We flew to Brussels to visit friends in the municipality of Heist-op-den-Berg, a Belgian, Flemish community of 42,000. Brussels is an international big city to the south. This little area is pure Netherlander (Dutch) in language and a reserved, coldish, culture.
Rudy had said he liked American helpfulness and friendliness (speaking, holding doors, smiling, etc.) when he visited here.
I went for a run through town.
Seeing the surprised looks I got, instead of a wave and “good morning,” I got louder with “Howdy, y’all,” all smiles like I wanted to hug. The natives were plumb shocked. I loved it.
Look both ways trying to understand life, history, language, and culture.
Travel, learn, love, and mind the gaps.
When in Rome, do as the Romans do,
but “to thine own self be true.”
Thanks to Rochelle @Rochelle Wisoff-Fields-Addicted to Purple for another midweek, Friday Fictioneers photo prompt. Her weekly challenge is for us to write a story of 100 words or less based on a photo prompt (this week, hers).
Title: When I Met Sparky
Word Count: 100
Old Sparky was its name. A useless device, except for taking out life 695 times.
I could have been seeing any old gallows, a chopping block, a guillotine, but it was an ugly wooden chair with dried up leather straps and old wires. It was a creative invention to kill in a kinder, gentler way.
I felt a willfulness choke me.
I kept my emotions hidden. When the warden asked if I would like to sit in the chair (against the rules), without moving my eye from what must have been a sight for thousands, I mumbled a muffled, “Nope.”
Look both ways when you kill.
Mind the gaps death cannot be undone.
The young man stood straight as the teacher’s loud, angry voice bristled. She berated his atrocious spelling and wretched grammar. He held back tears of shame and anger as she publicly humiliated him. She declared his entire family abysmal failures as human beings destined for an eternity in hell.
He found abysmal in the dictionary. When his mother later asked how he had done on the school paper he worked on so diligently, he reported that the teacher said it was very deep and that the entire family was destined for infinite success.
Look both ways. They may forgive, but they’ll not forget.
Mind the gaps. No memory is flawless.