Poem at the bottom of the post.

My BTS CD finally arrived the other day and I’m so happy. I love CDs. The sound is so much better than any digital file. Even the songs I was kind of indifferent about (Dimple, Best of Me) sound good to me. Jimin’s Serendipity is the most beautiful thing ever. My favourite songs from the album are Pied Piper and Sea, which I already knew before I had the physical copy in my hands, but I love them even more now that I hear them played on my old radio. Aaaah CDs. Maybe once I get my next paycheck I can splurge and get Wings too, as well as Jonghyun’s Poet|Artist (or Artist|Poet – I can never remember).

I’ve been spending way too much money lately.

A few days I ago I received some books I ordered in Korean. One was waaaaaay above my level (though to this day I don’t know what my level is) but the other seemed doable. It seemed doable.

The first word that appeared was 거품, which I faintly recalled as meaning ‘foam’, but I couldn’t figure out why a book would start that way. It just seemed weird. As I read on, I came across the name Aphrodite and it all started making sense but by then I’d already mentioned foam to my friend, who’s also learning Korean. (Aphrodite, the Greek goddess of love, was born from the foam of the sea.) Only later did I remember it was a poetry book. Oops.

Knowing I occasionally write poetry, she requested a poem about foam. It was supposed to be a joke but I took it seriously. When I showed her the result, she was shocked so mission accomplished. I quite like it myself but you judge for yourself:


Fragrant, silky foam

Like a lover’s carress

Smelling of you

The strawberries you ate

I can still taste them

Enchantingly sweet

Treacherously soft

Luring me in

I’d almost forget

I’m here alone

With all this foam

Reminding me of you

What used to be

It’s time now

My time to let go

Enveloped in bubbles

One last breath

I let it take me

Then I disappear

And only foam remains


Honja (alone)

Scroll down for poem (written on the same day, within the same hour, as the previous post’s poem).

A little while ago I was having a good talk with my mum when she opened up to me. We’ve had difficulties with money for as long as I can remember, most likely from the time my parents split up. (I was 11, btw. I don’t have that many memories. My mind is filled with so much knowledge, it had to prioritise so it forgot most memories. I’m a bit sad but I can’t really help it.) Yet she told me that even though she worried about money she also had faith that things would work out well. She doesn’t have much to spend but she never worries too much because she trusts that something will happen to make up for the amount she overspent (which is never much because she’s very responsible but still). So far it’s always come true.

I’ve since tried her method myself. I still worry about money but I’m less desperate and more optimistic. The situation doesn’t seem as bleak anymore, even though I’m at risk of being unable to pay my bills. Balancing school and work is something others seem to do effortlessly but I’ve been having the greatest trouble managing it all. I was job hunting again but it didn’t result in much (except a new connection and more resilience) until I got a call from my former employer asking whether I had time to work tomorrow. I thought it was supposed to be over, though they did hint at seeing us again when we were leaving the company dinner we had last month, so it was an unexpected blessing. So far my mum’s theory is working splendidly. I do not recommend it – I don’t want to be held liable if it doesn’t work out for others – but I will continue to live this way until my luck runs out.

Anyway, enjoy the poem. Honja means lonely or alone. (Inspired by Jonghyun’s song.)


Alone, Together

Alone Together

A tear here,

A tear there

Without you

I’m still me

Are you still you?

I pushed and prodded

You improved

You got further and further away

I detached

For you

Without you

Is there me?

Back to square one

Push and Pull

Never share

Just me

Always me

I alone

No one else

Will you come?

Open me up?

Push and prod

Until I improve

No one else

No repeat

Success rate 1

Failure rate ∞


Without you

Stars are just stars

Forever means nothing

Time is just time

Moments forgotten

All that we shared

Do you remember?

You are the moon

Changing my tides

High and low

Eb and flow

Take out the moon

Once disturbed

Never the same

Is this a high?

Is this a low?

Is neutral the new black?

