In Bruges, the tourist season is over, and quiet and cold reign. My hotel is drafty and as plain as its owner, who dresses like a priest after church hours. There is no flair here. Walking along the city's canals, I see few people out and those whom I do cross tend to stare and scowl when they spy my tourist map. Are visitors allowed here outside tourist season, I wonder?
I feel like a sitting duck, one who has missed migration. I begin to yearn for Paris, the city from which, just days ago, I had wanted to escape. I miss the crowds, the chaos, the steamy cafés. I even miss the strikes. Strikers, at least, have flair.
A funny thing about travel: sometimes it puts you back right where you started.