Posted by: Brad | March 7, 2011

Fries, Waffles, and Chocolate

So, I went to Brussels with my study abroad program to visit the European Union and the European House of Commerce. We took classes at both locations. I learned some interesting things about how European governments are organized and it was interesting to be in the official buildings. Moving on- I am pleased to report that Brussels is easily up there with my favorite cities!!! I was expecting Brussels to be boring because most people told me, “there are not many things to do there.” That’s not exactly true. Brussels is definitely smaller than Paris or London, but it has a culture that made me feel more at home than London. Remember when I posted about how some aspects of London reminded Flannery and me of a U.S. city and made us feel more at home? We thought it was just because the main language there was English. What is cool about Brussels is that I had the same feeling, even though the main language in Belgium is definitely not English. They speak an interesting mix of French and German depending on the area. Even some of their school districts teach classes in both languages. In Brussels, people tend to speak both languages because it is the capital, and the city has such a cool mix of cultures to go along with the two languages. There is a distinct flare of German culture that is completely absent from Paris, and there is still a French feel to the city as well. One of my favorite things that people said was “s’il vous plait” after everything haha. In Paris, that phrase is used to say “please,” but in Brussels they use it to say “here you go,” “here you are,” etc. I was so confused at first, but then I got used to using it. The way people use that phrase just goes to show how nice everyone is in the city. The first night, some of my friends and I walked around the main square that used to be a huge center of commerce in the city. There were thousands of restaurants, and all of the hosts would try to welcome our group in to eat. We had reservations with our program so we politely declined all of them. Again, they were all so nice and genuine when they tried to convince us to stay to eat. One guy even offered us dancing if we stayed to eat by saying “you all want to (something that sounded like ZUNGA ZUNGA)” haha. While we were walking around and refusing the offers from the restaurants, we stopped to get my favorite food of the trip. WAFFLES!!! It was so good! I got mine with chocolate, whipped cream, and bananas. I ate it in about one second, and then I proceeded to the chocolate store. Following my chocolate buying, I went to dinner where I got this beef dish that reminded me of pot roast. Apparently, it was a Brussels’ specialty. It was definitely pot roast though. The fries that went with it were excellent as well. After dinner I was so ridiculously stuffed that I went back to our hotel and went to sleep. The next day we did the second half of our government building visits and went back to Paris. It was a short trip, but I definitely got a good feel of the city. It seemed really livable. There was a great mix between the old traditional architecture and the new modern buildings. They have trams that run right in the middle of their streets, and above the streets there are thousands of power lines for the trams. It looks like a spider web of cables, and it adds to the good mixture of old and new. I could definitely go back!!! Until after Brian’s visit!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! ~Brad P.S. Sorry about the lack of pictures. In true Brad fashion I forgot my camera at the hotel. I have about 7 that I took on the bus haha.


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