Tuesday, 30 March 2010

PROLOGUE



I am writing this on the last day before my trip. Tomorrow morning I will be off to the States. The first stopover will be Washington DC. But on 2 April I will arrive at my final destination, Berkeley in California.

WHY AM I GOING TO THE BAY AREA (the region around San Francisco) FOR TWO MONTHS? There is no good answer to that. But it all started last June when I got a visitor in Brussels (where I lived at that time). She was no other than my former landlady from way back, when I was a graduate student in Berkeley in 1976/77. We had a pleasant dinner together and, while reminiscing about old times, I asked her whether it would still be possible to rent a studio for a limited period of time. She was not sure but added that she would let me know if any suitable vacancy should arise. Several months later I got the message that a studio indeed was available for april/may this year and I took this as a ”Sign” to get my act together and venture forth.

WHY AM I WRITING A BLOG ABOUT THE TRIP? The answer to that one is better. Recently, I partook in a workshop for self-publishing authors. The seminar leader, who goes by the impressive name of Bismarck, took great care in informing us about the new world of internet out there, which apparently is rendering it necessary for presumptive authors to build their audience by blogging, facebooking, twittering and, generally, making their presence known on the net. Although I am not writing a book at present I thought it a good idea to give it a go at “networking” and the trip at hand seemed to me a suitable topic to start with.

WHAT PLANS TO I HAVE FOR MY STAY IN THE BAY AREA? Actually none! Usually I am planning my trips “to death”, scheduling every free hour with activities, to avoid the threat of getting depressed when having nothing to do in a foreign environment. This time I intend to do it differently. I will let events come to me and “roll with the tide”. If nothing else turns up, I will of course be having pleasant strolls on the beautiful campus of the University of California, Berkeley (UCB). After all, I spent the most dynamic time of my life there when still young and won’t mind reliving the scenery. Many pictures were taken by me in those days and, who knows, maybe I can supplement those with new pictures worthy of keeping.

Come to think of it, there is a PURPOSE BEHIND MY BLOTCHY SCHEDULING. After all, blogs, as all activities on internet, are supposed to be interactive. In line with that I thought to give you, my dear and trusted friends and readers, a chance to help me out with planning my activities. So, here we go:

MANY OF YOU HAVE BEEN OR READ ABOUT THE BAY AREA. I AM SURE THAT YOU ARE CURIOUS ABOUT PLACES, EVENTS OR PEOPLE YOU HAVE EXPERIENCED OR HEARD ABOUT. I HEREBY INVITE YOU TO MAKE SUGGESTIONS OF WHAT I SHOULD DO IN THE BAY AREA WITHIN APRIL/MAY. JUST LET ME KNOW WHICH PLACES AND PERSONS TO VISIT OR EVENTS TO CHECK OUT AND I WILL TRY TO ACCOMMODATE YOUR WISHES, AND PUBLISH THE RESULTS – WITH PICTURES – HERE ON THE BLOG.