I miss the crisp autumn air tinged with the watery smell of the canals. The quiet of the streets. My red bike with its faulty break and dim lights. The college building. The sprawling tree in the library garden. The wooden benches outside the cafeteria, that would warm up under the sun. Thursday nights and Friday nights. Saturday nights, most of all. The languor and hangovers of Sunday. Fries coated with mayo and served piping hot. Strong and cheap Belgian beer. Lazying around in my dorm room. Eating breakfast for dinner. Air-drying my damp hair. Singing along with the theme songs of favorite TV shows and painting my nails and toes with the craziest colors. Buying Coke and chips from the night shop. Having the luxury of a locked door.
Walking home at 5 a.m.,dizzy and drunk. Being responsible for myself. Getting startled by horses. Learning Arabic from my friend and delighting her in repeating simple words of greeting every day. Watching the back of his neck and dreaming of impossible things. Listening to Bollywood remixes and studying for exams. The canals at night, covered with swan couples.The windmills and the parks. Small cafes overrun with wealthy old tourists. Waffles with strawberries for outrageous prices. The lack of McDonald’s. The same three songs during every college party. The people, who were my friends. The people, who were not. The cobblestones that ruined my shoes.
It’s only been six months, but it already feels like somebody’s else’s life.