Before I get into the details of telling you about my time in Brussels, there's another important issue I need to address. If you'll notice in the above picture, stick-figure me and my friend Emily (that's her strawberry hat on her head OBVIOUSLY) are in the awe-inspiring city of Brussels, but are left unimpressed by the history and the architecture. This is because our thought bubbles are completely dominated by our friend Greg. Yes, this is the same kid I've already written about before, but you have to understand, not seeing him for a week was torture. My whole life that week was that scene at the end of How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days, where Matthew McConaughey and Kate Hudson are super sad and "Big Yellow Taxi" is playing... dont pretend like you don't know what I'm talking about. He is just the light of hope I never knew was missing from my life before I came to London, and without him my world spiraled into a vortex of loss and entropy.
Or he gave me grief for not writing about him in my last post. Definitely one of the two.
(Ok so it just took me a really long time to find that song I referenced up there, so I'm posting it and go listen to it so my time was not a total waste. Oh wow, what is my life. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p-Oc-sqly_Y )
The area of the city where we were staying was nice enough, minus our street which, seriously, was the red-light district. However, up until this day Brusssels had left me pretty unimpressed by its lack of oldness and Europe-y goodness. Apparently we just weren't looking in the right places. A short (-ish) walk in a new direction brought us to a beautiful square and I thought "THANK YOU this is what I want forever for the rest of my life. Get on this architecture, America. If there isn't a gilded statue of a horse on the top of your building, you're doing it wrong."
The next few hours were spent wandering through the side streets of this area, the highlights of which I will list here: -a chocolate elephant (that was like 6 feet tall) in front of a store called Chocopolis, which we went into and the kind Belgian woman behind the counter gave us all free chocolate samples -speaking of free samples, we went into another store that not only had a chocolate fountain, but had tons of free samples just lying around everywhere. That probably had quite a bit to do with my not buying anything there. If you're going to just give it to me, why would I buy it? I think that's actually how capitalism starts to die. -we found another Haagen Dazs and yeah, ok, I had another waffle. This one was white chocolate rasberry. no regrets. -we passed a gay bar called Homo Erectus that had a disco ball still spinning and a window with the evolution progression on it. My Anthropology-major friends had fun with that one.
Then it was time to meet up with the whole group again to head to the train station so we could take a train to another train station to catch a train. We had to wait a bit for our train at the second station, and guess what we found? Another Haagen Dazs. Don't worry though, this time I just stared at my friend as she ate one, but didn't get one myself. OH I guess Europe doesn't see Belgium and France as different countries needing border control, so we didn't have to go through customs before boarding the train, which made me do an internal happy-dance of neverending JOY. I hate customs. For some reason, even though I never have anything sketchy, I always feel like I'm going to be detained and imprisoned in a foreign jail, condemned to a life of selling cigarettes and sexual favors. WHOA did I go too far with that last one? Probably. Rescinded.
Because of how we ordered our tickets individually, my friends and I were all separated on the train to Paris, which if you know me at all, left me practically paralyzed with stress and anxiety. I think I hid it pretty well though. Champion. While people were still boarding though, a woman turned to me and in hindsight it was obvious she was just asking if a bag was mine (it wasn't), but she said it in French, and guys, it was like someone hit pause on my life. Yep, I froze right on up like I was an angel from Doctor Who and someone looked at me. Just sat there staring at her like an idiot. Awesome. I did unfreeze about thirty seconds later though, and gave a very delayed shake of my head to nothing, as she'd already walked away.
Up Next on BEDFORT: France- the awesome country of sucky people
(ok not really but sort of)