Belgium: The land of beer, waffles, fries and chocolate.

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Bianca and I decided long ago to go to Bruxelles, Belgique (okay that’s Brussels, Belgium for you non-French speaking folks). Sometimes it’s hard for me to write these posts in English after I’ve been speaking/learning/doing homework all in French. I feel like I should write them in French…then again only like 5% of you would understand. ANYWAYS, we decided to go to Belgium a while ago. Which, I was pumped since I did an entire project on Belgium worth a whole class credit last year. You may say, Belgium? Why would you chose to go to Belgium? It’s so small? Well people, your thoughts are DUMB. It’s quite amazing.

Last week, our friends Lexi and Martha decided on a complete whim to join us on the trip. It was obviously the definition of YOLO (you only live once for you old people). Thank goodness there was still room at the hostel and the train for them.

Thursday night I unfortunately had to study for a test worth 25% of my grade instead of going out with the girls in Paris (which apparently was quite the adventure). It’s okay though, I needed to study and the test ended up being easy peasey. Yes people, I am actually doing school work here. I mean, I do get six credits for this. Which, on a complete side note, some people in this program are just here for fun. They don’t even get any credits. OKAY PEOPLE OKAY.

Anyways, after my test on Friday we departed to the train station. And oh don’t worry, before we left I had my classic all cheese baguette. Normal lunch. I’m pretty sure one of my favorite parts of this trip was the train ride. Bianca and I sat next to a family with a little 3-year-old boy. They were from Texas (but originally from India), and we started talking to them. Well mostly the kid. And his mom did play 20 questions with us. Anyways, the kid was a complete genius. He explained to us what a blackhole was….pretty sure I didn’t even know the earth was round at age three. Or as Bianca said, “Man when I was three, I was picking my nose and walking around like la la la!” However, my favorite part of the conversation was when I asked the kid if he liked Paris. He promptly responded with, “I like pineapples!” I mean, makes sense pineapples in Paris. He also told us he could speak three languages and tried to teach us Hindi. Didn’t really work…

The train ride was surprisingly super fast, just over an hour. Oops, I was going to sleep on the train/do my homework. We found our way from the metro to our hostel after a little bit of a struggle and asking everyone where we needed to go.  Our “hostel” just opened in May. Okay, it was so way more of a hotel than a hostel, with it being only 20 bucks a night it was basically the shit. Let me tell you, it was probably better than most hotels I’ve stayed at in the US. Oh and they booked us in the wrong room, so they switched us and felt sorry about it so they gave us each two free drink tokens. Okay, that works too.

That night, we wandered for a while to try and find some place to eat, but we decided on a little pizza place. Where I ate an entire pizza by myself. No shame at all. After, we of course had Belgian fries (you guys do know French fries were invented in Belgium not France, right?). Belgians have this thing where they like to put mayonnaise on their fries. You’d think that’d be disgusting, but it was AMAZING. Screw ketchup. Also may have found the best restaurant ever….

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Obviously great.

After, we got ready to head to Delirium, aka the biggest bar in the world. However, on our way to the bar we got cat called over 30 times. Not even exaggerating, we counted. Apparently you don’t wear dresses when you go out in Belgium, and we had to learn that the hard way…The bar itself was HUGE. There were separate bars for each type of drink, like a cocktail bar to a beer bar to even an abinsthe bar. Basically, it was amazing and Belgian beer is great. And for some reason raspberry beer is fantastic. Lexi & I tried a sex on the beach thanks to the good ol’ classic movie Sleepover. Looks amazing, too sweet.

The next day we ventured out to do our touristy ways. We bought a hop on hop off bus tour ticket and began our journey around Brussels. Brussels is beautiful by the way. It’s a larger city, but everything’s so clean and the architecture is amazing. We got off at one stop and saw our first of probably 5 churches of the day. I seriously wish churches in America looked like they do here. After, we ventured to find the Grand Place and Mannekin Pis but got distracted by a mini market selling random things. Bianca bought a dolphin ring because apparently, “I’m like a dolphin! My dad even wanted me to get a dolphin tattoo!” It’s a cute ring though.

On a side note, peeing in Europe usually sucks. Most of the time you have to pay like 50 cents to use people’s bathrooms. Like no, it’s a right to pee just let me. No wonder we always see guys just peeing on the side of the road causually. We had to pay to use a Quickburger (aka european version of McDonalds). For some reason, me and Lexi decided to eat Subway because it was cheaper, but okay Subway is like 1000x’s better in Belgium. They also have paprika Lays chips which were amazing. Don’t worry thought, we all had Belgium waffles earlier. YUM.

