I could never imagine that I would become 43 years.
When I was ten years old I was visualising how it would be to be thirty years. To think further than that border was for me at that age impossible. But for sure there was one thing I knew. Finally, I would be an adult.
Shaving my face and pumping the fuel into the petrol tank of the car seemed for me the coolest activities in the world.
The Bomb would fall, we thought …
I grew up in the dark and somber years of the eighties. The atmosphere felt pessimistic. The economy was not functioning well and the adults were afraid that one day the Bomb would fall. Happily it never did fall, but when the disaster happened with the nuclear plant in Chernobyl – 26 April 1986 – my parents were very worried.
Some days later they were so relieved that the radioactive cloud was blown away to other regions than the Netherlands.
Today I am still wondering what happened to the people who were living in the areas where the radioactive parts were raining down on their vegetables.
I also remember a poster behind the windows of one of our neighbours. On it there were the words: ‘No Russians in my back garden’.
These impressions were for me the highlights of the Cold War. Cold, because there was no real war between the West and the USSR (nowadays Russia). But still many innocent civilians and spies were killed during clandestine operations.
Fall of the Berlin Wall
And than suddenly the Berlin Wall was overthrown (9 November 1989). My parents where flabbergasted. They never expected that this would ever be possible to happen. It was mind blowing.
The concrete of the Berlin Wall was so thick and the watchtowers were full of heavy armed soldiers. Immediately shooting with machine guns when a civilian was running into the no man’s land towards the big barrier of the Wall.
That day we saw on our small television screen the celebration of the excited crowd in Berlin. Many Dutch persons decided to drive to Berlin. Just to see with own eyes what was happening. To be a part of these historic days.
And to acquire some stones of the Wall. Or to get a legendary specimen of the Trabant (the car that was produced in East Germany).
It was such a vibe of freedom and relief. And a very good start of the nineties.
There was a huge change of atmosphere.
And when I am now again seeing the pictures of that time, observing how the people looked and how they were clothed, I am realising with a shock that this happened thirty years ago. It is so far away that it seems even that it never happened.
I dived in the world of Twitter
And in the week that I celebrated my birthday – feeling thankful to be alive after all that years – I decided also to do something new. I dived in the world of Twitter.
And it surprised me. Until now I did not understand Twitter.
For years I was asking myself why people are sending such short messages of just 280 characters. My mind did not grasp it.
And my ignorance was confirmed when I was reading the news reports about the ‘mind blowing’ tweets of the Commander in Chief of the United States of America 🙂
It seemed for me that Twitter is just a medium for old, angry, white men.
But I was wrong. A whole new universe is opening for me. My possibilities to communicate are extending. I am even connecting with far more people than before via Facebook.
One thing I am not ‘seeing’ quite well. And that is why one tweet is read by some people, while another tweet – which I am not expecting to have an impact – is watched by hundreds of humans.
And thus I am so surprised that my delightful tweet about the extension of the daylight – spring is coming ! – was visited in such a short time by … 1,043 persons !
And the number is still going up 🙂
Thank you all for that … I am enjoying it !