Liefde is…?/ Love is…?

Zelfs als mascaraklonten overal
zitten, stromen als modder in een rivier
En wanneer het snot aan snikken kleeft
Dan zeg jij: je bent stoer
en ik ben hier

Zeg, ik ben zo’n piepert niet
Wél in mijn hoofd, daar kraakt het vaak alom,
sluimert het gif, is ze met alles verweven

Maar vandaag zijn er harten toetjes,
schijnt een ronde, koude zon
Vandaag is wat bewegen, en kan ik zó met jou,
mij, het gespiegelde leven

Love is…?

Even if mascara clumps are
everywhere, flowing like mud in a river
And when the snot sticks to sobs
you say: you are tough
and I’m here

Hey, I’m not such a whiner
Well, I am in my head, it often cracks everywhere,
it’s where the poison lurks, interwoven with everything

But today there are heartshaped desserts,
There’s radiation of a round, cold sun
Today is some movement, and I can só live with you,
me, the mirrored


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Istanbul, Istanbul

My old friend, there he was and is! Think the friendship is still alive.. Some things familiar, some new things and impressions. I’m staying in Sultan Ahmed, a touristic area, close to the Blue Mosque and Aya Sofia. Normally I Would avoid things like that, but I found nice places and good people here. I am also trying to practise my Turkish, it’s amazing I remember and recognize words.

I spend four wonderful and great days with my bf, it was more than I could dream of. We were laughing, talking, did sightseeing, eating, smoking sise (waterpipe) , boat trips, walking. Just having a good time, easy going. Istanbul is very romantic for those who didnt know..😉<<<<<<<<<<

We have visited Aya Sofia, the blue mosque (Nice, famous, but not the nicest in my opinion) we went to Galata ( dont go into the tower, but visit the café Konak nearby, drink tea and have the most great view over the city) and Taksim. We went to the islands, adalar, and got off at Princess Island, nice for eating fish and see beautiful Ottoman style houses. No cars, only horses, bikes and scootmobiles. And we went to Eyup, 45 min by boat from Karakoy, had an even greater view from all over town and saw the sultan Eyup mosque, a pilgrimage place… And Of course we went to the grand bazaar (not that long, it drives you crazy) Time was flying. <<<<<<<<<<<<

In the midst of the touristic crowds and area there is a Nice place to go for food, drinks or sise. It’s called Anatolia House. The people try to make you feel at home and are in for a chat. One evening we even did some traditional dancing!<<<<<<<<

Now it’s back to solo traveling. It was very sad to say goodbye to love, but for those who know me: (and If you don’t, then you know now) I’ll manage. Taking some easy days and think of what Will be next up. Many plans, but choices to make😉Istanbul, Istanbul…

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Heuvel af, het gepiep van remmen, in down town, het zijn schreeuwende piepen die inhouden maar door moeten, drukken, ze overstemmen het getuuter en geschreeuw van mobielen, vervoerd waar in altijd actieve stand.

In dit machinale mierennest is ook de stoep bezaaid met motoren, olie, schoenen, gaten, mensen. Een vliegerverkoper in roze pak zie ik voor de derde keer. ‘Jesus loves you’ roept een man vandaag in mijn gezicht, de motoren ronken door, op zoek naar vooruitgang in dit land.

Walmen zwart en rode aarde stuift Ik zit achterop, mijn handen klam maar vrij. In deze fuik berust ik steeds meer; maar met de middelvinger over de wijs Op matatubussen staat ‘Thank you Jesus’, ‘Allah provides’, ‘God is able’ en dan weet ik dat ik ooit weer in beweging kom en veilig ergens strand

Een Bodaboda is een brommertaxi in Oeganda, waar er ws alleen al in Kampala wel honderdduizend van rondrijden

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‘Oliebollen’, zei hij resoluut.

‘In oktober zijn ze er al in van die kramen

Daar kunnen ze me ‘snachts voor wakker maken’.

‘En jij?’, vroeg hij toch wel onverwacht.

‘Eh, voor mij geen voedsel in de nacht

Overdag is al genoeg verstouwd aan indruk en gekauw

Maar een streling, zo in mijn bed

Of het een droom is of echt

van een geest of lieve gek

En, niet dat het op die tijden gebeurt,

vallende post op de mat, de magie van reizend papier,

bestemming bereikt

Bij die dingen wil ik zijn, daarvoor

ontwaak ik met plezier’.