Finally, we found our way to the Grand Place, aka a HUGE square. Every other year in August, they cover the floor with thousands of flowers in a carpet design. There, we bought some souvenirs and Lexi bought 5 boxes of chocolate. Normal.

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After, we found ourselves in front of a pair of acrobats…and boy were they a strange pair. A total bro american guy from California with a stereotypical little french woman. I mean he was wearing American pants and she was wearing  a beret. Anyways, they were honestly probably the highlight of my day, well besides for a different even that happened that I will tell you about later. They were hilarious. The guy made  jokes all the time, like, “Everything’s better in Amurica” to making fun of a French accent. I don’t know, it was great. And we missed american boys. Of course we got a pic with them after they finished their performance.

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After, searched for  Mannekin Pis, aka a peeing boy statue that they change its clothes everyday. He has over 800 outfits. What a lucky dude. I expected him to be way bigger than he actually was. It was surprising such a small statue created such a commotion, but he was super funny. The story behind him is that he saved a town by peeing on a bomb or fire…it’s a disputed story.

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After, we rode the hop-on-hop-off bus again where we stopped for 20 minutes at their central station. Normally, I’d be super annoyed. However, five minutes in, all of a sudden a whole bunch of bicycles came riding by. Okay, cool a bicycle parade. We saw one of these in London! Nope…not just any bicycle parade it was a bicycle protest. Okay nope not just a bicycle protest it was a naked bicycle protest. So basically, all these guys started riding down the street completely naked. Of course we started bursting out laughing, we’ve never seen anything like that before. Could you imagine that happening in the states? But we were also pretty grossed out since most of the men were old. Still, hilarious. We ended up accidentally following them on the bus for a while, so we got a good entertainment out of that bus ride.

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Yeah… it actually happened.

We finished the bus ride by viewing different sites of Brussels, including the headquarters of the EU (which of course geeky Nikki geeked out about) and ended up in a beautiful park. That is, until a  man decided to change his pants/underwear right in front of us and 10 of his friends. Belgium and your nudists, I just don’t understand.

We were exhausted when we got back, so we ended up accidentally taking  what was supposed to be 30 minute nap turned into a 2 hour nap. After, we quickly got ready to go to a dance club called Celetica not too far away from our hotel. Though not as big as Delirium, it was so much fun. Bars are allowed to stay open until 4 there, instead of the lame 2 am (mostly) in Wisco. Basically we screamed and danced to American music while everyone around us realized we were Americans. I think most people thought we were crazy.

The next morning, we woke up (feelin’ great), and hopped back on the bus tour. Of course, Lexi forgot her bus ticket so we had to do some improvising. She held up a different receipt and the bus driver didn’t even noticed. She went on to do this four other times in the day and no one noticed.

We headed to the atominum, or this huge structure of an atom that you can go into. It was pretty awesome. And then after, we went to Mini-europe…aka a place of minuture exact replicas of buildings around Europe. So basically we went  to London, Paris, Pisa, Germany, and amsterdam all in one day. I’m okay with it. Sadly, they are tearing down mini-europe to put in a shopping mall later this year. I mean, to me this makes no sense. Who wouldn’t want to go see a miniature version of Europe?! There’s already too many malls in this world.

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We stopped at Quick where they had basically cheese curds….which they called, “Cheesey Balls”. Of course, I FREAKED. It was like I was back at home all safe and sound with my culvers cheese curds. They were a bit pricey, but so worth it. Definitely don’t compare to Wisco cheese curds, but close enough. Of course I’d end up writing a whole paragraph about cheese in this blog. I have a problem.

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Close enough

We finished our trip with a real belgian waffle. And boy, was that the best waffle I’ve ever had. Pretty sure I’m going to go live in Belgium just for the food…

Anyways, it was a great adventure with Bianca, Martha and Lexi and I’m so glad they got to come along and I got to make new friends 🙂

PS: Belgian chocolate is definitely as good as it seems. So is the beer.

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Posted on June 17, 2013, in Study abroad, Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. Oh wow!! Lots of fun in a couple days! Glad you all had a great time! 🙂

  2. Chris Steinke

    What’s the weather like? Is it cooler there? I see a lot of long sleeves. It looks like a lot of fun. Enjoy!

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