I've spent some time the past few weeks thinking about what I could write about, now that my trip is over and Nijmegen is not an exotic destination. I just didn't feel like I had anything to sit down and write about. I think I may have an amateur version of writer's block.
I've also been busy trying to pick up the threads of the life I left in the Netherlands a few months ago. Tyler Durden, always a wise man, once said that nothing is static, everything is evolving and everything is falling apart. So it shouldn't be a surprise that quite a few things have changed while I was away and that more than picking up threads, I sometimes feel like I'm pulling on them, with occasional unexpected results. But I don't want to talk about that tonight. I want to write something about Nijmegen to reflect that I'm happy to be back and that I want to experience this city in a new way.
I went to capoeira class tonight, after nearly eight months of sedentarism which, oy vey, have resulted in the loss of my ability to stand on my head. The class was in Lent, a city on the other side of the river that is slowly growing to become a massive suburban appendix of Nijmegen. For me, Lent is just a far away land to which I had never ventured by bike. As half of Lent is still under construction, at night it becomes a maze of mud and half-built houses that you have to solve while riding your bike in absolute darkness. I was getting tired and blasphemous after half an hour of blind biking in circles, but found the way back to the city. Then, I arrived to the river that separates Nijmegen from Lent and stopped to catch my breath and stare at Nijmegen's skyline and the reflection of its lights on the river. And it made me very happy.
After visiting Berlin, I found out that water brings cities to life. Paris, London, New York, San Francisco, Barcelona and Seville are just a few examples of cities that wouldn't be the same without their bridges and rivers or their beaches and seas. After visiting Berlin, I decided I wanted to live in a city where there would be a large waterbody, because it would make the city alive and beautiful. And now I do, and I have to say that it makes me very happy.
So there. Now, you get some pictures of bird graffitis on the tables in Dutch trains.