In the autumn of 2004 I found myself suddenly relocating to Belgium, at the expense of an attractive job offer in Italy. It was one of those major forks in the road, the kind of big decision that could transform a life. Which, for better or for worse, is exactly what it did.
It was a few weeks after my breakup with Lucie when I woke up one morning in my little student room and realised I was actually pretty happy! This was a surprising development on several fronts. Firstly was the accommodation itself, a dingy box of a room containing little more than a desk, a sink and a dubious bed that kept collapsing when I rolled over in the night. The toilet, bathroom and kitchen had to be shared with a pair of local girls and an eccentric Iraqi called Zaiid, who spent his days living off Belgian social benefits and failing to learn Flemish.