Monday, October 23, 2006

There's a beautiful park over in Brussels ... Tervuren Park.

It's a massive space where anything is possible ... families with babies in strollers, large groups of Scouts covered in flour, massive planes bound for places unknown - still in an almost vertical climb from their take-off nearby and then there's the people riding beautiful horses.

It's an open-air space, city-style and yesterday Tervuren was full of people making the most of a warm autumn day.

We met under the statue of elephant, near the Congo Museum at 3pm - a family of four expat-Americans, Gert and I.

The weather had held; a thunderstorm during the night and heavy rain later, as we drove home from Brussels at 9pm. Writing this at 10am on a Monday, all seems serene weatherwise for the moment.

It seems I'm hanging out with the Americans these days ... Shannon is popping over from Brussels sometime this morning and I've had various American guests come stay this year ... it's lovely, and do you know, they make some really good food.

Pam cooked her Fish Wednesday while she was visiting, Mary and Al wined and dined us as we travelled with them, Cindy threw a Tex-Mex farewell party over in Brussels, Erin introduced me to the delights of Spanish tapas food, and last night we were served up stunningly tasty burgers with salad and the best homemade baked beans I've had in my life.

It was a lovely day out.

Immigration has been on my mind this morning.
I've been a little embarassed about my process ...
Mentioning it here made me feel like a baby and yet I was compelled to mention it because it was changing my life in ways that were completely out of my control; changing it in ways that were often difficult to stand.

But it seems that the more I talk of my experience, the more I hear of similar experiences... and there's this attached embarassment because we're living in Europe, our lives are exciting and different at times but for me there's also this anger that sits just below the surface.

It's almost as if those who work in immigration ... those who make the rules about immigration - want to make it as painful and as difficult as can be imagined which stuns me when you realise that many of these countries were colonisers who stole land, moved settlers on and took the best for themselves ... then again, perhaps that's what they protect themselves from now.

On the bright side, and there is one, I wouldn't have had this time to explore what was possible under normal conditions ... and I understand that but I want to start breathing properly one day soon.

I was talking to my sister this moring and she said, 'Take up yoga or tai-chi'.
I said, 'Sure, in Dutch?'
She said, 'Watch what the other people are doing.'
I told her I would, as long as she came over and attended with me.
She laughed ... my sister has an evil streak that reveals itself in her laughter. She has already told me she would never take me to yoga again ... apparently I fell asleep last time we tried back in New Zealand, there on my mat on the floor next to her and my sister would have me and everyone else believe that I even snored quietly.
She still laughs when she talks of it.

But the thing most likely to convulse her in gales of hysteria would be me phoning up to tell her I'm pregnant. It's her dream I think ... she's that kind of little sister, a really naughty one who is entirely lovable when I'm not driving her crazy with the weird and unusual things that seem to dog my occasionally shambolic life.

Gert's was fussing over my birthday gift ...
I finally asked him if he would just give me his time and build me my photography website.

He wasn't sure it was a gift.
I'm sure ... it's going to take hours and hours, I've since told him he should resign himself to being my man-slave this year as I set up the business.

It seems my sister and I share a similar humour ;)


awomynda said...

I was also in Tervuren park yesterday evening! Taking baby photos. Beautiful light and autumn leaves.

woman wandering said...

The light was stunning, wasn't it ... from about 5pm on.

Unfortunately we were leaving about the time it improved, exhausted having sometimes battled with sunlight.

I just need to learn the 'times' here ... I knew them back in Dunedin.

Two kiwis out in the park :) Sorry I missed you.

Manic said...

Boy, that was a wee bit longer then regular. So, yea immigration sucks, but hey, Europe is an adorable place (or so they say). Di, pregnant? Omg! Congrats, ohh wait, you aren't, I'm confused.
Picture site, wiihiiii! Man-slave, okay, now I'm scared. I think I'm gonna go now.

woman wandering said...

Are you telling me that 'I do go on sometimes' Meneer Manic?

Di is not pregnant ... it's my little sister's idea of revenge. She asked today.

Lol 'man-slave' yes, but he knows I'm just teasing :) He can throw me out of the country if I'm too troublesome.

Mark J said...

I too talked your your beloved sister just yesterday - she was in most excellent form - and more her self than ever. Of course she was mildly tipsy (read: mostly drunk). She is indeed an evil trollop and I look forward to her having a wine with me in November - It is however unlikely to happen as there is an unwriiten rule that we cant be drunk at the same time. I must find the rule-maker and shoot him/her forthwith! Should you feel a disturbance in the force rest assured I have suceeded :)

woman wandering said...

Lol ... we would all miss her too much, you mustn't shoot her, you must bear her superb and skillful mocking with strength and fortitude.

Failing that, then I think you should probably consider drinking with her. You have my 'elder sister permission'.

She is brilliant when mildly tipsy ... probably the funniest woman in the world, as long as she doesn't turn her razorsharp wit on you.

wandering-woman said...

Uh oh. I didn't cook. C´mon over, I make a mean tortilla de patatas.

Roared laughing at this post, just FYI..

woman wandering said...

Okay, I'll come over and you cook for me although having read your posts about Salamanca, I think I'll just 'be' ... you'll find me sitting around the place, lotus position, smiling and at peace.

Cindy Lane said...

Although immigration in Belgium can be a little frustrating, it still beats scaling a wall!

I would love to meet your sister one day - ideally with Mark J. and a couple of bottles of wine!!

Happy Birthday from sunny San Diego,

woman wandering said...

'Scaling a wall' ... mmmm, it sure beats trying to outrun a Grizzly Bear, although that's over sooner.

I'm sure my sister and Mark would love to meet you, so when you organise New Zealand, I'll let them know and they can provide the wine :)

As for you ' from sunny San Diego' ... the cloud is almost touching tree tops this morning, and fine mist of rain has turned the whole world grey but thanks for you birthday wishes.