I miss the old black

The warm darkness

Without all the thoughts

Now it’s all over

My head still works


That world


Break it

Please destroy it

Break me out

Save me from fantasy

Make me miserable


Share my pain

I’ll take yours

Hurt me

Insult me

Yell, Scream, Bite

Silence is deafening

There is too much

Swallow me whole

Nothing is left

Just me

Without you


No longer together

Without you.

Ppiddakhage – written in a frenzy

As usual, scroll down to the bold part if you want to skip my thoughts. This time it’s a poem.

The other day I was browsing WordPress, randomly clicking people’s profiles to see how they managed their blogs. There were those with profiles that were hardly profiles at all, that literally had all the standard messages saved and showing (e.g. write an introduction to entice people to read on), and there were those with perfectly organised profiles, where posts were neatly organised into categories, where everything fit a theme, but there were also people like me, whose profiles were something in-between, chaotic in some ways but organised in others, where you could tell they were passionate enough about something to want to share it with the world but not motivated or skilled enough to learn how to work a website.

One blog in particular stuck out. I won’t name it but it was everything I wanted mine to be, in theory. This person seemed to have the same goal as me, or at least a similar one, yet their means of achieving it were so much more polished, so much more organised.

I was jealous.

I have long accepted my chaotic nature but this got me questioning my approach to things. Would I ever reach that same level of finesse? Was my writing up to par? Should I proofread and edit more? Naturally, I felt halted. Until I got these thoughts sorted out there was no way in hell I’d be able to be happy with anything I wrote.

I’m still not entirely sure whether I shouldn’t aim to be more organised, whether I shouldn’t put more effort into figuring out all the features of WordPress, whether my writing is good enough. Still, I found it in me to continue going. I don’t know how satisfied I should be with my output but right now I am happy with what I wrote. There’s a good chance I’ll hate it and only see the flaws in a few years – which is what happens with all my writing – or even a few months if I’m unlucky but I like it now. I really do.

The poem I’m sharing here today was written in a frenzy, while listening to G Dragon’s Crooked (or 삐딱하게) on repeat. Since I’m awful with titles, I just went with the romanised title of the song. I won’t ask you to listen to it, especially the first time you read the poem, but I do like the song a lot. While writing I kept in mind the lyrics, the meaning of the song, and the MV, but was mostly just focusing on the feelings and thoughts the sound of the song brought out in me. Enjoy.


Break free

Unleash it all

Don’t hold back

It’s just me

Do it now

It’s the time

All of it

Let loose your hair

Do it for me

I’d do it for you

You’re everything

Show the world

They’re missing out



But who are you?

Show him, show her


Never heard of it

They want you bare

Naked isn’t enough

Show your all

Inside out

Who cares what you think?

They don’t

You don’t seem to

Do I?

Bad influence

Sure, if you wish

See me that way

Judge me harsh

Judge me right

Pay no mind

It’s all on me anyway

Do it

Do it now



I’m nothing

Beyond that point

It’s liberating

No secrets

Nothing to hide

Just me

All of me


It scares them

Do I scare you?

Fear me not

I will bite you

They took it all

And I gave

I gave it all


As a promise

I didn’t need anything in return

They had nothing to give anyway

I’m rich

I have nothing

But it’s more

More than they ever will

All they took from me






I’m empty

Left with just me

In my purest form

Do you see me?

Flee while you can

I will take you

And drag you with me

There is no escape

Come here


I’ll seduce you

By promising you nothing

There’s nothing left to give

So abandon me

Like they did you

Like they did me

I’ll live

I’ve succeeded so far

This empty shell

All me

Where are you going?

Road to nowhere

Versus road to hell

Or back to civilisation?

Warn the others

Of the monster I’ve become

The monster they made me

The monster I’ve always been

Set me free

Tell them and set me free

It’s the last warning

Tell them that

There will be no more

I’ll let loose

They destroyed it all

Fighting spirit

That’s all that’s left


All mine

So go

And don’t return

Never return

I’ll shatter you

Worse than they did

Why are you still here?


