The plan was for me to write a couple of blog posts from Brussels, but like best-laid plans, went astray. You could blame it on jet lag, a couple of late nights, but that’s only half of it. Experiencing a moment, a weekend, a day, means being in that moment, not trying to capture it for posterity, to be posted on Facebook or Twitter. In the scramble to find the right app to share, we seem to lose the ability to be still, breathe and enjoy whatever moment has captured us.
In lieu of blogging from my phone, I jotted some notes in my walk through the center of Brussels. Sometimes it pays to not be able to check in to the hotel immediately.
—Amazed by the quiet in the center of the city at 9am, a far cry from the maelstrom that is Manhattan (I walked along the rue Neuve, a pedestrian shopping street; I remembered that Brussels was a late-running city. It’s easy to be out till 5 or 6 am)
—The weather cleared—sunny now; Brussels always popped a little under sunny skies (Brussels weather can be so gray, especially this time of year. But in the summer, when the sun sets later, forget it—the city and all the terraces come alive)
—A little self-conscious about speaking English (in the shops, at least. My French is quite bad, but most everyone knows English. I did try, and trying always helps)
—Had a really nice walk through the Sablon and Grand Place (next time I go, though, I’ll pick a hotel with 24-hour check in)
—Flight was choppy; more turbulence than I remember (The red-eye from Newark to Brussels—would be choppy for 30 minutes just off the Atlantic coast, then smooth out; not this time)
—Cities are great for introverts: we can readily hide in them and explore at will. Brussels is a great city of us; I think that’s why I liked it so much
—This Friday has been like my Fridays when I lived here: wandering the city in the morning, with a nap in the afternoon and fun at night. It’s been easy to slip back into a routine here (I was off Fridays and Saturdays, so going out was no problem. Recovery, too.)
—Could I move back here? Yep, rather easily.