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Why you should visit Finisterre ànd Muxia


For the ones who don’t know, Finisterre,  Fisterra, ‘Cabo Fisterre’ and Muxia are two little towns known as ‘the end of the world’, situated on the Atlantic ocean in Galicia, Spain. It’s for walkers of the camino de Santiago a bonus, to walk on to one of these points. From Santiago you can walk there in about three days. Halfway you will meet a point where the road splits into a road to Muxia and one to Fisterra.
weg splitsing
I was in Finisterre 3 times (in 2011, 2016 twice) and in Muxia (2016) 2 times. In 2011 I walked the camino Portugés and took a bus to Finisterre. In the spring of 2016 I walked the camino Finisterre to Cabo Fisterre in a couple of days and visited both places. In the summer I walked a part of the camino del Norte, camino Ingles and again the camino Finiterre and Muxia. Walking was magic. It was painful, I got injured and suffered on the camino del norte from bed bugs, but I learned a lot, also about my strenght. I met wonderful people and had magical experiences. But why go there again and again and see both Finisterre and Muxia?
At that time I needed it, the walks and experiences. Clearing my head, being amongst nature and people. I walked parts alone and together. I would recommend anyone to go and walk there, at least once. Yes, I can write endlessly about the people and my adventures, but I might do that another time..

Muxia vs Cabo Fisterre
Being at the end of the world, Finis Terrae, Cabo Fisterre, was such a good feeling. I walked there from the village, a way of some km’s, in storm and pooring rain and went back while the wind blew me dry. I was there almost at sunset, with a clear view. Sitting on the rocks, looking over an endless and rough ocean.
In Muxia it was more solitary, it’s easy to walk from the village to the lighthouse. The village seems more asleep, quiet. The people very modest, silent. There’s another form of magic there. Massive rocks. You can actually touch the Atlantic ocean. A very intimate experience.
Fisterre is crowded, rougher, the people are more expressive and seem to have lived a tougher life. There’s a fishermen and bohemian culture. Many people, wanderers, tend to stick there. There are more spiritual minded people, hippie comunities and there’s a vivid legend of moving stones at Cabo Fisterre. The village itself looks not really charming, it’s a bit of a mess. But the energy is good. I once had a good conversation with a man early in the morning, he lived in Fisterre, had a hard life (came from North- Africa) but was happy. I remember having breakfast with him, where he had his coffee and liquor (spanish habit?) and I had my boiled egg and coffee. In wintertime it is the hardest, he said, the place is empty, most bars and restaurants are closed. No walkers, no tourists, no work.
Muxia is the opposite of Fisterre. Hardly any shops, a few restaurants and plenty of good, clean hostels. On the top of the rocks you have a really charming, soft colored view of the little town.

The people of both places are not the biggest friends. Even the bus schedule between both places is pointing this out; there’s a bad connection. You’d better walk.
Muxia is more peaceful, less people, more accesible. But also more elusive because of it’s silence.
The reason one should visit both places is to experience it whole, the contradiction and the paradox. It will make your camino complete.  Just go and find out yourself! Take your time, eat pepers of Padron, octopus, just feel…

rocks of Muxia

Lighthouse, rocks Muxia

fisterre fog

Finisterre in fog

Some tips
Cabo Fisterre
Restaurant Lecer, seafood, very nice owner, speaks English. The place looks like a cafeteria, but don’t worry, there is excellent and fresh seafood! If your lucky you can see the owner running in the mornings to the cabo or on the coast line. I celebrated my 40th birthday there with two camino friends:-)
Albergue del sol et lua, the best place to meet people! They serve breakfast for about 3 euros and do dinners sometimes on donation. There is a meditation room. It’s not a luxury place, a bit out dated. But friendly and cosy.