Don’t come back

This is my place

Away from all

The only place

Don’t disturb me

Please go

Please stay

Don’t look at me

See me

Before you leave

Just once

Remember me

And show them

See me

Demand they show you

Who I was

I know there’s proof

I assure you

You’ll know

I’ll show you

Who you will become

Given time

So go

Don’t ever return

Because I won’t be here.

He was right all along

When I returned

There was no trace

Not a single shadow

So I took his place

We were the same anyway

And the cycle continued

When I saw you

And told you to flee

While you still could

Because I’m the one

They warned you about

The monster

Civilisation created.



A Daily Dose of Inspiration (Blonote review)

I almost accidentally deleted this post before publishing it. I am so relieved.

This blog post will be a little different. For one because I don’t have a suitable short piece to share with you – everything I’ve written lately has been very dark and a bit disturbing – so I’ll be sharing the prologue to my new book instead. If you’re interested, scroll down. I hope you’ll stick around to read the rest this time as well.

I might’ve mentioned a few times that I started learning Korean again. I wasn’t really making that much progress so I decided to give myself tests. It worked for English in high school so why wouldn’t it work for Korean too? Every time I scored under 70% I’d have to do 100 push ups and 100 sit ups as a punishment – it’s the closest thing  to my mother’s disappointment I could think of – but if I got over 90% I’d get a reward of choice.

Of course, being the shopaholic I am, I splurged and ordered Blonote on January 17th, three days after my first test. (I will refrain from posting any pics because photography is not a skill I possess and the ttmik website has great photos posted in the link provided.) I then had to study extra hard to make sure I deserved the reward.

If you’re unaware, Talk To Me In Korean is a great resource for anyone interested in learning the Korean language. I haven’t bought any of their books yet – not counting Blonote, as it’s technically Tablo’s book – because I’m permanently broke, especially nowadays, but they have plenty of free resources on their website too. I mostly rely on their podcasts for grammar. They’re fun to listen to, the speakers have great chemistry, and they provide helpful PDFs to summarise what they said.

Last month I finally decided to take the plunge and order something from their website. Had I been smarter I might’ve gone with one of their textbooks but Blonote caught my eye and before I fully realised what was happening I was looking at the order confirmation email. The shipping fees are kind of expensive but that’s normal when ordering stuff from Korea. The total for two books and a CD, including shipping, still only came down to a little over €40, which is reasonable. Estimated shipping time was 2-3 weeks.

Imagine my surprise when I received my package after only a week.

Ever since that day I’ve been practicing my self-restraint, only allowing myself a single page each day. It’s so hard not to read it front to back whenever it’s in your hands. Tablo did a great job and I am so stoked TTMIK made it available for sale on their (sister?)website. It’s hard to come by books in Korean here (in the Netherlands) so I’m happy I found a reliable source.

Unless you’re completely broke, I greatly recommend checking out TTMIK, especially if you’re (interested in) learning Korean. Honestly, I was tempted to even buy the Hangul Master book, even though I can read Hangul pretty well. It’s just that the promise of being able to read the titles of dramas/films from the poster /cover image/whatever it’s called was tempting. I had to remind myself that I couldn’t even read handwriting in the Latin or Cyrillic script to stop me from spending more money. If you do have the money to spare it’s easy to justify shopping at My Korean Store. I know I learnt more from TTMIK than I did from the Sogang textbooks I own.

So, now that I’m done freaking out over all the stuff I cannot have, enjoy this short piece:

A Bed of Flames – prologue

The scent of fire carried for miles in each direction, allowing bystanders to enjoy its exhilarating odour without the need to worry about their internal organs shrivelling up. In a way he was doing them a favour. As far as addictions went, his was fairly safe and unobtrusive to others in the vicinity.

Or at least it used to be back when he first started. No one looked twice at a homeless guy warming himself near a small fire, especially in the capital. The homeless were pariahs, social rejects of an entirely separate calibre, and as such more often than not completely overlooked.

That he didn’t actually fit it in no one seemed to notice. People were predictable that way; they didn’t want to see him so they didn’t. It was nothing new. A better person would’ve felt a shred of remorse at his blatant disrespect for the community but compared to the rest of society his actions were mildly bothersome at best.

