18VIII1999 i am not sure how much i have written in this place about `the great on-going astonishment' which is the traffic here and now more specific the rookies in this area. i remember writing about my intentions to take some drivings lessons, but i'm not sure if i told about the 16 by 24 feet building with a daily two hours of terror. 30 pupils and a tyrant-instructor. i had to make it to 10 of these sessions [only being able to bear it two times a week] before i passed the theory test. passed it the first time though which is quite exceptional, because of two lucky brakes. first of all we had a clean flow of electricity that day. no power-cut. and so the dreaded examiner at the national department of traffic didn't get the chance to interrogate me face to face [like in the good old days] but had to stick to the novelty of the slide-test. [actually quite a shame, because i'll never know if i would have passed while answering with the obligatory literal definitions of the signs and regulations that i learned by heart in french...probably not!] 30 slides. the tyrant instructor turned out to have a heart. he lead us to a dark corner of the property and said he -as the representative of our school- would try to get in to the room with the excuse that some of his pupils didn't understand french and for some reason they would allow him to translate into moorÈ and doing so he would add a meaningless word before all the correct answers. he went on to explain that we could not look at him in a special way and that there was not a chance that they were going to find out because he always changed his signs and had been doing so for years. if however he didn't get to do the translation some other instructor would. so he explained us about their signs. names were called. good lucks from the corrupt oppressor. he didn't get in, his collegue -the one that lowers his voice when the answer is wrong- did. but some of the slides seem to surprise him. [probably a new series from france]. i picked my own answers when the questions were asked in french and when translated in moorÈ i verified if his voice was high at the same ones. sometimes i was sure he had it wrong other times he made me change my mind. after waiting a little over an hour my instructor told me in a conspirative voice that i passed with the minimum of 25. having stepped away from the crowd he added that i actually got 24, but that he had told the official that i was a friend and that i'd be leaving for holland very soon. so i passed. not sure what to make of this i doubted if i would refuse to accept this twisted victory, wondered if he expected some money [like the guys that can get you the papers without any exam], didn't wanna to give him any, said i found it all a little strange, he then assured me that they made a lot of exceptions for 24's and that there was nothing irregular about it, i thought about the all the people that were with me for the such-and-such time, how they failed all of them except for me and a woman who had made some special financial arrangements, so i thought `what the ....', thanked him and left to make a first appointment with my future driving instructor.
visited some young plastic artists in an outskirt of this town. am preparing a documentary on four of them with dear old luc. when all goes well and we can find someone to take care of the low budget, we're hoping to distribute it to several countries and festivals. dreaming on, i am also working on the proposal for a series of documentaries on AIDS patients. very intimate portrets to change the general attitude of ignorence and fear to one of respect and compassion. lastly gideon is preparing a great project for a youth program. 4 people on the road for seven days [=seven episodes] in an old truck, with -as i imagine- a completely furnished livingroom in the back. seven days=seven themes. they will be meeting people and completing tasks to explore the depthts of these themes [trust, wealth, love...], at night there's a discussion. in addition to this we get to know them through the daily rituals of cooking, camping, travelling and through their talks with `the confessor-camera'. and again we wait...for money and for our producer to see the light.