It’s 3am, and I’ve just walked in from the final night with the fish tank alumni, who are loving their nostalgic activities. I’ve mentioned this the last few days, but how can I NOT mention all the time I’ve spent speaking with amazing people working all over the world and sharing this common bond with me. I’ll give you some examples:
A hilarious Frenchman who works in Iraq has explained to me how the entire country is basically like a gold-rush these days. Giving out credit, starting businesses, EVERYTHING is for sale. Sounds like thunderdome to me. He tells me that despite the sound of morter shells exploding, it’s not that bad, people are actually living their lives quite normally.
A dynamic Turkish woman and I discussed Turkish families and society refuse to talk about homosexuality, despite that fact that one of their most popular musical icons is a hermaphrodite.
A kind-hearted Maltese man and I have discussed Malta and the way they treat refugees who shipwreck there en route to Italy (which is just north). I also learned that it’s one of the most densely populated countries in Europe, and the first place to adopt the concept of one bed per patient in hospitals.
Ahh… these are but three out of oooh so many. I’ve lost my voice after all the talking and shouting (joyfully). I do believe I’ve seen first-hand the formula for world peace.
Have you been to many reunions in this life? Myself, I haven’t. Not high school, not college, none really. Until this one, the fishtank reunion, which I happen to be organizing. And let me tell you, having a reunion of international folk right here in Amsterdam is F U N. When I’m not freaking out about everyone enjoying themselves, that is.
It’s incredible. They come from such different places. I received a gift from one who arrived from Shanghai. I sat at a dinner table with a few who arrived from Iraq, Israel, LA and of course — PORTUGAL. I even received a cancelation email that read something like:
Dear BM, Im really disappointed to tell you, but things here in the west bank have taken a turn for the worse, and I won’t be able to attend the reunion. I have to be present at the negotiations between general so and so and general so and so. I was really looking forward to coming to the dam and seeing everyone, please give them my regards. — signed, important guy.
Yeah, I was sad to hear it, but then I thought — wow, we’ve got people all over the world doing important stuff. Feels cool to be related in any way to them.
Later this evening I found myself watching old friends wander into the bar and people rush over to hug them. I’ll be dammed if I didn’t almost see tears as well. Then I sat with the wonderful BlondeButBright for a few hours. Anyway, time to get a few hours sleep before the next events.
The zero hour. Party over, out of time. Tomorrow begins… oh wait.. today, whenever I wake up, begins the fishtank reunion I’ve been planning for about a year. Hot dam, a whole years worth of planning.. for that amount of time I should have Giraffes walking around in bowties, at the very least.
My phone has been ringing off the hook, as the old amsterdam schoolmates return to the fair city. Which means I’m left with little time to say or read profound things, but I can definitely point you in the right direction:
My brother BigDaddyJ is back, and telling the internets about my nephew, king A-Ren.
The Accordian Guy was on CTV… the caption under his head read “internet user” — brilliant.
xTx is, as you read this, about to receive a amsterdammed gift in her post/mailbox. wait, does that sound dirty?
There are much more important things to talk about in the world. There are much more important things for a government to spend its resources. But all these stories about the Olympic Bids of London, Paris, NYC, Moscow, Madrid and pretty much any city in the world that can put up a banner and wave some flags, are really getting to me.
If you haven’t been following the story, my compliments to you — you’re much better off. Yet, this does warrant discussion cause in all cases, government money will be spent on building those yummy temporary Olympic Villages, and plenty of new stadiums that nobody needs in the longterm. Remember the Mellenium Dome? I don’t. But the one reoccuring theme I see is that Olympic bids are portrayed as good news for everyone. Oh happy day, your city might get the olympics. Pull that wool over your eyes.
So NYC has lost their bid, because the state refused to give 300 million for the 2.2 billion dollar stadium project. Those stingy bastards… can you imagine? What could the city possibly need to spend money on, more important then lighting a flame and running around in tights? (no offence if you’re into that, but you know.. I worry more about the homeless)
So now its between Paris and London basically. With Madrid I guess as a darkhorse. They give a biggass NO to Moscow because they claimed the city was in horrible shape. I’d rather hear a study of what happens to cities after the Olympics leave. What happens after the big economic boom? burst? fizzle? oh yeah. You can only sell Olympic Tshirts for so long before nobody cares. This is what I can’t stand about the Olympic Fever that drives these city governments; shortsightedness… a lack of longterm planning or concern for better ways to spend public money.