At least he noticed them, provided them with warmth on those dreadfully long winter nights. He wasn’t a saint but he was honest about his shortcomings, at least to himself. And he didn’t pretend to be a good person.

Knowing all that, it was only a matter of time before he attempted stretching his boundaries. Stretch they did, further and further until even he was amazed by his lack of morality.

It was, therefore, only a matter of time before another human being would get caught up in it all. And another moment for him to realise it didn’t bother him in the slightest.


As usual, scroll down for the story.

Some good things have happened recently.

Lately I’ve been mildly obsessed with the Korean idol and rapper Zico. Seriously, his song Artist is one of the few things that can make me happy whenever I hear it. The MV for it is a piece of art too.

My former best friend contacted me again, out of the blue, and we’re talking again after several years of silence. Not sure what will come of it yet but she caught me at a really good time so I gave her another chance without much thought. Besides, she seemed apologetic and more mature so why not start over?

Sadly I haven’t won any jackpot – I could really use the money – but I did get really inspired by all the music I’ve discovered so I have a bunch of stories I need to get onto paper ASAP. One of those is called Jackpot. It was born when my sister asked my help with one of her assignments for school, about science fiction (which is a genre she doesn’t know anything about, except what she learned from Black Mirror). Please enjoy:


Martha worried about her daughter. At seven weeks, it was still possible for the child growing inside of her to be fixed. If only they could afford it.

Time was running out and Martha couldn’t bear the thought of sending the child into the world with a disability.

‘’Mom! I found a solution!’’ Martha’s youngest yelled from the living room. Martha perked up and rushed towards her son. At 27, he still had two years in high school ahead of him. If he continued on this way, he’d get into college before 30! No one had succeeded at that in the past century and back then life expectancy had only been 180!

‘’Mom!’’ he repeated, grabbing her sleeve to rush her towards the TV. Once there, he pointed at the screen, a grin evident on his face.

‘’Look, mum! They’re doing a lottery again!’’ he exclaimed.

There hadn’t been a lottery in 5 years. What had made them change their minds?

‘’Can we afford it?’’

Martha checked her balance. She only had a couple thousand left for groceries and the month was still in its infancy.

‘’How much are tickets?’’ she asked, fearing the answer.

‘’Only a thousand each, mum! They haven’t gone up in price at all!’’

She sighed. She had hoped they’d be cheaper but this was for the sake of her grandchild. Martha was willing to do anything.

‘’Sev, darling, why don’t you go out and buy two for your poor old mother?’’

Her son rolled his eyes. ‘’You’re only 98, mum. Don’t be silly.’’

He took the card from her and hurried out. At the door, he turned around. ‘’And don’t look a day over 100!’’

Before she could throw the remote at his head he was gone. The little rascal!


On X-mas the family sat huddled before the TV, drinking hot chocolate and eating ginger biscuits.

Linda de Mol Jr appeared on the screen and did her usual routine, prolonging everyone’s suffering. ‘’And now, the winning numbers…’’

Martha felt anxious, more so than she had even when giving birth to her eldest as a teen.


Martha uncrumpled the piece of paper in her hand: it showed an 8.


The paper wasn’t the actual ticket but she had copied her numbers onto it as soon as Sev had returned. The real thing was safely hidden, just in case.


One number showed a 4 instead. The other had a 3.

‘’We’re all so anxious. I love it!’’ the woman on their screen exclaimed.

Martha sighed.


Her hands shook. Could it be…?

‘’Now, before I say the next number, I’d like to thank our sponsors.’’

Sev groaned.

Soon; soon, they’d know.


Everyone was silent now. No one dared move.

‘’And the final number…’’

Martha bit her lip.

‘’…you’ll hear after the commercial break.’’

Martha threw her head back against the wall. This was pure torture. Surely even back in 2003 people must’ve been sick of commercial breaks. Too bad it was live or she’d have skipped it.

‘’And the final number is… 4! Congratulations!’’

