10 reasons to fall in love with…Brussels

I know this might come as a surprise for those of you who have heard me say all those nasty things about Brussels, but yes, there are some things about this city that I appreciate. Maybe it’s the flu that’s been bothering me over the past few days, or maybe it’s just that sometimes you need to let a bit of time pass until you see the good things you’ve had when they’re gone. Anyways, after three months of being apart, I do need to admit that Brussels like any other place that I’ve lived in so far has become part of my home and it haunts me like any other experience abroad with never ending homesickness. I wonder if this weird feeling of constant nostalgia – be it for Australia, France, Hungary, Belgium or Austria – will ever end, I have my doubts, but you may prove me wrong if you have made other experiences. I know Brussels will never be my favourite city on earth because well let’s face it, Vienna has taken up number one a long time ago and it’s very difficult to beat, but it’s part of my life journey so I want to share the good things of this city with you. Here comes my number 10 list:

  1. Grand Place: 

I guess the reason why Brussels was never really on my number one travel list is because well, let’s be honest there are not that many interesting sights to see. This absence of monuments made it quite difficult for me at the start to get an orientation in the city. If I had to pick one major sight and must see when in Brussels, it’s of course Grand Place, perhaps the most beautiful spot in the city. Beautiful Art Nouveau architecture covered in gold, quite breathtaking and worth a visit.

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2. The European Union:

The presence of the European institutions and the positive European vibe is definitely something that makes living in Brussels worth it. I don’t think I’ve ever lived in a city with such a positive attitude towards the European Union. I still don’t quite understand why the European founding fathers (sadly no mothers) chose Brussels as the European ‘capital’, but having left quite a big part of my heart in Strasbourg, I still like to see Strasbourg as the real capital of Europe, no offense. I’ve been a supporter of the European project ever since I can remember. I am a proud believer in European values and in the fact that working together as closely as possible makes us stronger. The European Union has brought so many advantages into our lives and I personally admit that I have profited a lot as a typical Erasmus generation stereotype. The EU has made it possible for me not to do just one but two exchanges, do internships in different countries without having to get a visa, pay extra fees, even without having to change my currency. So yes, I have enjoyed the European atmosphere in Brussels, meeting likeminded people and seeing them fight for their career within an EU institution.

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3. Connectivity:

Brussels is perfectly connected to many other cities including Paris, London, Amsterdam, Luxembourg etc. It’s so easy to travel from Brussels – be it by train, bus, airplane, perhaps even by bike. I enjoyed being able to do day trips on weekends and I didn’t even manage to tick off all the destinations on my list, including Bruges, no, I did not make it to Bruges. I have, however, managed to visit Strasbourg, Lille, Luxembourg, Ghent, Antwerp, Knokke, Rotterdam, The Hague and Amsterdam, which I do find a lot considering that I only stayed there for five months.

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4. Flagey:

Well, it’s quite unbelievable how much love one can have for a square this hideous. I remember the first time I was at Flagey and Café Belga, I was seriously wondering why my flatmate loved coming to this place, it was not appealing to me at all. But then somehow I always kept coming back, especially on Sundays for Flagey market, which became one of our Sunday rituals. We would first get brunch somewhere nearby and then go for the cheap wine at the market and maybe some oysters, or waffles. Despite the cheap price, the wine was actually tasty, or it might have been the fact that I hadn’t had wine in such a long time because Belgium – let’s face it – is a beer country. No but seriously, beer’s a religion. We would spend hours at this place getting tipsy, joking around, having coffees at Café Belga and just have a good time. I actually spent my last hours at Flagey with my close friend T, that’s how holy this place has become. When I think of Flagey today, I remember all the good times we had there and wish I could go back every once in a while.

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5. Architecture:

When it comes to architecture and art, Vienna and Brussels are two complete opposites. Vienna is this clean glamorous city, where you can still smell the monarchy, even though it ended 100 years ago. Everything is very well preserved and has to look perfect. Well Brussels has its very own way of doing things. There’s not one particular type of architecture you would spot in this city, even though it is quite well-know for its Art Nouveau. It took me quite some time to get used to this variety of architectural styles in one place. You can spot the most beautiful baroque building next to a modern skyscraper. Whilst this would be illegal in Vienna and would probably cost us the UNESCO World Heritage title, it is the most common thing in Brussels.