Albergue Bela Muxia A faiy new, modern building but with very warm and friendly owners. Good beds, clean.
Next to Bela Muxia you can find hotel restaurant De Lolo. Amazing restaurant! Give yourself a teatment of luxury after all those walks… I would love to spend the night there the second time I was there, but it was closed because of fiestas in town. Had a great dinner there with three Italian men. I had prawns wrapped in crunchy dough on skewers, a very creative and great dish. On the harbour there are also some good restaurants and cafés.

lunch lece

Lunch at restaurant Lece


view on Muxia

finisterre janet



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The girl and the gelato

During my travels in South-Italy I had some marvellous and also shocking experiences.  After seeing Naples and a part of the Almalfi coast (Sorrento) with my friend it was time to see some of the country side, Lazio/ Abruzzo. I had to go from Pompei to Naples again and there take a bus to Sora, a small town in the countryside. There was only one bus a day, at 17.00 and I arrived early in Naples so I had to wait. I decided to strawl around with my backpack to see some highlights of the city again and take many coffee and tea breaks.

silvia loren zw

Sorrento, Silvia Loren


The first day in Naples was a shock to me. So much dirt and trash everywhere! And on my first walks I came out on a busy shopping street, Toledo. Not the best to start a trip when you have just arrived. But anyway, the next day it was so much better and I could see and appreciate the beauty of this mixing pot. Naples is bombastic phantastic, I decided. There also seem to be so many refugees and colored people. Selling, hanging around. I was making my mind up about this: Was there a refugee problem? Or has it always been like that? Later it came to me that the city has been a melting pot of people and various cultures for centuries. (Arabs, Spanish, Africans etc..). But that doesn’t mean there can be a refugee problem at the moment and the government has no control anymore.

The girl and the gelato
Anyway, I was in Naples again. I was pretty tired of walking and the warmth and couldn’t decide what to bring on the bus to eat. It was about a two hours drive and I looked at big breads, pizza’s, foccaccia’s and more for on the go. In my stress to make a choice I chose for some fruit and a gelato, and I had more snacks. I am not a big gelato fan, but anyway. With my stuff and hands full of leaking gelato, I walked to the departure section at the bus station, at least half an hour early.
There she was. A young African woman with long dreadlocks. And her child, about two years old. A beautiful little girl… I sat there and the woman was standing, her child was nagging, crying a bit. I looked at the woman and instantly I knew and felt the shock. She was totally numb. Drugged up, high as the sky. She could hardly talk, she was very slow in her movements. Her eyes seem to close at any moment; there was no (real) life. The child reached out to me as if it was hungry. I asked the mum if it was alright to give her something. She slowly and blurred said yes. Before I knew I was feeding the girl the remainings of my icecream, lemon. She loved it.. Too bad it was almost finished, but she wanted the paper container in were it was and she ate more and played with it. Mom was in her own world. She could hardly open her bag and her telephone was full of cracks. I felt so horrible seeing this scenery; the little girl asking for attention and the young woman so out of control, so disconnected. She tried to punish the girl when she was doing something to get attention and I gave the girl my apple. She also loved it.
Some minutes later a well dressed Italian woman came to sit next to me, in between the standing mother and child and me. She mentioned the beautiful little girl, ‘bella’, but didn’t seem to feel anything about this situation. Was she used to this? Or didn’t she want to feel or see it? I sat there and looked away for a moment, to release a few teardrops, hoping no one could see it. The mother was not begging, but she quickly looked at me, with no real thoughts probably, but it was so heartwrecking, so powerful and yet so weak. She wasn’t able to say thank you, not that I would want to hear that.
My bus came, I had to ask, if I hadn’t I probably had missed my bus. Still confused I drove off. Couldn’t see the woman and child anymore.

Never will I forget this scenery. What will happen to this child? Where did the mother decide to become like this? What will become of them?
I have been thinking about this quite a while. I was happy to give something. And somehow thankful for the insights, despite the shock and grief it caused. I am not judging about the drugs itself, since I am not holy, loving wine and a cigar now and then. But this made me very scary and worried. Somewhat later, it reminded me of my luck and how good my life is. Still I struggle every day. But why are so many people living in such bad circumstances and why is there so much suffering? This is reality. What can I do about it?

