Thursday, July 7, 2011


I guess I am a few days late, but I had a couple of not-in-the-writing-mood days. However, trying to avoid large gaps in my blog again and making my friends cry out for more tryout, I will try to put a short thought down here.

When I was here in San Diego for my job interview about 3 years ago, it was around this time. I surmised that July 4th would be an exceptional day in every American's life. So my excitement about being here at July 4th was disappointed. No crowded streets and celebrating people. Even though there are more flags out in the streets than usual, at least on this National Holiday, the American pride I experienced so far cannot in the least compete with the flooding orange bursting in Dutch streets on Queens Day, the Dutch National Holiday. 

Instead of large celebrations, San Diegans gather at the beaches or in yards, leaving the rest of the city even more quiet and empty than usual. But at the beach you find big tents and barbecues, large family congregations of ten, twenty, thirty people from one clan that make me somehow feel isolated on my towel, by myself with a book. A little Mexican girl maybe of 2 years age with curly hair walks by and decides to spend a few minutes with me and I deeply regret not to speak a word of Spanish. But she gives me a broad smile and my heart melts anyway. Just when I wonder if she ran away and I try to ask her about her Mommy and Daddy, she decides that I am useless company and runs off, fortunately to her family. 

In the evening, as so many others, I await, with mixed feelings, the fireworks. Mixed feelings because also I like gaping at the colorful explosions in the skies. Mixed feelings because of the hard toll fireworks take on the environment. Mixed feelings about the high financial cost of fireworks in an impoverished world. Experiencing the explosive echos in the bay makes me feeling sorry for the seals that are the reason for the year-long debates of politicians of whether to stop the whole spectacle or not. This year fireworks won.  

Giving up hope to save the world's problems I decide to enjoy the fireworks except for a few nagging comments about the evilness of fireworks. Stationed in La Jolla we can witness 4 long fireworks, the Country Club, La Jolla Cove and from far Del Mar and a fourth spot but I don't actually know where it is located. All four of them have in common that the sparkling wonders are barely visible. Although being lucky and missing out on the famous marine layer this night, every new red/blue/white explosion can just be anticipated, because it is buried in the smoke cloud their predecessors left behind. So again I am left disappointed and reminded even more now of the environmental catastrophe. 

I retreat inside and spend the rest of this peaceful day sheltered and content with my boyfriend watching some TV shows before I dive into the endless snake of cars trying to get home even two hours after the fireworks stopped.

The next day, performing my routine internet browsing in the morning I discover at least a small sparkle from my friends blog. And I decide to make my peace with fireworks.


  1. happy 4th of july! :) in boston, there were a lot of people on the streets to watch the fireworks. i think the entire fireworks concept is absolutely ridiculous but as they were going to do it regardlessly we went to watch it :)

  2. we didnt see much, either... but that was because we were on the wrong place.
    we were there, by coincidence, also with yvonne, and a few metres further i think i saw fikadu. small, small world....
    but it seems indeed americans like to sit on a blanket and BBQ... :D

  3. nice to have all these old acquaintances around... Did you talk to Fikadu lately?

  4. actually we did last week, when we bumped into him on the streets of boston. but we hadnt heard from him for over a year.....