Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Voila! Just like that, I'm in Belgium!

I’ve just arrived in Belgium about 2 hours ago. We found our hotel, dropped our bags, and went out to find something to eat. For the first time since I’ve been I’m really excited to eat. Thanks to the concierge, we ended up at a little corner of town with several small cafes, but more importantly for tonight, a Christmas fair with stalls selling fantastic food. Food I could actually smell! (British food has no flavor and hence, no scent.) I had a delicious brat-something with amazing brown, spicy mustard and grilled chunks of onions. Marnie found the Belgian waffles and went to town. The waffle shop had closed by the time I was ready for some dessert. No worries in the morning we have our chocolate tour. That’s right, a 4 hour chocolate tour of Brussels, Belgium. Is there any other way to start our time here?!

Belgium is full of life and I’m already interested and want to see and feel everything. Try as I might, I just couldn’t get very interested in London. There were beautiful things to see there and fantastical soap opera history. And the museums were unbelievable! But in my sad, uneducated, and mind that simple feels and absorbs like a sponge...it felt much like it’s food...bland. It’s weird I just really couldn’t get into it past the first few days. I think London is a place I would have done much better on my own.

(Well, actually, I think a lot of places I might be better off on my own because I’m inside my own head so much.)

But it would have been a meander, get lost, and then casually find my way home kind of place. I’m glad to have experienced London and have some good plans to enjoy my last few days on my own after I return from Belgium. But I think I can already tell, I’m going to like Belgium even more.

I love the expressiveness of the people. They way they laugh openly, honestly, and often. I don’ t know that I heard much of that at all in London and so it’s absence there makes it’s presence here even sweeter. The people embrace everyone around them. They smile, they talk to each other on the streets. They are polite. Granted this is an initial observation and I’ve only been here a few hours but I do tend to sponge in vibes, which is a big part of why I like to just observe an area for a while. Try to gather information and get a “feel” for a place as I invisibly interact with it. I like it here.

I’ve already heard the terms, “voila!” and “bon appetit” used in passing. Hee hee hee, it made me smile. People really say that. And they do it with a French accent too. Hee hee hee.

I’m off to bed for the evening. I want to get up early and do some stomach-stretching exercises before I head our for my chocolate tour later in the morning.

Good night. And look for back posts that are already but in need of transfer from paper to blog.

p.s. I do have to mention how cool it is that I think in less the time it takes me to drive from San Diego to L.A. I crossed the English Channel (UNDERWATER), and ended up in a different country, with a different language, a completely different culture, and-thank goodness- different food! All in just 2 hours! I wish was I close enough that when I wanted Italian for lunch I could just go and come back in a day. Or crave a pastry and take a 2 hour train ride to France. Anyway, all just cool. Night.

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