I’m quite bad at cataloguing memories – belatedly realised yesterday on the train from Rotterdam to Bruges that I was going to forget everything if I didn’t start noting things down, so spent the larger part of a ride listing things, days, places. It’s no good, really, my memory’s leaky, museums and bridges and pancake-houses are already starting to blur into each other in an undifferentiated hazy notion of fun. For example, Day Two reads something like this:
s club 7 climbing logs in vain. slides
Spider-Man guy climbing
Anne frank museum
red light district
Which is not to say that the trip has not been anything but amazing, but that the beauty isn’t found in the events – eg seeing Rembrandt’s Night Watch at the Rijks (scuttling around trying to imbibe as much Rembrandt and Vermeer as one can plausibly do in 90 minutes, to make the most of the 15 euros), taking river cruises and attending serendipitous harp concerts by a man in Bruges blessed with magic with his fingers – but mainly in the intervening moments I steal for myself, walking a little behind, beholding the nightsky with subdued reverence, feeling the cool Dutch air square in my face, wondering guiltily if there exists a universe where I live in Rotterdam (etc), nothing left to do but recline with a good book and a coffee at the cafe overlooking the river, or explore every nook of town at leisure (and somehow not losing interest). I would not need maps; I could never be lost.