What is the use of a book, without pictures or conversations?

Leiden – just open the doors

I don’t remember quite well what made me fall in love with The Netherlands. I know for sure that for many years we were thinking to try something else and things arranged in such a way that we’ve visited the country after a hot holiday in Turkey and the 27 degrees came like a heaven breeze in that July evening when we’ve started our wander around Amstel station. I still remember the streets from the neighborhood, the great place where we had the usual “lunch-diner”, the smile of the blond girl and the tasty beer at the park’s corner. I think that in the end what made me feel so much as at home was the easy feeling of living, the exact feelings I used to have while being a kid, at my parents house. And here I am still, after 2 years filled with home sicknesses, happiness and freedom. The first thing I felt when we’ve entered the hotel apartment on Amstel, near Rembrandt square, was how the burdens I’ve gathered by years slowly crawled into the river.

Haarlem – windmill on Spaarne river

But what made us choose Haarlem? The day while visiting the windmill, the nicest tour guide ever, the guy from Harlem – USA or maybe the spring flowers from the hotel room in a cold November day? Or simply the fact that finally I could apply the dream of moving into a smaller city, exiting the “need for speed” cities, leaving behind the neighborhoods which suck energy as Dracula sucks blood? Time moves so slowly now, in a rhythm I like, there’s so much time in one day as I never had since I grew up. In one day I can rearrange the entire furniture, visit a museum, see a movie, go for a beer.

Leiden – botanical garden

Everything is most of the times colorful. Sometimes it feels like I’m a sort of a Alice in Wonderland, discovering each time parts that I never knew they can exist in ones spirit.

I wonder if I’ve been changed in the night? Let me think. Was I the same when I got up this morning? I almost think I can remember feeling a little different. But if I’m not the same, the next question is ‘Who in the world am I?’ Ah, that’s the great puzzle!

*pictures taken in my first year in NL

*quotes from ” Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland” by Lewis Carroll