This is the 28th of a series of posts recalling my trip to Europe, using e-mails sent at the time. Unlike later trips, I didn’t e-mail people everyday. Trip reports are largely as I wrote them at the time with two exceptions: I was usually pretty rushed due to Internet fees in Europe, so I’ve cleaned up my e-mails to make them more coherent, which wasn’t a priority at the time. Also, in some blog posts I’ll add additional thoughts with the hindsight of nine years later or to add further clarification. I’ll use “NOW” in such cases.
This 28th report covers leaving Amsterdam and my first day in Brussels.
[NOW: On my way to the train to leave Amsterdam for Brussels my bag spilled open in a run down, black area of the city (at least as far as I could tell). A group of guys suddenly came over and swiftly re-packed my bag in record time. One asked for change, but I think that was part of an act; it seemed more like the group of them were actually protecting me from some of the less safe elements of the area and being a bit forward aggressive was probably a way of not seeming too nice in the eyes of the more dangerous people who might be seeing this. Without their help I’m not sure if I’d have made it to the terminal in time, with all my stuff accounted for. Upon arrival in Brussels I went to the hostel. They didn’t have any record of me so I might have accidently booked one hostel and walked to another, but got a room there anyway.]
I'll probably describe this town in more detail when I get back home. Hostel terminal is expensive and easyEverything, aside from not letting me use the Amsterdam pass, uses the crappy Luxembourg keyboards.
[NOW: By that I mean that the keyboards in Brussels and Luxembourg used a different character pattern than the ones in North America and much of the rest of Europe.]
I went to the Comic Strip Museum. Pretty dull actually as it focussed only on a few European creators rather than comics as a whole. Might still be worth your while if you're a big fan of Dogspanker, er Tintin, or maybe the Smurfs.
[NOW: The only reference to Superman even was in a timeline of cartoons.]
Checked out some comics and saw the peeing boy statue.
[NOW: I know on the second day I visited some regular comic shops and may have done so on the first day as well. The above though was probably referring to a shop at the museum. They didn’t understand my search for a French comic book price guide, so I went back to the hostel and grabbed the German one I bought in Munich, which solved the communication barrier. I didn’t end up getting one though.]
Otherwise this is a pretty dull and boring place. Would leave prematurely but this is where I catch Eurostar back to London and I’ve already reserved a seat. Not much to eat at the hostel so found a place that served dull but filling pizza.
Film expensive here but bought enough for rest of trip I hope. I should have bought a lot more before leaving Victoria.
Take care. May wait until later and then read replies at easyEverything as reading doesn't really require a good keyboard.
[NOW: Can’t recall if I did so or not now.]