I found myself on the train to Brussels city center wishing it would get lost. I was reminded of my parents, because in my panic where I can convince myself I am headed in the wrong direction, I hear their voices in my head asking if that would really be the worst thing. And it wouldn’t. It wouldn’t be the worst thing to go the wrong way, take the wrong train, or get lost. In fact, it might be just what I need to get me out of my own head.
My favorite bar to date, in the world, is Delirium in Brussels. The pink elephant sign will now forever make me happy. It was suggested that I get the “pink killer” a grapefruit beer. And since the metric system is still gibberish to me, I by accident got a half liter, I really hoped I was going to like it. Turns out it is now my favorite beer I have ever tasted. I had three of those beers in my two days. During one trip to Delirium I had a Belgian girl tell me I was pretty and another middle aged English man strike up a conversation and then ask to take my photo. I’m sure I was an instant classic in Manchester by the next morning. Another few things I ate multiple things of are waffles and fries. I bought a Belgian waffle and stood in the exact middle of the Grand Place square. Instantly I had the evil realization that since I am standing in the exact middle I will be in every single person’s photo no matter what side of the plaza they are photographing. I stood and ate my waffle, and every few minutes I would turn ninety degrees to face a new side, and I just looked. I had eaten so much that day that I could have thrown up in that square, and because it was all so good, I would have been okay with it. Shortly after I had the realization that I was full to the point of stuffed I decided to get some Belgian frites. It was a corner store off the beaten path that freakishly resembles Grey’s Papaya in New York City. While waiting for my fries, after I tried to sound as European as possible, my fry guy asked where I was from. I decided not to lie. The first question he asked after that, “So how is that Trump situation?”
I heard there was a chocolate museum, and I heard they had free samples, so naturally I went. I am dipping my third cookie into the chocolate fountain in the middle of the room, and I turn and run into this man, whose shirt I probably got chocolate on, but all he did was smile, but it took a good five seconds to untangle and get passed each other because he was in such a hurry. I wait a few more minutes and then the demonstration started, I walked into the kitchen and looked up…. I had run into the chocolate maker. The chocolate was good, but the mussels at Chez Leon were better. My father taught me at Marker 88 while eating escargot that the best part is dipping bread in the garlic butter remnants after eating the seafood, and that’s exactly what I did.
I went to the museum corner and found a new love, surrealism art, and the Museum Magritte was full of it. It’s the moments where you realize you are changing that are actually surreal. I used to hate standing out as a tourist. I tried my hardest while travelling to look like a local. Part of this was for safety while travelling alone, it was smart. But in Brussels I decided to embrace being a tourist, and my stomach thanked me.
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