We had a few days before our internship began to explore the city and run some errands. I think I didn’t realize that I would actually be living here and would need things like dish soap and toilet paper and trash bags. So that was definitely a hassle and we are nowhere near close to having everything that we need.
The second night we were here, Haley and I met Bell Johnson (who interned at Thomson Reuters last semester) for drinks at this bar that is famous for gin and tonics. She gave us some good advice about what to expect at work and it helped calm my nerves. On our way home, there was a jazz festival that Brussels has once a year, so we stopped in at that for a second. There was an outdoor stage set up where people could relax and enjoy the jazz music (and of course, there were beer tents).
That night we went to Delirium, which is a bar that has the world record for most beers on tap. We heard that this place is really fun, but definitely a touristy place. We figured, well we might as well go because we are tourists. It was definitely an experience. The guys in Belgium are much more forward. They will walk right up to you with no pickup line prepared and jump right in by saying something rudely inappropriate. The guys definitely annoyed me, but it never felt threatening, just annoying.
We got some beers at Delirium and then we went to another bar next door that has a bunch of types of tequila. It was a lot of fun. We ended up meeting a big group of people from London who were a blast. Overall, it was a great first night out with most of the people from our trip.
One thing that stood out was how late we got home! They don’t go out until so late that before we knew it, it was 4:30 a.m. I guess time flies when you’re having fun?
The next day we went to an area called Flagey, which is near our house. They have this sort of farmer’s market every weekend. We got some fruit there and it was honestly a great environment. It’s not a touristy area, so we finally felt like we were real Belgians. We stopped by a little park right nearby to relax by the lake before heading home.
After the market, we headed Grand Place. Basically, if you were to Google Brussels, this is the area you would see. I can’t describe how beautiful the area is, so I’ll let the pictures do the talking.
Monday was a holiday (one of the ones that everyone is off work, but nobody really understands why). We had a walking tour planned for us by the program. It mostly at Grand Place again, but I finally got to see Manneken Pis, which is one of the most famous sites. Not sure why because it’s a tiny statue of a boy peeing. I probably should have paid more attention to the tour guide.
Anyway, the tour was okay, but the waffle I got on the tour was what made my day. Now THIS was the AMAZING Belgium waffles that I heard so much about. This picture needs no explanation.
On Tuesday, everyone started work except Haley and I. Our bosses just got back from a conference in Latvia, so they weren’t ready for us Tuedsay. It gave me time to catch up on my jet lag and run errands. After our friends got home from work, we went to a restaurant. I got lapin a la kriek (rabbit and red beer). Garreth, our program director, said we needed to try it and it was good. It was like a more gamey chicken leg.
I will write an update about my first two days at work soon!