Tuesday, July 19, 2005
belgian beer bubble
So our little jaunt took us up to a tiny town in the Pas de Calais called Bonningues (Bonningues! C'est dingue!)
where we stayed at a friends
mothers place. Quiet (except for the roosters, kill all roosters), bucolic verdant, we set about trying to add some dischord into the harmonious countryside by a series of sun soaked party days, late night bbqs and drinking fests.
Aside from the bbqs and badminton, we also indulged in a little beach jaunt up to Wissant (does the wind EVER stop blowing on the northern coast?!?)
Wissant, as an historical aside, was the beach from where Julius Caesar launched his attack on England. The English, however, can be said to be getting their own back these days.
So in the end, though I was a bit loathe to leave, we had planned a drive up to visit some friends in Brussels - mostly to pick up a tent that we'd left at a friends house last year.
This group of people we know by a different set of circumstances, specifically via a web community. Online encounters make up a small percentage of the people I know, but I have met quite a few cool peple this way. This guy I know in Brussels constructed a Bulletin Board System Web community for francophones, which I joined up on last year a few months before leaving on my travels. My idea was that a) I'd practice french with people my own age, and b) I might also make some contacts and get some free floor space to sleep on during my backpacking (how mercenary). Both of which happened. But in constructing this website, what this guy had done was also create something of a game within it - which one wasn't necessarily obliged to play along with however. So the community actually has a system of hierarchy and power play interwoven within it. Which some people Take.Very.Seriously.
In itself it is an interesting study of human behaviour and the psychology of power, but every time I visit, my friend has a new group of young power hungry hangers on loitering around - the same story with different faces. People who will profess to be 'above' all the banal power hungry psychology, but who - in their very next breath - will extol some virtue of their individual line of online hierarchy. That said, this web community does actually have a lot of positive and interesting aspects, which is why I continue to participate...albeit sporadically.
And in the end, the tent had been commandeered by the Gods of Lost Objects, so it was a bit of a wasted trip.