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.