Sunday, February 19, 2006

Babbling from Brussels

When, Belgium - home of the best beer, chocolates, waffles and diamonds in the world, beckoned me, I succumbed to it and landed in Brussels, bag and baggage et al.

So be prepared to hear anecdotes of my stay at Brussels. While I promise not to bore you, don’t expect a travelogue, rather it would be some general stuff about living and working in Brussels.

Brussels is not one of those cities bustling with activity, people seem to move at their own pace and the trams drudge along the roads in the same ish-style as those in apna Calcutta. Though it is the EU capital, it still has the air of a small town. The ambience is not too cosmopolitan which explains the reason that the people here know not a word of English (hardly 2 and half hours away from London!)

The sub-zero temperatures here found myself wrapped up in 4 layers of clothes –which makes me look 2 sizes larger ***sigh****
There are moments when I regret my stupid decision of not learning French (though I was brought up at Pondicherry!!!) and this was one of them -
I wasn’t prepared to meet so many people who have no clue of a single word of English and hence have to resort to sign language to get the message across.
And obviously there were bloopers galore, we picked up a bottle of milk and only after making good ole masala chai, realized that it was a sort of buttermilk (eeeks…)
And in case you see 2 guys greeting each other by kissing do not mistake them to be happy and ‘gay’ – it seems to be a custom out here.

I haven’t yet explored the place too much – been busy settling in my digs.So I would save the rest for the Next.

And yes I definetly miss the Hyderabadi summer.....

30 comments:

Seashells said...

I was told there are more than 200 different brews for beer.... and that you get beer in fruity flavors... French fries are not all that french after all... :)

wishing you good times and i hope you manage with "pas le fran├žais" :)

Shruthi said...

Cool! Will look fwd to some good stories ;)

Chick Pea said...

ahh.. eat a waffle for me :)

fiona said...

wow! have fun in Belgium!! :-)

Primalsoup said...

Ola! From Hyderabad to Brussels? Goodie. Reminds me to go and have some Belgian Waffles with maple syrup soon.

Enjoy the stint/ stay!

Shankari said...

Finally a post!

Please do keep writing in as it is delightful to read of friends in faraway lands.

Shradha said...

Buttermilk Tea? Hehehe...

I want to haer more...Keep writing. And have loads of fun!! :)

Shradha said...

I mean I want to 'hear' more. This keyboard sucks....got the word verification also wrong!

RT said...

good to see you having a good time in brussels..
more stories awaited..!..:)
and some pictures too...

~RAUL~ said...

where are the pics ?

and beer and you don't seem to go together very well :) :)

and yeah when are u back btw ?

Kumari said...

Cool.
Always dreamt of making a Europe trip ever since my friend talked about cobblestoned streets.

You have fun girl!
And do post regular anecdotes from Brussels :)

sinusoidally said...

You must put pictures on the blog now, so that I could see Belgium through your eyes. :-)

Swathi said...

@seashells
sad fact is that i havent yet tried the beer .... i hope to very soon


@Shruthi
i promise i wudnt disappoint u

@chick_pea
i shall eat the waffle n gain those sinful calories as well...

@fiona
my dear, where have u been, i tried contacting u before i left Hyd, anywayz i shall send u a detailed mail.

@primalsoup
'am happy to see a comment from one of my top favorite bloggers :)
of course, the waffle with the maple n those calories which go with it!

@shankari
sure n i shall try n write more stories , only u need to bear with me.

Swathi said...

@Shradha
buttermilk tea and more such stories r soon to come (wish i cud say , watch this space...)

@rt
last time it was a question of not getting the adaptor for my kamera but now with the problem solved i shud b able to post some gud pics

@raul
u need to wait a long time to see that Tee i promised :)

@Kumari
the gud ole monuments of Europe r a must-see, i think u must plan a trip sometime with the Mr. and of course i shall gladly play the host :)

@sinusoidally
yes, next time the pics wud b there for sure.

rapunzel said...

my sis went there abt a month ago...and yes, she told me a lot abt the beer too:p

Crouching Tigress said...

Erm I havent been to Brussels yet, but from what I hear people there do speak English. Its the capital of the EU for chrissakes!! Just doesnt add up :p. And buttermilk hahaha cmon now! The flemmish speaking part of Belgium definitely speaks English. Been to Brugges yet?
Oh yeah Belgian chocolates are the best!

VirginUpdates said...

i love reading about your travel experience.so looking forward to the next post.
am waffle-crazy

Pallavi said...

I am sure you will have fun !!!

Vicky said...

wow..
u in Bru....
cool yaar. i do hope u show us some pics and have a wonderful time there.

Swathi said...

@rapunzel
i'm eagerly awaiting the results of the discussion on ur blog...

@tigress
but tatz wat i wondered, by was brussels made the EU capital??? n ya i am speaking 'bout the ppl of Brussels - the taxi drivers, the shop keepers etc.. the ppl we interact with on a daily basis have no clue of english... (but yes perhaps i can pick some from u :))

@virginupdates
welcome to my realm, shall try n post some waffles for u :) (since i dun seem to be a big fan of them...)

@Pallavi
i can only say ' 'am trying desperately n failing miserably' :))

@Vicky
my next post is gonna b full of pictures till u all get bored with them...

Santosh said...

hey.. thanks for stopping by my blog..

u in belgium rt now.. cool!! my advisor is from Belgium.

Deppe said...

Welcome to Belgique!
I'm surprised that you have language trouble. One of my strongest impressions of this country is how so many people are comfortable with 3 to 4 languages (including English of course). But then again, I think there's also truth to the fact that the flemish are more multilingual than the walloons.

Deppe said...

Antwerp is very interesting. I've heard lotsa good things about Brugge and the Ardennes as well. I have big todo list for the summer :-D

rapunzel said...

its up :)and how u doing??

zombiee said...

CHOCLATESSS CHOCKLATES CHOKELATES..
aaahh.. and then a walk down the old lanes.. have a great time babe.. lookin forward to some good reads

Crouching Tigress said...

*flemish
**Bruges

:p Bruges is really awesome. I am sooo going back there! Btw have you moved to Belgium? Erm, I am a little slow with these things though it doesnt involve Math

cherubic_chipmunk said...

good 2 kno u're havin' a nice time in belgium...lookin' fwd 2 more posts wid pics...arvind

RT said...

about time.. for another post..:)

Twilight Fairy said...

hey having a nice time? :)

Swathi said...

@santosh
cudnt help but comment on one of the widely discussed topics..

@Deppe
alas! i wish i were in Antwerp :)

@rapunzel
i checked it n i think that post of urz made an interesting read.

@zombiee
u said it, those walks on the cobbled stoned roads makes the longing for India worth it.

@Tigress
well moved for a couple of months, ya Brugges is high on my list , perhaps this weekend

@cc@arvind
sure sure, a post is on itz way

@RT
yes, definetly a post is due n i am on with it right now.

@twilight fairy
yes i am ***smiles****