This weekend, Brussels tried its very best to teach me the two most valuable things in life: chocolate and comics. Okay, the former, and I certainly get. But unfortunately, I missed out on the well regarded Comic Strip Museum (did make it to the Museum of Figurines though—two people’s private collecting of thousands of comic figures), and I will continue working to greater appreciate comics. Nonetheless, a wonderful weekend.
My friend Shannon and I had our priorities straight from the beginning of the trip. We set out Saturday morning to get our first-ever, authentic Belgian waffles. Surprisingly, I won’t say there were no disappointments. I actually enjoyed the waffle I had in Amsterdam, which was shaped like a Liége-style waffle, but probably had the consistency closer to a Brussels-style waffle, way more than the Liége waffle I tried here. I suppose even the crystallized sugar of the Liége waffles here don’t make up for their denseness (I don’t like how dense they are). However, the Brussels-style waffle that my friend and I also split 110% fulfilled my expectations, from its sweet and fluffy core to the rich chocolate sauce on top—something I hesitate to even call ‘chocolate sauce,’ given how that calls to mind something like Hershey’s chocolate sauce, which is basically incomparable.
Other food successes of the weekend = chocolate and numerous free chocolate samples. Deepest food regrets = bland sausage and never getting a second (or third or fourth) Brussels waffle.
But okay okay, perhaps there is more to life than food, and I think Shannon and I did end up breaking a bit more than even with the Brussels City Cards we bought. AKA museums! Had there not been free samples, my favorite museum would not have been either of the chocolate museums we visited (they were kinda pathetic). But… the free samples weren’t. Also, now I am an expert in making chocolate truffles, as we saw the ~same demonstration on both sides of town.
Also, yeah, food, I like food, but other fun fact about European food—a bit more distanced from my own tastes—is related to the lax safety regulations here. Nowhere is the states would you ever see bins of chocolate (free samples) just sitting there, waiting for tourists grimy hands to dig deep, with no serving utensil in sight. (I’m sure my own hand was only grimy hand #49238 of the day.)
Other museums successes of the weekend include seeing my oboe’s ancestors at the Musical Instrument Museum and learning about the f-ed up nature of the institution of marriage (marriage historically = man owns woman) at the Museum of Costume and Lace.
As I seem to be veering in the direction of superlatives here, Most Bizarre Moment of the Weekend goes to playing interactive sports games inside the Royal Palace under a ceiling tiled with green, sparkly (dead) beetles.
Most Pathetic Park goes to the one right outside the Royal Palace, which I forget the name of, but consisted of some unkempt grass, gravel pathways, and a bunch of people sitting around the fountain playing Pokemon Go.
Most Quaint Dining Location goes to the garden of a super hippy bio store, where I enjoyed some fake meat and an organic, gluten-free beer with the neighborhood cats and some pretty tiled chairs.
Strongest Drink goes to my margarita purchased at Brussels Urban Beach, which I enjoyed on imported sand on the concrete banks of the river while watching some type of Latin American dance being taught to enthusiastic tourists and locals alike. Weakest Drink goes to Hoegaarden beer. (FYI world, I’m not an alcoholic—the three drinks I’ve mentioned here sum up all of the alcohol I consumed this weekend.)
Best Bed in my Hostel Room goes to the one I so impressively snatched Saturday morning when the dude who previously had it left. It was right next to the window and only with one other (non-bunk) bed, with a giant locker barrier separating it from the two bunkbeds on the other side of the room, where the hardcore snorers resided.
Kitschiest Tourist Attraction by far (even beyond the silly chocolate museums) goes to Mini Europa. Most Expensive Tourist Attraction also goes to Mini Europa. Most Absurd Meeting Place to Hang Out with y Belgian Friend Whom I Hadn’t Seen Since I Met Her in Madrid Two Summers Ago goes to Mini Europa. Most Obnoxious Location to Get to the Bruxelles-Nord Train Station From goes to Mini Europa.
Cutest Cat goes to the tiny kitten wandering around the exit of Mini Europa.
Longest Train Travel of the Trip goes to my Mini Europa —> Bru-Noord Station —> Frankfurt —> Hamburg route.
Most Obnoxious Wifi goes to the Deutsche Bahn hotspot, which I paid 30 euros for a month’s access to and totally regret!!
And now that this has turned into a bitch fest, I’m going to proceed with the train work (my usual work stuff) that I neglected to do on Friday after my computer died. Peace.
Update: currently freezing a little bit outside at the Frankfurt Hbf while eating the first lettuce of days in the form of a relatively lettuce barren McDonald’s salad. I entered the McDonald’s initially to try to find a relatively comfy place to spend what I recently learned has turned into a 90-minute layover. (Had I known that before I entered the McDonald’s, I could’ve gone into town, hung out at the hostel across the I stayed at across the street a few weeks ago, or even searched far and wide to find a grocery store open on Sunday then bought a bag of lettuce and the appropriate ingredients to procure something more substantial than my McDonald’s “Big” Salad.) But then after I saw on the sign the train was delayed, I utilized the internet to confirm, and then the internet lied to me, and then I raced back outside to catch the train, and now I sit here in the cold.
At least the DB Hotspot is working for like the first time ever. *Knock on wood*