Let the transformation into little old Asian lady start. I officially love tai chi and can't wait for the day when I live in a country where I can do it in parks again instead of hidden away in bizarre little warehouses next to the local maximum security prison. It has a very good effect on me when I'm overwrought, as at the moment, when I'm going through my every-six-weeks work report calvary, and when the driving exam is coming up. I'm adjusting my attitude to the exam, slowly, and taking an hour out last night to breathe and move funny really helped somehow. I'll try not to fail, and if I fail I'll try again. It's a bastard I'm spending so much money on the process, and an even bigger bastard that I'd have to spend more if I fail but hey - fuck it. The only really good thing about a job like mine is that I can afford massive inconveniences like that.
Anyways, as we were walking home afterwards, which is always a pleasure on Wednesdays because that's when people dump furniture/scrap wood and we're shameless curb scroungers, one of my neighbours approached us as we raccooned around in a scrapheap near our building. After a brief chat we found out she was on her way home from a meeting to set up a buying collective for locally grown organic food, which is the sort of thing I've been trying to get us into for a couple of months now - the F-word wants organic (hypochondriac), I want local (gourmande), and our farmers at the market are great but they only do dairy, eggs, cheese and honey. She nicely pointed out the apartment where the meeting was still in session, which I crashed without hesitation - I'm on too many waiting lists elsewhere to pass up an opportunity to possibly get in on the ground floor on one of these things.
We'll see where it goes, because this is Belgium and I have doubts about these people's ability to organize a piss-up in a brewery, to use one of the F-word's favorite expressions, and the way the meeting sort of drifted in and out of coherence was less than reassuring. What was more reassuring is that the hosts had provided alcoholic beverages for all. The people there also seemed familiar, somehow. Somehow, whatever, obviouslyhow, most of the men looked like the hairy, smiley, I-brush-my-teeth-with-a-twig middle class dropouts who I gave up on sexually when I realized they'd never go down on me while I was on the rag no matter what they said about the corruption of the Patriarchy, and most of the women looked like my hipster ex-roommates - sharp bangs and subtle china-doll makeup for the straight hairs, messy upsweep and dramatic eyeliner for the curly hairs, and all in flared pants that made their asses look nice. After a couple of years of time spent mostly with other ex-pats here, who are a very motley bunch, there was something strange about walking into a room of 14 Belgians and feeling like I was walking into somebody's living room back home. But it really wasn't unpleasant.