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Well, back on the road. Back to a city known for their waffles, chocolate, patisserie's, couques, carbonnade, language infighting, Art Nouveau, ongelooflijke bieren (bière incroyable)  and a wee peeing man and dog (Manneken Pis en Zinneke Pis).

Now, during my previous experiences in Brussels (Bruxelles) I (ik) (je) thought that the whole French/Dutch (Frans/Nederlands) (Francaise/Néerlandais) was not that bad, maybe just reading 2 names for every street (straat/rue) was bad. But try remembering these things! Seeing that Belgium has three official languages, Dutch, French, and German, plus unofficial English in Brussels, their street signs to say the least are insanely over worded. But I will not be like Belgium (België/Belgique) and put everything in three (drie/trois) sayings.

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I must say that Belgian cuisine is out of this world. They have waffles in vending machines (see below)!! But I have safely subsisted off of chocolate, le noir (think chocolate peanut butter, only minus the butter and peanut part, and substitute cacao and sugar), various types of stoemp, and pates et foie gras. But the best part is the portions. Flemish sized French cooking. Decadence, luxury, and three hearty courses for under 20Euro. I may need to buy another plane ticket to get home...

Hopefully, soon, I'll find the time to run, the time to prepare for that European marathon. I should be so carb-loaded over the next couple weeks that I should either tank within the first 5 miles, or run a very, very, fast marathon. It's a little hill here, and there are parks galore, big ones, little ones, big straight laans en straats and a huge, medieval forest only 2 miles or so south. Now if I can clear my list of friten stands to fit those miles in....

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Okay, so a little "unique" thing about Brussels. It is artsy, it is ancient (it was a Roman outpost and a swamp at one time) and they love puppets and marionette theatre. Yes, in any good, Bruxellois Estaminet you will find puppets hanging from the rafters next to the tin cans, smoke-infused walls, and exotic beers glasses. (I drank a beer out of a stone goblet, which somehow kept the beer really cold and really frothy,**note to self--make or obtain**. Of course there is the Manneken Pis,the little dude in the heart of Brussels that is a fountain that pees. I mean who doesn't have one of those chilling in their backyard. Now a dog statue that you could literally break your ankle on? Now "dat is Brusselse sfeer."


So far, So good. Many more days to go, many more places to see, many more things to eat and people to meet. I did it once, and at this rate, I'm going to do it again (I need to put the "Lux" in BENELUX). So stay tuned, stay interested, and remember, Liege waffles and the dense round ones, and the Brusselse Wafel is the rectangular one...this is IMPORTANT STUFF PEOPLE. (Below is my 3-course echte beglische gerechten from Restobieres, right next to a flea market where you can buy clearly stolen statues and house numbers, cameras smuggled from East Germany, and glassware that is caked in...something...though it is free after 3 if they leave it....hmmmm...anyways the dishes are a Rochefort sauce pastei, Flemish carbonnade stewed in Girardin with mashed potatoes, and a true Brussels waffle with cherry Kriek sauce. And you know what, new part of "de blog," I'm going to do a "meal of the week/maaltijd van de week/un repas de la semaine/Mahlzeit der Woche". Yea, I'm gonna do it, simply because I can, and I don't Instagram or use Pininterest. This is DE BLOG!! Of course below is just my camera work in action.
Jennifer Witt
1/15/2013 10:29:07

So - the waffles in the vending machine, do you eat them dry or do they have another place in the machine to buy syrup, strawberries/whip cream? And I don't think you can just limit it to one meal of the week - you will have to expand to Meals of the Week.
I enjoyed your blog from your last trip and looking forward to reading about this next journey of you life. By the way - did you gain any weight from your last trip to Belgium?

Have a great time!

Jenn

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Aaron
1/15/2013 13:27:54

I definitely gained some weight when I went to Amsterdam. The four days i visited Brussels while there didnt help. Of course i biked around everywhere in A'dam...here it is not normal to bike and the lanes are too good. But I do have many a parks and long, straight roads to explore on foot (aka running)

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