About things…

About things…

Hey everyone

I was planning a post around a book I’ve read the past couple of weeks, but then I was taken ill and I had to struggle to get through my school work and then… the Brussels attacks happened.

I didn’t believe the news when I first heard it. I once spent hooouuurs in that departure hall and I realized that in those hours, a similar attack could have taken place. Tuesday I also realized how quick everything can end; a group of fellow students were to depart Wednesday to Croatia. They were ‘lucky’. The hour of the attacks and their hour of departure the next day differed around 28 hours. Their faces were instantly pale when news spread about the attacks. We’re all going to London this May and we’ll all be using the underground. Should I be afraid our not? is a question that constantly pops up in my head. I refuse to change my habits because I think that then these terrorists win. But on the other hand, you don’t want to risk your life. It’s a tricky balance to walk on.

John Lennon cover

Tuesday I realized how horrible this must be for people living in countries where this sort of terrorism takes place every month or every week. The thought only chills me to the bone. And then, to make everything more dramatic, there were attacks in Iraq and Lahore, Pakistan too. You’d believe it’s an insane world we’re living in…

I think that we Europeans and ectually all others, whether you’re from Morocco, Rumania, Russia, Jordan, Syria, Iraq, Pakistan or where ever, should unite and talk about a solution. Because it’s clear that in towns like Molenbeek and Schaarbeek there hasn’t been much talking. Instead of dividing ourselves, I believe we should unite ourselves. To me, that’s the only way we’ll change this situation.

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I hope that no one of your family or friends has been affected by any attack and if they have, be strong and please try not to be hateful. There are solutions with a minimum of violence, and the challenge in this times will be to see and apply them.

I hope you all had a wonderful Easter Holiday!

(image taken from pusheen.com)

XX

Charlotte

P.s.: after the attacks in Paris, I listened to ‘Iron Sky‘ by Paolo Nutini. I think what he sings makes sense. Have a listen: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WQzZk69P69E

If you want to know more about the position of women in ISIS in Syria and Iraq, this is a book worth reading (Dutch): Webwinkel De vrouwen van het kalifaat

Ireland / St. Patrick’s Day || Travelling

Ireland / St. Patrick’s Day || Travelling

Hey everyone!

With this week’s Saint Patrick’s Day, I thought it would be nice to tell about my journey to Dublin!

Last year, I was lucky to be able to travel to Dublin, Ireland’s capital for three days (short, but I’ve seen a lot!). I had only been in Ireland for a couple of hours, but I already wanted to go back; that’s the impression the country of so many great writers, poets, singers and artists has made on me. Ireland has a ‘je ne sais quoi‘ and the feeling sticks! Offer me a seat on a flight to Dublin and I’ll leave right away!

The first day, we went litterally citytripping and crossed Dublin in all wind directions; I loved the city right away. It has this calm but yet vibrant atmosphere: you’re in a capital but you have the feeling you are in a town and the people walking the streets are mostly youngsters. Of course, we were told about the Great Famine, which caused one third of the Irish population to emigrate and one other third to starve to death. It is a sad part in Irish history. Throughout Dublin, there are a lot of artworks to be found remembering the Potato Famine.

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Day two: on the bus to County Wicklow! This county in the south of Dublin is full of nature and meadows. I knew instinctly; this was a land to my heart. We visited Glendalough, where we went to Saint Kevin’s, we visited Avoca, Powerscourt Gardens and grabbed a bite in one of the local pubs.

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The third day we visited the Trinity College, the Writers’ Museum and the Jameson Distillery. This was the day of literature and whiskey and sadly, the last day in Molly Malone’s home town.

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Well, this was my story, I hope that in this short post, I was able to share my experiences with you (and perhaps convinced you to pay a visit to Dublin or Ireland in general) and that you know why I love Ireland so, so much!

XX

Charlotte

 

Love Myself – Hailee Steinfeld || Song of the Week

Love Myself – Hailee Steinfeld || Song of the Week

Hey everyone

As song of the week, I’d love to light out Love Myself by Hailee Steinfeld. To me, and certainly with this week’s Women’s Day, I think the song carries out a sort of healthy individualism. You’ve got to stand for yourself and you’ve got to love yourself, even if you feel like no one else does (but believe me, someone always does) & make those dreams come TRUE!

Love Myself – Hailee Steinfeld

With this women empowerment message, I’d like to wish you all out there a fantastic weekend!

XX,

Charlotte

Over de grens (Dear Leader) – Jang Jin-sung || Books

Over de grens (Dear Leader) – Jang Jin-sung || Books

Hi everyone!

Over the past few weeks, reading works have been rather sloppy and I set the goal: reading at least one book per month. When I used to be younger, I’d easily accomplish that goal but now it seems to be a lot more difficult.

I read Dear Leader in Dutch and the book left a huge impression on me, as it gives a look over the high walls of North-Korea, perhaps the most enclosed country in the world.

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Jang Jin-sung, a poet close to Kim Chong-il, the leader in that time.  As a poet, his job is to fake South Korean poetry to brainwash the population of North Korea and to actually make them believe that the whole world adores the NK system. But bit by bit he sees through the rough philosophy of NK and tells us this about ‘the great leader’, a sentence who stuck in my head from the minute I had read it:

“Startled I realized that the tears I had seen during the encounter were not the tears of a human; they were the tears of someone who was desperate on becoming a human.” – Jang Jin-sung on Kim Chong-il

Lending out South Korean literature is prohibited or actually impossible for non-Party members and there even are strict rules for members. Jang Jin-sung takes a magazine home, which is forbidden. He gives the magazine to a friend, Yongmin, who loses the magazine along with some other prohibited writings of Jang Jin-sung. This is considered a serious crime – all ‘publications’ should pass the Party control before being published or spread – and the two are forced to run off, which is not easy in North Korea, as the citizens are almost controlled by every move they make. They choose to cross the Tumen river, the Northern border, to get to China and via China to South Korea. They astonishingly make it across the river, but the euphoria is soon to be over, as they clash with the fact that the Chinese are often not very welcoming and scared to house a NK refugee, even for a short period of time. The two friends are forced to rely on strangers, who often do not have good intentions. They live on vain hope – almost literally.

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This book got me, certainly with huge migrations going on today (think of the Middle East) and also because the reserve of North Korea fascinates me. I cannot believe how a country can hold it’s own people so strict on a leash while those very own people are starving and have hardly any chances in life.

I surely recommend this book to people wanting to know more about life in North Korea and wanting to know what it’s like to leave everything you know for a really long shot chance.

XX,

Charlotte

Announcement

Hi

After not finding the time nor new ideas to keep this blog going, I’m busy thinking over a new concept which I can hold on to. The last couple of months have been really hard and I’m doing everything I can to make this blog lively, fun and a pleasure to visit for everyone. Thanks for being patient with me.

XX

Charlotte