mon 10 jul 2006 16:36:00 raamgracht
[from an email to a friend]
i've been having trouble concentrating on my work. maybe i'm just depressed or something. life feels uncertain.
i've got my fourth residence permit. supposedly after i've had five of them, my status will change.
but there's also a new law coming into effect at the beginning of january 2007, whose aim is to promote "civil integration" of foreigners. everybody is supposed to take a test of their familiarity with dutch values and customs. the goal is to actively try to reduce the ghetto-forming tendencies of "non-western" ethnic minorities (particularly the kind who think it's okay to beat up gay men and keep their wives locked in the house). the sample test i saw is really not a test of fitting in, but a test of how well you know how to think like a white dutch suburban family with children. i don't move in those circles, so i find the whole thing pretty alienating.
meanwhile, the lady who championed the idea -- minister of immigration, rita verdonk -- was the center of a controversy that actually brought down the government two weeks ago. now they have to have early elections in november, and verdonk might be ousted. so i don't know how that will affect the "integration-leading".
pani wants me to take some nude photographs of her tomorrow afternoon. frank just broke up with her so she says she needs to do something radical to make herself "feel a woman again".
artery is back from ireland, they're playing at the tara this saturday night.