On a warm summer’s day I can hear the hubbub of the Ledig Erf. It sounds like the little square itself is alive. People are chatting in inaudible conversations. The temperature dictates the mood. Everyone is content. A slight breeze blows warm air across the terrace. Because of the holiday the customers have permitted themselves to have one or two more glasses of beer or rosé wine under the foliage of the trees. They aren’t going anywhere in a hurry. The waiters and waitresses gladly keep coming for the latest orders wearing comfortable jeans under a black apron topped of by a t-shirt with the bar’s logo printed on it in big, bold letters.
The clanging of bells can be heard from a nearby church tower and someone comes rattling past with a supermarket trolly. Both sounds, in different degrees of enjoyability and annoyance, seem to tell me that the summer has started in earnest this time.
The library has been very peaceful lately, no more courses for the students to follow. All we get are people with dissertation deadlines, hobbyists, and teachers who scurry past the dusty bookshelves. I know it’s policy to be quiet in a library, but with no one here the word quiet takes on a whole new meaning. If you don’t feel like it is the summer holiday yet come and take out a book here, sit down and read it. The silence makes you feel the vacation all around.
Bare streets and relaxed atmosphere do not however make this quaint little city centre a ghost town. It is as though all of us here are exhaling before the sharp intake of breath that accompanies the arrival of the countless new students of the univeristy. Come september it will be buzzing around here with excitement and expectation. Even if I am not a student anymore myself I will probably still get carried away by a feeling that something new and thrilling is afoot. I might take up a new interest in learning or enroll in a capoeira class or something ridiculous like that.
For now however I have a trip to Munich to look forward to. Before and after that will be dinner parties and picnics. All that is needed is the sun.