2017 started out with a quick, 3-day, early-January stop over in Brussels, Belgium. In between work and jet-lag I had enough time to explore and and do recon on a new city and country I had never visited. Brussels struck me as a very walkable, easy-to-navigate and livable city. It’s quite small, quite beautiful and quite expensive, but like the rest of western Europe you get what you pay for — good food, safety, photogenic streets and old architecture. The narrow, curving streets in the city center are lined with all sorts of small, independent restaurants, cafes and boutiques selling anything from artisan goods to comic books. Even the graffiti and street art are of a high order — I spotted a scene depicting TinTin covering an entire building wall, another scene elsewhere was a murder mystery thriller in comic book style. The effect on me, in winter, was a cozy, traditional charm.
Belgium is proud of its beer which is served cold, rich, high-alcohol and malty. Delerium Tremens is often rated as one of the best beers in the world in various competitions (the name references the “rapid onset of confusion usually as a result of withdrawal from alcohol”). Unfortunately I have a palate and digestive system disagreeable to malt and when I drink high alcohol beers I feel like skipping the next meal; however as a self-described, open-minded and appreciative person I challenge myself to endure such trying hardships malty Belgium beers with determined resolve and an open mind. And really if drinking Belgium beers in Belgium can be claimed as any sort of annoyance — frankly I’m intolerable. So I drank as many Belgian beers as I could – swishing the thick, sour-y, dark foam back and forth along with dishes of mussels and french fries (the local staple). Being open-minded and trying new things isn’t so tough.
Other than the cost of living, Brussels is an appealing destination that I can envision myself returning to for longer. Thank you for having me Belgium! Until next time.