Subtle things have changed in five months, A new burger restaurant is open two door up. Water fountains have been planted among the trees lining the High Street.
In a city like Maastricht, though, most things never change.
Bert smiles and waves from Café La Clé next door, delivering beer and gossip to the old men with elbows planted onto the new blue tables. ’t Mooswief still keeps watch over the main square, green water sparkling in the yellow sunshine. The Boekhandel Dominicanen still offers coffee and a book.
My Locomotief is little the worse for my absence: a few leaves caught in the cables, some air for the tires. I thought for sure it would be gone.
Provisioning is the first order, then opening a foot-high stack of mail. The rail card, bank card, lease car and tax authorities have priority, and I’m off to the Vrijthhof.
Preuvenemint is ending, workmen carrying away gates and knocking down the booths.
But, still and all, it’s welcoming sights and sounds, familiar along the ‘skade.
Goede morgan, Maastricht. Het is te lang geleden, weg van huis.