Brussels Update #2 in August 2007
We have come to the conclusion that we thoroughly enjoy coming to a another new place to live. We find it exhilarating to be in a new city and a new neighborhood and enjoy the challenge of discovering how to live day-to-day. In each place things are done in a different way that it's fun to learn about and adapt to.
Compared with our experiences traveling around the US over the last few years, we have found that Spain and Belgium are a bit more different than a typical US city. Everyday products like food, toothpaste and moisturizer are different than the brands we are used to and the labels are in Spanish or French or Flemish, but that's OK. For most things we've managed to find suitable replacements or something totally different that's just as good, if not better (like the multi-color bell peppers (right). We've also found alot of new things we've never had before and will miss when we leave.
Here in Brussels, we're getting a little better with the language. French is the primary language here and we are getting better at saying bonjour when meeting someone or responding merci or s'it vous plait as appropriate. Most people speak enough English to get us through any transaction, and seem happy to be able to talk to us, but that's about as far as the conversations go.
One small downside is the that the weather continues to be rainy and cool so that on some of the days we are limited to the places that we can reach by bus or tram. We are still hoping for a longer stretch of summer to start.
We are finding the transit system to be excellent. We have a Metro (subway) line, 5 tram lines and about 10 bus routes within a few blocks of our place that take us almost anywhere in the city. We even bought a monthly transit pass so we can ride around at will and not need to worry how to come up with 1.50 euros per person for each trip.
Brussels is an intriguing city to explore and we're enjoying our explorations here.
Belgium's National Day, the anniversary of the date back in 1831 when they were recognized as a separate country, was July 21st. To celebrate, there were events all over the city.
We have also enjoyed visiting a range of museums and events.
We have also made an big effort to walk in many of the neighborhoods to admire the architecture and get a brief view of the urban life of Brussels. (more on this in a future story)
Belgium is a small country, so we took the opportunity to visit other cities on day trips.
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