Although I’ve only been in Brussels for two weeks, I’ve already come to feel at home here. I’ve found my favorite café on the corner of Place du Jordan and have eaten enough frites to feed a small family for a month. So far we’ve toured the Magritte Museum, visited the main three institutions of the EU here in Brussels – Council of the EU, European Parliament, and the European Commission – and had a meeting with a public diplomat at the US Mission to the EU. I’ve been able to take a tour of the Choco-Story museum and see a chocolate-making demonstration, and visit the Belgian Comic Book Center here in the city. This past Friday was Belgian National Day and I had the opportunity to experience the different festivities Brussels had to offer. We went to Parc du Bruxelles for their National Day celebrations, which included fireworks at the end of the day. On top of this, we’ve traveled to London and Amsterdam, and we will be traveling to Bruges and Paris towards the end of this week.
One of my favorite parts has been attempting (key word being attempting) to assimilate into the Belgian culture. What little French I remember has definitely come in handy and I’ve loved having the opportunity to learn more about Belgian and European history in one of the most central and prominent cities in the EU. Our visits to the European Union institutions have been incredibly fulfilling and thought-provoking, and those experiences have been very valuable to me.
I’ve got a little less than a week left in this city, and I’m excited to see how many more frites are in my future before I leave. Merci, Bruxelles!