Monday, October 5, 2009

Underthings, Tumbling

[posted late]

There is a song that goes “I'm too sexy in this club, too sexy in this club, too sexy it hurts. Get sexy right now. Get sexy right now.” And this is exactly what's wrong with popular music today. It also makes it easy to understand why people in the Muslim world think all white women are easy sex objects. It's not that I'm old and grumpy, so much as I'm just bloody sick of this music video. Three times I've seen it today. And my one reprieve? An episode of “three princes of Malibu.” God – you think you've seen all the reality t.v. that's out there – but no. There's always more. And it's so easy. And it's so profitable. And then you watch it, because it's playing on the wall mounted flat screen (still can't believe people brag about this on Cribz... We have one in our budget hostel. Which I think I will start pronouncing as “Hos-Tell” as I quite like the way it sounds when those people from the bottom of the world say it like that.

I've almost got the word banana programed as bah-nah-nah, instead of ba-na-na. Just like when I replaced the word pop, in my mind, with soda. And because I'll have a year without anyone correcting my pronunciation of banana it should stick. Why bah-nah-nah? Because at The Doctor would say, they are good.

And because they are good, I started my day with a banana beer from 2BE. Well, I started my day with a cherry beer (because the shop keeper at the gas station told me that it was a drink for women. Men don't drink it.

Apparently men drink the cherry beer in the black can?)

After my delightful banana beer, I had a bottle of Chimay Blue. It was recommended to me by one of the kiwis I've been hanging out with lately. And let me tell you, at 9% you would never know it was a high alcohol content beer. This was perhaps the best non-flavoured beer I've had. It was brewed by monks. Ahh yes, one of those beers. They're always quite good, aren't they? There's a red and a white version of it – but I'm told blue is the best. Here it was two euros for a bottle. I'm told it will run me five euro back home. When in Belgium, after all.

And why all this morning beer? To set the mood for the afternoon brewery tour. Of all the brewery tours I've been on, this one actually showed how beer was brewed. Shocking I know. We were handed some malt to eat, and told that hops is as much a drug as marijuana. Apparently the locals use it to become “happy” or “hoppy” as you might pronounce it if you wanted to add some dry humour to your tour, after having guided it thirteen times already this week.

Our guide was a terrifying woman with an accent that screams, “indeed, I will murder you after this tour is over.” But her inappropriate and often unsure of its intention humour was fantastic. Though it seemed natural and scary, I'm sure she has her whole script planned from the get go.

At the end of the tour (climbing down far too many battleship staircases backwards) we were rewarded with a pint. Fantastic.

And then it was off to the main square to have the fries. When asking people what traditional Belgium food is, they often respond the chips are what you need to eat. So why not. I went to the one on the right. You'll understand this if you're ever in Brugges. And on it I had a spicy mayonnaise sauce. It was a slow burn that started as nothing, and then took over quite perfectly. Highly recommended.

I then shared the secret of the library's free public toilet with the two folks I had been wandering with all morning. And then it was back to the hostel.

Ahh the hostel. How I love it so – but sadly I could not stay long. I know, you're all broken up for me. It's obvious. But I had laundry to do. Which was... an experience.

I threw all my dirty clothes, and towel – which I forgot to wash last time, into the machine. I understood that. And then I figured out how to get my token. I'd even been told where to put my washing powder (there are four mystery slots to choose from – and so help you if you choose wrong.) The one with the two lines is the way to go. Buying my washing powder was a mystery. I just picked a random package from the machine, dumped it in, and hoped for the best.

And then found an open network just outside to do some internetting. Fantastic. But – the hard part came when the wash cycle ended.

So there I was with a great number of wet clothes. And into the dryer I threw them. But how does the dryer work? Where do those tokens come from? And if you don't have a fifty euro cent coin, what do you do? If you put in a bill you can make change. But if you put in a ten euro bill you will – straight away – get two washing coins. Ahh, a five euro bill will give you ten fifty cent coins. But you need to press “give fifty cent coin” ten times.

Whoops – no you don't. Just push it a few times, then push the “return change” button. Could this not have been explained better?

Needless to say, I ended up with dry clothes, and then grabbed the portable hard drive from one of the hostelers here. Who now has seven movies for his viewing pleasure? Yes, that would be correct, it is me.

All for Resident Evil movies, Underworld 3, Caprica (I'm so sorry), and The Day The Earth Stood Still.

How many times will I watch them all? Which one will I become sick of first? So much suspense. So much wonder. But only time will tell. I do believe I'll know the first three RE movies by heart by the end of this though. And whenever I miss Toronto, I just need to watch the second one, and there I am. CN Tower and everything! Nothing like watching the city hall get blown up at the end.

The fourth, cg, Resident Evil movie though? Some how I don't see that getting repeat plays. Just watching it again gives me chills. But – in darkest night.

And, on darkest night, that is when the town of Bruges truly comes to life. The spot lights playing off the old world architecture creates frame after frame of perfect photograph. To walk the town in the late fall, completely safe – and equally as alone – at night, with a loved one would be an experience to remember. It is here, during these hours, once the tourists have all gone home, and the street vendors have packed up their wares, that the city is how it should be. A private playground of parks, cobblestone street, and urban exploration. These moments – they come highly recommended.

And just like that, Bruges is done. Onward I go to Paris. And there was much rejoicing. Or is that apprehension? It's so hard to tell. I'll either love it or hate it. I foresee no middle ground here.


  1. I believe Chimay available in your home town. I swear i drank it before... But yes, Belgium is the place to be if you want Trappist Ales. Also i believe they are the originators of wheat beers that have been so popular lately.

  2. yeah - i'm pretty sure you can track in down in Toronto - the only problem being that it's 7 or 8 dollars a bottle rather than three. When 'm in the city, if it's not a buck a beer, it's too rich for my blood.


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