Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Having a Beer with Jesus

Yes Im sure the title is rather surprising for the majority of you guys due to me being a born atheist, but don't worry it will be explained

Whew, where do I start... Belgium was definitely an experience. Gent especially surpassed my expectations. First note is the weather, rainy and cold. Its hard to believe that just a week ago I was in a bikini on the beach swimming and now Im bundled up in two jackets ducking into churches to escape the rain. I'm not complaining though, I'm fond of the cold and rain (within reason of course).

My first day in Bruxelles I did my normal tourist thing of meandering around streets looking at old stuff. A definite stop for me was the Botanique. I was rather disappointed, the building had graffiti on it and statues were broken. Not the best presentation of a botanical garden. Yet while I was sitting in the garden I came upon the belief that I must produce some kind of pheromone that is akin to catnip. Literally within 10seconds I found a cat on my lap. They're stalking me!
here is some street art I really liked

In Bruxelles, I tried my luck couchsurfing again and once again I was hosted by a truly wonderful person. Manu works for Oxfam, a company working to provide fair trade and organic products to consumers, and thus has a similar mind set as myself. We discussed the problems of industrialized agriculture and watched documentaries such as We Feed the World and The World According to Monsanto (I put links to websites where you can watch these videos for free. If you eat, you should really watch these documentaries). He also brought me into awareness of the new threat of nano tech, possible brain damage and all that fun stuff.

On a lighter note, he also taught me how to make sushi! Home made sushi, a bottle of Corsican wine, and in the background you can make out a bar of organic, fair-trade lavender chocolate. Ya....life is hard.
For some people shopping, architecture, or art is the highlight of their visit to a new city, for me it's natural history museums. The Institut Royal des Sciences Naturelles de Belgique had quite a sizable exhibition on dinosaurs, mammals, prehistoric human, biodiversity, and many other subjects so I spent a good 3 1/2 hours meandering my way through it. I was also one of the very few adults there who didn't have any spawn.
Stegosaurus, greatest dinosaur ever!
After a few days in Bruxelles, I skipped off to Gent which is about a half an hour in between Bruxelles and Bruges. I stayed with another really cool person, Didier, a couchsurfing host veteran. Another american from North Carolina, Bonnie, was also crashing at his place at the same time. So, Bonnie and I teamed up to explore the city. 
I thought this sign was really cute ^_^
Here's the castle in Gent
While Bonnie and I were exploring the city the sky decided it was time to spit down upon us, and so we took shelter in one of the many churches. As we sat in the church, pretending to look pious, the subject of popping open the beer that Bonnie had brought along came up. We both agreed that Jesus totally seems like a chill guy who would be fun to chat with over a beer. Yet, we didn't dare open the bottle lest we be kicked out into the rain. So later, when we found another shelter, we popped it open and drank a beer for Jesus, because he seems like a guy who really needs one.   

That night Didier took Bonnie and I to an Irish restaurant. The food was decent enough and Didier and I had great fun nerding it up talking about old video games. Yet, after we were done eating and our plates were cleared we waited for the bill....and waited...and waited. With us conversing we didn't notice it that much, but after a while we started to wonder what was taking them so long. Shortly after that thought occurred I noticed one of the waiters rush by with a fire extinguisher in his hands, and two minutes after that a waitress informed us that we needed to evacuate the building immediately because it was on fire. And by golly it was, as we stepped out into the cold, the metal doors opening to the basement were open and flames were billowing out. After watching it a while we decided to head back to Didiers and out of the cold.

We three decided to form a rap group, epically named B.L. Didders
From the right: me, Didier, and Bonnie

I took a day trip to Bruges and I'm really glad I didn't allot any more time to the small city. It was a lovely little medieval city and could have been quite enjoyable had it not been for the stupid amount of tourists. The lines to get into the churches rivaled the lines to get onto roller coster rides in a theme park, so I didn't even bother trying to go in.
They did have some nice windmills though
This picture is out of order but here's Manu showing me how to play a Tibetan instrument

Manu and I also took a trip to go see the Atomium, the large monument of Bruxelles.
Im not currently able to upload any pictures because I'm using a different computer so I stole this one from the internet.

I'm now in the Paris region to visit friends and then in a few days I'll hop down to the alps.

The election is going to be announced reasonably soon so I would just like to warn everyone that if Mittens (aka Mitt Romney) wins I will not be returning to the states. Obama's not perfect, but he's a hell of a lot better than the other option.

1 comment:

  1. Hey where are you going to be for your birthday?! I want to be able to mail you a card!