Bonjour, Belgium

 

I have officially survived my first five days in Brussels!

This place really agrees with me. Not only is it beautiful and full of insanely friendly people, the food. is. phenomenal.

On the first night, I tried Lapin a la Kriek, or rabbit in cherry beer at Volle Gas. It was surprisingly delicious, but so heavy that I likely won’t be seeking it out often.

lapin
photo taken by Samantha Kummerer

For the first couple days it felt like I was on vacation. The reality that I’ll be here for four months really sunk in when I sprung for a whole jar of Dijon mustard at what I’m sure will be my regular grocery store, Delhaize.

I’m embarrassed to say that I didn’t try my first Belgian waffle until my third day, which might mean I’m going to get deported. Those things 100 percent live up to the hype. They have a sticky, crunchy, caramelized exterior with a soft doughy interior. The chocolate sauce certainly didn’t hurt.

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The biggest shock of the trip so far is that yours truly is actually enjoying the beer. We’ve made the trek from our apartment in the uptown neighborhood of Ixelles to Delirium Cafe in downtown a couple of times to check out the bar’s 4,000 beers. I’ve only managed to try four of them thus far, but maybe I will have made a dent by the end of the semester.

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On our third night, the girls and I stumbled upon what the locals consider the best frites in Belgium. While we were waiting in line, a woman came up to our group of seven and handed each of us a frite with Brazil sauce, which seems to be a kind of curry mayo that was outrageously good.

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I’ve been working on my French a little, but I keep accidentally saying “si” instead of “we” which gives me away when interacting with cashiers. That’s what 15 years of Spanish classes will do to ya.

I’m proud to say that all of the locals I’ve talked to have said that they didn’t know my friends and I are American until they hear us talk, so I guess we’re settling in all right.

Tomorrow is day six of 115 in this delicious city, I can’t wait to see what’ll be on my fork next!

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