Saturday, February 25, 2006

A Little of Me

I'm aching this morning. The pace is stepping up at running class and it seems that I am not quite ready to be the athlete I wanted to be by now ... in fact, it seems these things might take time and may involve some pain.

Last night was simple ... enough layers for the zero celsius cold, with accompanying biting wind, and the right mindset. The 2 and 3 minute runs hurt ... I never enjoy the warmup runs. 5 minutes and 6 minutes went well ... 7 minutes was an eternity. Sigh ... I would like to be fluent in running-ese now.

I run with a nice group though ... and we're bonding a little, talking of our interests and getting to know each other, probably due to the mild trauma of it all. One woman gave me a list of her Italian dvds last night, marking those that have English subtitles (as opposed to Nederlands) and another had brought me a catalogue from the cultural center she works in ... offering 2 free tickets to any movie that interested me. They are kind.

Life here has been different to any life I've known before. The Belgians don't seem to offer their friendship as quickly as has been the case in other places I've lived ... so it has been a little bit lonely at times ... not helped by receiving Extreme Right newsletters in the mail and realising that 'Stop Immigratie!' is directed at people like me ... that I'm one of those who are sometimes so negatively viewed in the world in these times. In Istanbul, I was sure of my reasons for being there ... a teacher of English is useful in a country with EU membership interests ... here in Europe, it's less certain.

One of the most amusing things about my 'immigrant in process' situation is that, back in New Zealand when we fill out official forms ... we have the option of 'European' when describing our ethnicity ... what delusions of grandeur I had when ticking that box. I have laugh at my outrage over 23 weeks in process for this long-term stay visa ... I'm just Kiwi, nothing more, nothing less, and much to my surprise it counts for absolutely nothing when entering Europe. Someone should update the official form writers back in the land of the long white cloud ...

Tot ziens from Di.


ramblingmuse said...

Running is never fun, and it certainly helps that you've got a group to help keep you motivated!

Those are awfully cold conditions to run in! I really have to admire that you run weather like that.

That "immigrant status" thing is never really a "welcoming" situation to be in, regardless of which nation you are in. Hang in there.

woman wandering said...

The only good thing about running in the cold is that I've noticed that anything above 4 oC is very warm.

Thanks for your kind wishes with regard to the immigrant thing ... :)