Friday, November 09, 2007

The extremes of my immigrant life ...

Tuesday night found me seething my way through an evening class called social orientation ... the course that all immigrants to Belgium must attend or risk a huge fine.

I've been posting gems from the textbook since ...

Tonight I attended a reception here in the city, an occurrence that has become somewhat commonplace, in the way I've taken photographs of politicians for election billboards and pamphlets and attended various political events, photographing and/or interviewing Belgians from most levels of society and wandering all over Belgium, if I check off the places I've visited here in Belgium ... introducing my Belgian to people, places and events new to him.

Tonight, as we were leaving the party for 10 jaar gemeentelijk havenbedrijf Antwerpen carrying a copy of the fabulous brand new 'Port of Antwerp' photo book gifted to all employees, I asked Gert if I hadn't jumped ahead of my social orientation experience by continuing to attend this kind of reception.

He raised an eyebrow, as he does sometimes ...
I have perfected my innocent 'Wablief?', or 'what?'.

And that's how it is, one moment I'm being taught about life in this new country and the fact that I can 'send letters, registered items and parcels' as well as buying several things there like 'stamps, post cards, airmail paper, postograms, (birthday cards, congratulation cards, mourning cards) and etc ... at the Post Office and then in the next moment I'm talking to politicians about photography, drinking wine while the Belgian group Voice Male perform live in the background.

Off to Passchendaele in the morning, the Canadians asked me to go take some photographs of their 90th commemorations and I thought that sounded like a delightful idea.

Tot ziens from the socially orientating kiwi.


Peter said...

This must be almost an out-of-body experience: mingling with the powers that be, while being forced to attend a ludicrous "integration" course, with information on buying stamps...

Anyway, enjoy your work in Passchendaele!

Manictastic said...

Wow, I didn't know you had special airmail paper. I could use such a class :d

Now your working for the Canadians. What's next? The United Nations?

Do you think she has forgotten us already, V ?

Peter said...

VTM-TV just showed Passchendaele during the 7 PM news.

I'm not sure, but was that really you, wandering around carrying a camera bag?

I tried freezing/zooming in on the image, but I'm still not sure ;-)

Di Mackey said...

Bedankt Peter :)

Ah ha! You should come do these classes with me Manic - at least things would be fun.

Oddly enough, someone mentioned the possibility of 4 days on an aircraft carrier. I'm sure it won't happen but wouldn't it be cool! Forgetting you? As if ...!

Probably Peter, there were camera crews everywhere. I was dressed warmly, blue coat, jeans, multi-coloured scarf and yes, my camera bag.

Hmmm, maybe the one with the crazy long hair ...

Di Mackey said...

Umm yes, that was me Peter.

We just took a look at the VTM online piece. I was in the background a lot. In fact, not realising I was in shot, I actually took a photograph of the interview - clearly seen once you know it's me.

Sigh, I had on a thermal top under a big jacket, it was freezing out there today.

You have eagle eyes, did you know it ;)

Peter said...

I'm glad I managed to spot you Di ;-)

I knew you were working at Passchendaele, making it somewhat easier to recognize you from a distance.

Actually, your long hair triggered my attention.