Bruxelles = Brussels –> surprises all around

I knew this trip would be great … I mean, I centered it around going to a city that adores chocolate, beer, fries and waffles and I had a ticket to see Coeur de Pirate first and foremost. I knew it would be good based on the above. Surprises followed beginning with my travel companion joining the fun about a week before the trip was set to happen. Then we added more fun to the agenda with a concert by the Brussels Philharmonic playing Mozart’s requiem and some other awesome pieces…the website said sold out. We called and sounded a little pitiful “we are students and really want to see this concert, are there any tickets left???” The lady was REALLY nice and was like, well actually there are two left, but you’ll be sitting basically on the stage…um, yeah, this is fine!! AND, they were only 5 Euros! haha! She said are you both under 26…Adrien said, um, 26 inclusive?? and she said, well, sure, I’ll let it slide 🙂 We were pumped ! A great concert almost for FREEEEE! It was a magical type of experience to hear an orchestra from this vantage. I was able to watch the conductor, hear the clarinetists breathe…wonderful! And to share the experience with someone who was also mesmerized 🙂 … nothing like it.

On Saturday we had tickets to go to this Balkan music festival called Balkan Trafik … it seemed really interesting, a mix of gypsy music and an array of other performances. as well as “balkan” food, which was superb. We paid 15 euros for the day passes, there was also a big concert that night, we called for this as well because the website said sold out. They told us there was only one ticket and it wasn’t good…so we said, oh well, can’t win them all… well we showed up to get our wrist bands for the festival and figured, what could it hurt…we asked if there were any tickets left for the concert that night, she said, actually YES, and you’d pay the under 26 price … and … they are in the ROYAL BOX …. is that okay??? ummmmmm, yeah! I have decided Adrien is the lucky one and if I just stick with him we’ll always get the royal treatment !! So yes, we got tickets to see Goran Bregović !! It was one of the most fun concerts I have been to. The entire audience was standing, dancing, singing and having a great time! I was exhausted after all of this !!

Sunday we slept in. haha. Something particular to Europe I have found is that on large windows they put in hardcore blackout shutters to close at night, instead of just curtains. This is fantastic if you want to sleep all day. Difficult if you don’t. After the magnificent night of sleep in our perfect airbnb.com flat we went to the Royal Gardens of Laeken. Here we met my friend Matt, a fellow American whom I had met once at an Acoustical Society conference before I went to Penn State and who is now pursuing a PhD in acoustics in Belgium (after a masters in France). We walked around the lovely gardens (that are only open for about 2 weeks a year!) and enjoyed catching up and hanging out a bit. Then we went to a bar for Belgian beer, grabbed some Belgian chocolate to take back to France with me and then waffles…all the necessary purchases in Belgium! We ended up at a Tequila bar of all places and shared 12 shots between the three of us (do I have a headache today, why yes, yes I do) and then a fantastic margarita. I figured if they had 500 tequilas in this bar they probs knew how to make a mean margarita…I was right. mmmmm. this did however lead to a random Quick purchase that wasn’t even eaten in the end since the bus driver yelled at my slightly tipsy self for eating fries on the bus…it made me sad (even if he was right…).

This morning we woke up around 5am in order to get Adrien to the airport (1 hour away) for a flight, I said goodbye at Bruxelles-Midi and got a call an hour+ later saying that they refused to let him check in because he got there 30 mins before and they wouldn’t accept him after 45 mins prior to the flight…lamezzzz. So now we have to find another way for him to get home. Oh well :-/ after all the luck we had I suppose something was bound to not go 100% according to plan 🙂

Tonight I go to the Coeur de Pirate concert (the original reason for my trip here!) and I am way excited! I am going to try to find a ticket for Adrien too but it is sold out too at the moment…will the luck continue?!? 😉

Thanks for listening! I think my next, and final trip I will take for this stint in France will be Nice in a few weeks for some sun!! We’ll see … 5 weeks left in France, I am already sad to leave therefore I will attempt to not think about it.

Until next time…

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