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How do you get to love a city?

10/09/2009

So, we have been looking for a new place to live for quite some time now… We’ve  been living here in Kamnik for 11 years now and sincerely, this place  has been quite tiresome for us in the last couple of years. 

So, we decided, we’d move to another town (have nothing specific in mind,  just a list of places with potential), started  checking real-estate advertisments regularly  – and when we find something interesting  we go to check the apartment / house.

However, lately, we were either not very lucky with the choices we made or it may be that we’re to picky – who would know?  ;)  Or maybe we just got used to living here, have a quite comfortable life and moving to another location would just mean new stress, new discoveries, breaking the illusions about these (currently) appealing cities. For example  Radovljica is a lovely small city with an old centre dating to the 16th century, which we love, got married there and visit quite often.

It suffices all the criteria we have  set for our new hometown:

• train connection with Ljubljana
• good primary school and a regional center with a selection of secondary schools nearby
• historic old town
• not too many newcomers i.e. newmovers (this is a huge problem in Kamnik)
• it is located in Gorenjska region (Alpine region of Slovenia)
• a living city with shops, bars, cultural happenings etc.- not a sleepy place  where if you want to have a decent cup of coffe you have to drive for 30 minutes to get it
• safe place where kids can walk to school
• not too high real-estate prices (not case in Radovljica which is really expensive!).

So, so… After going to see a very interesting apartment in adjoining village, really reasonably priced with a lot of potential to fulfill all our wishes (guest room, craft room, old house, big terrace, yard…) we decided that no. We are not moving. We cannot do that.

But we hate Kamnik, right?

Actually, not hate. There are so many problems with this city, but there are so many aspects of our life here that we like, we recognise it will be really  hard to make the move.

After 11 years of living here we:

• actually know (by name) more than 4 people and they greet us on the street and “chat” with us. It took us 8 years to come this far.
• have friends and family who come to visit us and don’t believe any more that we have moved to another planet (those who don’t come are not considered friends)
• know sellers on the Saturday vegetable market (we are buying milk from one lady, eggs from an old man and vegetables from two boots) and also ladies at the post office
• have a good pediatrician (!!)
• know the villages around it by heart and not have to check on the map after we come home to check what somebody was relating to
• can live with only one car
• have two (!!) places to pick where we’ll have our Saturday coffe at :)
• enjoy the changing of seasons in the most perfect park in Slovenia
• have a good mechanic and (looks like!) car-electrician as well (keep your fingers crossed ;))
• know the places where we can go and sleigh alone in the winter or cool down by the water on a hot summer day
• have been drinking the best municipial water in Slovenia.

One of the books I read last year and really think is something special, actually, it’s on the top of my all favourite books, is Istanbul by Orhan Pamuk where he describes his life in Istanbul and the life of  the city, its special days, winters, winds that blow by the Bosphorus… It’s a very special work, not only because I love Istanbul (though not possibly in such a way as he does, obviously ;) but mostly because it is an expression of love, affection and respect for his hometown.

I wonder, how do you get to love a city? Is it the same as with loving somebody?  My feelings for Kamnik are currently related to loving our life here, not to loving its streets and history hidden in them. Can something bigger grow out of it? Can I love a city at all?

How about you? Do you love your city?

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. 10/09/2009 22:39

    I don’t think I love Warsaw, I don’t even like it or maybe I didn’t bother myself with thinking about my feelings towards the city. ~^^~ Now after we moved to another part of it I know that I liked the previous district more than this one, the current one is just too busy, too many people walking around my house all day…
    BTW, congratulations on yesterday’s football winning, Slovenia was far far better than Poland, I think they should have scored even more than just three goals. Polish team was pathetic…
    And did you receive my email?

  2. Natalia permalink
    17/09/2009 11:25

    Hmmmmmmmmm, I don’t really love my current city, but simply because I started detaching from it, before getting to knwo it really. I think I could fall in love with it though. If I allowed myself.

    Of all the cities I’ve lived in, I love my original hometown the most. Probably because it’s filled with memories of my childhood, teenage and early adulthood. It’s where I have my family and where I know most of the people.

    I do have a city, I love to hate. Cairo. I love it and hate it and love it and hate it and… :) I get the most emotional when I am in that city and I have the biggest circle of friends there. Funny ha? :)

    But I have to tell you, I love Kamnik, for one reason only :). I think you have guessed it.

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