Martha couldn’t believe it. the last number on her piece of paper was a 4 too. But it was too soon for jubilations; she had to check the original. Surely fate wasn’t so cruel?

She held the ticket in her shaking hands and read the number over and over again.

  1. Eight, one, three, seven, five, four. 8-1-3-7-5-4.

It really showed the number.

Martha’s eyes teared as she beckoned her daughter.

‘’Baby, it’s for you and the little one.’’

Her daughter’s eyes teared up too. ‘’I’ll call him Jack.’’

Little baby Jack.

‘’Congratulations! Remember, your prize is all-encompassing: that lucky baby will be disease-free and you get five personality changes of choice, as well as three cosmetic changes.’’

Martha had to sit down. Little Jack’s flat feet would be prevented and his eye colour could be changed from brown to blue. Maybe now he’d stand a chance in society.


Flights of Fancy

I’m back! If you missed my last post, it’s because I forgot to put any tags. Yes, I’m an idiot. As usual, the short piece – this time a poem – is at the bottom of the post but I would appreciate it if you could all stick around for the entire post, as it will be pretty short and it will include some recommendations.

I have a love-hate relationship with rap music. I am naturally more inclined to listen to rock/punk/etc so rap isn’t always the first thing on my mind. Recently, that changed. My love for punk and rock remains but I also discovered some Korean rappers. I already knew about the great RM, Suga, J-Hope, etc but then I found Outsider. Holy shit. If nothing else, just give his song Loner a shot. I promise it’s amazing.

Then, yesterday, I found the iconic duo LeeSsang (리쌍) by chance and fell in love with their profound lyrics. My first introduction was their Tears of Pierrot trilogy, which I greatly recommend, though it’s very sad so be warned, as well as Painter/Song of Fire (화가), all of which can be found on Daechungpower’s youtube channel, with English subs.

Finally, today, I ventured into Big Bang’s territory and found T.O.P’s Doom Dada. It’s wacky and confusing and weird but also kind of funny and creepy and awesome. There are lyrics vids available for it, which I highly recommend, though they won’t clarify much, but the MV is worth a watch too. In fact, this song was my main inspiration for the poem in this post. Outsider made me feel; LeeSsang motivated me to write and change the world; and T.O.P inspired me. They’re all wonderful and deserve recognition.

Interesting fact: I came up with the title Flights of Fancy months ago, knowing I wanted to write something with that title. It’s the first time ever I came up with a title before I had an idea. Now, without further ado, I present to you:

Flights of Fancy

Flights of fancy,
on a spur,
whimsically this,
fancily flying,
fancy flights.
From day one
he beats a drum
freely, fearlessly
‘fraid of none
he beats his drum.
On a whim,
jumping up,
flying high,
burning bright,
burning out.
This and that,
zus en zo,
tu i tamo,
free to peruse.
And so he flutters
from one to the next,
always looking,
stuck with second best;
I wish this were the end.

From flowers to masters
to cheeses at night,
beers to piñatas,
no end in sight,
his endless plight.
Painting and sculpting,
even karaoke,
jumping and running,
fierljeppen out of spite,
never quitting.
his next pursuit,
forever forgiving,
singing lullabies to
crying babies
of the human variety.
Finally he found
a passion that stuck
and started writing
your favourite book.
These flights of fancy,
moments of spur,
looking lonely,
abandoned and dull.
And so he ends with
one last word.

Imagine: how I kept my promise

So last time I wrote a post without adding a short piece to it, with the promise I’d post one before year’s end. Here I am keeping that promise. As usual, scroll down for the story. It’s an experimental piece; the first and only time I’ve tried writing from the second person point of view. That’s right, the ”you”-pov. I must be insane. Enjoy. (It’s called Imagine, hence the title.)

First off, it’s Kim Taehyung’s birthday! That might not mean anything to you but I personally am glad he’s out there being happy, celebrating with the people he loves. I hope he knows how much he means to all the people he’s made happy over the years.

