When I passed
Maybe that fascination was due to a desire to prolong a galvanising
I felt welcome the moment I arrived.
Since my brother’s tiny place couldn’t accommodate a guest, I looked for a solution on the CS website. The search was quite hard, but I was finally able to find two hosts, who by sheer coincidence lived within walking distance of my brother’s house. The second place where I stayed was not any bigger than my brother’s, being just a room with an extra mattress spread out on the ground for me. However I was in the company of a very nice person, who upheld the honour of Middle Eastern hospitality. Actually, there in chilly
My visit was unconventional: I did my sightseeing at the time, and now I just let my eyes roam appreciatively on lovely brick buildings and a couple of train stations. The rest was ordinary weekend life: a stroll at the park, watching canal punting, a walk through a neighbourhood market.
On Saturday night we attended a very good music performance and enjoyed it so much that we got home terribly late. At any rate too late for the early rise that was needed to get on time to the starting point of the walking tour the next day. We had to run to catch up with the group, but we made it! The rest of the day was spent in the open air along the Capital Ring Walk.
It was not so much the environment that made this outing special – it was mostly a semi urban outskirts environment with occasional crossings of green patches – as the social experience with the other hikers. The atmosphere was that of a house party where you get to talk to several people you’ve never met before. It was a motley crew: some hinted at international backgrounds, talked of interesting jobs that started in other parts of the world; others referred to rewarding careers and promising developments; some unassumingly confessed personal shortcomings. If I felt below par when the talk was about careers, I was pleased to find a lot of humanity in the more intimate talk when we were sitting in the pub for a late lunch.