Thursday, May 15, 2008

Six years of this...

I have not been writing lately. I am speaking about this blog. It has probably been several months since I specifically wrote something for here. Today I am though because it is May 15th, and of course May 15th is the anniversary of Zaremba running into me with his car.

But there are several real reasons for my having stopped witting blog essays. Firstly, and probably the biggest reason is that I simply lost interest in writing about either my current situation or how it might relate to Poland's taking away a year of my life. There is probably a good argument which says that all of my original motives were economical: i.e., I wanted (and still want actually) some severe and real compensation from the Poland and American governments for what they did to my life. This, both directly, because of how screwed up things were for me after Poland, and for the public justice of it all. But on the other side I needed whatever money I could find because of how screwed up things were.

And, this little internet space did provide a little help from time to time. This is not to say I got rich off of this. Absolutely no way- I never even cracked ½ minimum wages. Hell, I didn't even crack food stamps. More than likely it was that doing this offered some hope for me; a way out or at least the thought that something righteous could come of it.

And I guess I should also really say that there have been a lot of things other than financial that have happened because I am here and have this web space that I never have written about. Just today in fact I was involved in two separate affairs that came about because I was contacted and asked to help. So I can't say that it was nothing to me and that I have thrown it away because I found something better.

But this last year I finally found my way around any number of detractors, local and the foreigners who paid them off, and finally got my gig together here. And this is really why I haven't been following up on the writing. I mean, I am very, very busy these days and what I have to do takes up a lot of my time and energy and so there simply just hasn't been the need to push on.

And then there is also that I simply don't want to "use" my daily exploits here. Maybe this is about having respect for one's self or for the privacy of one's social circles or maybe it is just that I really never was the sort of person who wanted all that much attention. Or maybe it is all just basic practicality. We are after all speaking of six years ago and I don't know how many people have pointed out that the horse I have been endlessly beating might already be dead. In any case, it has just been really hard to get up for writing an essay.

I have been writing though. I have two projects I am working on in addition to my daily chores. One is a compilation of my current teaching method and the other is a memoir of the time leading up to this year. The first should end up to be a text book and other might be titles being had II, or something equally creative. I would like to think of all of this as a "you can't keep a good man (Goodman?) down", but I have a hard time putting that particular adage in my pocket. Perhaps this is because of all of the people I no longer talk to- there has been a lot of baggage accumulated over time and just like my family, I myself can hold a grudge with the best of them. I also wouldn't call the memoir a "tell all" book, but just like I did with "BEING HAD", I didn't change any names or use initials. Hopefully there might be some interest in the story and you never know, something might come of this.

But I do seem to have stopped typing for this space. Truthfully, none of this has been a very natural act for me. I got accused again lately of having done all of this just to get some extra attention. Probably this is a reasonable argument but I did not make this weblog to draw attention to myself; I made this for retribution, to force and admission of guilt and because I wanted to put some negative attention on Poland where it was needed and belonged. The corrupt Polish system was the one who needed to be cleaned out and especially those rather filthy criminal elements from the Police and prosecutor's office and I just wanted to tell both about what they did, how they did it and what kind of results what they had done had had on my life. .

This is without mentioning those well meaning "let's look after our own" types at the US embassy who may or may not have been behind the whole thing from the start- well, at least as far as the after-the-incident dog and pony show.

And I do think I have been reasonably successful. Somewhere between a quarter and third of a million people have opened my pages and reason might dictate that I might have influenced a few of them to think more harshly than they otherwise would have about going to Poland or about doing business with them. And yea, I would be proud t know that a couple of million dollars in tourist money might not have found its way over of if it has become just a little harder for the Justice people to screw over the citizenry than it used to be. And as I still get a lot of angry Polish crank letters, I can take some comfort in knowing that it has not all been for naught.

And let me make this clear: I came here because I wanted to and I have stayed despite all of the "extra" pressure not to. And I will say this again: I stayed despite the antagonism not because of it. I suppose I could say why, but to me a better argument is really "why not?"

You must understand that I really don't see any difference. I have a life here because I built one. I had a life in New York before September 11th because I built that one too. But you must understand that there is no difference. I had some extra money sometimes in New York but I was never rich and frankly, was never on any sort of path to even be rich. I was in the bike business and just like I do now, I did everything I could think of to be in that business. I didn't have anybody working for me then and I really don't have anybody working for me now. Any "success" I might feel here is simply because I might take a moment and admire a particularly beautiful piece of work. Maybe take some pride in it would be a better way to say it, but in any case, it is all the same to me.

Well, this is not true. Here I have some family as well. This I didn't have in America. I have my daughter and my time with her is everything plus the bag of chips. I also like what I am doing these days. I like it a lot. And I have land. I love our garden. That's funny actually because I used to call it a farm but now I see it as a garden. But I didn't have this in America either.

So you know, people still ask me which is better and I still answer the same way; there is good and bad in both places. Obviously there is more money which can be made in America, but then again everything costs more and the pace is different. Here can be pretty bad sometimes but it can also be pretty cool as well. Sometimes it can be great actually. Really.

So basically I guess I would have to say that I have stopped because I just don't know what to say anymore or why I should say it. Or maybe the real truth is just that I live in Belarus, or that I have finally begun to really have a life here. I had to live without one for a long time and perhaps finally having one really changes my perspective on things for me. I guess I just have not been sure lately if blogging has a place in that life for me anymore.

But of course I have been keeping the flame going, even if I have not been writing. I just completed the 307th Being Had Times and will shortly add a few more items into the polish Scandal files.

And so that's the news for the 15th of May, 2008, officially six years since Zaremba and Wiesniakowski; Since Zurovska and Borus and Stolte; Since Drazek and Kat and Maka and Betty and all the Warsaw bikers; Since Ostrow and Uladsimir and Vitali and George and Andrew and Julia and Eva and her family. It's been six years since Pod Kablukom or writing BEING HAD at the internet café in Pinsk. I don't know, I guess I am still doing it after all. And of course I am still here. I'm just not writing so many essays about it any more.