This post will hop from topic to topic pretty randomly, as I just want to let everything out that’s stuck inside of me, so if it seems unhinged, sorry. You can just skip this bit and go straight to the short piece.

Yesterday they showed a segment on TV of the important people that died this year. I hadn’t heard of most of those yet it greatly saddened me. So many people died this year. The problem with this kind of thing is all the people that died in anonimity. They didn’t even mention all the famous people that died, and there were already so many. The hundreds of thousands of others that died this year are kind of skimmed over, whether they died ‘peacefully’ in their sleep or were brutally killed in a suicide bombing. I just hope other people saw this segment too and thought ”if this is just about the famous people who died, think about all the regular people who aren’t showed”. Makes you feel really tiny.

Btw, speaking of feeling tiny, have you guys seen that little video thingy illustrating how deep humans have dug so far and how long it would take to get to the center of the earth? It was really cool, though humbling, and I recommend watching it. It’s only a minute long at most.

Other cool things I watched include the drama The Bride of Habaek (I always say Haebak), which has a pretty shitty description so I’m glad I decided to watch it anyway. It’s not at all what I imagined it to be. Other great stuff to watch: IRIS, Tunnel (the drama, not the film), Witch’s Court (seriously, if you don’t watch anything else for the rest of your life, watch this one), and Loving Vincent (the film about Van Gogh’s death, excellently executed. The film, not the person..).

Book-wise this year was pretty bad, not because there were few good books that came out but because I hardly read at all and the things I did read were kind of disappointing. The only books that didn’t disappoint were the ones by Harlan Coben and the final installment of the Banned and the Banished series by James Clement. The middle of that book was a bit slow but the ending more than makes up for it.

The greatest disappointment was Camus’ Stranger/Outsider. The only reason I finished that book was because I was on a plane with nothing else to do and reading anything was better than imagining all the different ways in which the plane could crash and kill us. It’s not even that the main character was unrelatable; it’s just that the writing style was so boring and blegh. Very disappointed. It’s probably a minority that feels this way, but still. Read it if you want, I just won’t be re-reading it.

Speaking of disappointments, let’s talk Kruidvat’s Colors To Play wash out hair dye. The bottle says ”best effect on bleached and naturally light blond hair” but I didn’t expect to see no effect whatsoever on golden blonde hair. Literally the only thing that was dyed was the scalp, and that lasted only until the next day. Yeah, not buying that again.

Also, TTMIK books. I am in no way disappointed by TTMIK, as they, and their podcasts in particular, have proven quite the blessing, but the prices! I saw a deal on all the books today, with 10% off. It was still over €350. I know that it isn’t that expensive for so many books (25) but the truth is that I cannot even afford a single one. That’s right: I currently don’t even have €10 to spend and January hasn’t even started yet. I have to survive off of this until the 20th. This is why I moved back home with my mum. I don’t even know how I’ll pay for taekwondo. Ugh, money.

On that note, let’s end this.


Imagine being born. You live your life happily as a baby, your parents love you. They struggle but you’re little so you have no worries. They teach you how to walk, speak, to use the potty. Life is good.

Imagine one day they take you somewhere. You think you’re going to see that nice old couple you refer to as your grandparents. Instead, you are taken to a place with other little people like you: pre-school.

You get shy. You haven’t been around this many people before. On top of that, they speak a language you don’t understand. You’re two years old and you’re all alone in this crowd of people. You observe. As the days go by, you understand more and more of the language. You don’t start speaking it, as you are still very shy, and you are not good at making friends.

Two years go by like that and you are ready to leave this place. You are about to enrol in elementary school, but your old teacher expresses her concern. ”Your child might get in trouble. She hasn’t spoken at all since she started here. Be aware that she might fall behind.”

Your parents get concerned. They don’t understand. At home you speak really well, be it in your own language, and you’re a fast learner. You go to elementary school, and your parents are prepared that you might fail.

You do your own thing in elementary school. You listen to the teacher, you perform all the tasks. You even manage to make some friends. One day you were minding your own business when the teacher asks you to perform all kinds of tasks, over and over again. She looks surprised but you don’t know whether she thinks what you’re doing is good or not.

