Week one abroad has been a crazy whirlwind of new experiences. We do not start our internships until next week so this week was spent getting situated and exploring this new place we will call home for the summer.
The first night we had class and dinner with the adjunct professor. I had a Belgian white beer and sausage and mashed potatoes. It was very heavy and I enjoyed the beer more than the food, but that probably goes without saying.
We have been on two tours so far. Our tour guide, Georgette (an older woman who made good use of her knowledge of colorful language), gave us a tour of downtown Brussels in the middle of the week and then a tour of a traditional Belgian brewery at 9AM!! on Friday.
The beer they brew there is all natural, takes more than two years to make, and tasted like champagne.
Grand Place/Grote Market is downtown and is about a ten minute walk from our flats. We live on another “plaze” with cafes and shops that is considered uptown. The streets are kind of dirty but the buildings are beautiful. There are quite a few “plazes” within walking distance of our flats and many cafes and shops to pick up dinner or a chocolate croissant to or from work.
My diet has consisted of waffles, frites (fries), chocolate, beer, bread and pastries. We have however been walking so much I think the carbs haven’t caught up to me…yet.
On Saturday we made the 40min train ride to Antwerp which is known for its shopping and diamonds. Public transportation was interesting to navigate but I think I’m starting to get the hang of it. Antwerp is in the Flemish part of the country along with Ghent and Bruges, which I hope to visit this coming weekend. Stay posted!
There are waffle vans and stands on almost every corner. They were amazing but the locals said the best way to eat them is just with powdered sugar. The only way I can describe them is if an elephant ear and an americanized Belgian waffle had a beautiful baby. Melt in your mouth delicious yummmm.
Similar to steak fries but it is the sauce that makes them. They had a vast variety of ketchup including American, Curry and Sweet. Of course they also had mayo. My favorite sauce however was a spicy sauce called Samurai–something or other. It was amazing.