Sunday, July 17

Tapping Out

I finally came to a decision about what to do for the next few months. Although I'm somewhat comfortable here [having a place of my own and a steady job are nice changes], I realize that I could never be happy in Paris. It's just too big. I've never really felt welcome here. I've given my notice to my boss and landlord, and should be out of here at the end of the month. Perhaps a bit sooner. It's sad, because my boss turned out to be very nice. Finally. I've had 5 jobs in a row where the bosses were horrible. But she said that she couldn't hire me full time until the fall, and since I can only work here until the end of the year [at which point my visa expires], it doesn't seem worthwhile to stick around.

In hindsight, I think that I made the right decision in coming here. My other options were Ireland, Britain, and Holland. In the end, I feel that I've learned quite a bit these last couple of months, and not just in terms of the french language. I always suspected that I might want to live in France, and would have regretted not finding out for sure. Now I can leave without any doubt in my mind. France is a great place to visit, but it's not the sort of place where I want to spend any more time. It's just not for me.

I'm going to go wandering around again starting next month, but I'm not really sure exactly where or for how long. I've always wanted to see Norway, so I'll head north for the first while.

In terms of my own little world, the last few weeks have been quite uneventful. On a larger scale, it's been anything but. Everyone's heard of the terrorist attacks that happened earlier this month in London. What some people don't realize are the consequences.

[Most of what follows I've read in either news magazines. I found a really great one, that translates articles from all over the world into french. It's called Courrier Internationel. Also, I saw a movie a few months ago that seems very pertinant now. It was called either Yasmin or Yasmine, I forget which. But it's worth checking out]

To start with, these were the first suicide attacks on European soil. Ever. So the insanity that plagues the Middle East has finally spilled over to here. Now they have police armed with semi-automatic weapons patrolling the streets. Probably not any worse then after the World Trade Center was destroyed, though.

Secondly, and much more importantly, the suicide bombers were all home grown. This means that on top of being British citizens, they were second generation immigrants, born and raised in Leeds. Things may never be the same for the Arab communities in any European country again. These suicide bombers were believed to be well adjusted, had white friends, and seemed to be happy and normal teenagers or twenty-somethings. Then they took trips to Pakistan earlier this year, and decided to blow themselves up and take more than fifty innocent people with them. Not to mention the hundreds that were horribly injured. And of course, they've completely ruined the lives of their parents and siblings, who might as well go back to the Middle East. They'll never be able to keep their businesses afloat now. As well, brown people in Europe, no matter how integrated into the European culture they might be, will all be treated worse from now on. So the idiots have fucked everyone over.

The thing that I find the most frightening is that this is almost definitely going to repeat itself. The second generation of immigrants, mostly my age or a few years younger, tend to be a mix of Muslim and occidental culture, and can be quite confused. By wanting to rediscover their culture, they reach out to Islam. At the same time, they're sometimes angry. They want equality in British society, and some don't feel they get it. Whereas their parents still see living in Europe as a privilege, and as such are less reactionary to prejudices, their children aren't so passive.

Others see their lives as failures, and think that by serving Allah, they can redeem themselves. Their insecurities and weaknesses of character are exploited. In the end, the four from last week were stupid enough not to think of their families, gullible enough to believe all of the bullshit about going to heaven for blowing the fuck out of yourself and innocent people, and evil enough to carry it out. The Arabs will feel more isolated, and the younger generation will be even easier prey for the evil pieces of shit that preach about being martyrs. And on and on.

I think it might be time to move onto a lighter note. I finally finished a drawing that I've been working on for way longer than I want to think about. It's of the lead singer of Green Day, and you can check it out at

The main reason that I started it was because of the way that he was standing. Getting the perspective right looked like a challenge. Then I decided to do the background, a series of stripes. They took forever, and in the end the shading still didn't look good. And I'm also not happy with the scan, but I'll put up a better one later.

Now more sad news. I suffered my first heart break in a long time. I'm sure that everyone heard of the Live 8 concerts that happened earlier this month. Well, the London show featured something more than huge. Pink Floyd, who haven't spoken in more than 20 years, agreed to reunite for this one show. And somehow I didn't hear about it. I'm a glorified stone's throw from London, I could have been there in about two hours, and I didn't know about it. Making me feel even worse, I saw a video of their performance, and they were really in form. Of course, maybe now there's a chance that they'll get back together and do another album. They seemed to be getting along quite well on stage. One can only hope.

I'm going to close by saying that if anyone wants to comment, feel free. There's no need to sign in. Just click on the option below the blog. It's nice being able to vent, but at the same time, this blog starts to feel like a monologue sometimes. Which I suppose it is, really. Still, I'm sure that people have opinions on what I wrote here, and if you agree or not, I'd be happy to hear why.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I`m in some small city (more like village/suburb) called La Pocatière in Quebec. Around 4-5 hour drive away from Montreal. It`s on the south side of the St Lawrence river. It`s south west of Rivière du Loup beside the highway 20. Been doing this french immersion explore program...I don`t feel I`ve learned a lot but it`s been very, very fun. I`ll also be going to China for around a year starting in September.

Will be back in Montreal in August for less than a month...pretty crazy actually. I must be delaying my transition into the workforce.


2:31 p.m.  
Blogger ian said...

good to hear that you're having a good time :)

as you can tell, i'm pretty hooked on the travelling thing as well. where do you think you'll go after august?

10:39 a.m.  

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