Day 4 in our new “home.”
The drizzly morning quickly gave way to an afternoon mist. After peeling ourselves from our books, my dad and I pulled on our rain jackets and set out into the damp air. Though I managed to avoid the water pooling on the sidewalk, the sky confirmed I would return home wet.
At the end of the road, we took a right and walked along a line of shops. I was there for coffee, but the row of restaurants diverted my attention, the scent of spices and seasonings overwhelming my senses. With each breath, I felt as if I were entering a different kitchen.
My long breaths were interrupted when I spotted the quaint café. We ducted inside, thankful to escape the thickening mist, only to find that the seating area was closed. Nonetheless, an array of fresh flowers and greenery welcomed us in, and the scent of cold brew was more than I could take.
After ordering chai and coffee, we met the cool air with a fresh resolve, ready to explore the rest of the street. As we walked along, I soon saw that there was little variety among the shops, if it was not a cakery or restaurant, it was a bar or winery. What could have been a peaceful, lively town was in a trace, almost as if I the city were trying to awake from a dream, but couldn’t. Each block offered a new temptation, a false hope to hold on to—some more subtly than others. Whatever ploy used, the message was heard.
We left having found a wonderful café, filled with fresh brews and fine pastries, and a handmade shop; I was happy to have come, yet saddened by how culture has evolved and transformed even the smallest of communities. After exchanging impressions, my dad and I soon found our doorstep. By then, the sun had poked through the fog and had warmed the crisp afternoon. I was still on edge from my cup of cold brew, so I tackled what few chores I could find around the house.
Soon enough, I found myself once more curled up on the sofa with the last of my book, reading about a young woman who sought to open her countrymen’s eyes to the wrongs surrounding them. A woman unwilling to trust what society praised, brave enough to stand against the world’s darkest regime. All the while, holding onto love and hope in the midst of opposition. I ended my quiet afternoon, awakened to what the world was, and what the world has become.