Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Wrap-Up: Belgium Favorites & Surprises

Actual date of this event: 31 December to 5 January

Before arriving in Belgium, I didn't have many expectations other than drink a lot of Belgian beer, eat a lot of waffles, fries and mussels. Well, we drank some beer, ate a lotta waffles, ate some fries, and ate no mussels (we aren't mussel people). Because I didn't have much to expect, I only have a few surprises. I have one large favorite (if you've been reading I am sure you know what that is) and a few smaller ones.

My favorites:
1.) Bruges - Relaxing!
2.) Bruges - Pretty!
3.) Bruges - Like I said in my blog about our trip to Bruges, it is something that must be experienced.
4.) Waffles - You know when you build something up in your mind, and then when you actually experience it, you are disappointed because you had such high expectations? I had high expectations for waffles, and I was in no way disappointed! There is no going wrong with these waffles! And I am actually really disappointed right now while thinking about them because I cant eat one.
5.)  Brussel's Grand Place-Grote Markt at night - The way the buildings light up at night is so unique and pretty! Playing music with it every once in a while is also very cool, but I am sure it gets annoying to the businesses in the square.

What I was Surprised By:
1.) Men's Toilets - Say what?!????! Yes, this is a very weird one. So weird that even Luke was surprised and said something about this. There is no hiding men's urinals. In the restroom area of multiple places we went, there was either no door to the men's room or the door was wide open. And because of that, the urinals were very visible to everyone. I was able to take pictures (yeah, I was thinking about how I had to tell you about this when I took them) while waiting in line for the women's room. No. Not pictures of men using urinals. I am not that crazy!
That's not all folks! There are urinals on the street! Men are pigs, right? We all know this. It is no secret. Belgium has taken action and has placed urinal stations in public areas. We saw them around the corner from a church in Brussels and also in the red light district in Antwerp (where I saw a man walking out of one zipping up his pants. TMI?). And each of these little stations has two urinals. Again, I know men are pigs, but didn't realize they were such super oinkers that it is unacceptable to hold it or wait in line... therefore, two urinals are a must?! Pigs! Women's toilets - none to be seen. Total inequality!
And lastly about the toilets, apparently, it is okay for men to use women's restrooms. While in the airport, the men's restroom was being worked on, so the men were just walking into the women's room. AND CUTTING IN LINE! Seriously. Super. Oinkers. It is just unbelievable, and this whole thing tops this list of things I am surprised by in my whole life.
2.) Language - Its amazing how many languages are spoken in one country. French, English, Dutch, German, and Flemish are all common languages. So really, you have to just choose one and see what happens.
Languages of Brussels
3.) Homeless - Brussels is packed with homeless people. I was so surprised by how many I saw. Maybe it is because we used the train quite often and many of them were "living" in the station - I'm not sure. All of them seemed to have their own little set up with some type of small padding for a bed and blankets.
4.) Trash - Brussels is filthy. Maybe because there are so many homeless people. Or maybe because we were there for New Year, and it took a couple of days to clean up from the party. So, let's hope I am wrong and the town is normally pretty clean.

(Maybe I am a nerd, but I think this is a pretty cool fact) Belgium has the highest density of roads and railroads in the world. It is the country with the 3rd most vehicles per square kilometer after the Netherlands and Japan. Because of the quantity of lights, the Belgian highway system is the only man-made structure visible from the moon at night. Source


1 comment:

  1. Aberdeen has the street urinals too! I agree, total inequity. There is never a public restroom when I need one.


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