Lorenzo & his humble friends

The fool doth think he is wise, but the wise man knows himself to be a fool

Tag: canadians

So may the sunrise bring hope where it once was forgotten

Feeling wanderlust?  How about some music for coming home? Maybe you have tea ready and a book open? Maybe you just have a heart open.

I tuned in on CFUV 101.9 FM on this lugubrious Sunday afternoon to listen to songs that had me thinking less and feeling more. Host Thomas is spinning the tracks to make us appreciate the moment, whatever it is.

How much more French you can get

Onto life: Tell me about Florence. I won’t lie to you, I have never heard a bad thing about it, and from what I hear I imagine it is the equivalent of being the Victoria of Italy except much more history. Have you named your Vespa? What is a day in the life of a PhD student like? I also love the amount of travelling it seems you are doing, it really is a thing of beauty. I’ve been much more on the other end, making Victoria a nest of sorts. Moving the ScaryWhore (my boat) right across from the Empress downtown in a week. That’ll make stumbling home easier, haha, but actually it’s 200 dollars cheaper a month, and since I am trying to save money, that is too good to pass.


Lately i’ve been feeling the mojo come back! Talking to random people like I used to, starting to get the ball rolling. I was in a small slump there, and I honestly think it was because I wasn’t being as actively dynamic as I like to be. My mind works best when it is like a sail haha, open and free to go where it feels. Its important to not try to make every one happy, that was one realization this summer. August 10th in my journal. That’s for another day though.

I must get going soon though. But honestly my good friend, I think of you and Florence often. I also think of my future often… quite often. I want to travel in 5 months (or New Years if at all possible), but I am torn between
-Nepal to teach English/hike/go on a spiritual journey of sorts.
-Chile for teaching English/go to World cup/become Neruda.
-Italy for whatevery job I (or you?) can get/be in Europe/become Hemingway.

Italy would be a shorter trip maybe, as i’d want to come back to Canada to firefight and make a lot of quick cash, muscle, and nature for the next adventure. So thats where you come in! […] Brother! I must go, I don’t have internet on my boat so I sneak away to send messages and look at porn in fancy cafes… (haha just kidding about the porn) I hope you (as James Brown would say) FEEEEEL GOOOOOOD!

Your nestow, Thomas


Utrecht Central Station has become a war zone. It is like the survival of the fittest; the massive construction work all over the place has made people into beasts, including myself, shamelessy placing any bikes not locked onto things sticking into the ground in other, shitty spots, or more like throwing them away wherever, so your own bike can be placed in their nice spot. The world is quite fascinating once you work fulltime. The whole routine of stations and trains is a world on its own. I noticed that train people working in The Hague are quite different than train people to Amsterdam, where I had my internship the first half of this year. People working in Amsterdam are hip, cool, young, relaxed, they look healthy, wear bright colours and talk loudly. People working in The Hague look faded, exhausted, old, and grey. I think it’s because they work for the government. I already earned my reputation here. I am wearing my colored panties as much as I can, my red skirts and printed dresses, and I put on my blue mascara, so my colleagues already love me (next to being shocked). I am trying to conquer the greyness in this way.

Next time I will write you about my new theory that people do not stem from apes, they are in fact secretly related to ducks.


Follow your heart

I’m thinking about your recent blogposts. I am actually glad that you mentioned your friend who stayed in Trento – following your heart does not always mean going abroad. Also, sometimes there is not an opportunity. I am sometimes getting pissed off with people who want things to happen immediately and who cannot wait, or cannot do things that seem less obvious or are not directly what you want to do in order to actually achieve the things you do want to do – including myself. Personally, right now I’m very happy with a well paid interesting job in the NL, and the fact that I have money is however lame very important because sometimes a person just really needs money to survive, and doing it with something which is challenging and in your field of knowledge and interest is just superawesome. Next to this, setting high goals is not always desirable. I have big respect for people who are happy with achieving clear, solid, small goals. The daily, little things are sometimes just way more important. But I was thinking about the things we share, and some of the others you mention in your blogpost, what I believe is the difference between us and other people – without judgment: we have a vision of where we want to go, what we want to achieve, who we are and what we are capable of, in some way or another. We are constantly rethinking the paths we are taking and how this contributes to our overarching goals, vision or values in life. We keep getting inspired & want to be challenged, and are very open to change. This is a division in society in my eyes, since some people tend to be like butterflies, not conscious about their decisions or afraid to open their eyes to what they really desire, and as a result they stick to the same routine they know and they die without living life to the fullest, but they will probably never regret it since they do not know any better.


Creative suggestions: July

I thought I’d ask some creative friends some suggestions on what movies to watch. Here‘s what came out last time. In this post you’ll find six brand new ideas.

