Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Belgium - lazy days

After sending my mother off in London, we caught a train to Belgium. We arrived in Brugges on sunday evening to find everything closed but a sweet little italian place with great manicotti.

Wow we were lazy in Belgium. Our first day, we walked into town to find out it was a public holiday. Everything was closed but the tourist joints that charge 5 euro for a beer. We did have time to visit another Kitty:

In the evening, we found a chinese food place. Chinese places never closed and of course the chinese women reminded me of that as I walked out with my Kung Pao Chicken. We had a drink at a local pub. They were open because they are always open. They list their opening hours on the window. Basically, they are open at 14:00 and close at ... every day. I guess they could give a damn about the holiday.

The Belgians have been the most curious about us and the most forward. I think this is because we are away from the main tourist area and we are drinking beer with the locals. One lady said to me, "They say all Americans are filthy rich. You are not rich, are you?" or I hear. "I think Bush is a, how do you call it...., a bastard. That is what he is, a bastard. I dont like McCain either. He is ugly with a thing on his neck" Do you see what I mean about forward? Most of them want to talk about Obama. We always listen and try to give them new insights but we are always careful not to insert too much opinion. These comments are not harsh or directed towards us, they are purely for friendly chats over a beer or passing by when they hear our english.

At the bar, I asked about their holiday. It was their independence day. I said, "Well, happy Independence day" That was the wrong thing to say. I got caught up in a tirade about how this is not their true day of independence. I think, this area which speaks Flemish, would prefer not to be connected to Belgium or at least associated with the french side of Belgium. I have quite a bit to learn on Belgian history. Regardless, the beer is good. Good food, good drink and great talk is what makes the world go round.

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