Hey Pubski. Lots to think about this week, not a lotta time.
So I had this awesome trip to Milan last week. I spent a good day preparing my speech, and while I was nervous in the week leading up to it, the presentation itself went phenomenal. I used to have real stage fright as a teenager. Yet here I am, being flown into a national conference and nailing my presentation.
I'd never been to Milan. It has its nice spots, but I was very aware of how commercialized it is with all the hip brands dominating the city center. I spotted three fashion models posing with a posse of makeup/photo/whatever people in less than an hour of walking around town. There were also more homeless than I'm used to seeing - but then again, I also recently learned that we Dutch have one of the highest number of homeless per capita. What does it matter if they're visible or not.
Flying in for a day did make me feel kinda conflicted. If this trip wasn't so last-minute, I probably would have planned to do the trip by nighttrain, which is doable. But as it was now I had to miss the Climate Strike because I was flying, and I would be lying if that didn't make me feel uneasy. Then again, I was there to promote electric mobility, so if the ends justify the means, then those are pretty decent ends.
Yesterday was also the day of a farmer's strike. My sister's soon-to-be-husband is taking over the farm of his father. The tide's been turning against farmers recently - they account for 40% of our nitrogen pollution, and Europe has told us to drastically cut nitrogen levels to preserve nature. Which I'm personally totally behind, but it's very complex matter (does closing farms here open up farms somewhere else?) and it's a very poignant and visible case of the consequences of sustainability policy. There will be much more difficult decisions to make if we really want to get somewhere. It won't be pretty.
Went to see my sister yesterday. We aren't that close, not for any particular reason other than distance. She ended up wanting to talk about our parents. They're not in a great place, which I am fully aware of, but she pointed a bunch of things out about the dynamic between us and between them that I hadn't noticed. They were not compliments to say the least. At some point the image children have of their parents bumps into reality, their imperfections put in a stark and unforgiving light. I have yet to figure out what to do with the new information, but I can't shake it off that's for sure.