I am here and I am present and I am so happy.
It took nearly 36 hours (with a seven-hour flight delay), but I am here.
I have had my first cup of café, ordered in nervous French. I have stood on the deck of my (painfully beautiful) flat with my roommates, beaming until my face hurt. I have eaten more than my fill of soup with chicken, duck, zucchini, cauliflower and carrots.
We are five minutes from anything we could need: market, drugstore, boutiques, cut flowers. The sidewalks are small and the streets are full and young men ride bikes one-handed, grocery bag swinging from the other.
Right now, we’re sitting on the couches with the windows open, listening to the voices of the family three floors below us as they eat dinner outside. Conversations waft up and over the courtyard — a smattering of seven different apartment buildings and walk-ups, patched in with ivy and flowering bushes.
Tomorrow we have our first class, followed by lunch and a walking tour of Brussels. I need to call my bank and get cash and buy shampoo. Never have I been so excited to run errands.
I can tell I’m going to like it here.