Your parents get a call. They have to come to school to talk about you. They are concerned. What if the pre-school teacher was right and you’re falling behind? They go, expecting the worst. They will love you no matter what.

When they reach the principal’s office, your teacher is there too. Both women are smiling. Your parents don’t understand. ”We took some tests with your child. We believe she might be of above average intelligence.”

Your parent don’t know what they’re hearing. ”Above average?” they ask, eyes wide. Deep in their hearts they had known you were smart. You take more tests and you get to skip a grade.

From here on, your life in elementary school is great. You kind of suck at gym class, but you excel in everything else. You take all kinds of tests, year after year, and pass with flying colours. You are constantly within the top 3 of your class.

You turn eleven. You start thinking about high schools. You have one final test to take and you get a near perfect score on it. You apply for the highest level of high school. You expect to get in easily because you’ve always been smarter than the others. When your letter finally arrives, you open it excitedly. You read it and your dreams shatter.

You got accepted into the second highest level. You’re confused, but accept that maybe you’re not as smart as you think you are. You show the letter to your mum. She explodes. You have never seen her so angry. You want to go apologise for not being smart enough. You try but she is on the phone. She’s angry. You leave the room.

When she is done, she comes to find you. She called the school and asked why you hadn’t been accepted into the highest level. They told her they thought you’d have trouble with the language. You are confused. All the tests you have ever taken were in this language. You understood it better than most of your peers. Your mum explains she told them exactly that and they decided to accept you. You are relieved but you still question your intelligence.

Your first year in high school goes by and you pass easily. You are somewhat bored because part of it all is far too easy and part of it is told so monotonously, you lack all motivation to learn. You pass class after class, year after year, without much trouble. You study an average of 2 hours per school year, but no one believes you.

In the final three years, things get a bit more difficult and you start studying about an hour every week. In geography class, a guy tells you that you and your people are to blame for his father not being there during his childhood. He was a soldier during the Yugoslavian War.

You don’t understand what your role in this was. You had been born a month before the peace accords. Your parent had fled to this country at the beginning of the war. You’re confused and hurt, you feel bad for what your people did. You don’t exactly know who your people are supposed to be, as you only know your close relatives, but you take his words to heart and feel bad.

You try to get a job, but no one even bothers to respond to your application. Your friend applies for the same position and gets it.  Exact same credentials, curriculum vitae virtually indistinguishable. You hear a Moroccan girl complain about discrimination based on a foreign name. You start thinking and you realise that might very well be the case. You want to give people the benefit of the doubt but still no one responds to your applications.

Geert Wilders becomes a well-known figure. His racial slurs grow more popular every day and you feel increasingly unwelcome in the country you were born in. People who you thought were your friends start yelling for less foreigners. He makes the adjustment saying the well-adapted ones are okay. You feel slightly less bad but you still worry.

You get into the university of your choice. You have grown weary of people and you find it hard to trust people but you manage to make friends. University turns out to be a much more open and accepting environment. You’re enjoying yourself but you still feel different.

You don’t think the way these people do. They are smart and so are you, but your way of thinking differs so much. You try to think their way but fail. You struggle with accepting yourself as you are. You have some personal issues, as does everyone else.

In your third year, a partly Moroccan woman gets a high position in politics. You think to yourself: yes, this is a well-adapted foreigner; this is the direction society should go towards. Wilders, however, is less than pleased. People are calling for her to swear off her second nationality. They seem to think someone cannot be loyal to a country if they have ties to another country. You find this silly, as her cultural heritage has made her who she is, and a person can be loyal to more than one person, so why would that not be the same with countries?

You hate the fact that so many fellow-citizens support such xenophobia. You struggle to find your place in a society that doesn’t want you. You’ll always be that lazy foreigner, with no work ethic, who adds nothing to society, and who should go back to their country.

You were born here, but this is not your country. You go on holiday to the country your parents were born in, but you feel like a foreigner. You don’t belong there either. You have a double nationality but neither matches your identity.