This is a movie that has only brought me incredible memories and a lot of laughs. It is funny and I am pretty sure every dane of my age knows this movie and can quote quite a few sentences from it. It is about love, finding the one and only, how to be cheated on and disappointed and not to forget about jealousy. Its about daily life and all obstacles surrounding this. It evolves subjects as adoption, heritage and prejudices mostly about blond girls – which are hilarious. It compares relationships to cars not to forget kitchens and it makes sense. I tend to watch it quit a few times annually with friends just because it makes my mood go right up in the air. Also everyone can recognize oneself or a situation in the movie at one point and thats a promise even though it can be frightening. Watch: Den Eneste Ene. (P.W.S)

Dovremmo imparare a diffidare delle persone, a proteggerci dagli altri? E proteggendoci ci evitiamo di provare dolore, sofferenza o semplicemente ci precludiamo possibilità, stati d’animo, emozioni? Film consigliato: La migliore offerta. (L.Z.)

This is an Irish movie about two best friends who fight together against Britain during the Irish fight for independence. The friends struggle continues as they continue fighting on opposing sides in the Irish civil war a year later. The movie is well worth watching perhaps a brief read on Irish history before you watch the film is advised as similar events like this did happen in Ireland back in the 1920’s. Watch: The Wind that Shakes the Barely. (J. E.)

Questa è una satira sull’assurdità delle letture integraliste dei cosiddetti testi sacri e sulla corruzione insita nelle religioni istituzionalizzate (soprattutto della religione cattolica), descritte in maniera brillante come agenzie di marketing più interessate a vendere un prodotto che ad accompagnare l’individuo in un percorso verso la “verità”. Tuttavia non è un film anti-religioso. Anche persone con una sensibilità religiosa possono trovarlo divertente. Da esso emerge infatti l’aspirazione ad una religiosità più sostanziale e meno rituale. Personalmente non ho apprezzato questo livello del messaggio perché non lo condivido. Film consigliato – forse: Dogma. (F.P.)

I’ve got some friends here in Canada who became allergic to certain types of food and I’m pretty sure it’s because of how badly food is treated mostly in North America. Also, people rely too much on pills to get their daily vitamin requirements instead of just eating a more balanced diet. So if food can damage your body, it can also make you feel better if you know what and how to eat and in some cases, cure cancer too. I find that documentary incredibly interesting because food is the main component of a great health. Watch: Food matters. (L.P.)

I’d been thinking for long to change the rules [of this post] a little as I’m not what you would call an avid movie freak. Series are more my thing. More space for a complex development of character and story. I like that. The series I would have recommended was ‘House of Cards’. An American remake of a British series with Kevin Spacey as a mischievous senator who’s willing to do anything in order to become president. His character represents everything that’s wrong with politics but by breaking the fourth wall in a strange kind of way – and against your own will – you empathise with him. You could in some way say it’s ‘Borgen’ – an acclaimed Danish political series – but with a thick layer of American sauce. More drama, more thrill, less realistic but oh so yummy. BUT! Then I thought of one of the few movies that really left an impression on me and it turns out to be a Danish movie. Yes, Danish again, the Danes are good to us if it comes to film and series (another tip: Jagten). At first the story is presented as a fight between good and evil. A neo-nazi, Adam, is sentenced to community service at a rural church. The local priest: good, neo-nazi: evil. Adam jokingly accepts he will fulfil his service by baking an apple pie. But as the film progresses other layers of the story start appearing. The – in this movie exaggerated – unconditional belief and devotion required for religion is what has always amazed and annoyed me about belief. Yet this movie showed me the other side of things in an uncanny way. By emphasizing the characteristics of belief, science, good and evil it sketches a wonderful, multi-faceted caricature of our world. Watch: Adam’s Aebler (J. H.)

I won’t be near

Perhaps it’s the weather or something like that, or maybe it’s about finally leaving Brussels. In these days I definitely over-think crashing in abysses of melancholy. After all this is the fourth city where I come, live, and go. I wonder if there is something I can leave behind for you, my friends, and if you will wait for when we will meet again and get some whiskey together and listen to Shimbalaiê and talk life and philosophy.

As for me, those who left me something will be on my mind as it has always been with the best people I met in Ireland, Spain, and Canada. People can live again in our thoughts and this is part of the wisdom I inherited by thomoose who, as a matter of fact, is very often with me even when he does not know. And you all, sometime you will just pop in my thoughts: even if I won’t be next to you and you know I won’t be near, I’d still be curious to know if you can see yourself as clear as someone who has had you on his mind.

Hiking on a highway

I spent last weekend in Brussels and Lorenzo asked me to write some lines for his blog.

