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!