My Trip to Belgium

Last time I wrote, we were getting ready to leave for Belgium.  So we rode the train from Neuchatel to Geneva; flew from Geneva to Brussels; and took a taxi from Brussels to Liege (240 Euros by the way)… Trains, planes, and automobiles.  We got to Liege after midnight, so not much sightseeing.  Interesting town, I would have liked to spend a little time there.  But alas, we worked all morning and hopped on a train after lunch for Brussels.

The train ride was interesting to say the least.  There was something wrong with our train and it would stop for 1/2 an hour at each stop until it finally died and we had to switch trains.  We were supposed to be in Brussels by around 4:00 PM — just enough daylight left for taking some photos.  But we didn’t get in until after 6:00.  We went to the city center anyways and I took some pictures (see below), ate dinner (I tried some mussels in Brussels), and bought some chocolate.  Not a bad evening.  I could really spend some time here in Brussels, what an amazing place!  Parts of it really remind me of New York City, and it had a pretty safe feeling to it.

Now, I’m not trying to start an international incident here, so read the following with a sense of humor.  Here are some of my key learnings from Europe, in no particular order:

  • Most people speak English, but a few pretend not to.
  • Those who admit to speaking English are very nice and super helpful.
  • Things are expensive (especially taxis).
  • Europeans don’t have alarm clocks.
  • The switch to the bathroom light is on the outside of the bathroom.
  • Toilets don’t have a flush handle on the tank, they have a flush paddle-thingy.
  • A king sized bed is really two doubles pushed together.
  • Swiss trains are on time, Belgian trains are not.
  • If you frown while in public and appear worn down, tourists will mistake you for a native and ask you for directions.
  • Fondue and cigarette smoke combined smell like a fart.
  • The Swiss don’t care if you enter their country, just one glance at that American passport and you’re in!
  • Belgium has too many native languages — French, German, Flemish (and English, but they won’t admit it).
  • Europeans have lots of funny little cars that Americans don’t.

Again, I apologize for the pictures — but no Photoshop available.

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