Day Three (Sun. July 12, 2009)
Noon comes around quick in Brussels. In fact it was 12:15 when we finally rolled out of bed.
Dan’s co-worker Reed and his wife Deanna came down to our room for a few hours and we chatted about our experiences in Europe so far. Around 2:30 or so, Dan and I ventured out into the streets to find a place to eat Breakfast. Sadly, it was Sunday. Apparently, nothing is open on Sunday in Brussels, damn Sabbath.
“Quick” is like the very ghetto (yet somehow way more expensive) version of McDonalds. Quick… or slow as molasses was where we ate breakfast. Burgers and fries, coke with odd tasting ketchup. Luckily, the nutrition information was given in kilojules, so there was no way for me to know just how fatty my “Supreme Pepper burger” was. The girl who took our order spoke French and English. Not too shabby for someone working at a fast food joint, though we’ve come to find that most people can manage a bit of English around here. 3 hours later we were served our breakfast/lunch. Everything is slower in Europe!
Back at the hotel we caught up with Reed and Deanna again and decided to venture into the downtown area to see the Grand Place. Understatement of the Century! The gothic architecture that surrounds this open cobblestone square is absolutely breathtaking. We sat down at an outdoor restaurant in the square and had Belgian Beers, people watching the entire time. In Europe during summertime, no-one ever eats inside.
When our glasses were finally empty, the journey back to the hotel led us into some cool little shops as well as a grocery store. We bought some coco pops, what we think is whole milk and some beers/wine. Dinner was had at the Cheese Cake Café where there was no cheesecake at all, and where the waiter didn’t speak a word of English. I owe Dan $5 over the fact that I asked for a vanilla milkshake. The waiter repeated “banilla?” to which I said yes, vanilla. Dan claimed that he said banana, and I had better correct him. When the milkshake arrived, we couldn’t actually figure out whether it was vanilla or banana. Dan ordered the Mort de Subite or “Sudden Death” beer, which was a lot like Cherry soda. Couldn’t figure out what was so sudden or deathly about it. The check cleared up the milkshake dilemma, indicating that it was in fact banana. We all wondered for a bit how people in Europe were able to survive. This was the least expensive place we could find, where our bill was 54 euros for 4 people. Food was akin to Applebees or maybe even worse.
As we sauntered back to the hotel, we noticed how strange it was that at 9:45 it was still light out. The good news was that we could walk around the city and not encounter the same level of questionable behavior we witnessed on the metro the night before. Back at the room the day ended as we were once again unable to fall asleep before midnight. Maybe we will have adapted by the time we get back home.