Sunday, January 24, 2010

Bonjour de Cafe Belga

I am sitting in what is known to be one of the most popular cafes in Brussels, Cafe Belga. Families have come in for a Sunday pastry and cup of coffee with their little ones. Friends and co-workers catch up on the latest news and interests in their deceptively lovely French. Individuals type on computers or read books over a warm cup of, might I add, delicious cup of coffee accompanied by the best graham cracker I have ever tasted, a Speculoos. All of this with a wide variety of American pop, Belgian folk and whatever other genre of music the invisible D.J. feels like playing at the time. Outside is the weekly fresh market complete with fresh meats, bread, and vegetables, fresh flowers that brighten the ever cloudy Brussels days, vin chaud (hot wine), and guafres (the best waffles you will ever taste).

After two weeks of being in Brussels, I am beginning to learn the Belgian ways...slowly. It still takes time for me to learn how to order at restaurants or when you can say hello to people on the streets, and, for women, when you shouldn't. Languages create barriers that I never knew could exist, but also create adventures and connections between individuals that would not be possible otherwise. The first night we arrived, we ventured out to find a restaurant because we had no food in our flats. As it turned out, our waitress was traveling to the U.S. in a month and wanted to practice her English. We, inevitably, needed to practice our French.

A couple needs a seat, so I must give up mine and say goodbye for now. Until next time, from Cafe Belga. Au Revoir!

1 comment:

Cecilia said...

Bonjour Gretchen! You were on my mind, so I looked up your blog, and imagine my surprise and delight to find you in Brussels.

I hope you are staying warm and thoroughly enjoying your expereince. I will continue to follow your adventures provided your internet connection holds true.

All good things,

Austin, Texas