I must be honest, it’s hard to get a day off at times. As a pastor, you’re kind of always ‘on call’ in case something comes up. Of course, there are times to leave the mobile phone at home, or turn it off, though I’m not always good at that. But it is hard to get that day off each week, during the week. You kinda have to fight for it. I don’t want anybody to play a sad song for me. I’m just writing a short blog entry about a day off that I did get and I thought I might start off with the reality of how it can be difficult to get that beloved day off.
I usually try and take Tuesdays off. You’d think Monday would be a good day to take off, and it would after giving so much on Sunday. But I have Dutch lessons starting at 9.00am every Monday morning. Not a good way to start your day off! Plus, there are little tasks and other such things that come up from the Sunday, which I try and tackle in the afternoons. Thus, I try and make Tuesday that day off.
But this week it wasn’t possible. But I did get to take Thursday off. I’m still getting used to not ‘working’ while everyone else is. It’s just weird waking up late on a day when everyone else is waking up early. But oh well.
So, on Thursday I went into the city of Brussels (I live about 10 km south of the city). And I went to one of my favourite little combo cafe and book shops – Cook ‘N Book. It’s about the closest thing Brussels has to a Barnes & Noble, which I do enjoy very very much.
And while I sometimes wish there was a Barnes & Noble in Brussels, I am kind of glad there isn’t one. It keeps things more European, which makes sense with this being Europe. It’s nice to experience Europe’s culture in Europe, not America’s culture in Europe.
So, I arrived at Cook ‘N Book about midday (12.00pm) and went straight to the English book section. Thankfully they have such a section since I only speak juste un petit peu French (just a little bit). Remember, I am working on my Dutch-Flemish for now. One language is enough!
I pulled Dan Brown’s new book, The Lost Symbol, and headed straight for a table for lunch. I had been wanting to purchase the book since it came out, but thought I could wait until the paperback for a cheaper price. Plus I was reading three other books at the time. But, after finishing up a fiction book I had been working through for the past few weeks, and trying to treat myself to a day off, I thought I will go ahead and fork out the 21 euros for the hardback copy.
So, I spent the next couple of hours eating an Italian club, sipping on a Coca-cola, and reading the first 50 pages of Dan Brown’s novel. And I took things slow in that little time slot. I savoured the time there. Of course, it was all followed up by a coffee. And the Europeans know how to make strong coffee (I think my spoon could stand up in the coffee by itself).
I kind of want to make some initial comments on Dan Brown’s novel now, but I think I will wait until I finish it and just post up a review of the full book in a few weeks. So stay tuned…
In all, I’m glad I had a day off in Brussels. It wasn’t anything special by most people’s standards, but it was just what I needed and love to do. For me, when you combine books and coffee, the Spirit can really start to flow.