19 August 2007

Day One: Brussels, Belgium

First things first. Things got kinda hairy at the airport. My friend Tony gave me a blade to bring on the trip. Of course I packed it in the luggage I planned to check. But they sent me to the wrong line, so there I was...looking like I was trying to get on a flight with a fucking knife!
Everyone got real serious looking and starting using acronyms that I didn't understand, but worried me all the same. "We've got a CCS here!" I have no doubt that if I was a man, I would've gotten in big trouble. But it worked out ok so no biggie.

I arrived in Brussels at 7:30 am. I get to my hotel and I can't check in until noon. I knew that, but I didn't realize what that would mean to my jet-lagged, tired-ass self. I checked my baggage and hit the street. The area I'm in is called Le Grand Place. (It's a UNESCO World Heritage Site)

I don't know what the hell was going on around here last night, but the vibe this morning was positively eerie. I literally heard nothing but my own footsteps and occasionally, the sound of drunken people slurring in French coming out of various flats and bars and what I assume to be "after hour clubs".
Oh, and I got hit on mercilessly. I swear in the first hour I was here, I had 2 guys tell me to leave my (imaginary) boyfriend for them, and at least 3 cars pull up next to me. It was a little scary, but you guys know me. I handled it just fine.

Walking around this morning reminded me of being back at home, but not in a good way. This place is covered with graffiti and beer cans and filled with roaming thugs. (Oh...and many, many piles of vomit) At least it was this morning. I went to the hotel and took a nap and the scene was totally different when I woke up. Not surprising.

Don't be mistaken. It's beautiful here and there's a lot to see, but honestly, it was kinda like being at home at first. It was a little intimidating to walk down these tiny streets all by myself while running into random drunks and homeless people at every turn. I kept my wits sharp.

I was tired, tired, tired, but I walked around for like 6 hours today. Here are some random photos from around town:
Sorry I don't have the locations listed. I've got to get in the habit of writing down the names of the places I go.

Tomorrow afternoon I'm off to Amsterdam!