Your Wet Dream

09-24-08

Your first night on the Belgian farm, you tried to sleep, but clicked on the light to write a little something-something in your book. You needed to write it down before you forgot in the morning. Jean-Luc (the Egyptologist with whom you stayed in Orleans, France) said he thought hitch hiking was dangerous. You replied that you think people are generally good. A planet with six billion people… not everyone can be a killer. If it were that likely that a car stopping at random carried a killer, then it would be more likely that you would find yourself in a Virginia Tech situation on any given day leaving your home, considering the number of possible maniacs you pass on the street. And so, yes, you believe that people—provided they have their basic needs met—are generally good; and when their basic needs are not met, they tend to be opportunistic.
Jean-Luc agreed and disagreed. Yes, people are generally good and have the tendency to be opportunistic when compelled. But he also said that people desire power. They desire the feeling of exercising power. Power corrupts absolutely. He said this is why some young children kill ants, or why perhaps men beat their wives (or wives beat their husbands, if they know they can get away with it).
And so, you find yourself wondering about this desire to exercise power. Surely you have enjoyed your own exercises of power before, though you cannot think of any off hand. At least nothing corrupt. But suppose some ”good” man is driving along the road and sees a single blonde (giant) girl. He picks her up. He doesn’t know why. Why not? She seems to be non-threatening. As he drives with this girl, he learns that she is American, alone, and at the moment out of contact with people. For no reason whatsoever, this ”good” man suddenly gets a wild idea—the way a kid with a magnifying glass, examining ants, realizes his power over them. So the ”good” man abducts/rapes/robs/beats/kills the American girl. Under any other circumstances, it probably wouldn’t have crossed his mind, but seeing how he was the one with the car, with the power, he decided he needed a good exercise of that power.
Thus, Maria, hitch hiking is probably dangerous.
Then again, if faced with an attacker, you may very well find yourself in an ass-kicking position of power as well. Stab the sonofabitch, steal his wallet and his car. The threat is mutual.
You don’t worry too much.

On another note, your farm here is FUCKING AWESOME.
First of all, you get your own private little dorm room, with a bed, a heater, and about half-a-dozen wool blankets. The blankets are key, because in the last three days in Orleans, you froze your tits off. Really. FROZE. You are pretty sure there is something wrong with your internal heating. You were in long pants (well, you thin travel capris, anyway), two long sleeve shirts, your fleece, wool socks, your sleeping bag, and five blankets and STILL thought you weren’t going to live through the night. You haven’t felt so close to death from cold since you and Kady tried to camp in Vermont back in April.
So not only are you toasty warm here at night, but this morning you were taken to the lost and found. Anyone who knows you well is fully aware of your PASSION for exchange bins, the lost and found, and second-hand stuff. Basically, all things free. And godallmighty, it was like Christmas! You found yourself (unbelievably) long pants (they cover your ankles! No more nettle stings), a raincoat, a fleece, a beanie, a scarf, and a sweatshirt. NO MORE freezing.
You are quite pleased with your packing job. You have thus far used EVERYTHING in your bag, barring your clothesline and condoms (oh god, you’re approaching the longest dry spell of your life). Weird things you packed and used were your knife (had to sharpen it yesterday, it’s had so much use), coconut oil, compass (that’s right, you’re a boy scout), and Johnny’s Seasoning Salt (Pacific Northwest, baby!). You only lament your lack of warm clothing.
But less about your new-found feeling of warmth and Christmas-come-early…
Where are you? On a farm, yes… but it is also a large center that hosts retreats. Healthy spiritual retreats. What sorts of tasks are you made to do, day to day? Aside from the climbing around in a giant apple tree, feeling much like Mowgli as you beat fruit from the branches with a bamboo stick; aside from the occasional weeding… you are *drum roll, please*…

…doing prep-work in an ALL-VEGAN, ONE-HUNDRED PERCENT ORGANIC, MACROBIOTIC KITCHEN!!! Pretty much your wet dream.

The food here is incredible, and you’re largely responsible. Peeling, slicing, chopping, dicing, blending, stirring, scooping all manner of vegetable matter. The meals are ridiculously colorful, ALIVE, healthy, and satisfying. Your energy is through the roof, and your mood is significantly improved. Nutrition really is accountable for most stress.
You are also in the company of several other workers, including a 23-year-old American girl from Massachusetts. It is so nice to talk at an accelerated speed, using stupid slang, and appreciating the nuances of American culture. But, you are also blessed with the company of several very chill, very happy Belgians (who are, you think, not so uptight as the French). You are learning bits and pieces of Flemish, to their amusement, and are apparently making fine progress.
The only regrettable aspect of your situation here is the lack of internet. 30 minutes very three to four days, probably… The vegan chef, Tino, was kind enough to allow you to use his non-connected computer to word process this entry, then gave you his zip drive to transfer the file to another computer.
You apologize to everyone who has emailed you and awaits your response.
And Big Dan, if you’re off the boat and reading this… shoot me a message, dammit!

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Categories: Belgium, Workaway/Wwoof | Leave a comment

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