The birds of Belgium

Friday, May 23rd, 2014

It’s five a.m. and I have been awake for almost an hour. I heard the first rooster at 4:30 a.m. and now all of the birds have woken up.

Antwerpen Zoo
Antwerpen Zoo

Out the window to my right the air is so thick with birdsong it sounds like a CD one might listen to to relax. Chirps and trills, the occasional caw or cockadoodledoo and even a bird that seems to be weaving his melody in with the others. It’s like he is the soloist and the rest of nature is his orchestra.

I love everything about Belgium. The summer air is cool and smells of fresh grass, pine and flowers. The bread is so amazing it makes me close my eyes and attempt to cut out all senses but taste, just so I can enjoy it more. And the people! Everyone is so friendly, especially my friends who are letting me stay with them before I head out to Africa.

Beautiful Belgium
Beautiful Belgium

They do everything they can to make me feel as welcome as possible and even took me to the Antwerpen Zoo yesterday. After I arrived by train from Brussels, Danielle, Gina and Gina’s granddaughter and I wandered the zoo for hours. Gina’s granddaughter particularly lobed the giraffes and one loud-mouthed curaƧao. The toddler and I might have had a little bit to much fun because we both fell asleep on the ride home. In retrospect this probably explains why I was up before the rooster and the songbirds and the ravens. But I assume our days will start early in Africa, so I might as well adjust now.

“Feathers filled the small room. Our laughter kept the feathers in the air. I thought about birds. Could they fly if there wasn’t someone, somewhere, laughing?”

– Jonathan Safran Foer

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