Brussels- home of the MOST beer

Trip Start May 23, 2006
Trip End Aug 02, 2006

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Flag of Belgium  ,
Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Here I am, in cloudy Belgium. Apparently, the weather is far better back home than it is here, which is a little disappointing, but I'm sure my time in Italy will be much warmer than I ever wanted. I'm currently settled into my hostel, despite the fact that there are no beds for tonight. There's a lovely couple staying in my room who have assured me that they'll both sleep in the same bed anyways, so I may as well just take the other and buy them a beer at the bar tonight. Speaking of the bar, there's one in Brussels called Delirium where I ended up last night with two Australian men, a group of Scottish students, and an American who works for Playboy (doing archival work, and working as a valet for Mr. Hefner's parties on the weekend. The Scottish boys seemed really and truly impressed, though... I mean, if he was a talent scout that would be one thing. But archives? And he's such a little man too, reclusive looking with glasses. It was an interesting experience chatting with him).

Anyway, you may be wondering at this point how I got to Belgium, given that I've been in Ireland for a while now. I flew in yesterday morning, after a great last day and night in Dublin. I went for a hike in Howth, which is pronounced like "both" and is absolutely stunning, it was just me, cliff face, and the ocean. It was amazing and also really nice not to be surrounded by tourists for once in my life. The train back to Dublin was broken by the time I had to head back, and so I ended up taking the local bus for a while, which was another chance to see the non-tourist Dublin, so no complaints.

That night, I went out with Phil (the American from the previous entry), some Canadian girl whose name escapes me, a German girl who was really interesting (more in a second) and this guy from Kansas whose last name, literally translated from German to English, means to fuck without caring. To make that even more impressive, it's a hyphenate from his two parents' last names, and they are both German and would have known what they were naming their son, and STILL did it. Which gave us all a good laugh, especially in picturing him trying to clear German passports.

The girl that we were talking to was from eastern Germany, and she was 1/4 Jewish and started getting in a long conversation with me about that, and how it has affected her life, and how sad she is over her lack of connection (apparently her mom turned her back on a lot of traditions after a falling out with her grandmother, who lives in Sweden now). Apparently her Jewish grandmother stayed in Germany through WWII as a ballet dancer? Or that might have been the language barrier, there were bits where I didn't quite understand what was going on. But it was interesting regardless.

So after that night, I woke up, hopped on a plane to Brussels, met yet another law student (Irish this time) on the plane there, and ended up waiting for and taking the bus into the city with a lovely little Irish grandma. Literally, that was her full-time job. She spent her time in Ireland playing with her son's children, and came to Belgium about once every two months to spend two weeks with her daughter. No job would accomodate that lifestyle, so she quit! Anyway she was really quite lovely, and very cute, and I was sad to leave her waiting for Francois and Owen (son=in=law and grandson). But she seemed content enough and it was starting to rain, so I began my trek to the hostel, and ended up spending the evening eating pasta some australian guys cooked for me and at the above-mentioned bar.

My travelmates are here now so I've got to end this (plus it's long enough anyways)
I'm thinking of all of you and hope you're all doing well!
Lots of love
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