A month later, the magic slowly fades. And you get to see the dark creatures rise late at night and circle the streets aimlessly. You get to listen to unspoken words only locals would speak. You get to hear the rhythm of the morning traffic and realize the patterns. Stranger’s faces become no longer strange. That beggar with two dogs sleeping by his side by that very same shop. That girl who plays the violin in a different metro station each day. The concrete walls and ceilings gladly absorbing each note she beautifully plays. Music which makes passersby who lost their way glad they did. Music which eases my anger and homesickness every time I luckily pass by her side. Music which adds the last theatrical touch to form a full urban scene. A scene which is displayed along every u-bahn (metro) journey you’d take. A scene perfectly played in a sunny day in a main square or in Flea markets on Saturdays.
A month later, certain places look at you differently. That corner in the main station that was just once a path to a beautiful park, now filled with foreign eyes staring at you from the darkness. That very corner, which as it turns out, is a popular spot for drug dealers. The district famous for its large minority population and which holds a mosque, now holds a month-long festival. That passage, decorated with eighties interiors, usually empty and dull, sometimes is filled up our voices. That street where I was more than once lost lost, now is a shortcut which I take everyday on my way to university.
Supermarket cashiers. Those happy checkpoints in which once passed, you become owner of new things, now look at you differently. The way you have to pack your shopping goods as fast as possible before risking them being thrown away on the floor. Or toss the change back into your purse without counting them in order to avoid being pushed by other hurried customers whom you don’t exactly know why they’re in a hurry.
A month later, the city loses its sparkle. It loses its charm. It becomes real. Because it shows you its ugliness. After living in a foreign city for a month, it starts shouting out its truth, unhide its stories, release its secrets.