Another trip, another faded blue stamp in my passport. Our days in Brussels were filled with beer, sandwiches (the Belgians love sandwiches I guess?), more beer, croissants, friendly people, a way too much to drink night at the Delirium brewery, beautiful new clothes (from an Urban Outfitters which I haven't stepped foot in literally years at this point), and a new place to say we loved.
I don't know if it's because I live in a country where even the simplest pleasantries are rare, or if it's because the people in Brussels were just fantastically nice, but I felt like I was spreading out my Midwestern-girl wings and soaking in the joys of pleases and thank-yous and smiles to strangers and cashiers and waiters and waitresses. It's addicting and both Ben and I felt a weight come over us when we re-entered Moscow. No more smiles.
Brussels was a bit like Amsterdam, a bit like all of Europe, but mostly it's own. It had a beautiful, old part of the city that we stumbled on from an amazing view from above and a really hip, new part of the city that we were lucky enough to find an inexpensive place to stay in (get ready for an upcoming Airbnb tips and tricks post).
Things that were done:
-A quick stop at Delirium Tremens brewery turned into hours long conversations with everyone nearby. Great fun.
-I ate oysters and lobster. Ben always found it fascinating that I'd never had seafood (Midwest born for me, East Coast for him), but I hadn't. I honestly can't think of one thing besides tilapia. I always think of seafood being for rich people, but even when we went up to Maine, our campground's canteen had sea-plucked lobsters for sale for twenty bucks, but that was our beer money so we passed. I liked the oysters better, weirdly.
-The greatest sandwich of all time was consumed (picture above). Ben found a highly reviewed cafe near our place that was only open for three hours everyday. We wandered through the bizarrely quiet streets (seriously, Belgian people--why yo city so quiet in the day?!) until we stumbled on this half Parisian Tibetan restaurant and ordered small glasses of wine and a parmesan and tomato sandwich. OMFG.
-Wandered the streets talking about Russia, about ourselves. Less daydreaming these days and more of plotting. We want out and we have a deep determination in our stomachs to do so. We want to save money, we're debating traveling anymore, we want to go to Boston, to Boston, we just keep coming back to Boston. We take a lot of stabs at what our life will be like there and who we will be once we arrive.
-We discovered the joys of morning-sandwich. Definitely a thing now.
I wish I had more insight into the museums and the galleries of the city, but we didn't go in any so I have no tips. I like walking around. I like seeing people walking around. I like finding good restaurants and bad ones. I like haggling over street art and buying small sacks of artisan chocolate. I like meeting strangers and begging them to bar hop with us. I like feeling like I really saw somewhere.
I don't know, go to Belgium and see for yourself. And don't buy any chocolate... the ones they give you with your coffee are the best in town ;).