Monday, July 14, 2014

Brussels and Gent Belgium.

The World Cup had just started and everyone had the fever. We were waiting in line to get our boarding passes at the airport in Addis Ababa when Mexico finished playing. Ana and I were sporting our Mexico shirts when a pair of men stuck out their hands to congratulate us for beating their team, Cameroon. We friended a passenger who was going to be on our flight and he asked us to go hang out with him at the bar to help cheer on his team, Spain. Spain was taken to the cleaners that evening by Holland. Our new friend buried his face in his knees while other patron taunted him in a friendly way. I'm sure most of the world had their eyes glued the screen that night watching the games. The fever had infected most of us travelers waiting to get from point A to B. It was a positive atmosphere and everyone walked throughout the terminal with a sense of hope. Perhaps if the world leaders approached politics like World Cup fans, maybe there would be less of the bad stuff. 

Our ritual of stopping over in Belgium to break-up the flight back home was one we were looking forward to...friends, food, beer and paths winding around old city centers. It wouldn't be the chaos of Egypt or Ethiopia we've come to love and hate. We ventured out of Gent this time and went on a day trip to Brussels, it made a difference tagging along with friends.  
A glass of Orval and a bag of cashews seemed like the right way to start off a Sunday. 
The Sunday Market in Brussels is a way to get to see and experience the vast variety and cultures of the city.  
Since we more or less balked on the concept of breakfast, lunch at an old Greek Cafe where you get to walk into the kitchen and choose your dish sounded like the perfect idea. 
The place was packed and the food delicious.
Ana destroyed her meal.
A view outside.
Outdoor flea market, yes please. 
This could be your new trophy.
Shopping makes people thirsty.
Apparently, I picked-up a German hunting hat. 
Home decoration idea #41.
If you plan on buying items, you need an old lady cart to carry your goods.
Manneken-Pis and waffles, doesn't get more Brussels than this.
I was on a Geuze kick.
Looking up our friend's street at mid-night.
Looking down our friend's street at mid-night.
World Cup fever pouring out into the streets. Belgium beat Algeria, which always makes me happy. In fact I root for any team that plays Algeria. Ana and I encountered Algerian fans 4 years ago in Brussels and the ones we saw were awful. They took to the streets after their team lost and were taunting and physically harassing non-fans. Algerian fans also did some stuff to the Egyptian football team when we lived in Egypt. This is the root of our prejudice.  
9 pm and it was still light outside.

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