Friday, March 6, 2009

S for Small, L for Luxembourg

Luxembourg is so small that if in the canteen of the Parliament they decided to bake three slices of bacon, the smell would cover the entire national territory and would invade even the most aloof house at the far end of the country.

The boredom one feels being in Luxembourg is proportionally opposite to its size. It makes you want to turn against yourself. It makes you want to take a Japanese knife and start peeling your skin out like a sock starting from the scalp and going all the way down to the toes.

To anticipate your thought “oh she is so exaggerating!” I am telling you this: one of the landmarks of the city as well as of the country of Luxembourg is the Red Bridge. A well constructed architectural piece, of a respectable size which is visible from many parts of the city. You would expect that people are fishing from that bridge but no water passes underneath. You would expect that blond families stroll on the bridge, taking a glimpse of the view all around - which is quiet worthy - but no. The Red Bridge is the suicide hot spot of the country - if not of Europe. They are actually throwing themselves into the void, and who can blame them for that? Signs on the roads are warning the drivers beneath of falling objects!

Their flag is the flag of France but in the landscape orientation.
Their official languages are: French, German and Luxembourgish. The latter is nothing more than German with a little bit of French.
Their architecture has the cuteness of Belgium (c.f. Bruges) but without the laces, and without Tin-Tin.
Their history is a four pages leaflet taught in 1st and 2nd degree education in all three official languages.
Luxemburg lived its greatest moments in the years 1961, 1965, 1972, 1973 and 1983 when they won the Eurovision contest.
Out of the five winning artists four of them were French and one was Greek.

I’m suspicious towards this landlocked tiny country with the highest GPD per capita in the world. I would certainly like to be one of those rich capita …… but….. places are like people. Either you match with them or you don’t. There are those who are undeniably fascinating, nice in every aspect, stimulating people or places that make you want to be larger, higher, broader and bolder. There are those whose properties cannot be seen at first sight. You get to know them better and scratch under the surface in order to reveal and bring into light something that is really remarkable and worthy to keep, providing you with a secret smile of relief and joy. And of course there is the example of Luxembourg, a spoiled brainless beauty who has gained everything from a long forgotten heir, an odorless creature wondering what to do with its time and money.
I am in search of people and places that we will get me out of my limited personal territory. People and places that will challenge and intrigue my smallness. That will make me move from the XS I am to S, M and why not even L. Luxembourg is not one of these places, and as for Eurovision I am voting for Malta.