Student - August 26, 2010

Bowtie

Slowly, I make my way across a brown substance in which hardly any foam can be found. Where the floor sags, that dirty liquid oozes slowly over my shoes, sending a shiver down my spine. The air is stuffy and smells like a mixture of tropical swimming pool and beer vapour.

26-Stijn-5979.jpg
Thank goodness my AID-mentor has warned this future Masters student about the Ceres foam party. My telephone and paper driving licence are somewhere safe, where nobody will be tramping in pools of brown soapy water. Even my little hat, the object which - together with a little bowtie - symbolizes my being part of AID group 102, has been carefully laid aside.
I wonder if I'm really enjoying this, and conclude that such parties become fantastic only in retrospect. From the bashful smiles of many other partygoers, I infer (perhaps prematurely) that they think the same too. I heave a sigh of relief. My watch says it is already past 3 o'clock. Just one more hour and I would head for home, soaked to the skin. Only then would it occur to me that being inside can be cosy and pleasant.
Suddenly, from out of nowhere, a woman with a small blue top appears. Her piercing eyes look at me austerely. Before I know it, she has tugged off the little black bowtie from around my neck. This must be the biggest insult ever inflicted on an AID goer. All that's left around my neck is a miserable strip with a barcode sticking out.
I realize that I have to put my foot down and stop this. In a fierce tone, I demand to have the missing part of my bowtie back. The little blue top replies curtly and clearly with a 'no'. I don't think I stand any chance of winning this battle, but to give up now would be to plunge my masculine self esteem into even more shameful depths. I went after her, threshing through that dirty water and say: 'At least let me know your name.'
'Never!' she answers sharply, and then thrusts the little bowtie into my hands. At a loss, I look at that nylon rag, torn in several places. I would prefer to have known her name.

Re:act