Meeting people, sharing stories

Over the last two weeks I ended up meeting people with fairly different backgrounds.
"Louis" from Kurdistan, living in the parallel universe just next wall from casa, hosted our family last Thursday. To celebrate the event, we ate wine leaves stuffed with rice and meat, almost breaking the guideline number one of the casa (no death animals). I say almost because the few food left has been saved over the balcony and eaten there the next day.

Then Robin and me had a quite intriguing conversation with Rosa, a passionate Mexican woman who was cooking at Hans' birthday on Saturday. She confessed to love boring man like Robin and, even if drunk and with strong tendencies to streaptease, she really had nice insight into things (I actually cannot remember exactly what she was saying because of the rum and cola I was drinking, but she was great and I felt very connected).

Finally, just few minutes ago, walking near Spuistraat, I almost fell into a big bag of books (spiritual stuff and do-it-by-yourself manuals, mostly to create puppets and jewelry. There's even a book about the art of Chinese tea and I really could not avoid of thinking to Amylin ...). However, I walked to the nearest bench and few seconds later a guy sat next to me. He saw the bag before and he went home to take his bike to collect the books. I offered him to share and he confessed whispering: "i'm a garbageman" intending he collects all sort of stuff from the streets. So I whispered back "Me too. I dumpster dive :) ".Not sure he understood what I meant.
Eventually I chose the books I though could be taken to the Democlash ( of next week end (23rd of May), he took the ones he though he could sell and we had a nice chat about missing Uzbekistan, the origins of Dutch street's name, and the fact that pens, computers and cataloguing organization at OBA has got a meaning that employees there cannot understand.
Well at the end I asked for his e-mail, so that he could eventually come to pick books-remains after the festival, but sicretely thinking to invite him over dinner for the next thursday.

The thing is that we keep saying that Bos en Lommer is a very multicultural neighborhood and I guess it would be nice to have a Thursday dinner which could reflect this multiculturalism from the within. I would like to listen and share life experiences. I would like to know in which way living in another country affects our/their identity. I guess it is also important because we criticize so much the concept of nationalism but there are cultural elements that stick under our skin, which are our roots, and the place where we come from. Is this a chain? shall we reject our past and our culture to become "citizens of the world"? Or rather we should keep and love some elements that shaped our personalities as much as the new inspiration coming from meeting other people, other cultures, other perspectives?
Rosa, "Louis" and this guy I met today, I think they should be invited to the next open casa dinner. I find fascinating that they have so much to share and such a free perspective and way to live life. I think they would have a lot to tell us, and we probably have something to say as well.

What do you think? Share your thoughts :P


amylin's picture


of course we need more diversity in thursday night dinners, and in our lives, in general. of course, you guys, i am so curious what will happen when i start to send my personal army of new-world-istanbul turks to old-world amsterdam bos&lommer third-generation turks. could be so fascinating. too bad i'll be all the way over here, and can't watch it in-person.

before that, i was imagining how it might be like if some of my moroccan friends were to visit the casa--- of course, that's probably impossible/improbable, as they would need visas and annoying paperworks first... but still, i pictured it happening; would be so interesting to see them in that element.

valentina, you know i love meeting new characters, so i'm happy to read about these ones that you've met, and even happier if they come to dinner.