About friendship, and about distance

It’s been a while since we moved abroad; or at least since we’ve been abroad on a stable basis. It won’t come as a surprise for anyone who has spent time in a different country to read that life changes radically once you take that step. No, I’m not talking about different languages, habits, culture, climate etc. that naturally come with moving. Rather, looking back over these past years it seems obvious how our lives with friends have acquired a more peculiar character. Continue reading “About friendship, and about distance”

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Roots

(to Carlo, Mancho, Kim and Miky – my roots and my perimeter)

Sure, stuff changes, and it changes a lot.. But there are things that apparently don’t. Call those roots.. Call them the keystones in the architecture you’ve been building since the day you were born. Call them “no fun dull stuff” as well, if you like. But they are there whether you like it or not. It’s sometimes annoying to think that in reality there’s not much that is truly original or unique in yourself. You are, like it or not, very much like your mother and father, and grandmothers and grandfathers. A lot like your brothers and sisters, and sometimes like your cousins and aunts and uncles too. There is a tiny bit of that friend of yours back in primary school, and of that twat bullying you around and calling you names in junior high. There’s a bit of all those people you called family as a kid when visiting on the other side of the planet. Continue reading “Roots”

Bridges

It’s hard to realise how “local” (in its strongest of meanings) we are when we stand still. Roots are strong: they tie us firmly to the centre of things and keep us from harm. All we need is around us, providing safety, but also blocking our view of what’s beyond. It’s hard to build up the will to move when you don’t feel the need of going anywhere, and you have no idea what lies just beyond reach, out of sight.

Continue reading “Bridges”

“Caballero, una moneda para ser un Hombre?”

Valencia, Spain, 3 October 2016.
An evening out having a low-quality beer in a place close to my hotel. On one side the beach, windy and rather empty on a regular Monday evening. On the other, a short alley and at the end of it an empty esplanade with trees and benches and whatever else is necessary to make the place the buzzing place-to-be in the high season. You can almost picture families from anywhere in northern Europe, kids with ice-cream all over their brand new clothes, teenage sons and daughters hanging out comfortably out of sight for fleeting romance or a rebellious smoke. But there’s really none of that. The few bars and restaurants, some claiming to be clubs even, collect only a few customers, all in their late 30s. If you come here on a Monday evening from downtown Valencia, you do it to stretch the summer a bit, to keep the memory of summertime partying close by. And you do it by car. You don’t walk here. A few mid-range vehicles in the esplanade, nothing fancy or reminiscent of the crowd (probably) populating the area in August. Continue reading ““Caballero, una moneda para ser un Hombre?””

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