Lorenzo & his humble friends

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

Tag: canadians


You know that feeling when you do something and you are happy you did it but you also know, deep inside, that you never ever want to do that same thing again? That was exactly my feeling on January 1st 2012 after the big dive in the Nortern Sea, The Hague. Legendary, but also painfully cold and borderline unbearable.

Now I did it again. And it felt great! (In fact, it didn’t. It was as cold as the last time, windier, and on top of that all I forgot to bring my underwear for the after-dive). But ehi: I am glad I spent yet another NYE with the canadian crew after a messy journey through Austria and Germany. I am now reporting from Rotterdam harbor with Thomas and Clement. I will try to reach a couple of European capital friends in the next few days before getting back to work.

2015: resolutions

Go ski touring. Keep playing tennis. Start beating Fabio, Giallu, and Martijn at tennis. Write three good chapters for the Ph.D. dissertation. Publish one paper I can be proud of. Teach in high schools. Enjoy Florence with Thomoose. Buy a typewriter and use it to write letters. Spend time with Camilla in London. Bring the Ladybirds to the Coppa Pavone. Keep reading The Economist. Read all of the seven 1000-page classics of the literature books I bough last month -just kidding. But seriously: read at least three of them. Take the Dolomiti del Brenta Tour with Manuel, Mindo, Dani, Giallu and sleep under a sky full of stairs. Visit Prague, Beirut, and Jerusalem. Work and volunteer in Israel. Volunteer abroad with Legambiente, anyway. Run half a marathon in less than 1h45′. Spend my fifth new year’s eve with the Canadians. Keep writing. Also on the blog.

Keep the tradition alive

Three months later I finally received a few complementary pictures from our NYE reunion – the first one with Stefania, and the sixth of this kind now? What was meant to be the annual gathering of a bunch of people who met in Victoria, BC, in 2011 is now a mixed group that includes many of the new friends we met along the way. Not all of us are great ice skaters. (Hint: Iris isn’t). But, as you can see from the imagages, Jasper is.


Musical movement
And the way fall comes in a crescendo of leaves.
There was a time we listened to this music without Youtube.
When brownness was not death,
And branch cello’s were not bare,
But alive with music.
This was when you sat
Below the tree in autumn, and heard the beat below
Your feet, and the type of tuning the leaves made for the next day.

Atuned, both you and treetops,
You suddenly hear this musical movement, and hearclearer, the seasons, and reasons, for change.
The Creator (el maestro) and you.

TLA, Thomas Laboucan-Avirom

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.