Saturday, November 29, 2008

The Pain and the Pleasure

Can you have one without the other?  Last night, making my camp in a lonely Belgian forest, I decided to treat myself to a warm cup of coffee.  Alas, the transition for my newly adjusted teeth from cold (its kinda cold out here even in Belgium!) to warmth was too much.  I lay in agony in my little tent until my aspirin took hold.  

Yet, I am euphoric to be back on the road.   Freedom!   The open road.  The unknown.   Its immensely fufilling to be soaring across the Belgian coutryside.   I am following a canal into Brussels.   The trail is flat, car-less, and the water beside me still.  The trees reflect into its placid surface disturbed only by the languid swim of the ducks and herons.   Half the time I am riding with no hands-- arms outstretched to the sky.  My teeth are improving daily fortunately, and if anything the sensations deepen my consciousness of not only my food and drink, but of my moments.

I sit in a nice, warm cafe in Halle-- a town along the canal on the way to Brussels.   A long long time ago, Gerry remarked that my journey was taking me not only geographically but linguistically into the unknown.   I was have left English speaking Northamerica, to slightly, differently spoken England.  Then I moved to France, where my second language has been put to the test.   Then to the French part of Belgium, where French is spoken not only with a different accent but different terms and words.  Now, today to be precise, I have emerged into the first town where Dutch is the predominant language.  People still speak French, but not as much.   The balance will slowly change as I move North to Holland.  No more French there!

Yet, this linguistic barrier is proving to be another pleasure.  I love the challenge of languages.   It seems that challenge, lack of comfort, dare I say, even a little pain, are the harbringer of pleasure and satisfaction.   I tell you, tonight when I sleep in a real bed, in a warm house, it will deeply pleasurable!

"Ein cafe ass tu blief"

One coffee please!


1 comment:

eworm said...

To be precise, it's: Een kopje koffie alstublieft.