In a completely unexpected and surprisingly poetic piece of symbolism for such a prosaic place, Brussels again rear-ended us. That’s once as a ‘how-do-ya-do’, and once again as a ‘so-long-thanks-for-the-memories’.

When Chiara and I were house-hunting in Brussels three-ish years ago we looked at alot of houses – many of them terrible.

After almost two weeks, we finally spotted one we really liked. On the internet. Even though we couldn’t get a viewing until the next day we decided to check out the neighborhood. Once we got within a few blocks of the flat, a fancy man in fancy shoes drove into the back of our car. He was extremely apologetic and explained that his fancy slippery shoes had slipped off his clutch.

His insurance paid for us to get it fixed, and we realized we’d found home.

Almost three years later, hurrying out of town towards a ferry we were very late for, in a car laden with plants, tea and carry-on luggage, it happened again.

The man was less fancy, the damage less severe, but the message was the same: “Thanks for coming.”