Sunday, July 19, 2009


yesterday i hit my 1 month mark for being in brussels. shocking. im pretty sure i have lived here my whole life. i have forgotten the taste of mexican food and i dont know how to drive. baby carrots and 24-hour convenience stores are distant fantasies a brusselier could only dream of. will i ever see the mav again? do costco samples really exist?

in honor of my one month anniversary, i shall now honor brussels with a comprehensive list of things it has going for it:

1 carrefour. without a doubt, 100%, most definitely the thing i will miss most about brussels. its a grocery store. its the grocery store that the other belgian grocery stores want to be. its trademark C brings joy to my heart and exhilarates my soul. you have three options with the carrefour: the carrefour express (a mini), the carrefour gb (your average-sized grocer), and the HYPER carrefour (c4 on steroids).

every time i say the word carrefour i am reminded that carrefour cares for me. it pains me how great of a slogan that would be if anybody here spoke english. the thing i love the most about the c4 is its store brand, intelligibly named "carrefour brand." it is the western family of belgium, only better. when you buy c4 brand, it says to those around you: yeah, i like to save money, but i still shop at c4, so im still really rad. it doesnt have the negative connotation that comes with western family, or wal-marts great value brand, or kroger. no, carrefour thinks it is the shiz, and it is right.

2 baguettes. it doesnt matter where you go, what you do, or what time of the day or night it is. you will see someone carrying a baguette. they are like the plague of locusts, only crustier and tastier and better for the soul, especially the far from home soul who could use a major carb pick me up. not that i would know.

the plague of baguettes has sparked a number of questions in my wondering heart. where are all these people going with all their baguettes? who is going eat all these baguettes? with what will all these people eat all their baguettes? because i dont know if you know this but baguettes actually have a negative shelf life. you have approximately 74 minutes post-purchase before the baguette is an over-sized crouton. my confusion regarding this issue is not being exaggerated here, rather it is understated. im perplexed. so i just play along and buy a baguette and make it a point to carry it with me.

so there it is. my comprehensive list. there are, however, some honorable mentions that i will honorably mention now:

-paying 50 euro cents to use a public restroom, IF you can find one and there is a good chance that you cannot.

-milk that is sold at room temperature in a carton on a shelf. i call it shelf milk. no rush to get home from the c4, your milk is already warm because it is shelf milk.

-speculoos. mix a graham cracker and a ginger snap and make a rectangle-shaped cookie out of it with a hole in the middle. that is a speculoos. its kind of like magic.

im going to wrap it up here because its getting late. but dont worry the sun is still up. and will be for 3 more hours. because it doesnt get dark here. sometimes i feel like im at the north pole. like buddy the elf.

bye buddy, hope you find your dad.
thanks mr. narwhal.


  1. It's so good to see that the Euros haven't taken your sense of humor! I'm glad you have the Internet and hope to hear from you again soon!!

    Love You :)

    P.S. I so am onboard with the whole baguette thing!

  2. I'm bringing my own baguette when we come visit... I'll carry it through the airport! And on the train!

  3. I'm jealous, Steph. I really am.