Today I went to my weekly appointment at the beauty salon in the nearby city Deventer. While the usual electrolysis treatment was hardly surprising after all this time, it was really fun to meet a new intern who is working there at the moment. A somewhat shy and very gentle girl, we had a very enjoyable talk while she used me as a practice subject for a foot massage in the mean time. She was very curious as to what my situation was, and I found it very pleasant to explain it to her.
The beautician herself had caught a re-run of the BNN TV show I appeared in last Wednesday. They're doing a re-run of the entire 2010 season at the moment, and she just happened to catch that episode. She hadn't seen it yet, so it was a pleasant surprise for her as well.
While waiting in the beauty salon I also talked with this really friendly lady, with whom I discussed my situation and my campaign as well. She was very curious to how such a terrible situation could be in a country like the Netherlands as well. I ended up giving her my business card so that she can look at my website.
On my way back from the beauty salon I decided to pop into this phone store to see whether I could get a cover for my new phone. While looking at some covers on display, I suddenly saw this big black guy enter the store, walk towards me and put his hand on my shoulder. I think I must have blacked out a bit, as next I know we're chatting about how he has seen me on that re-run on TV as well and recognized me as I walked past his shop. I told him that I don't have people recognizing me like that often. I gave him my business card as well and we had a nice talk until I had to leave to catch my train.
Once back home I wrote an email to the Humanitarian Broadcast channel here in the Netherlands about the campaign for giving back intersex people their human rights. Maybe they'll even bother to respond.
Regarding getting recognized, it is my experience that people do recognize me a lot more often, but as I noticed when I was sitting with a few others in front of the entrance to the photography exposition early this month, it was clear when people recognized me, but they'd quickly avert their gaze. The natural response for a Dutch person appears to be to avoid any confrontation and prefer to talk about a person behind her or her back. I'm not saying it's bad, just that it would be nice if Dutch people learned to engage more often in spontaneous conversation. Maybe it's indicative of the reason(s) for the lack of political and other change in this country. This country's culture is nothing if not hyper-conservative and outdoing even the US when it comes to enriching the rich.
I watched the news earlier on the bombing in Oslo, Norway and the shooting elsewhere in that country. Just horrible. When I visited Norway back in 2007 I very much enjoyed the people and culture there. To see its tranquility torn apart like that without any reason just brings tears to my eyes. I am well aware of the feeling of wanting to be and feel safe, and I can imagine the terror of the Norwegian people as they try to figure out whether they should flee or stay where they are.
Meanwhile I'm working furiously to finish this Android smartphone application. I'm supposed to finish it by Tuesday next week, so it's going to be a rush to finish it on time. It's fun to be working freelance-style on a paid project again, though. My skills are very much appreciated by the company which hired me, and they are ready to offer me a lot more work after this. I bought my first Android smartphone to use for testing the applications I develop, a Huawei U8800 IDEOS X5, which is comparable to a Google Nexus S, a mainstream to high-end phone. Not as cool as the Galaxy S II or similar high-end phones, but more than suitable for everything from playing videos to running 3D applications.
After yesterday's blog posts one might wonder how I'm feeling today, to which the most basic reply is 'tired'. I'm still promoting the petition, even today while talking to these people, I'm just not putting my hopes on anything. As I wrote yesterday, I can not see a future right now, and all I can do is wait until one gets handed to me. The only thing I know is that I need to find a place where I can feel safe. It'll probably take a miracle and a granting of refugee status and/or humanitarian protection to accomplish that, though.
Hope is for those who can see a glimpse of the future. I can not even glimpse a future, ergo I have no hopes.