As we left tai chi last night, the sun was setting over the maison communale, bringing out all the lovely little eccentricities of the Art Nouveau neighborhood in a orange and golden light and basically looking enchanting, and I wondered, how could I be so keen on leaving Brussels? As I wondered, the F-word made spectacular last-minute save to stop me from stepping into a massive turd. Sigh. In the springtime, this city is like a beautiful, divinely sexy man with epic cock cheese - just as you're about to fall in love, or at least fuck, it disgusts you back down to earth. But I'm realizing, batshit as this place drives me, I'll miss it almost as soon as I leave.
In a more general sense, mild terror in my heart at the thought of leaving Europe. It's such a strange balance here that I've gone on about before, I think, but I will again. There are too many fucking people here and no solitude or fresh air - but there being too many people means there's a lot of man-made beauty and architecture. Australia looks even more backwards than Canada in that respect - they're even more into the Big Something things than we are, and I can't help but feel that basing your national landmarks on Big Things shows a certain lack of architectural and cultural imagination.
But then that leads into one of the complicating factors - sometimes it seems like the parts of Europe where I speak the language are out of ideas in that respect - that enjoying the Francophone and Italophone parts is like enjoying a museum - and everything that's been built since the last war is no more culturally daring than Ballina's Big Prawn. After all, the most recent successful tourist attraction here in Brussels has been the Big Iron Crystal - interesting, to me, mainly in terms of how the image copyright fight about it illustrates some of the more futile and ridiculous behaviour that gives Belgians their international reputation for stupidity.
And another complicating factor is that, despite being a bit of a snob, I really like Big Things. Hipster Irony Not Included. I love driving past the Big Apple on Highway 401. I love the Big Canada Goose in Wawa. I love the idea of a big fibreglass prawn. I couldn't tell you why. It just makes me feel good to look at them, and I'd go out of my way to look at them. I think it's because they're things people built so that other people would enjoy them, but I'm not sure. It just appeals to me, and I think it's the same emotion I felt when I was a little girl and got really excited about garbage trucks and dinosaurs, and there's something just as satisfying about that emotion, if I'm honest with myself, as there is at geeking on a magnificent building by Horta. Not Gaudi, though. Gaudi's religious. But he's only in Barcelona and we can't afford to live there.
In a larger sense , the upshot is there'll be a push-pull wherever I go. In the New World I'll miss the Old World, in the Old World I miss the New World. That's life. I may as well accept that it's always going to drive me crazy and always make me second-guess myself and my choices.