Posted by: rngerlach | July 21, 2007

Simple Life in Belgium

Brugge, Belgium has the typical European small-town vibe to it.  It is the perfect city for a come down from the Amsterdam hangover.  Belgium, like Germany and Czech Republic, takes much pride in their beer.  They all claim being ‘beer capital of the world’.  The people are very pleasant here and just whistle their way through the streets. I’ve never seen so many people whistle in one community.  Music is in the air here, as we walk down little cobblestone streets here along the canal, speakers are attached to the buildings with the sound of Belgian classical music.  No doubt, a much different vibe from Amsterdam.  The Dutch people were a trip, very tall and in your face when they talk to you.  It was almost as if they were yelling, but that’s just who they are. Yet, the Belgian people are a bit more reserved and mind their own.  Seeing the small differences in cultural communication has been so entertaining and educational. 

The very first bar we visited happened to be in our hostel, St. Christopher’s Bauhaus.  The locals sitting at the bar greeted us and gave us a short explanation of what they do in Brugge, Belgium.  “We drink beer, eat good food, and go fishing,” exclaimed the local middle-aged man.  Sounds like a nice place to be I thought to myself. There really is not much to do here in Belgium, but eat good waffles and drink good beer.  It is the perfect final country to visit on the mainland.  Much reflection has been done here on the last two months of our lives.  Mixed emotions are setting in at this point as I know only four more days are left to be spent in Europe. How I will miss this day-to-day adventure of new people, new culture, new food, new challenges, and new perspective.  Yet, the comfort of home awaits in the US of A.  One thing about being in new countries all of the time is the personal guard is always up.  You truly have to be alert of pickpocketers, thieves, and gypsies at all times, a guard is always up.  Yet another paradox, because you have to let some guard down just to enjoy and immerse into the culture.  Just having simple survival tactics, I suppose, is what can be overlooked by travellers at times.  It will be one awesome feeling to let that guard down in sunny San Diego.  So what’s next? Look for one final blog to come in the next day or two wrapping up the European adventure with simple travel tips, budgeting tips, and the new perspective gained in the last two months.  One thing is for sure, I am not the same person I was in May. But then again, neither are you. Change is inevitable.  To be continued….

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