards and rebels, and I am proud of that. And of all cities on this blotch of historical warzone, I love Gent the most. Asking me if I’m really from around here, is about the same as calling me French.

“It’s funny,” I replied, “When I studied in Aalst, they would tell me, ‘Speak in that Gent-ish accent of yours again’.”
My mentor laughed and asked, “So what did you do, then?”

Fucking, ouch, man.

You see, back in the eighties-nineties, there was this trend to raise your child in what was at the time called, “ABN” which stood for “Common Civilized Dutch”. They later changed it to “AN” for obvious reasons, but what happened was that parents would speak “decent” Dutch to us, their children, and then suddenly wielded a thick dialect when talking to their spouse. Alienating, to say the least. I can’t speak for anyone else, but I for one remember being punished for speaking in dialect- not shitting you.

So in school, you would have an entire generation of kids huddled together, all speaking in “Cilvilized Dutch”, as if we were adults already. Curiously, the only ones who retained any accent were the Turkish and Moroccan immigrants, effecting everyone else.
So now we, the children grown adults, all speak this hideous language; Technically Dutch, but with a dialect tied to marginality and bastardization. Including me. I couldn’t speak old-school “Plat Gents” to save my life.

My mentor of course, nearing his 50s along with most people there, grown up when Gent still had dirt roads, speaks it to perfection. They know the vocabulary, correctly wrongly pronounced vowels, the whole nine yards. It really comes as no surprise that he couldn’t tell where I was from, considering that the whole province now speaks the same language, and it sure as fuck isn’t “Civilized Dutch”.

I really think, and I’m dead serious here, I’m going work on my accent a little while I’m there. If I’m going to be contributing to the local underground culture, I might as well start by speaking the language.


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