UGARTE (vaguely) : Oh, nothing.But when you first came to Casablanca, I thought... RICK (coldly) : You thought what? Fearing to offend Rick, Ugarte laughs.
UGARTE : What right do I have to think?
Three months already...
It just came to me yesterday while walking home (yes walking !) from the office. It doesn't feel that way - it feels like I have been here for years.
Sure I don't know everything yet about living in Casablanca. And more experiences are awaiting me in the next coming months and years (I hope !).
But since landing on Sunday the 3rd of January, it are the smiles of the local people, the respect from colleagues and the warmth of new and "at home" friends that immediately spring to mind.
Do I miss "home" ?
Difficult to say... I miss my friends & my parents but I also know they are not far away. I could jump on an airplane in the morning and be there at noon.
They are with me though... Whenever I see a couple of elderly people walking in the street or friends going out in the weekend. And yes, sometimes I think "he or she should be here to see and experience this...".
It will be strange to come back to Belgium in May - even if it is for only five days.
I'll return to a country that just went through a horrible experience and where - unfortunately - Fear is the new King.
Although I don't have cable TV here (a choice) - I still read the news online.
Today I was shocked that a peaceful manifestation in Brussels was stopped by the police and that several demonstrators - of which the president of the human rights organisation - were arrested.
Shocked, because last week more than 100 people wearing full hoods (illegal) and making the Nazi salute (illegal again) were nicely escorted by the same police to confront a commemoration for the victims of the recent terrorist attacks.
This makes me very sad and unfortunately confirms my thoughts on how our government(s) and instances would react to the attack.
Who knows, one day Casablanca will become that "safe haven" again for those fleeing Europe, just like in the movie. If that should happen, they will not be fleeing Nazi invaders but their own governments and people I fear...