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6. Street Art: 

Talking architecture probably takes me to my next reason why to fall in love with Brussels: street art. Well-done street art is something I really admire, as I am not talented at all when it comes to painting or drawing. The colourful wall paintings, particularly of comics, are very typical Belgian, or at least that’s something I was told. To me Brussels is a city of diversity and I think the street art reflects this diversity very well.

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7. The people: 

Brussels is a very young, dynamic and multicultural city. Of course, this is mainly thanks to the European Union. Many young people move to Brussels to do traineeships (like myself), build a career, or a network, fall in love. If you take a ride on the metro, you will quickly realise that you’re surrounded by a multilingual audience. This makes living in Brussels without speaking a word of Dutch very easy. Even though I speak French fluently, I hardly ever had to use it outside of work, everybody speaks good English, or even German. This city is made of hungry young professionals dying to meet other people for different reasons. I was very lucky to have found friends close like these and more.

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8. Waffles, beer, fries, chocolate and again beer:

I once asked a Belgian what his favourite Belgian meal was and his answer was fries. Even though I still don’t consider fries as a real ‘meal’, I guess he had a point, especially given the amount of fries I ate when I was in Belgium. I admit that Belgian cuisine is probably not the healthiest one and definitely not good for your beach body, haha. I have never seen a variety of sauces this big that you can choose with your fries (my personal favourite is ‘Andalouse’), or a beer menu this long. I don’t think I’ve had a beer that I didn’t enjoy, which is probably something my Belgian friends will be very proud of when they read this. I’ve even become very picky with my Waffles and I have caught myself rolling my eyes at Austrian waffles because having had the real deal, I don’t want to have some overpriced, Austrian mock up waffle. It’s like having Nutella and then changing to hazelnut cream. I mean who does that?

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9. Parc Cinquantenaire:

Living in Brussels has made me realise how important greenery is to me. I need some sort of park, forest or anything else that is green around me. Living on the other end of Parc Cinquantenaire was one of the greatest things in Brussels. I spent so much free time there running, drinking, eating, hanging out with friends, talking on the phone to mum, or just crossing the park on my way to work. It’s probably my favourite park in Brussels and I have some good memories there.

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10. Restaurants/ Bars/ Cafés: 

Brussels surprised me with its good choice of places to eat and drink. I’ve had tons of really good food and drinks in this city. If I had to choose some of my favourite places it would be:

Don’t forget to check out my post on my favourite Brussels Brunch Locations.

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My personal conclusion of living in Brussels is that it’s more of a city you go to for the vibe and atmosphere, the restaurants, cafés, bars, food, rather than the monuments that you would expect to see in Paris or London. You need to know your way around in Brussels to really enjoy the city and of course the greatest friends really do make a huge difference as well because as long as you’re with the right people, it doesn’t matter where you are.

Bisou, M

In love with…Ghent-ventures

Hi lovebirds,

If I had to choose a favourite city in Belgium, it would be Ghent without hesitation. Even though our first visit was rather wet, T and I knew we’d have to come back, it was a feeling we had since the very beginning. I’d done a lot of research before our trip – what a surprise – and I found quite a few cool cafés and restaurants, mostly vegetarian, that I wanted to try, but unfortunately, we were there on a public holiday, so most of those restaurants were closed. However, we managed to find a couple of very interesting markets and places that I wouldn’t have wanted to miss. Generally, Ghent is a very chilled city with many cute local (interior) shops and bars along the river. Ghent was the first city in Flanders (the Dutch speaking part of Belgium) that I visited and it is crazy how you can see and feel the Dutch influence there. From what I’ve heard, Ghent resembles Bruges a lot in terms of architecture, but is the hipper, less touristy version, which is probably why Ghent is my favourite.