Privilege & being biased
Am I privileged as a white human being? Is that true? I don’t know. Yes, in some way I may be, if you look at the facts, but I don’t feel it like that, am not daily aware of it, íf it’s true. Maybe I am not aware enough because the privilege seems to be common sense. I don’t know exactly what it is, but what I do know is that I have always had a fascination for darker people and other cultures. I once studied Islamic Architecture and Islamic history, islam in diaspora and that was because I wanted to know, understand. This studies made me more realistic, brought me more in the now, what also made the ‘Arabic 1001 night rosy glow’ on the Middle East disappear. Yes, there were beautiful blooming and highly developed societies in the past, but now the whole area is unfortunately declining fast.
Let’s get back to the question about privilege. I do I think I suffer (unconsiously) from a sort of collective feeling of guilt as a white person. Because we as whites should and cannot not be proud of the past and this era now. (We have done and build up great things, but we did it at the expense of and by suppression of innocent human lives). How the differences still are so clearly pointed out nowadays, subtle and not subtle, points out that this behaviour or way of thinking is still not over. Prejudice seems to be something common and more or the less accepted (even fed) by our governments and world leaders to keep us small, afraid and seperate. That’s insane.
But is this privilege not just something that is being idealised and should we be really happy about that? If you watch the documentary ‘The Swedish theory of love’, you will learn that people in Western European countries (white Northern European societies) are nowadays so independent that they loose the ability to be social or to share. And that makes a lot of people very unhappy, even depressed. People die in their houses alone and are being found weeks later. The documentary shows also a Swedish doctor working in another society, in Africa, where people are never alone and always take care of eachother. This so called privilege draws a lot of people from outside the white world to Europe where they expect utopia. They often end up alone or with some people within their group with no job or perspective. But maybe it is utopia after all, better than they ever had. Of course, for war victims it’s a different story, they will find safety, but I can imagine how hard it must be to live in our European culture and way of live. I’m wandering again…
I always believed that I was quite unique in not having any prejudice against other cultures, races. I even tend to adore the darker skin since I was a young child! But after some inner research and experience I had lately, I came to the conclusion I am judgemental! I was fed with some strange judgements about black and asian people somehow in my childhood. Maybe at school, at home, or fed by society. That was quite an insight. Now I try to overcome it. Who knows, I would love to have a mixed or interracial relationship one day, but I guess I need to clear myself more and need to be freed from my past.
By the way, isn’t it so that by the adoration of colors of skin, races and certain groups we are clinging to a form of discrimination, judgemental behaviour and separation as well? I seem to rank them seperately, in thoughts of beautiful, stronger, warmer, and in realising that, I found a form of prejudice itself! And on the other hand I maybe feel sorry for their suffering sometimes. Is my feeling of guilt (or this collective feeling) the reason of my preference? Or is it something else?
There is so much sensibility around this matter, (maybe?) especially in Holland, since we had our colonies, slavery history and colored citizens nowadays. We all call out not to be biased but in fact we are, we are ‘over careful’ to express ourselves about it in daily live. And that needs to change.

I try not to be too critical towards myself, as I have this tendency in many aspects of live already, but I try to see myself as a child of this (conditioned) time. And it’s up to me to become more consious and open about it, to change this and to see truely everyone as equal. I wish we all create a more peaceful vision and the ability to see any person as an individual, not thinking in terms of groups, races or religions. Let’s heal all collective thoughts and feelings of hurt and pains from the past between people in the world. It has nothing to do with us at this moment, these pains and feelings are just standing in our way when it comes to truely being together or even in life itself. I am willing to stand up for this and find out more.

If you have suggestions or comments concerning this subject or writing, please let me know.
September 2017

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Knisperend nieuw, scheurend nat en harde brokken
ijs om op te lopen. Handen, ogen paraat
om een val op te vangen. Kou dringt door benen, langs een speklaag.
In het bos modder en krijgen nieuwe vlokken
geen kans op zichtbaarheid. Er is alleen gekraak.
Elastieken wimpers worden nat. Een klein stuk stoep is schoon,
maar handen hoeven niet meer in de zak.
Later rijdt en glijdt de auto. Lopend door wit en wind, waarin
een sneeuwpop opnieuw beschutting vindt. Amnestie indirect verleend.
Code rood van kracht. In trance en stapvoets vindt auto huis,
waar een lieve poes en stilte wacht.

human rights10 december, dag van de rechten van de mens

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