Thursday, 2 January 2003
How are you?
I'm writing this a day after the dawn of the new year. How was yours, by the way? Mine was okay, but I don't really think that the coming of a new year is a cause for celebration.
I hate to sound like a pessimist, but this will be another year in which humanity gets it wrong again. A year of war and madness, tragedy and sorrow.
This will be a year when people will be blown to bits in Iraq and Israel. A year when innocent children will die in poverty. A year when all of us reading this entry will get a little older and become a little more cynical. And a year when the crows feet around these blue eyes will run just a little deeper...
No, the coming of a new year should only be celebrated if people are prepared to change and are ready to try to make the world a better place. But people aren't, so now things can only get worse.
I've recently found myself thinking about the days that made up the last 12 months of my life. If I close my eyes, I can almost relive those days.
I remember the sounds and sights of a city called York. I remember the smiles and laughter of people who came to be very dear to me. People like Urko, Cesar, Kimberley and Chris.
Now I'm faced with the bitter realisation that those people are out of my life and all that remains are these crystal clear memories, which are kept ever close to my heart, and which often threaten to overwhelm me with their sweetness.
I have a wonderful memory of a bike ride Urko and I took together through the Yorkshire countryside in July of 2002. I know that I've written about this before, but it was such a perfect day. It was beautiful, sunny weather and we just got on our bikes and rode together across fields of corn and through little villages.
We found a remote farm along the way and stopped off to pick some strawberries. Later we joined Cesar - another wonderful man, from Mexico, whom I miss dearly - and we all had a meal together. It was very nice and one of my personal highlights of the year.
However, not all of last year's happy memories came from York. In April I visited Brussels to spend time with a girl called Patricia Leduc.
I met Patricia in York and we spent a very nice week together. We got on very well and I felt very comfortable with her. And I was quite attracted to her. In fact, I was thrown out of a youth hostel in York because I was caught in the shower with her. This little incident increased my male friends respect for me no end! Ha ha! Yeah, baby!
In April, Patricia left York and I missed her very much. I arranged to go and see her in Brussels but, sadly, our relationship totally fell apart within an hour of my arrival in Belgium's capital city.
Patricia didn't know that I had come just to see her - she just thought I was visiting Brussels anyway - and this made things uncomfortable between us. It all ended with her telling me that I was a 'victim' and she didn't like me or my appearance.
I was upset about that for a day or two. Then I got over it and spent some very nice days in Brussels. I didn't meet anybody, but I did travel around the city and I saw some nice places and it gave me a great deal of time to think. I thought like I had never thought before: About life, God, death, everything. It was very spiritual!
In the same month my aunt Annette died after a long battle with breast cancer. It was a difficult time for her family and my heart goes out to them and to my Mother, who still misses her sister.
In June my dear friend Maxim also passed away. Maxim was a little boy I knew who lived in Minsk in Belarus. He was terminally-ill; he suffered from a muscle-wasting disease called muscular dystrophy.
Maxim's death came as a great shock to me. In September of 2002 I returned to Belarus and spent both a pleasant and sad evening with Maxim's parents, Sasha and Lena, who are two of the strongest and most welcoming people I have met.
Maxim's memory will continue to live on amongst everyone who knew and loved him. He inspired me and I shall never forget him.
In September I left York and went travelling across Eastern Europe. I went to Hungary - which was great - and Romania - which was not - and then briefly to Poland and then to Belarus.
I sampled frogs legs for the first time in Romania and had some adventures with pornography (see a previous entry) but didn't really enjoy my time there. I got the impression that everybody I met just wanted something from me, and so I left with quite a negative view of the Romanian people.
Hungary was different, however. And that was partly due to a wonderful little hostel called the Museum Guest House. I remember having a wonderful massage there. And I went caving in the bowels of Budapest, which was simply stupendous!
And those were some of the main events of my life in 2002. I don't know what 2003 holds in store for me or for any of us on this planet. But one thing I do know is that, sadly, the future is not bright.
I don't mean to depress you (though I will) but the truth is that there is little hope left for humanity now. It's only a matter of time until terrorists acquire some sort of dirty nuclear bomb and when they do, all hell will be let loose.
I guess all we can do is try to make the most of the time we have left. It's still a beautiful world, despite the actions of America, Israel and my own country, and things have not come to a head just yet.
So enjoy your life, travel, widen your horizons and cherish each and every day.
Wrap up warm and be careful when you take the Christmas decorations down.
- Professional Englishman
- London, ENGLAND, United Kingdom
- This is me. Read a few entries and they will tell you more about me than I can fit into these few paragraphs. Many of these entries started their lives as mass emails. That was before I discovered blogs. Thanks for stopping by and thanks for visiting my blog and reading about my life. Both a work in progress.
My Life Laid Bare
- ▼ 2003 (7)