Nom de Plumage

June 29, 2013

I Fall in Love in Brugge

Filed under: Travel Journal — nomdeplumage @ 3:43 pm
Tags: , , ,

Whist travelling, I have the opportunity to meet some wonderful people and then some really bizarre people and today was one of those days. I started my morning on the internet emailing my family and friends back home, when a black man from the UK comes and starts talking with me. We continue our conversation outside as I am waiting for my roommate to get ready for our day out in Brugge, when the man starts to hug me. I am stunned at first and then taken off guard, but he says that he is lonely and needs a hug. Ok, I get that! But when he starts to grab my behind to push my lower body into his, that is where the hugs end and I get pissed-off. Angry, I walk back to my room to see where Cherry is and tell her my story. Well, I gave her something to tease me about for the rest of the day.

We depart for our hour-long train journey to Brugge with the sun shinning and no hint of the cold winter weather. The scenery is nothing special, but the company is and we enjoy ourselves. Cherry has been to the city before, so she is my guide today. Our first stop is the toilets, which is located inside a brewery/restaurant and in good tourist spirit, we stop for a beer (the first of many). Called “Blonde Beer”, it is a delicious light beer on tap and that we both enjoyed. The brewery is also a wonderful place and the people very friendly. Belgium‘s love their beer and it is a completely different drinking atmosphere to that in Australia. It isn’t about getting drunk, but socialising and women partake in the beer drinking tradition that is usually associated with men.

Brugge is a city that I have seen many times on TV and of all the cities in Belgium, it is the one I was looking forward to most. Canals divide the picturesque town and chocolate shops rule. In one street alone, I counted six chocolate shops and each one does a roaring trade. We stop at one of Cherry’s friends shop called Dumon, to pick up her order. Chantal is the owner and very friendly, especially when she discovers what my job is back home. She allows me to taste some of her selection and appreciate the hand-made chocolates and the work that goes into making them. Chocolate in Australia is expensive due to the import tax, but here, it is more affordable and you get more for your money.

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Tucked away from the main square and down a narrow long alley, is a little bar that Cherry is very fond of. The setting is perfect, with wooden interior and an open fire; wonderful hosts and only a handful of customers. Naturally, we order a beer and this time I opt for a Duval. It is the nicest beer and one of my favourites and I enjoy it more here than in Australia when you understand that it cost $20 for a glass back home. Bloody taxes! The alcohol slowly starts to make me light-headed and I am in need of some lunch. At first, we are both unsure if the pub serves food and when Cherry asks the waiter, he explains that they serve sandwiches only. Fine by us, and we order a simple sandwich with parma ham, cucumber, tomato, pickled onions and mustard. And then I met my dream man……………

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He staggers slightly towards the front door (where we are sitting), slightly intoxicated and with a smile on his face. Here he grabs his jacket, scarf and beret and when he hears Cherry and I speaking English, he starts to talk to us. Elegant, polite, charming and very funny, this man oozed appeal and his age – about eighty. I feel in love and wanted to wrap him up and take him home with me. He spoke perfect English and is an adorable man who can charm women with his charisma. Oh, if only……he were younger and not married. His beautiful little wife came over eventually, ready to leave and we could see the love they share and her trust in her husband. Very special.

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After lunch, Cherry and I go our separate ways and I am left to explore the rest of Brugge on my own. It is a small town and does not take long before I am heading back towards Brussels. I stop at the local supermarket for some dinner and make my way back to my room. My friend shows up a little later and we enjoy a picnic style dinner and talk about the days events. But the night is far from over and after dinner, we go downstairs to the bar for another two beers, this time honey flavoured. How many flavours do they have? A sleepless night after too much alcohol.



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