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1. CRU – indoor food market

We discovered CRU by accident, but were very happy with our discovery, as they have lots of delicious organic food with tasters and the best part was the wine vending machine. We tried two different red wines – one younger, one older – and I’m still not sure, whether the wine was actually this tasty, or whether we were too blown away by the fact that we got served wine by a machine. The machines, however, allow you to choose the quantity of your wine, so it’s perfect, in case you would like to try different ones before you choose a bottle you really want to buy. You actually get a little scanner that you scan the price with and pay at the exit. CRU’s wine machines surely gave a great start to a fantastic day trip, although it’s perhaps not the best place to do your grocery shopping, if you’re short on money.

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CRU is open for you from Monday to Sunday from 10.00-18.30. You can find it at Kouter 177 – 178, 9000 Gent.

2. Sunday Flower Market at Kouter Square

One thing that impressed me the most in Ghent was the amount of people that were carrying a bouquet of flowers. Those of you who know me are aware of my addiction with flowers. I think it’s something that is being passed on generation by generation in my family. We regularly send each other flower and pant updates on our family whatsapp chat, no kidding. Truth is, flowers are such an easy way to brighten up your apartment and mood. They make everything look better effortlessly. Usually, I try to buy a bouquet myself, but unfortunately, I haven’t really had the opportunity to continue my flower tradition in Brussels, due to the lack of vases. Also, flowers are quite expensive in Brussels and I didn’t really spend much time at home during those past five months anyways. However, when T and I started our traineeship, we immediately agreed on getting some nice plants for our office to give it a personal touch and make it more comfortable. So the Sunday Flower Market was the perfect location for us to buy two cute little cacti for a very cheap price. It’s impressive how a plant can change the whole atmosphere in a room, particularly an office. I especially think it’s very important to feel comfortable at work, as you spend a lot of time there. And here I am already thinking of how to decorate my new office desk.

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3. Chillin by the canal

Living in Brussels has made me realise how much I love having water near me. You may now ask yourself ‘why Brussels?’ since there is absolutely no water in this city and the little canal doesn’t really count. Although I do admit that the area around the canal looks quite impressive in Brussels too. Anyways, Ghent, is the complete opposite of Brussels, as there is lots and lots of water that you can walk along, sit next to, or take a boat ride on! I loved spotting all the (s)coots in the water, building houses for their families, which is the cutest thing ever. T and I just spent all day walking along the canal, looking at beautiful picturesque houses and enjoyed the culinary of the city.

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4. Cuberdons

When in Ghent you should make sure to try at least one cuberdon, also known as Gentse neus (Ghent nose), as it is a specialty from the region. You can buy them pretty much anywhere in the city centre, particularly near Groetenmarkt, where they sell them on little wagons. They come in different flavours and colours, but the original is the purple one which tastes like raspberry. From what I’ve heard, you can’t really buy them anywhere else, or in supermarkets, as they make them fresh and don’t last very long, at least this way you can assume that it’s good quality.

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5. Holy Food Market

Something that I hadn’t come across before is a chapel that was turned into a food market, aka the holy food market. I admit it’s quite a touristy thing to do, but I think it’s worth a visit, particularly when you’re there for the first time like I was (and the weather is freezing). I chose to eat an Italian Pizza which was amazing, T had Ramen that she enjoyed as well, but was a bit overpriced for a vegetarian soup. Even if you’re not hungry, at least go and quickly check it out.

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You can find the Holy Food Market from Monday – Friday from 11.00 – 22.00, and from Saturday – Sunday from 11.00 – 23.00 at Beverhoutplein 15, 9000 Gent.

Additional advice on traveling to and around Ghent: 

  • Get a -50% reduction on your train ticket from SNCB on weekends and public holidays.
  • Try not to go there on a public holiday, or a Sunday, as most cute restaurants and cafés will be closed, as we found out sur place and made us feel obliged to go back another time.
  • Take a tram to the city centre (stops are right in front of the central station), the train station is quite far away. However, the walk to the center is also nice and you may come across some graffiti.

