The world in my backyard


February, 7. Sun is shining, the temperature is reaching 10 degrees. The cold winter seems to be at an end, spring is lurking behind the corner. Or is the feeble sun causing some Fata Morgana?  We’re sitting outside, on a pavement terrace in Brussels, St-Gery square. Elly from Leeds, whom I met last Iceland Airwaves, her friend Dave and me are enjoying lunch and fresh mint tea or a way too watery chai latte, enjoying the weather, enjoying the conversation. Afternoons, stolen hours like these, I wish I could have them every week …

Elly and me in Brussels

Elly and Dave have started their trip through Europe, from London to Istanbul. They are in Brussels for six hours, and I have to take the train  at 2.30. Damn, what will I show them? I realise I do not know my capital -where I work after all- very well. Well off to the Grand Place -still ten minutes before I have to leave- where I try to explain to them what to visit. They insist on seeing Manneken Pis – I warn them it might be disappointing. I leave them with the promise I will explain our political situation next time. Three minutes is just too short for that.

Next month I’m in London. Elly can’t make it, ’cause she’s volunteering in Kenya. But I’m going to have a preairwaves beer with some other people I met at Iceland Airwaves. Those are moments I’m glad Europe is so small. You meet people on an island in the middle of an ocean and next, you just meet them in your backyard or on an island that’s a bit closer. Cheers to that!

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