starlady: Korra looks out over Republic City (legend of korra)
[personal profile] starlady
I've been here for two months, and I'm leaving on Monday.

Favorite chocolatiers: 
1. Yuzu in Ghent
2. Laurent Gerbaud in Brussels (much more convenient, as it's just uphill from the National Library)

Favorite beer:
1. St. Bernardus Christmas ale
2. Cantillon geuze at A la Becasse in Brussels

Favorite Christmas market (so far; I'm going to Liege tomorrow)
1. Leuven
2. Louvain-la-Neuve

Favorite bandes-dessinees
1. Tintin of course
2. Les Cites Obscures

Favorite hot chocolate in Brussels
1. Pierre Marcolini
2. Laurent Gerbaud

I love Belgium a lot. It's so chill. It's a combination of France and the Netherlands (I'm oversimplifying grossly, but if you walk around in Ghent or Antwerp, it feels way more like Amsterdam than it does the rest of Belgium), but chill, and with the best beer and chocolate in the world, and some pretty good food, too. As usual I feel like I've barely scratched the surface of the country, but it is more than a little like Japan in some ways, the trains run on time (mostly) and everyone bikes everywhere--except the chillness/"whatever" aspect of the national character extends to things like the existence of a government and the country itself, and the drinking culture here is that everyone just drinks whenever and is chill, instead of getting shitfaced and vomiting in the streets. Except it's Europe, so you can be in a centuries-old bar on the canal in Ghent and at 17:00 they will start banging bad Eurodance from the late 90s as you drink your Christmas beer surrounded by parents and children. It's so much easier this year now that I've been issued chip cards, even if they are chip and signature rather than the actually useful and secure chip and pin.

My toes are destroyed from hiking over the cobblestones everywhere and I'm really looking forward to going home (basically I've been on the road since the end of April last year, and I'm not going to my actual legal domicile for the holidays, but I'll be spending it with my family in Jersey and that's nice) but I'm really glad that I get to come back next year. Top of my list for that trip:

1. The Atomium
2. Moules frites
3. Luxembourg
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