Bisou, M

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In love with…Knokke-d out at sea

Hi lovebirds,

A few weeks back, it was adventure time when my two buddies F & F for some reason decided to go sailing at sea. You see, F & F are two inseparable best friends who always have silly things on their minds, which is perhaps why they are so dear to me because they are always a lot of fun to be with. Traveling with these two always turns into epic moments. Also, you perhaps have heard of my passion for pirates – yes, somebody has binge watched Pirates of the Caribbean and yes, I was able to talk along the movie – so of course, I would tag along despite the cold Belgian-type temperatures in June. To be honest, my brain automatically equals ‘sea and beach’ with warm weather, so I had enough reasons to come along the trip, even though I was clearly wrong about the beach weather part.

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Anyhow, I hopped on the train to meet up with F & F at the beach in Knokke – it already sounds like a very piratey town, don’t you think? – but when I arrived, it hit me seeing all these people wear winter coats outside, while I was dressed in shorts and t-shirt. Luckily, having lived in Belgium for a while, I’d come prepared because I knew F & F had been enjoying my constant complaints about the weather in Belgium, so I’ve decided to get changed instead and not to let them win.

So when I started approaching the beach, I was once again reminded of pirates, as all the houses and streets were grey and empty, as if a group of pirates had plundered the city and laid a curse on it, but let’s not get carried away. When I finally got to the beach after a nice 15 minute walk, the boys welcomed me with uncountable precious treasures they had found at the beach, or at least they were treasures to some people, particularly to F, as he was clearly very happy to have an old sting ray egg in his hair.

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I was actually thinking, you know how Pirates of the Caribbean has an evil monkey? Well, we clearly came across an evil seagull during our picknick. So other F has this thing for soft balls, which he keeps bringing along and loses eventually. As we were sitting in the sand, innocently eating humus, bread and some chocolate cookies, a seagull was watching us. I instantly knew it was hate love at first sight, as F tried to scare it away, but the seagull managed to come close enough to steal F’s soft ball and flew off into the sky with the ball in its beak, very ironic, I know. Clearly not a very successful day for three professional pirates, but nevertheless a historical and hilarious moment being robbed by a seagull.

But pirates never give up, so F & F finally decided to go back to what they thought they could do best, threw on some wetsuits and tried to tame the sea with some (sailing) boat, and man, have they fought hard with the water! For a second, I wished I was a seagull so I could watch them fight from above, but sitting at the shore was enough to see what was really happening and how much they struggled. To be fair, the wind and waves were  pretty rough that day. When my eyes couldn’t stand watching them fail any longer, I fought my way back to the train station climbing some dunes and coming across some posh houses that would have been perfect to plunderrr.

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Finally, when my train arrived, the earth started shaking – or well, that’s not really what happened, but that’s what would have happened, if this were a real pirate movie – I turned around and saw two pirates running towards the train station. It was F & F! You wonder why they were running and what really happened with that boat? Well, a real pirate never tells, but to be honest, I only found out on the train myself. What I can say is that F & F didn’t disappoint me with their piratey behaviour and even proved their commitment to the pirate community.

Since we couldn’t let this day end like this, we stopped in Ghent on the way back for some nice drinks along the canal and some ice cream. It was not exactly the beach experience I was prepared and hoping for, but it turned out to be quite an adventurous and fun day. My conclusion for the day: check the weather forecast before going to the beach, it is not worth going to Knokke, unless high temperatures and sunshine!

Bisou, M

Continue reading “In love with…Knokke-d out at sea”

