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Tuesday, August 14, 2007

delayed and restrained

A rainy day in London town. But I made it to the exchange apartment in north west London, which is nice enough with art hanging at all walls and a cosy . Sat waiting for a long time at Schiphol airport, looking at people. Makes one wonder about western cultural values. Next to me sat the average disconnected teenager, eating cookies. His father sat down on the other side, and tried to connect for a few seconds, but he was disturbed by his wife, walking straight at him out of one of the shops , restraining her voice while spitting out: "ben je soms niet geïnteresseerd..., SCHAT" (is it that you're just not interested..., HONEY), where the dutch 'schat' was pronounced in a manner that must have cut through him like sharp scissors through paper. The poor man jumped up like a puppet and dutifully followed her on the next shopping spree, his son not even looking up. Most of the other kids walking past with their parents were sulky and mostly fat, so it must be true that weight problems are growing around the world. Me, I think the disinterest is the biggest problem, I only saw one small kid looking around her in amazement, taking it all in with big, wondering eyes, the rest just took everything for granted, stuffing themselves with food or things.
And then there was one muslim walking by, beard and dress and all. For a split second I could see the attraction in it: of all people I saw during that hour of waiting, he was the one walking proud, straight and purposeful. Without the half-interested wandering eye, looking for another thrill or just a distraction from boredom, that all the others carried. And I'm not exaggerating that much, I fear. If we can't restrain ourselves, let's at least enjoy it.. Pride is a winter thing, people.
Life's good. Will enjoy London.

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