Not a rant against consumerism

Whitehaven Beach Viewpoint

It is raining very hard outside. It is 18.18 (auspicious timing) and it is getting dark rapidly here in Airlie Beach. I found a spot to write in an internet café. Only thing is that the internet is not working. But at least I can charge my laptop and my phone.

I have 45 bites of sand flees on my right calve alone. I didn’t bother to count the amount of bites on other places on my body but trust me: I have many bites. The bites are very itchy but I have Tiger Balm next to me: to put on the spots where I want to scratch. Tiger Balm relieves the itching. Best tip I had in a long time.

How to go from happy to stupid in 5 seconds

Aiki dojo

I told Ohad, the Kaballah teacher about my plans to go to Lebanon after Israel. My idea was to go by bus. Miles had told me that I could go easily through Jordan to Beirut when I spoke to him a couple of weeks ago. “Oh really, is that possible?” said Ohad. “There is no border between Jordan and Lebanon, you have to go through Syria”. The ground sunk from under my feet. I NEVER looked at a map myself. I just assumed that what Miles said was correct. Every sane person in the world looks at the map before he goes on a journey around the world, especially when you go to countries like Lebanon and Israel. I feel so, so stupid.

Mourning the suffering caused by our ignorance

Razzia Waterlooplein

Today, on May 4th, our annual WWII Memorial Day, I commemorate Mozes Bacharach, his wife Aaltje Bacharach-Mug and their son Louis Bacharach: Jewish people who were taken from their modest house in East Amsterdam to be murdered in Auschwitz (Mozes and Aaltje) and Sobibor (Louis). It’s the house I live in.

There is a list of 21.622 Amsterdam houses where once Jewish people lived who were taken to concentration camps during the 2nd World War. Two days ago I found out about that list and saw that my house was on it. I never knew that my neighbourhood was a Jewish neighbourhood. Not only the Bacharach family was taken away, 448 other appartments were cleaned out in a street that is barely 600 meters (approx 650 yards) long. There were more people murdered from my street alone than I have friends on Facebook (680).