Monthly Archives: September 2012

Flemish Tales: “Time and Somebody Else”

“Time and Somebody Else”

I sat at a sidewalk cafe. When I walked up a woman was sitting at a table, staring at her iPhone and crying.  She wore a black dress and black leather boots that came just below the knee. (Not that this held an significance to what came next).

I sat at a table next to her but on the other side of the doorway. I ordered a large Leffe Blonde. My favorite beer.  (Not that this has any significance either).

I kept peeking at her out of the corner of my eye and pretended to be looking at something at my phone, even though I didn’t get any wifi.

After I had drunk half my beer, the teary woman, abruptly and loudly, called to the waitress standing inside the bar, “Excuse Me!”

It sounded urgent.

The waitress came.  The teary woman asked her for a place to buy clothes that were “for a woman”.  The waitress told her where to go.  The teary woman said that she was a tourist. That she liked the cafe, and was just in Brussels for one day before she would return to Moscow. She said that she was very upset because her boyfriend had just broken up with her. That although she had her dignity and a little bit of money there would be no one else like him in the world.

The waitress said not to think like that. That it would only cause anger.

The waitress said the only thing that will help is time.  Time and somebody else.

Greetings from Brussels!

To say it’s been a little quiet around here (this blog) is an understatement.

But I’m back because I’ve had requests for posts (yay!), and because I’m international again (yay-times-a-mil!).

This time I’m hunkered down in Brussels, Belgium for three months. I have an externship with Human Rights Without Frontiers International.  I’ll post more about what the position entails after I complete my first few days of work this week. I looking forward to starting on Wednesday.

I do plan on doing some traveling while I’m in Europe, but, in addition to the work I’ll be doing, I’m also pretty excited to have a city to get to know.  So, it’s not going to be quite the same as it was before when I went full wanderlust, but that doesn’t mean it’ll be any less…well, anything (enter your own adj. here).

Here’s the scoop so far: I arrived in Brussels late in the day on Saturday. Since I’ve had a few days to myself before I start work, I’ve taken the opportunity to unpack, chill out, drink my favorite belgian beer, get aquainted with my neighborhood, and play tourist. Here are a few highlights. *Notes below.

Grand Place*

Manneken Pis*

Manneken Pis – Close-up

Galeries St Hubert*

Street Scene

Vintage Dress I Bought*

Notes:

Grand Place: is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site, and said to be one of the most beautiful squares in Europe. Built as a merchants market in the 13th century, it serves as the city center and a great place to enjoy Belgian hospitality at one of the many terrace cafes. It is also a venue for many concerts & events throughout the year and during the warmer months has a vibrant, daily flower market.**

Manneken Pis: a famous statue of a little boy peeing in a fountain is a perfect representative of the irreverent Belgian humor. The unique Brussels icon has been amusing visitors since 1619. Over time it has become a tradition for visiting heads of state to donate miniature versions of their national costume for the little naked boy. The wardrobe of Mannekin Pis can be seen at the Brussels museum and includes over 760 outfits – even an authentic Elvis jumpsuit.**

Galeries St Hubert: is a gorgeous, glass roofed arcade in the center of town, lined with cafes, theaters and luxury stores has the distinction of being the first shopping arcade in Europe. Built in 1847 and recently renovated.**

Vintage Dress I Bought: at Burlesque Vintage Store when I was exploring the seemingly touristy area around Grand Place. The musty-ish vintage smell that makes vintage/second hand shopping so fun and the awesome shoes in the window drew me in.  Much to my pleasant surprise, the first clothing rack I flipped through held this little gem. Besides the sleeves being a little tighter than I’d prefer, it fits beautifully.  I met Lawrence, owner and DJ! He invited me to a club he’s spinning 50’s and 60’s music at Saturday night. We shall see…

**The above descriptions of Grand Place, Manneken Pis and Galeries St Hubert are copied and edited from this website.