Friday, September 30, 2016

The Brussels Diaries

I sped out on the high-speed rail from Amsterdam to Brussels.  The trip was fast and smooth, and I grumbled at the inability to get good high-speed rail in America.  I arrived to the Belgian capital in the mid-afternoon, and made my way to my AirBNB sublet.  It is a cute apartment on the top floor of an old building in the Ixelles neighborhood.  It is a small two-story space with small bedroom and shower on the lower floor, and kitchen and small living room upstairs.  It is light and airy, with a lot of light peering through the skylights.  I like it.

Brussels always fascinates me.  The city straddles the linguistic and cultural divide between Northern Europe and Latin Europe.   It is a fitting capital for Europa.  Somewhere between Paris and Amsterdam, although the city itself is not about to be mistaken for either.  Lacking in the charm of Paris or Amsterdam, the Comic City instead has moxie.  Comic City is littered with giant murals of different comics.

Brussels' diversity feels more check-to-jowl than Paris or Amsterdam.

I was once told that Belgians are divided culturally and linguistically, but united only in their love for frittes, chocolate, waffles and beer.  Anyplace cemented together by such delights is a place I think I am bound to like.

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