While riding the Brussels metro today, en route to the train back to Amsterdam, a very interesting yet simple thing happenned. I recognized it both because I was smack in the middle of it, and because it was the type of occurance that would never be allowed in the United States. A group of around 20 children, scouts, inavaded the subway car with their with their 20 something year old male group leaders. They only stayed on for one stop, but during that brief ride I observed the usual kid antics… singing, joking, taunting.. and a whole lot of handholding. So my point: Could this happen in the US… in any city with a subway? Probably not. Thanks to lawsuits and general paranoia, parents or schools would never allow a group trip to hop on the subway – EVER. Furthermore they wouldn’t allow a group of young males to chapperone a field trip. So, overall, I think its a dam shame, and I was glad to see that at least in Belgium, you can still see these things.
Speaking of seeing things, someone leaked parts of windows code onto the internet.. hahahaha
I say everyone go forth and use it, share it, imitate it. Computers are much too important for our societal needs for one company to control them the way microsoft does. We need to start dismantling the empire and finding a more egalitarian method of software developement. Oh wait.. that already exists.. its called lynux!
During my journey back to Amsterdam, I swear I also heard two people whistling.. once on the train and then again parking their bike in front of my place. They were both whistling the Rasmus! (In the Shadows) When I heard the second girl, I just couldn’t stay quiet about it, I yelled to her “Hey.. Rasmus right? – in the shadows? ” And she gave me a blank stare response. I got annoyed… both feeling like an ass and for not being validated for what Im convinced was a correct answer. BUT THEN – two minutes later, that same girl sees me through my groundfloor window and knocks, she yells… “Hey you’re right… I didnt realize… it is Rasmus!”
I win girl…. knock on my window anytime.
Today’s Music: Azure Ray – November EP
Im super thankful to all those who have checked in and read the blog, even more thankful to those who come back periodically. I promise to blog every other day and hopefully keep it interesting or just random. A reliable source in Baltimore pointed out some design flaws.. I fixed ‘ em… the design flaws I mean… so thanks to him. I put up those US photos and I intend to put up the rest of my travel photo archive on my site… this week.. in case anyones interested.
Tonight, Im coming to you live from Brussels… Stokkel to be precise.. and may I say… c’est bien d’etre a Bruxelles.. avec mes cousins. Because it is… R & R for the mind and the stomach… considering all the good food. Interesting this… here in Brussels MSNBC is part of the cable package… so yeah… Ive been watching.. despite the obvious reservations about that station. One thing is clear.. the US media… even the poorest quality such as television.. have started to wake up to their role and the realities of the Bush admin… they’re seriously digging into this Bush AWOL discussions.. and hey.. they even talk about the fake weapons claims. This after years of not saying dam thing and worshipping him like a god. It’s about time.
I was on the train over here.. seated next to some sort of amateur British business type sweating like a pig trying to impress a French girl in the seat next to him. Man, did he role out every joke he could.. it made me sick eventually.. I was ready to stand up and say ” LISTEN.. DONT GO OUT LIKE THIS MAN.. IF YOU FEEL SOMETHING.. JUST SAY IT.. SAVE US THE PAIN OF HAVING TO LISTEN TO YOU.” Alas, I never quite said that. My only comfort, besides watching the Dutch/Belgian scenery, was an Angolan family that were riding a few seats down. I love Angolan Portuguese.. and found myself smiling profusely at them and laughing along to their jokes. Im lucky they didnt call the cops on the insane train passenger laughing to Portuguese-Angolan jokes. Even cooler was to hear them switch from Portuguese to French… apparently theyve lived in Belgium for a long time.
Hey the Koreans cloned a human . Well, you know.. the egg/embryo or something to that effect. I say right on, Im glad its the Koreans, and that they don’t allow some flat-earth religious laws keep them from exploring the questions of the universe and life. Clone away! Just… maybe not me….. yet.
Today’s Music: Jet’s to Bazil – Perfecting Lonliness
Today Donald Rumsfeld (yes.. again he’s the subject of this communique) threatened Belgium, Brussels, the EU and NATO. Angered by a Belgian law that says ANYONE in the WORLD can bring a case before the Belgian courts for having their human rights violated by war crimes and things related, Rumsfeld – in his usual senile “I don’t have time to think before I speak” style, said something to the effect of “If Belgium keeps this law on the books and American officials are charged with war crimes, then the United States will push for a removal of NATO from Brussels”. Only in his statement it was much more blunt. A few things to point out here… first and foremost.. what’s NATO do again? Weren’t they a cold war invention to counter the Soviets? Isn’t the cold war over? Why does this organization exist? Terrorism? Is that a good enough excuse?
Nevermind that.. it exists, and seemingly, will exist for quite some time. So the next item – why does Rumsfeld speak for the United States? Did he consult congress? Did he consult the American pulic, before blurting out such offensive and arrogant words? And why, if NATO has so many other members, why does the United States get to unilaterally decide to just move NATO because they get upset? Could it be that once again the Bush administration shows it’s true colors – Arrogrant, Ignorant Bullies, who really don’t care how much they damage the reputation of the US for future generations, since they’ll be retired or dead anyway.
And the other factor. Why can’t American leaders be charged with crimes? Are they incapable of crimes? Are they gods? Gods whom won’t be held accountable… to anyone.. in their own nation or globally. People who’s human rights.. the right to live.. have been violated by a war the United States or any nation carried out, those people should have a place to present their case, where those accused can defend themselves, and where the truth can finally be made clear. But alas, Donald Rumsfeld and his associates prove time and time again, they have no regard for such silly concepts as diplomacy, human rights, democracy, or accountability.
So for those who didn’t know: There were elections in Kashmir this week. Not your typical: Go to the old grammar school, greet the old folks and vote type vote. No m’am. This was one of those get shot at, get bombed, barely make it to the polls alive elections. Something westerners would know very little about. (they tend not to go to the polls if it rains… imagine it raining bullets!!) Nevertheless 40% of registered voters did their thing… and on October 10th the count will be concluded… and one of the longest running/dangerous disputes in world history will open a new chapter. (or an old chapter with different illustrations and nicely bound)
For those who don’t know what or where Kashmir is… I refuse to explain. You’ve got the internet at your disposal… go to www.timesofindia.com, or www.bbc.co.uk and look for it.. you can’t miss it…
Belgium seems tempting this weekend. Chocolate, mussels and french fries will be eaten.
This just in: NEW DELHI: Dreaded mafia don Abu Salem has been arrested in Lisbon, Portugal, intelligence sources said here on Friday. The sources said Salem’s satellite phone was tracked down using GPS technology.
Dam those Lisbon secret police are good!
So why should one be into this fad of keeping a log? I haven’t the foggiest. It’s quite narcisistic (try spelling that) Regardless, it has begun.
In precisely 48 hours, bicyclemark will be in Belgium en route to Amsterdam, and Lisbon, Portugal will no longer be home, as it has been for the past 8 months. The bags are packed, the apartment is a mess (for the moment) and mentally he is ready to move into his new life in Amsterdam, The Netherlands. Perhaps the sweetest punch is that he will once again be a university student… grad student to be exact. A life that values thought and creativity (perhaps) unlike the real world that frowns about such things if they don’t lead to the amassing of wealth. The Chinese proverb, “may you live in interesting times” comes to mind, though these “times” would qualify more as sickening and depressing than interesting… but theres a thin line between those.