Friday, April 27, 2012


I made it to Brussels yesterday! I rode the train from Vichy to Paris Gare de Bercy (Bercy!), rode the metro to Gare du Nord, and then took a Thalys train (Belgian high speed train I believe) to Brussels.

They are promoting Snow White and the Huntsman big time here. There were like four sets of these posters hung and then they were on all the wall ads. And it doesn't come out until June 13th or something!

Funny too because Mirror Mirror is out here right now, but it's called Blanche Neige. And Snow White and the Huntsman is also called Blanche Neige and the Chasseur. Those French didn't change the title!

Anyway, moving on.

So bizarre, have you ever heard Flemish/Dutch? It sounds just like English, except that you can't understand it! All the sounds are the same, they just put them in a different order. When I first heard the Dutch announcement on the train, I thought I was going nuts. They say welcome almost the same way, and so I heard that, and then was ready to listen to the announcement but could understand nothing. I was so frustrated, still thinking it was English, "Have I really been in France that long!" Turns out it was Dutch. So weird.

Which leads me to the next frusterating thing. In Brussels, everything is in French and Dutch, all the signs, or sometimes, they just choose one, sometimes it's French, sometimes is Dutch. So odd. And the worst was on the metro here. The signs are in both, but they alternate which is on the top, so you never know where to look! And trust me, even though I speak French, even if I didn't, the French is way easier to read!

Speaking of the metro. I get off at Gare du Midi, and head for it. I buy a ticket, no problem, and then head down for my train, however I accidentally went down the stairs for the train going in the wrong direction. No big deal except that I couldn't get out! I was caged in! It took me about five minutes to find the one exit, which was all the way at the opposite end of where I came in. I wish you could see it! The whole event was weird. Between the odd signage and the way they gate you in the metro! So odd.

Apparently though, Brussels has several odd nuances. Like, at round abouts, until recently, the person entering the round about had priority, not the person already in it! Can you imagine the traffic that caused! And another, this still exists. They have a thing called Priority from the Right. What is this you ask? So you are driving down a road, and there are sidestreets that can enter by turning right onto your road. Well, usually, these people would have a stop sign, wait for a hole in traffic and then go. Not here! The people turning onto the main street have priority over you, who are already on the main road. If you hit them, it's you're fault!

Crazy I tell you.

So, obviously, I am a bit behind, but it's only because I am having such a great time. Wednesday, I made it to the Malones house around three. Caroline greeted me and then was like, "Wanna go do something?" So cool! We headed for the bus to go to the heart of the city. First stop.... waffles!

I cannot even begin to tell you about the waffles here. I though that I had had a good waffle before. I was living in naive ignorance let me tell you. These things are out of this world. They blow and they kick brioche out of the water. They are so so good. What's different about these waffles is the sugary crust. It is almost like they get dunked in a thick simple syrup but at the same time, they are not soggy at all, really crunchy and good! I got mine with chocolate and Caroline got hers plain. I was licking my waffle tray at the end of it.

Amazing! Enorme!

Here is the main square.. I think! Haha, I was too busy eating my waffle, everything went out after that.

So we walked around a bit more. I bought some cheese. Actually, Claire, I bought St. Marcelin!

(by the way, I am eating cereal right now! Mrs. Malone saw that I liked and bought it! So cool!)

And then we headed off to dinner. Caroline wanted to take me to this mussels place, however, after we sat down, they informed us that it is no longer mussel season and that they had no mussels. :( So, we had brochette instead. It was good!

After that we headed home, where Caroline proceeded to give me a cut and a bruise. I am not sure if this picture is doing it justice, it looked awesome!

Adding to the fun. Remember the cheese we bought? We'll I knew that it was smelly when we bought it, but I was ripe when we got back. Let's go over how it was wrapped. It is a cheese, in a Terra cotta dish, wrapped in plastic wrap, which the man wrapped in paper, which we put into a plastic bag and knotted. You could still smell it. Can you say fort! No way it could go in the refrigerator! So we choose the next best solution.

Remember my almonds. I finished off the last of them, put the cheese in the the almond ziploc, then we tied a cut up headband to it and hung it out Caroline's window. Hopefully the smell won't kill any passing animals.

The next day... there was sun! Shocking, but it has been warmer and sunnier here in Belgium than in France.

Caroline, Mrs. Malone and I went to Le Pain Quotidien for lunch. I had a goat cheese with basil tartine and a raspberry lemonade.... it was life changing.

Caroline and I then went to Carrefour to get some groceries for dinner, we were making dinner that night! Got our stuff, dropped it off and then we headed downtown again to find a waffle truck and some candy. But not before Caroline introduced me to these!

Wow these are good. They are like two waffles stuck together by melted butter and sugar. It took everything I had to only eat one. But I knew real waffles were in my future.

So apparently, the best waffles in all of Belgium come out of these yellow trucks. Caroline and I walked around trying to find them. We found a lot of yellow trucks, didn't realize just how many trucks are yellow, but alas, none of them were the correct yellow truck. The waffle truck.

Notice the lack of waffle trucks in my picture. After a while we gave up, that is also another thing that I love to do these days, at lease try to do. Whenever I get cold or tired, I always just want to give up. But you can't because you eventually have to get home. Anyway, we gave up on the waffle truck and went to Sucx. It's a candy store. I didn't realize this at first, I thought it was just like the usual ones I go to, but this one was huge! It had levels!

Yummy candy, and then it happened. The clouds opened up and the it started to pour. There was so much rain! Here are some police man on their horses. Why are they wearing skirts?

Since it was raining, we headed in to this covered street, kind of like a mall. Cute shops, weird art, cafes. We walked to the end, it was still raining, and then turned around.

Well, we couldn't stay in there forever, so braved the rain. We could make it to our bus! Bad idea.

We got completely soaked. So much so that the glue came apart on my shoes and now they have holes on either side! Can you see them? Bummer. Caroline's rain coat even got soaked though! She was freezing!  Then about 5 minutes after this happened, the rain stopped, the sun came out, along with all of the dry Belgians.

Out feet are really wet.

 But then we got waffles, so all was right with the world.

After those, we made out way back to our bus, freezing, hopped on, and headed back. At home, we quickly changed, I wanted to give up several times on the walk from the bus stop to her front door, but we made it and then all was right again.

We started making dinner, which turned out pretty well. We had a rendition of brochette, two sauces, the bearnaise was excellent, super foamy! Brandon and I were talking about foam foods the other day, that is really the way to eat food! I had foamed something at Canlis in Seattle one time, it's a cool experience. Anyway, meat, sauces, risotto, weird cooked greens (too much rocket!), and then for dessert, Caroline has discovered this amazing combo of nutella and cream cheese. Kill me know, you could just sit there and eat that for days. So rich but so good. She layered it with speculoos cookies (that is what they delta airplane cookies are made of, that flavor) and whipped cream. It looked so pretty!

After that, we were all pretty much done. So full!

Has anyone heard of the website buzzfeed? They have some of the funniest stuff on there. It kills me.



  1. Glad to hear you made it safely. Have fun and hopefully you can get a new pair of shoes. LOL


  2. Loved the train picture. Looks like you are having so much fun with Caroline. We need a picture of the two of you together before you leave. A photo of the Malones would be good too!