I do. I like to walk. I believe it’s the New Yorker in me, because in New York it’s perfectly normal to walk your age in city blocks without blinking an eye. Out here in the little towns of Belgium, nobody really walks anywhere except across the street (sometimes even diagonally) to maybe get to a neighborhood bakery or butcher.
When I walk more than fifteen minutes anywhere people here remark, “You walked ___ minutes? On foot?” with high-pitched voices.
I always laugh and say yes, that I like to walk and that in Manhattan I walked everywhere. It’s no big deal I tell them but they still raise their eyebrows. And I still walk. I will always walk, and take photos of random sightings.
I’ve collected quite a few of these random photos in some of my recent walks, and although I don’t know the story behind all them I can always use my imagination…
There lives a couple in this house, married for so long now they’ve forgotten all the fights they once had as newlyweds. Except they’ll never forget that one summer night when the old man came home drunk and late for supper for the last time…how angry the old woman had been, that the very next day she called for the local stone sculptor and commissioned him for a job. She had the sculptor create life-like miniature statues of herself and her old man, in these poses, and put them right out onto their front lawn for everyone to see and ridicule the old man about. And how from that day on the old man was never seen drunk and late for supper again. But just drunk…sometimes.
I keep hoping one of these days I will see someone out in this yard, or at the door or looking out the window…because I know I’d totally start up a conversation in my best Dutch and find out the real story, even if it’s not much of one. I’m just nosy like that.