August 23, 2012

Confessions of the Euro-fluenced: Days 51-52

Mannekin pis is in Brussels.




.......wait for it.....

.............Mannekin pis literally translates to Little man pee.

... Mannekin pis happens to be the biggest tourist attraction in Brussels.
... And by biggest, I mean Little man pee stands almost two feet tall.
... Upon first glance, it seems to be a statue of a toddler peeing into a pool of water. A fountain, per say.
... Upon second glance and a little squinting of the eye and cocking of the head, you realize that even though it has the face of a toddler, the body, well, has the musculature of a full grown man.

And Brusselites, Brusselonions, Brusselers those who reside in Brussels, are somehow thrilled that this attracts curious tourists. So much so, in fact, that many restaurants situate their patio seating around a much larger plastic imitation of this fountain. I mean, I guess I can understand why I'd love to sip my espresso on a patio in Belgium with a statue of Mannekin pis trickling beside me.

Well, that about sums up Brussels.

Besides canine fecal matter on the street corners and the smell of chocolate and waffles wafting in the air, Brussels is much better experienced from a distance. A far distance.

There were a few highlights, however, that I would like to share:

-Publico: The food was just ok in this finer-dining-reservations-recommended-dimmed-lighting establishment. But Francois and Gustavo certainly made up for the food with their behavior. During our main course, they turned on the local country radio station and we were allowed to witness Gustavo doing his version of a country line dance [a little slap here, clap there, kick kick, spin, and much laughter].

-"Exploring": And by "exploring," we mean getting lost on the way home from Publico. My heart told me to go in one direction. Andrew went in the opposite direction. And we kept going. And going. And it was dark. And sketchy. And I think we walked by a few 'ladies of the night'. And we couldn't find ourselves on the map. We finally came upon a river, which then allowed us to find ourselves on the map, and we hastily walk-ran back through the wilderness to our lovely hostel room.

-Speaking of hostel room, we were fortunate enough to have a private room. While this room was rated exceptional in the size category, the toilet category was rather lacking. You see, it is a luxury for some hotels and most hostels to have a toilet in the room. 'Ensuite' seems to be a high selling point. This hostel, however, decided 'ensuite' meant putting the local "Toi-Toi" [Europe's cute name for a port-a-potty] in the corner of our spacious room, complete with that all-too-revealing port-a-potty aroma. Thank you, Europe, for your quaint ways. We ended up using the shared bathroom, with actual plumbing, down the hall.

-The Flower Carpet: Every year Brussels holds an event in the center of town. Even though they claim that having statues of peeing things make them proud (Did I mention there is also a statue of a peeing dog and a peeing woman around town?), my theory is they created this flower carpet even to distract from all-things-peeing. The Flower Carpet is pretty self explanatory: some designer uses a bunch of closely packed flowers to create a huge 'carpet' in the center of town. No, you can't walk on it. Yes, it's better viewed from the sky. And yes, it was disappointing because they didn't ONLY use flowers but also dirt, grass, and mulch. Cheaters. In other words, they should call it The Flower Garden. But, of course, then no one would come see a flower garden. So then they'd be stuck with all-things-peeing as their claim to fame.

-Waffles: For dessert one night I endulged in an infamous Belgiun waffle. I allowed Andrew to have one bite (after all, he was free to order his own). I may have finished the waffle in a mere two minutes, which for me, is quite the feat. However, the waffle was good, but not great. It was crispy on the outside with nothing but air on the inside. I'd rather have like crispy on the outside and chewy on the inside.

As much as Brussels has been a bit disappointing, our time was still relaxing and we were able to catch up on and store up some sleep. The city just needs updating, a bit of help with putting up more street signs, someone to clean up all the dog poop, and maybe a few less peeing statues.

>>Food 1
>>Location 0
>>Activities .5
>>Comfort 1
>>Hostel 0

The FLACH? 2.5 peeing stars.

Mannekin pis aka Little man pee.
The crowd around Mannekin pis.
Italiano for dinner!

The mall.

The flower carpet.
All mine.

No comments:

Post a Comment