Brussels is an interesting city, ugly yet beautiful at the same time. It is fascinating how a city which embodies the great European dream can be so depressing – at least, the new European part looks depressing. No statues of liberty in this city welcoming new people. Literary terms occurred in my head: Brussels seems like a weird paradox to me. Its exterior can be seen as some kind of awkward metaphor for today´s situation of the EU, as viewed by many people: the old part I found quite beautiful, while the new buildings taking over the city looked threatening. Sometimes, content is not enough – it should be expressed in tangible objects to make a strong case. Inspiring architecture would be a good start.

Anyway, there has been enough talk about this topic and certainly on Lorenzo´s blog. Because let´s make room for another cliché here: it doesn´t matter where you are when you are with friends. I discovered some universal rules about true friends during my visit, which I can apply to all my best friends:

  • they are hanging out with interesting people;
  • they are pursuing great things in life;
  • even hiking on a highway after taking some wrong turns is fun.


Iris, in Stockholm now.


Iris was here in Brussels in the last few days. She’s now about to take a plane to Stockholm. I wish her and Mr Peace River a great journey. They have been tempered by an intense weekend exploring, with me and a bunch of other brave men, the whereabouts of Dinant, a cozy Waloonian village widely credited for the invention of the saxophone.


Creative suggestions

Seven movies to watch from six different friends who adviced me. I liked the experiment so much that it will continue in the future. If you have suggestions for the next posts, please send these to me via email.

Non mi ricordo chi (anzi sì, ma non rivelo quasi mai le mie fonti) diceva che “Pigmalione” e “Frankenstein” sono in realtà la stessa storia. Anche questo film credo sia una variazione sullo stesso tema. Il professor Germain, dopo anni di delusioni liceali pensa di aver trovato una perla rara nel giovane, disagiato ma talentuoso e vagamente perverso, Claude Garcia e nel suo misterioso romanzo in fieri. Una perla che cerca di coltivare e far brillare, a suo modo. Ma ecco il coup de théâtre: il romanzo inizia a coinvolgere lo stesso Germain e a prendere troppa vita tanto che, alla fine, non è più chiaro chi tra insegnante e allievo sia il pigmalione e chi, invece, la creatura ribelle. Un film intrigante e laido il giusto, corredato da un inquietante Hitler-bambola gonfiabile. Film consigliato: Nella casa. (G.S.)

The setting and characters strike a chord in a simple good way. The music and love strikes a chord in a simple good way. These good simple chords make me feel happy. every. single. time. Watch: Dan In Real Life. (T.L.A.)

Dove stare nel mondo? Dove le cose corrono? Dove il capitalismo cerca nuova identità? Seguire i mille rivoli di occupy wall street e le sue nuove declinazioni o il nuovo rampante cinismo cinese? Cullarsi nell’addormentata e pur creativa Europa o esplorare l’allegro e controverso sudamerica? Se tutti parlano di una cosa, io la seguo, la leggo, la ascolto e cerco ciò di cui si parla, forse un po’ meno. Film consigliati: Djeca/Buongiorno Sarajevo della bosniaca Aida Begi e La bicicletta verde; due registe che trasmettono emozioni forti, con profondi silenzi, due ritratti sociali eccellenti. (L.Z.)

This is a movie about all the important things in life; the story is a beautiful, happy, tragic, intense, and deeply touching rollercoaster ride. In Flanders fields, one man with an American dream and a tough, tattooed woman team up in a country band and fall in love with each other. While the country songs form the playlist of their lives together and the tear-jerking end is inevitable, the camera shots of a family’s life in a Belgian setting make the movie very real. Watch: The broken circle breakdown. (I.d.G.)

Questo film riunisce due delle mie passioni segrete: i disadattati sociali ed il whisky :),  ma soprattutto è un film inaspettatamente ottimista, che tocca temi importanti in modo spensierato, mai patetico. E’ la storia di una banda di sfigati che, con un po’ di cervello e parecchia fortuna, riesce a prendersi la rivincita di tutta una vita. The Angels’ Share è un film del 2012 diretto da Ken Loach. (S.T.)

A tangled web of stories which is not particularly about something special, other than life itself maybe. The “real”ness of the movie, along with perfect acting and lifting music makes it one of the best works of the end of last century. Be prepared because Paul Thomas Anderson makes it really hard for you to pause and go to the bathroom from right after the first scene starts straight to the end of last scene 3 hours later! Watch: Magnolia (S.K.)


Thanks to my Canadian friends who are kind of becoming my second family. This time around it has been a sneaky unplanned 8 hour nightrush in Utrecht. Much warmer than the last time I was there. No matter how, why and when, it always feels like home with you guys.