Saturday, 30 October 2010

An unexpected trip

I am in Alanya, Turkey.
On Thursday late afternoon I received a call that OS had been brutally assaulted while on holiday here and he was in intensive care in the hospital. I flew over as soon as I could on Friday and saw OS in the hospital late that evening. His face, legs and arms are almost full of bruises, but fortunately the doctor says there is no internal damage and there is nothing that won't heal, except maybe the mental scars.
Today I spent most of the day in the hospital, at the police station and in OS' hotel room to collect his bags and have a look at the crime scene. OS doesn't remember what happened: he says he went to bed around midnight and the next thing he knows he is in an ambulance. Apparently the cleaning lady found him unconscious and covered in blood in his bathroom.
The same day (!) a Russian lady was found in another room in the same hotel after a failed suicide attempt. The lady was interviewed by the police and she says she has spent time with OS drinking and smoking cigarettes. OS categorically denies that he even knows the lady. The lady was on holiday with another lady and a Russian guy who looks like a block of concrete.
The police think that OS was the victim of the Russian guy who might have been jealous that one of his girls spent time with him. Nobody knows why the Russian lady has told the story that she spent time with OS. OS doesn't recognize the Russian guy and the police have no evidence, so they can't arrest him.
Now I am fighting with the travel insurance and the health insurance people who is going to take care of OS re-patriation. It will take another few days for sure.

Thursday, 7 October 2010

RIP Antonie Kamerling

Almost exactly 20 years ago, when I was a couple of years into my first job, I would often come home in the evening and watch the first Dutch soap which was especially made for young people (teens and twens) on TV: "Goede Tijden Slechte Tijden" ("Good Times Bad Times")
Two of the main characters were good-looking young men: Reinout Oerlemans played Arnie and Antonie Kamerling played Peter. In our group of friends of that time we had discussions who was the cuter of the two, and I didn't have to think about it: Peter was definitely my type.
Since those days in the early 1990's I have followed Antonie's career and I often liked what I saw, also professionally. he was not only an actor, but also had a nr 1 hit with this song.
I was shocked this morning when the news broke that he committed suicide, aged 44, leaving behind a wife and two children.
We will miss you, Antonie. Rest In Peace.

Monday, 4 October 2010

Work and money

We had our annual reunion of University friends this last weekend - this time it was in Brussels and we enjoyed the city and the great Belgian food. Have I ever mentioned that Belgian food is one of my favourite foods in the world? Not as "queeny" as French food but much more refined than Dutch or German food. Just perfect.
Anyway, it was interesting to catch up with everybody and our careers have taken very different paths. Some of us have been very successful job-wise with matching salaries, whereas some others also have nice jobs but with much lower pay, mostly because they work as teachers and University professors.
I am good friends with the wife of one of my Uni friends and she was complaining that her husband works too many hours ("every evening") and she is worried about his health. She also told me he earns half a million euros per year which was more than I would have guessed. They have a nice house and two cars - however, I don't think their lifestyle is much different from mine. I think I wouldn't want to swap places with him and work 80 hours a week - after all, we are economists and we know the marginal utility of money is small after a certain level.