Visiting a foreign country is like a rebirth, as if your senses have come suddenly alive.
You marvel at the sights, smells and sounds, trying to take all in at once, wishing time would stand still – so you could savor.
“Oh, look at the windmill.”
“My God, do you see all those tulips?”
“Jeez, smell the hyacinths.”
“There’s water. Everywhere!”
So which is it? Are you a human doing or a human being?
Even the diesel fumes trailing the buses smell different – and leave a lasting impression.
Your perfume smells different. Better somehow. And the coffee tastes heavenly when served in a demitasse with a tiny wafer on the saucer. No refills. One wafer per cup. Slow down. Taste. Savor.
People speak a different language, “Goeie morgen. Dat zal ik u laten zien.” They go about their business. “Tot ziens.” And you stare, wondering about their lives, their jobs, if they are like you. “Ja, dat is wel zo.”
The women have short, wind-tousled hair. Their bodies are fit, their cheeks rosy, as a result of riding bikes and walking rather than driving cars.
A Human Doing or A Human Being?
You want to walk, too, not take a car, bus or cab. You want to feel the cobblestones beneath your feet, smell and feel the air, which smells and feels wetter, sweeter than the air back home.
Talk about time standing still.
You want to linger in shops – not to buy but to experience.
That’s it. You want to experience. You want to absorb the country, allow it to enter you.
Not just see it.
Heck, you can “see” a country on TV any time.
It takes being in a country to feel a country; it takes BEING there.
Slow down, savor. Even the clouds and sun feel new – different.
In a foreign country, you allow yourself to just “Be.”
- If you can afford the luxury of slowing down, hiding in a massive cathedral, riding a canal bus, without getting off, then…
- Then you are a human being.
Living in the Now
A human being without speaking. There are no words…
How do you describe, for instance, the magnificance of the flowers in Keukenhof?
Though the words do not come, your body carries with it – forever – pictures, tastes, smells – and wonder.
You have absorbed a foreign country.
Now, if only you could take the time to absorb your own.
As always, thanks for stopping by.