Day 16 – Brussels

Unfortunately, it was Monday. If you’ve been to Brussels, you might know what that means: everything is closed on Monday. No museums, no attractions, not too many shops, nothing except for monuments.
I got up and set out walking. Picked up some chocolate from a small store, which was the cheapest chocolate they had. Even so, it was the most amazing chocolate I’ve had in a long long time. I wonder what the expensive stuff tastes like. There were some interesting shops I saw. Lots of chocolate, lots of lace, lots of toys/puppets.

I went into the famous Brussels square with all the large buildings and shops everywhere. It was kind of nice and a bit of a change from the rest of the city. Lots of good pictures. Very touristy. I walked into a lace store and bought a small thing for my mom for a belated Mother’s Day present.

Then meandered about until I found the Manequin Pis. This famous statue was a lot smaller than I first thought it was going to be, but it was what it was, which is a fountain of a pissing boy. I guess this small little joke is a huge deal there, and it’s admittedly a bit funny, and I did buy a stupid miniature statue of it. I also bought a really, really good wafel from nearby. Belgium is also known for its waffles (they call them “wafels”). It was absolutely delicious. I got it plain (which I think it all it needs, anything more would just be distracting).

Walking around some more. Some kid with a toy gun was shooting people passing by and he shot me, so I smiled and did the “‘sup” nod. He shot me again and that time I played out an extremely dramatic dying scene. I think he and his friend found it hilarious, which was great. As I was walking I noticed a lot of shops along this one street that had ancient artifacts from different cultures. Egyptian, African, Asian, what not. I could hear in my head the words of Indiana “This belongs in a museum!” Oh and I also continued to see graffiti everywhere.

Somehow I got to the southernmost point of the city, which didn’t make any sense to me because I definitely did not walk the same amount that I did the day before going the other direction. I was at this giant palace with a pretty good view of the city, and also could barely make out that Atomium (a statue of an Atom a couple miles away). I walked up the city, and then through a park which was a nice stroll. Sat down for a while and watched a fountain go on and off a couple times.

Then went back to the hostel, where I did some laundry and went to the post office. For the life of me I could not find that post office. I walked up and down the street about three times, and then had to ask the guy at the hostel to point and show me where it was. I now know the symbol that Belgium uses to mark their post offices. I shipped off a lot of papers and souvenirs I had gained from the trip to my parents. A funny story: The package was ready to be shipped, and the lady told me how much it was, which sounded a lot like Ninety euros. I figured that was a mistake and she meant Nine euros. I gave her a ten and she said again Ninety. I was pretty surprised, but alright… umm… ok, and asked if I could pay with my Visa card. She said I couldn’t, but she had noticed I had a Twenty bill in my wallet, and said I could use that. OH! Nineteen! Nineteen Euro. I wiped the imaginary sweat from my head and she got a laugh out of that. I’m glad I can make a joke over the language barrier.

Then went back and hung out with some people at the hostel. Met a guy from Denmark who gave me a lot of suggestions on where to go when we get there. Then started talking to Nicole and Karaline from Canada. Told all sorts of stories. I went out briefly to get some kind of pizza, which tasted like an omelet pizza. We drank a bunch, buying each other drinks, and it was fun times. Then we went out at night to explore. We didn’t really find anything, but walked a lot. Came back, and went to bed.

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