In love with…Brussels Brunch locations

Hi lovebirds,

je mehr ich über diese Stadt nachdenke und je mehr die Sonne ihr Gesicht zeigt, umso mehr fällt mir auf, dass Brüssel zwar bestimmt nicht zur wunderhübschesten Stadt werden wird in meinen Augen (sorry, aber mit Wien kann man einfach schwer mithalten), aber dass sie dann doch einiges zu bieten hat, wenn man sie nur lässt. Wie ihr ja wisst, bin ich eine unglaubliche Frühstückstante. Am liebsten würde ich Frühstück auch zum Mittag- und Abendessen essen. Als ich dann aber in meinem Marco Polo Guide (ja sorry, ich brauch das einfach als Vorbereitung) gelesen habe, dass die Brusseleirs ja nicht unbedingt FrühstücksliebhaberInnen sind, da war meine erste Enttäuschung schon vollbracht. Dabei hast du dich da aber, lieber Marco, ganz schön getäuscht, denn ich jedenfalls hab doch in meinen ersten zwei Monaten schon einige sehr sehr leckere Frühstücks- und Brunchlokale entdeckt, die ich so gern hab, dass ich sie sogar mit euch teilen möchte. Einer der vielen Nachteile an Brüssel ist halt leider das teure Leben, sprich: das teure Essen. Aber ich bin der Meinung, dass man sich hin und wieder mal was Gutes gönnen kann, auch wenn ich Brunch hier zu meiner Sonntagstradition gemacht und einige Leute damit angesteckt hab und mein hin und wieder eher zu einer wöchentlichen Angelegenheit geworden ist. Anyways, hier sind meine bisherigen Favourites:

Meine Top 1 – La Fabrique en Ville

Mein absoluter Favourite ist das Fabrique en Ville bei der Metro Station Louise. Es ist ein bisschen versteckt in einem Park, was für eine unglaublich angenehme Atmosphäre sorgt, da man nicht das Gefühl hat, mitten in der Stadt zu sein. Im Gegenteil, es hat, finde ich, etwas von einem Vorstadtgefühl, wenn man das so sagen kann. Es gibt eine große Terrasse, wo Kinder und Hunde rumlaufen und spielen können. In die Einrichtung, Deko und das Menü bin ich absolut verliebt. Für mich ist das die perfekte Sonntagsbrunch Location, an der man Stunden mit FreundInnen und Familie verbringen kann. Unter der Woche gibt es leckeres und sehr leistbares Frühstück (Eierspeise mit Salat und Brot, wer will, kann auch extra Bacon oder Lachs dazuhaben; hausgemachtes Granola mit Früchten, belgische Waffeln mit Früchten, etc. alles zwischen ca. 6-9€) und am Wochenende gibts ein Brunch Buffet, das zwar etwas teurer ist (ca. 30€), aber dafür kann man dann auch so viel Essen, wie man möchte. Den Brunch hab ich selber noch nicht ausprobiert – nur das Frühstück – er steht aber definitiv noch auf meiner To-Do Liste. Außerdem kann man seinen Kaffee hier auch mit Soja- oder Kokosmilch bestellen, für all diejenigen, die keine Milch trinken. Ich freu mich jedenfalls schon drauf, die Terrasse auszuprobieren, wenn das Wetter hoffentlich doch mal besser wird.

Frühstück: Preis: €       Mo-Fr: 9-11.00;                         Brunch: Preis: €€      Sa-So: 10.30-15.30
Boulevard de Waterloo 44, 1000 Bruxelles

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Meine Top 2 – Coffee College

Ein sehr minimalistisch, modern eingerichtetes Lokal, mit studentischer Atmosphäre, immerhin befindet sich das Lokal auch im Universitätsviertel. Die Karte ist sehr übersichtlich und die Auswahl nicht zu groß, was sehr praktisch ist für einen Menschen wie mich, der sich nur schwer entscheiden kann. Ein definitiver Pluspunkt sind die tollen Kombinationen aus süßem und deftigem Essen inklusive frisch gepresstem Saft und Heißgetränk eurer Wahl (17€). Der Preis ist gut, insbesondere, wenn man die Preise in Brüssel schon etwas besser kennt und die Qualität des Essens stimmt! Das Avocadobrot mit pochiertem Ei war richtig lecker, aber auch die Acai-Bowl kann ich sehr empfehlen!

