‘Points of Departure’ by Emily O’Beirne

This book found me at the right time. I read ‘Points of Departure’ by Emily O’Beirne while being on vacation and I actually read most of it while sitting at the airport in Trondheim, Norway, because I got their stupidly early. But it was very fitting since this is a travel story of five Australian women right out of high school.

Source: Goodreads

Originally the five girls had planned to go on a Europe trip together after graduation and the group was supposed to be held together by Kit, their common denominator. Only, Kit ends up not being able to come on the trip and so the other four have to make due. And it’s awkward at first because they want different things out of this trip; things that don’t always go hand in hand. And then two of the girls start hooking up with one another which doesn’t make anything easier.

I’ve done a version of this trip in the way that I went to Canada in 2012 with one friend and another friend of hers. Of course I knew my friend since we met studying abroad but I had only met her friend once but nevertheless we embarked upon our 8 hour flight and became fast friends. Four years later we still dream about going on vacation together again. It was one of my most favourite travel experiences. Why am I telling you all of this? Because I could relate to this story so much. It made me nostalgic to the point I messaged my former travelbuddyfriends immediately after finishing the book to tell them how much I missed our adventures together.

Another bonus of this book, it is mostly set in Europe and while I’ve been to some of their destinations, I haven’t been to them all but they still felt more familiar than most stories set in North America feel.

I did have my problems with the writing style at times. The story is told in alternating points of view and then in third person. It felt a bit odd to me and I can’t quite explain why. Also, I would have liked if the story would have focussed a bit more on the actual traveling. It is a heavily character driven story and not so much about the adventure/travel.

Of course my favourite character was Liza. She’s a runner who wants to quit competing and who recently came out to her parents. I felt right at home with Liza and Olivia’s characters.

All in all though, I enjoyed this book immensely even if it wasn’t as Australian as I’m used to through the Every series by Ellie Marney. I’m not sure if O’Beirne toned down the Aussie-isms for the mass market or not but I kind of missed it. What I forgot to mention is the diversity, at least two of the main characters have mixed raced parents and then of course there is the whole lesbianing thing which is how I got to this book in the first place.

‘No Country For Old Men’ by Cormac McCarthy

I finally finished No Country for Old Men and only because I’m currently on vacation and made myself finish it. It’s just, the story isn’t for me, not at all and I took five months off from actually finishing it which is pretty bad even for me.

Source: Goodreads

By the end I didn’t give a damn about the story anymore and I just kept on reading, partially not even registering what I was reading but I’m okay with that. I guess people usually gripe with the format it is written in as McCarthy doesn’t use punctuation for direct speech and also doesn’t use these apostrophes in don’t and won’t and that sort. Surprisingly though, that didn’t bother me. It’s something my head can easily work around and the southern accent this is written in, well, my brain just corrected the grammar while reading and it didn’t bother me too much.

The story itself though. Oy. It starts with Moss finding a lot of cash after a drug deal he wasn’t in went south. He takes the money and the starts a manhunt that spans most of the book as there are several groups after him and the money.

The points of view change in the chapters and it was sometimes difficult for me to remember which character this was supposed to be. Plus most of it is just shooting, running away and hiding. I didn’t find anything remarkable or interesting about this story. To me it felt like such a guy book and not in a good way. I also don’t see what this book was supposed to tell me as I’m sure it’s one of those that’s supposed to leave you thinking or learning something new. Whoops. Didn’t work for me.

Also, I somehow thought this was a book published at least in the 80s or even older but it was written and released in 2005. Another whoops.

In total, this didn’t work for me at all and I’m glad it is finally over and I can move on to more enjoyable reads.

silence

Yesterday I wrote about how I was scared because of violence everywhere. More extremists, more fear mongering. Today a friend of mine was close to the (one of the / at the moment it is not clear how many there were) shooter in Munich. My friend is okay but since I learned about this shooting I felt paralysed.

I’ve been in a perpetual state of fear for a while now, not as bad as I am right now but still. (It also doesn’t help I’m watching Person of Interest at the moment because the Samaritan reality seems too real for my liking.)

The first time was 9/11. I was 13 then it was my first experience with this sort of thing. Back then we weren’t as linked with the world and most of my news came from watching the daily news on some TV network. I remember the days following 9/11 and being glued to CNN because they seemed to have better news, more direct access than the German ones.

I decided to get a blog after the shooting in Norway in 2011 because I felt that I needed a place to put my thoughts. This place became more than I ever anticipated but also never got that political.

The thing is, I stay silent. As vocal as I can be on the internet, I usually stay silent in person. It’s one of my traits I like least and still cab’t seem to shake. I can’t make myself speak up because I always feel like other people know more when in fact they’re just more vocal in their own held believes. They’re rarely better informed or smarter than me on a subject, they just don’t give a shit. I tend to run with a discussion because it means not having to put up a fight.

I choose my battles wisely. Too wisely sometimes.

Engaging takes a lot of effort and it makes me feel like a hypocrite to not do anything.

But retreated inwards has always been my safe mode.

I’m afraid of getting ostracised for my opinions when they’re not those of the larger group.

Like, yes I’m afraid of so many immigrants coming to Germany but I also know my own privilege and more importantly I know that not every immigrant is a fraud/thief/criminal/rapist/suicide bomber/whatever. Most of them aren’t. We have enough people like that in our German population and I don’t automatically assume they are one of the above so I’m not making that assumption about immigrants either. I hardly take that stance in public though. Only in certain circles where I know I’m “safe”.

Maybe this comes for always having to watch out whom to feed which details about my private life. When is it safe for me to come out or be out as a lesbian? That’s just so ingrained in my being even in 2016.

All of this is a shabby attempt at making my way out of my responsibility to stand up for what I believe in.

So how do I change this? I don’t know right now.

This is all I have for tonight. Maybe tomorrow will be a better day.