Life / Places

L’Amour Fou

Ten years with Brussels, 2013 Photo: Daniela Michorova,

Ten years with Brussels, 2013
Photo: Daniela Michorova,

My love story with Brussels will complete its eleventh year in three days.  I arrived here on 17 February 2003 late in the evening. Early next morning on my bus to the European Parliament I was already in love.

I must admit that, as in any relationship, we have had difficult times. I had my crush (still ongoing) on Chiang Mai and he forgave me only because I called the former “my Asian Brussels”. Then last winter was rather challenging. If Brussels was a man, I would have definitely left him then. He let me be cold, homeless, often lonely. He took my money. He faced me with mercantile and emotionally unstable landlords/ ladies, the slowest ever administration and the fear for my safety…But I did not leave. Winter was gone and with the spring I rediscovered my private Brussels, more in love with him than ever.

This winter for the first time in our eleven years I was not impatient and excited to come back to him from my holidays. The island affair…can happen to any relationship, really. But we survived this as well. With a compromise – me booking fast my next trip to Fuerteventura.

Back then in 2003, in my last days in Brussels, I was sitting in this lovely café L’Amour Fou in Chaussée d’Ixelles, close to my first of many flats here, and as I was having my croissant and tea, I wrote in my diary: “I am saying good bye to Brussels as if he was my lover…”.

My face was in tears as I was flying back home when what I felt like home was left behind me.

These days my relationship with Brussels feels more like a marriage. And like any marriage it can be over one day. This thought does not bother  me at all anymore. I would be happy to stay for good. And happy to leave for good as well.

Whatever happens however, that special connection will always be here. Brussels and I. L’Amour Fou.

3 thoughts on “L’Amour Fou

  1. when first asked about this, the city declined to respond. Pressed, it said that it was only rarely interested in its consciousness, and never in conscience.That it had no Muse and never mused. Did it have any advice? None.But thoughts came to its mind when it wore one.A writer’s first love is loss. A writer’s first duty is to loss.And if I were to see myself as a lover? I would be as indifferent as a river or a spoon.If I had one love? It would be change.

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