The Uptown Hostel

Linda's Column

A lot about very little

Linda“Right”. Final deadline is in three days. And still no topic. “Shit!” Every column I dread that stressful battle with the white page, but this column it is different. Call it writers block, call it lack of sleep. Fact is this empty document still stares me right in the face while precious hours are ticking away. I start to wonder “Can paper beat rock as well as writer?”  

Let’s not panic (yet). What are the options? I pick up the phone to call Robien, my editor. “Hi, it’s me. Well no, not finished, just tossing between ideas. So what is this edition’s theme?” “Uhuh…Right. Eco-development in the Flying Pig hostels, got it…Yep. Will do. Bye”. So…Eco-stuff…”No way can I produce a decent column on Green-Pig-warrior ships that bravely take on oil tankers!” I try anyway. An hour later my roommate agrees with me; “You can’t”. So the theme doesn’t work for me. “Who says my column has to refer to the whole bloody E-zine anyway? Aren’t columnists supposed to be witty and original?” I decide to go for an inspiration-walk in the Vondelpark. Writers observe the world around them you see. To later immortalize worthy situations through their ink. Take that man with the little boy for example. He looks unhappy, the young boy a little neglected. A recent divorce probably. Good story. I settle at an outside table next to the heater. I will wait here and let my column write itself. Just when my coffee arrives, an absolute knock-out walks up to the two. She passionately kisses the man and hugs the boy before they walk off into the sunset. 2-0 to paper. Hesitant about my next move, I overhear the radio-host warn us all to stay in tomorrow because of a major storm. Good. Tomorrow it is …Next day at 2100 hours: The storm has had its peek and it is once again safe to go out. Not a single comparison with a raging female like Katrina or Iris when the storm is discussed on the news. A guest shows me a picture of a tree and a car. Colleagues tell me that 3 people died on the highway. All I can think is “Horrendous for the relatives, but 3 people die on highways everyday!” OH CRAP! What am I going to do: The world is being no more destructive than usual, cultures don’t (mis)understand each other less than yesterday, green is just a nice colour and my friends are all satisfied with their lives. I am in deep shit… Wait a minute…let me just count… 430. Eat your heart out paper! And you thought only scissors could beat you. Hah! Goes to show a writer does not need a topic to have something to say…