lunedì, luglio 12, 2010

The invisible line between incompetence and fraud

In a reasonably foul mood this morning. Have been subject to a bout of incompetence or petty fraud (always hard to tell the difference in Belgium) from a local ASBL, the Partenariat Marconi, over our organic drop-offs. There is something unutterably repellent about grown-ups lying like naughty children who've been caught in the act, and something infuriating about them then using the fact that they're non-profit as some sort of excuse. Anyways, I've been having a hard time walking it off, probably because it was combined, yesterday, with a few other pieces of egregious Belgiousity, notably from my old bugabear Belgacom, the very first full day I'm back from vacation . . .

Goddamn it, am I ever sick of this place. My consolation up until now has been "at least you're not still in Paris," but ever since I lost my horror of Bluebird, and left the starving student class behind to take my place in the financially comfortable bourgeoisie (the class for which Paris was quite literally made), and started going back on visits and appreciating afresh its startling beauty, and realized that they have fruit and vegetables there that aren't grown in a hot-house and thus actually taste like what they're meant to be, and that constant low-level Parisian hostility is in many ways preferable to constant elevated levels of Walloon childish incompetence, no matter how many smiles the bollocks is couched in here versus there - well, that trick has lost its charm. I have reached the end of my tether. Have I said that before? Well, this time, I mean it more.

Luckily, the Mounties have shocked my pants off by, about a week after writing to tell me they hadn't yet received the criminal background check application I'd sent them in April so it was likely to take another four months, sending me my criminal background check. That means all the requisite papers for the Australian visa are together, and hopefully it will not be long before it clears. Thank god. We already have a pretty defined shelf-life in terms of Brussels - we already knew when we were going to leave. But now it is sorted for us to dash straight into the arms of another summer, not long after this one finishes. European Winter, you can shove yourself up your own ass.

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