Tak for aften
Yesterday night, I took the train into Brussels to meet up with Oline - a Danish/Canadian friend I hadn't seen since my year in Denmark. While we were on exchange, she met a Dane (Morten - he's tall & blonde & the epitome of Scandinavianness. We all love him), fell in love & today they are living together in Arhus. Oline is here on a school trip with 44 other Danish students but had yesterday night off, so we found each other & went for dinner. So nice to speak, and especially hear Danish again! The waiter was hilarious, the food delicious, the tourist center of Brussels fairylike (we had snow for the 1st time this winter).
Just as I expected, it was a wonderful night. Lots of laughs, lots of "yes! That's exactly how it is!". It's funny how well you bond with people abroad. And how even years later, things are still nice and familiar between you. I'm not sure what it is...Is it because you're both on exchange and isolated from your friends & family? A bond out of despair type thing? Is it because you lived an extended adventure together (kind of like a long summer camp, or a travel group)? Dumb luck? Or...are there just thousands of super nice people around us at all time, all of whom are potential friends, but we just don't bother to introduce ourselves to each other often enough?
Which brings me to this. Hey, you. I know you saw me when we got on the train in Leuven, and I know that you recognised me. Vaguely perhaps, but you know who I am. I didn't think I could sustain a lengthy (close to 30 minutes) conversation with you, so I just sat down on the opposite side of the aisle, hoping you would somehow make the first move. But, instead, I read my book & you stared at the window (it was too dark to see anything outside, you must have only been able to see reflections) and tapped your foot (we're going to have to work on that). I guess you didn't see any point in talking to me either. Then, lo and behold, I take the train back to Leuven a good three and a half hours later and looky here, so are you. Fun. And what a great story to tell the grandchildren! You sit down and I again take the seat on the opposite side of the aisle. I continue reading my book. You have a paper in your hands this time. You start texting, call a friend on the phone to ask if anything's going down tonight. When we get to Leuven, you race off. See, I know that I'm a big coward in these situations. I know I skulk. I'm not sure why, but I have very little social courage that way. Unless I have a few drinks in me or am with a group of people. But if you're going to be just as shy & scared, we're letting opportunities go by. And that's a shame. Cause I think we could be cool. Not necessarily grandchildren cool, but cool. Cool as in, hey, maybe next time you go to a gig in Brussels (obviously I overheard your phone conversation, come on, the train was pretty quiet) we could go together.