I’m in a little café in a suburb of Ghent, where I just paid 3,70 for my coffee. It’s a real shame the coffee is so pricy in this city. I think I would be richer if I’d drink beer instead. Maybe that’s why everyone else is drinking beer. The café is filled with red covered couches and chairs, and in the corner stands a fireplace. A very large one, and as it seems, a very old one too. For some reason there’s sand on the floor. The place smells like beer, and despite the smoking laws a slight cigarette smell too. Although I did just see the owner lighting a cigarette prior to walking outside. I take a sip of my coffee, which unfortunately tastes like machine coffee as I expected. Did I mention it was 3,70?
The rain is pouring down and drops are trickling down the windows, like tears. I have to think of a poem of J.C. Bloem, that I had to study once in high school to score an extra point on my exam. The economy teacher must have wanted us to get some cultural knowledge. With success, as I never forgot these phrases. And while I am exposed to this biting cold, after 4 years in Australia, the sentences come back to me effortlessly. “It’s raining and it is November. The autumn turns in and besets, the heart that sombrely manages, to cary its pains in secret.” (Freely translated). It’s quite melancholic, a bit depressing perhaps. He ends with “always November, always rain, always this empty heart, always. When yesterday it looked like heaven came down and my numb fingers had to hold up an umbrella while the bus was 20 minutes late, I could feel some pains in my heart too. And they weren’t so secretive.
Quite a poet, this mr. Bloem. I wonder whether he was feeling depressed, or whether he just really disliked November. I think maybe he should have moved to Australia too, as November happens to be quite sunny there. I am starting to miss it a lot, especially when seeing the weather forecast of the next week. Having to get used to a new country again is quite difficult. I’m sure I will eventually land, and get my head around yet another system and their policies. For now, I am homesick though. Just like Mr. Bloem I feel melancholic about other days, and just like him this rain makes me miserable. And that’s okay.