Antwerp, you don’t know the pain of waking up in the middle of the night to close the window. On top of that, it rains in winter, where in the world does this happen? In India, winter is a luxury, only the selected few from specific regions can have it. The place I belong to is like a stepson of India, so much of heat that it feels like we are at the epicenter of global warming.
Its not like I had no idea, what the climate would be here. But this was not expected. I literally cry looking at people picking up the trendiest outfit at “ZARA” and I instead look for sweaters. I am sure you know the designs in sweaters are still from 1960’s. You should have told me before, I didn’t buy those fancy shirts and t-shirts to wear under my sweaters.
And the misery doesn’t stop here, its so difficult to learn Dutch, and French, and German, together. I know you are one of the Dutch speaking regions, but I got this knowledge when I came here. On the first day, I greeted a girl with “Bonjour”, she responded with “Goedemorgen”, I spent an hour looking for that word in my French learning material. You feel good, right? When I fool myself like this?
But, I don’t feel awkward anymore. I have people who know what I am going through, during conversations they change the language to English to make me feel comfortable. With every beer I share with them, I learn a bit of Dutch, at least I know the Belgian beers now. I eat “croissant” and “waffles” for breakfast, “French”, sorry “Belgian fries” as a snack with some “Andalouse” sauce. I make friends while doing my laundry and at “Albert Heijn” or “Delhaize” asking what’s written on the shelves.
You shouldn't have done this; don’t you feel it will be difficult for me to leave after one year? Where I will find “Duvel”, “Leffe”, “Triple Karmeliet”, “De-Koninck”, “Jupiler”, “Seef”, “La Chouffe” and many more beers? Where will I find people, I meet randomly and share beers at “De hovenier”, “Kassa 4”, “De prof” and many more? Where will I find a place like “plein publiek” or “Mercado”? It will take a long to settle myself back in my own country.
Anyways, I must confess, you are a perfect mixture of Art, Architecture and Amicability. So, even though you ditched me, I am not feeling that bad, I have beers to overcome the pain you gave me.