Preis: €      Mo – Fr: 7.30 – 18.00; Sa – So: 10 – 15.00
Boulevard Général Jacques 124-126, Ixelles, 1050

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Top 3 – La petite production

Bitte unbedingt früh hingehen! Man kann hier am Wochenende leider keine Tische reservieren und der Name lautet nicht umsonst ‘petit’. Falls ihr es doch erst etwas später hinschafften solltet, das Warten zahlt sich aus! Es gibt dort vorallem viele Ei-Varianten (Spiegelei, pochiert, oder gerührt), die man mit unterschiedlichen Sides kombinieren kann. Ich hab damals das Gemüse des Tages genommen, was in meinem Fall ein super leckerer Kürbis war mit Schweizer Käse, Brot, Butter und Salat (ca. 15€). Außerdem gibt es dort leckere frisch gepresste Säfte und auch Detox Säfte, die ich sehr empfehlen kann.

Preis: €      Mo/Di: geschlossen; Mi-Fr: 9.00 – 15.00; Sa/So: 10 – 16.00
Gangstraat 5, Ixelles, 1050

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Top 4 – Les Filles

“Fühl dich wie Zuhause” würd ich sagen ist das Motto im ‘Les Filles’, wo sehr viel Wert auf die Qualität der Produkte und das Wohlfühlen gelegt wird. Man fühlt sich einfach wie im Wohnzimmer. Es erwarten Dich wahnsinnig leckere Salate, frisches Obst, Joghurt, richtig gutes Brot, hausgemachte Butter, Bananenbrot, Chiasamenpudding und noch vieles mehr und das alles zubereitet aus lokalen biologischen Produkten. Das Les Filles ist für mich irgendwie ein spezieller Ort, an dem ich nicht einfach so am Wochenende hingehen würde, sondern eher zu einem besonderen Anlass, da das Essen doch eher teuer ist und man das daher einkalkulieren sollte, aber zu einem besonderen Anlass kann man sich das schon mal gönnen.

Preis: €€     Mo-Fr: 12.00-14.00; 18.00-21.00; Sa/So/Feiertag (Brunch): 10.00-16.00
4 Rue Jean Chapelié, Ixelles, 1050

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Top 5 – Chyl

Im Chyl gibt es Brunch, das nach Regionen bzw. Ländern spezialisiert ist. Zum Beispiel gibts ein orientalisches Frühstück mit Humus und Pitabrot, meines war ein Power Frühstück mit Avocado- und Rote Beete Brot, Acai Bowl und dann gabs noch eine Power Überraschung, von der ich ehrlich gesagt nicht zuordnen kann, was es war, haha, aber es hat gut geschmeckt. Den Kaffee kann ich dort nicht unbedingt empfehlen, aber dabei gibt es dort leckeres Detox Wasser (was im endeffekt nur Wasser mit Minze und Gurkenscheiben, oder Wasser mit Orangenscheiben ist). Das Chyl hat seinen Namen auch nicht umsonst verdient, also bitte nicht dort hin gehen, wenn Ihr es stressig habt, wie ich schon bemerkt habe, sind belgische KellnerInnen nicht unbedingt die schnellsten, wenn man überhaupt bedient wird. Das Essen im Chyl ist hübsch und lecker – es gibt auch einen Food Store beim Eingang – aber ich find den Preis für das Essen sehr hoch. Also man kann es gerne mal ausprobieren, aber ich würd bestimmt nicht jedes Wochenende hinspazieren.

Preis: €€      Mo-Sa: 9.00-20.00; So: 10.00-19.00
Rue de Belle-Vue 62, Bruxelles, 1000

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Bisou, M

In love with…Brüssel?!

Hi lovebirds,

Ach Brüssel, Hauptstadt Europas, es müssen wohl die Müllsäcke vor deiner Haustür sein, die dich den Gründungsvätern Europas so wahnsinnig interessant erscheinen haben lassen. Oder war es doch die ausgesprochen gute Trinkwasserqualität?! Schwer zu sagen.

