|This is just one panel of it, but it's the part with the mystic lamb.|
Okay, on to Brussels. This was, sadly, Emily's last day with us. We'd planned to spend this day in Brussels so that we could just wake up and head to the airport from there instead of having to get up even earlier to accommodate the train ride from Gent. It was a good plan, because 6:45 was plenty early enough to be getting up.
|How ... appetizing?|
|Here is the statue, urinating normally. (I cannot |
believe I just typed that sentence.)
After that was done, they sprayed the crowd with water.
|Now you're talking.|
|Arcade of the Galeries Saint-Hubert|
Dinner was at a restaurant near our hotel, and it was an interesting experience. Although Brussels is in theory the only bilingual city in Belgium, in practice this doesn't mean quite what you'd expect. Signs and other notices are in both French and Dutch, in contrast to the rest of the country where only one language is used. However, French is overwhelmingly the language you'll hear in Brussels. So, back to the restaurant: we were greeted by the hostess with "Bon soir, goedenavond." The menu was in Dutch and French. Since we are considerably more comfortable with Dutch than French (which may tell you something about the state of our French!), we attempted to order in Dutch. What we got was a confused look from the waiter, so we attempted English. More baffled expressions. The absolute confusion on his part continued until we mangled our way through the French versions of what we wanted.
One might think, well, perhaps he doesn't speak Dutch very well. Or English. Maybe, but when a group of Chinese tourists came in to be seated, he spoke English to them. With us, however, it was the all-French hour. We made our way awkwardly through ordering, and were feeling a little unwelcome as he continued to speak English to the Chinese people and French to us, and shortly before our dinners arrived, I realized Emily's place setting didn't have a napkin. So I mustered up my courage and my tiny French vocabulary, and when the waiter returned, I said, "S'il vous plait ... une serviette?" After that, the mood seemed to change. He brought the napkin, and when he brought our meals, he also had a dish of potato croquettes we hadn't asked for. We joked that it seemed to be a "sorry I was being a jerk" offering, and indeed, he was much more friendly the rest of our time there. Go figure.
Unfortunately, the night ended all too soon and the next morning we went to the airport and had to say goodbye to Emily. Like all good vacations, it hadn't felt too hurried while we were seeing everything, but all of a sudden, it was over.
|Good times, good times.|