I used to think I was a city girl and it would always be that way. Agitation of the daily life was my routine and I was very circumspect when thinking about my friends moving to the outskirts of Brussels, wondering what one could do there.
Nowadays I live in a city of 12000 people and 2500 horses! And you know what? I like it! It is small but holds almost everything one could need. I do miss going to the theatre and exotic restaurants though!
But what I really value is bumping into friends when walking on the streets. Enjoying a cup of coffee on a terrace and suddenly you are with 5. Just because, you know, one was passing by, the other stopped on her way to a meeting…
Going to the market on a Saturday morning very often ends up in making plans for a family gathering later in the afternoon or at night.
Having a friend over might transform into having a bunch of friends at home. Why? Well, on their way to your place, your friend meets a common friend on the street and brings hime/her along, to everyone’s satisfaction.
This never happened when living in Brussels, well, it never happened to me, everything was always carefully planned. Here, the “impromptu” factor takes on a second breath for us, no need to plan everything, we go with the flow and that’s enjoyable. Almost reminds me of my student years!
When living in a big city (even more in the city center where I grew up), people seem to engage less with one another.
In Brussels, it took 7 years for my downstairs neighbour to tell me, on the very day we moved out of our apartment 10 years ago, that she had been my caretaker at the nursery/daycare when I was a baby. And she remembered me! I wish she had told me before.
So all in all, I might not have the cultural life I could wish for or access to a large variety of exotic food in my “small” town, however, my social life has been taken to the next level. And this bit, I value like no other.
What about you? Are you a city kind of person or does countryside call your name?