Looks like Amsterdam

Having lived in four different countries, in two of them twice (Belgium and The Netherlands) I reminisce about each of the places, missing them all.

From Brussels I miss the Belgian ‘joie de vivre’, that people smile at you on the street, the food, the international aspect of the city. Different languages are spoken there, and you feel like you are in the centre of the world.

From Amsterdam I miss the city itself. The houses on the canals, the boats and the museums.

From Russia I miss the feeling of vastness, of freedom and deep emotions. Russians can appear as cold from exterior but if you make a friend from a Russian, you make a friend for life. I miss deep, meaningful connections.

From England I miss especially Sheffield, where I spent eleven wonderful years. I miss the roast on Sunday, Yorkshire pudding, being called ‘love’ by total strangers. I miss the British values, such as love of freedom, critical thinking and big debates. I miss the language, culture and BBC. I miss the anticipation of Christmas, because Christmas in England is definitely the best. I miss that people call dinner ‘tea’. I miss the pubs, the cosines of strangers, fish and chips on Tuesday and musical scene of a wonderful town in the north of England.

I miss them all.

Because of so much travel, I have an ideal place in my head. It looks like Amsterdam but where people speak French, with Sheffield’s hills, British pubs, amazing Belgian food and Russian philosophy of life, that teaches us that after each dark period there comes light at the end of the tunnel.

I miss that feeling now.

(me in the Netherlands)