Ich jedenfalls liebe es, wenn ich Samstag morgens um 11:00 mit Freunden zum Brunchen verabredet bin und mir auf dem Weg die zerquetschten Tomatenscheiben und übrig gebliebenen Kartoffelschalen vom Vorabend auf der Straße entgegen kugeln und man den Spuren der Bierdosen und dem Hundekot (man hoffe, es sei HUNDEkot) im Zickzack aus dem Weg gehen muss. Was wäre denn ein morgendlicher Spaziergang ohne Hindernisse auf der Straße? Man muss zugeben, du hast schon deinen eigenen, ganz besonderen Charme!

Ach und dabei bleiben mir deine Baustellen wohl ein Rätsel. Manchmal frag ich mich ja, ob sie einfach das ‘Achtung, Baustelle! Betreten verboten!’ Schild einfach vergessen haben, zumindest an so manchen U-Bahnstation, aber das gehört wohl auch einfach zu deinem ganz besonderen Charme. Letztens, am Weg in den Waschsalon (ja sowas gibt es noch und nein, hier haben die Wenigsten Waschmaschinen in ihren Häusern), bin ich doch ernsthaft mitten in der Stadt, durch Sand gestapft, am Gehsteig. Wo kam denn bitte der Sand her hab ich mich gefragt und rede mir noch bis heute ein, dass es bloß ein gescheiterter Versuch eines hippen City-Beaches war, aber für ihre Strände sind die Belgier ja wohl auch nicht so bekannt, aber das kann ja noch werden!

Brüssel ist außerdem furchtbar toll für Menschen mit einer kleinen Blase wie mich. Als wäre es nicht schon angenehm genug, wenn man dringend pinkeln und Schlange stehen muss. Nein. Davon abgesehen, dass sich die meisten Toiletten in einem kleinen dunklen Keller befinden (da sollte ich mich als Österreicherin ja eigentlich wohl fühlen), darf man zusätzlich sogar noch jedes Mal 50 Cent bezahlen. Da fühlt man sich glatt wie auf Durchreise auf einer Raststation, nur dass man dort wenigstens das Geld in Form eines Gutscheins wiederbekommt, den man im Tankstellenshop einlösen kann und hier, hm wie soll ich sagen, das exklusive Gefühl des ‘Rastens’ erleben darf?

Es ist ja kaum ein Wunder, dass Brüssel angeblich eine der grünsten Städte Europas sein soll, wenn man bedenkt, dass Dank des tollen Müllsystems hier vor zwei Jahren rund um das Justus Lipsius Gebäude (dem Rat der Europäischen Union) noch Füchse gesichtet wurden. Naja, als kleines Füchslein würd ich mir das gratis Futter auch nicht entgehen lassen, wenn man es mir schon vor die Haustür stellt. Das Zusammenleben zwischen Mensch und Natur funktioniert also doch! Brüssel ist der Beweis! Und daher wird es für mich, je länger ich hier wohne, umso normaler, dass ausgerechnet Robert Menasse von mysteriösen Schweinchen in der Stadt spricht. Wenn es hier Füchse gibt, warum nicht auch Schweine, right?

Nach beinahe zwei Monaten in Brüssel – oh Gott wie schnell doch die Zeit vergeht – bin ich, wie man wohl bemerkt, noch immer unsicher, was ich von der Stadt halten soll. Man sagt, es gibt zwei verschiedene Arten von Menschen: diejenigen, die Brüssel absolut lieben und diejenigen, die Brüssel hassen. Naja und da ich ja generell ein Mensch bin, der eher versucht, das Positive zu sehen, was mich wahrscheinlich ab und zu zu einem naiven Menschen macht, und ‘hassen’ dann doch ein sehr hartes Wort ist, mit dem ich nicht gerne umschmeiße, bleibt mir nicht mehr viel übrig außer zu sagen: ich überlegs mir noch. Bekanntlich soll Brüssel aber im Frühling und Sommer seine bessere Seite zeigen. Ich warte gespannt drauf, denn immerhin sagen alle: the city will grow on you. Ich hoffe, sie haben recht!

Bisou, M

P.S.: Ich entschuldige mich für den Sarkasmus und werde beim nächsten Mal nur über hübsche Dinge berichten. So wie Frühstück. In Brüssel. Promise.

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