Feeling familiar or as a stranger

This weekend Jan and I went back to The Hague to visit some of our good friends there and to go with all of us to a very good concert of Ozark Henry in het Paard van Troje. (or "Pietje" as Jan and Arnaud were screaming in their Westvlaams accent). Always fun to see a Belgian artist abroad!

Going back to The Hague is always a bit special. I've only lived there 10,5 months but there are so many memories there: being on bus 23 together with Jan, the Japanese restaurant near the Kurhaus where some of the colleagues had a sake drinking contest and got completely completely waisted, the Daendelstraat where I started my first job ever with its tiny cantine and a crazy Indonesian as cook, the many pubs and restaurant where I went with my many many French colleagues, the Mercure hotel where I lived my first hotel, my appartment near the beach where I lived for the first time on my own with the narrow parkingspace and the outside gallery to go to the front door which was always very slippery when wet, the beachrestaurants where we spent allmost all summer evenings outside, the fresh juices bar where Remi took me for lunch to comfort me on the day my aunt had passed away, the little park in Scheveningen with the pregnant goats being locked up due to foot and mouth disease, having my best friends all coming over to visit in my appartment, the train station where Melanie and I took the train for an evening in Amsterdam, ..... The city really feels like home since I have memories on most spots and I know my way around.

But on the other hand, a weekend like this does not feel like homecoming anymore. All the nostalgic feelings I used to have so strongly in the beginning seemed to have faided away. The weekend felt like what it was "a visit to good friends in a city that I know very well and that I like very much". The Hague has been a very dear part in my life because of my first job, my first time living on my own....and of course falling in love and meeting Jan!! But it's not part of my life anymore at this moment. I have now a different life that I like very much as well! And besides, I know realise with hindsight that the furniture in that apparment there was horrendous ;-).

I just wonder if in a couple of years I'll feel as much an outsider and stranger in Ghent as well?


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