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Showing posts from March, 2014

Louvain La Neuve - Not for introverts.

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This picture, for me says it all. A moment in time, a memory for a lifetime where life stood still.

It's not that I haven't wanted to write about my week in Louvain La Neuve over Spring Break, it's just that I don't know how to put it in words. One might expect that I could compare it to my previous study-abroad adventures in Brussels, but it wasn't. It was nothing like that, and I am a shadow of the person I was when that adventure took place. I've changed, I'm different... more importantly Louvain La Neuve is completely unlike any place on it earth.

For me, Louvain La Neuve became a timeless representation of careless, youthful, social rituals that I had personally condemned to regrets in my thirties. That's not to say I hadn't experienced parts of what I did in Louvain La Neuve before in my life, it's just that I experienced them in a different way. One could say I was more introverted in my youth, too shamed by my former conservative protestan…

How to handle a cancelled United flight.

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Last Sunday, I attempted to come home from Louvain La Neuve. I had a fantastic flight on a code-share Brussels Airline flight, and then landed into the winter storm from Hell in Washington D.C. (10" of snow). Flights on the split-flap display started showing the dreaded red lettered CANCEL before the jet-bridge was even extended to our cabin door. Shannon had already texted me that my later flight was canceled, and soon I would learn all flights into Greensboro were canceled till Tuesday. What strikes me as insane is how in this age of technology, oodles of mindless passengers clamor to the customer service desk for a two hour wait when a more simpler solution is to call the 800 number of the airline. 

In fact, when I fly I have the airlines telephone number pre-programmed into my contact list just in case of a cancelled flight. I immediately saved myself hours in line by calling the 800 number. Within minutes I was re-booked on a 10 o'clock flight to Charlotte, an alternate n…

To Wonderland: Time Travel in Airplanes

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I need to write. I'm leaving in less than a week for Europe and I'm buried in homework. My life has returned to normal in the last year since coming home, and I find returning to Wonderland both scary and exciting in the same regard. It's scary in that my post traumatic response to coming Stateside (I really, really missed my life in Belgium) might rear its ugly head again. Interestingly enough, what most people don't know, is if you successfully deal with PTSD something wonderful happens. You become stronger and better at dealing with all sorts of complicated things that individuals without this experience find difficult. In fact PTSD, is not so much a disease, but a process (a spectrum like time), like a scab on a wound, that when healed becomes a scar and scars are stronger than flesh. It's a rite of passage some never get the chance to overcome. The science of all of it is quite amazing, especially looking at things in the rear-view mirror. The struggle is a gi…