How do you get to love a city?
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?