Hace un par de días recibí el ejemplar de la revista
literaria de la Universidad de Gante (Bélgica) Simile Magazine, donde publicaron mi artículo Snow, sun, bicycles. ¡Muchas gracias!

A couple of days ago I received a copy of the literary magazine Simile Magazine of Ghent University (Belgium), where they published my article Snow, sun, bicycles. Thank you very much!

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Snow, sun, bicycles.

Snow. Sun. Bicycles. I can close my eyes and be there again. Sint-Pieterniewstraat with thousands of students going down the street on their bikes. Around six o’clock in the evening. Going home for dinner. But I open my eyes and I am here. In the end, the faces are different, but the people are the same. Here and there. It does not matter where I decide to live. When I was there: siesta and Spanish omelette. Now here: I have dinner at seven o’clock in the evening. Cereal at ten. Imported beer. Now I insist on remembering the lifestyle there. And the piano there sounded like a relief. I did not have one there but I could play it once in a while, at friends, cafés, Univeristeit… a friendly voice; now here it only sounds like melancholy, nostalgia, flashback. And here the sun in shining and I am complaining about the fact of being inside, even when I have sunshine the whole day. That is it, I have not adapted yet. And here when it rains, if it rains, I want it to rain, I need it. Not there. Here I see people on bikes handing out flyers, there I was one of them. They are  probably complaining about the heat, the 40 degrees. While I was complaining about the snow, the ice, the cold, the -15 degrees and trainers not being appropriate for the snow. And here when I see the air conditioning the terraces, I laugh. There the ice from the snow was used as a fridge. Here I go for a coffee at nine o’clock in the morning and the old people in the bar are talking about whether it will rain. There by the time the sun was coming out, they knew the weather forecast for the entire week by heart…

It all happened very fast. I finally disconnect from everything and take my bicycle. Like I always did in Belgium, when I was sad and I only wanted to vent. Then I start to pedal counter-current. Like always, and with tears in my eyes, that I do not know why they are there, and that if you could now see the original of this text you would see that dried drop on the paper. Without distinguishing between the salt and the sweet drops, as I am sitting on a rock, and today the sky is grey and the sea is angry, like my internal sea, that hardly knows what it wants. The only thing that it knows is that it is tired of going counter-current, and that wants to start living. After returning from another country I felt lost: everything had changed. Indeed, everything was the same, it was me that changed. The other people, the rest, were anchored in this port. But I could not understand certain reactions, behaviors, conversations… For the moment I have not found the force to continue counter-current. I want to be calm, but I hope to be encouraged to start new adventures.

Irene de la Torre

 

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