Travelling back from Brussels we both took another train. Our trains left about 20 minutes apart. I took the regular train and she took the Thalys. My train left first so she walked me to my train and waited for it to leave. She stayed on the platform to wave me goodbye. When the train started moving she walked with it, going faster and faster to wave as long as possible. This was a funny sight. Especially the German people who sat next to me. You could tell from their faces they hadn’t seen something like this before. Crazy Dutch people… Later on I had to switch trains at Atwerp. When I got to my platform in Antwerp to wait for my connecting train, which would leave 30 minutes later, I saw another train entering the station on he same platform. To my surprise it was the Thalys. Could she be in this one? I walked along the train and did find her! This was a nice coïncedence. Now I had the oppertunity to return the favor. This time I waited for her train to leave and walked/ran besides her train to wave her goodbye as long as possible. This was funny doing and even more funny because we both did it to eachother. We both Waved Twice on both sides of our train windows. This was My First double wave on one trip. Try planning that!
I know I am not the best moving person on a dance floor, I don’t have the most flexible body or elastic limbs. I do like to dance. I did go to the Disco in my younger days, where I danced to Disco, Pop and Ska. And I did a Ballroom dance class and a Rock n Roll dance class in my teens. And as I told you in earlier blogs, I am in a Rock n Roll dance class now. But in Brussels I learned two new dances at the Jam in Jette festival. Both during the performance of La Fanfare En Petard. First I was introduced to Dub-music and the Dub-step, I guess that is what is was though. It was nice to watch the people around me doing some great moves and trying them myself! I also joined a Ska-pit. I had never heard of that, but had seen something like it before. I don’t know if I did it right, but I just started jumping with the crowd and let me be pushed around, while pushing the others away. I never thought this could be that much fun! I must give the young people of Brussels a compliment of the respectfull way they danced with me and eachother. Dancing like this could easlily turn into nasty scenes, but nothing like that happened. Pushing is the game, but falling people were always helped up, and no hard feelings when you hurt eachother. Great experience and a mayor First for me.
Source picture: http://www.myspace.com/tommygun11
Being in Brussels was great. The most memorable experience, and a multiple First for me, was the festival Jam in Jette. On the first day in Brussels we had seen a poster of this festival, so we decided to visit it on our second day. We arrived in the afternoon and visited the Solidair Village first. A display of stands of organizations with care for human rights, the environment and solidarity. After having some nice fair trade coffee we watched a band of musicians from different cultures, called Kel Assouf. They made some really nice swinging music. Although I couldn’t understand the lyrics I enjoyed the music a lot. After a walk to the Atomium we went back to Jam in Jette to see some more bands. First we watched the reggae band Abdou Day. Nice reggae, although I think reggae is nice for one or two songs, not half an hour. It gets to monotonous. The last band playing was La Fanfare En Petard. What a great experience! It is a band of six men, playing a Trombone, a Trompet, a Saxofoon, a mobile drumkit, a mobile Kettledrum and (off course) a Microfoon. They played a mix of Ska, Reggae, Hip-Hop and Dub. I had never heard such great music. We watched the whole show and danced a lot (see my next blog!). All in all Jam in Jette was an experience with multiple Firsts for me!
Source picture: http://www.jam-in-jette.be/index_nl.html#scene_nl.html
Everybody knows cheese is made from milk, milk from cows. We learn this when we are little children, at kindergarten, going to the petting zoo, in the picture books for little children. There’s no getting around it. So when I eat cheese I feel confident it is made from cow milk. I know there are more animals which give milk. The most common of these are goats. The last years cheese and other products made from goat milk are becoming more common. I still think milk should come from cows. It’s how I am programmed. Every other form of cheese, from another animal, would be considered Exotic Cheese by me. But being in this ‘My First’-year I wanted to try it, so I had some goat cheese. The first bite was exciting, I didn’t know what to expect, what exotic flavour I would encounter. Would I like it? Would I think nothing of it? Would I be repulsed? I was pleased to learned that goat cheese is not an aquired taste, it tatsed not that different from cow cheese. I didn’t expect that! Anyway, I still do think milk should come from cows, but maybe I’ll try some goat milk someday too!
Source picture: http://colleenmcdevitt.blogspot.nl/2009/09/goat-milking-like-brushing-your-teeth.html#!/2009/09/goat-milking-like-brushing-your-teeth.html
When I think about Long Distance, I think about the marathon for instance. This is 42km of running, seeing how fast you can run the distance. It’s all about finding your pace at wich you feel comportable, which you can keep for the distance, at which you don’t have too much energy left at the end. This is the challenge. Walking a Long Distance to me is walking for a few hours, so 15km, maybe 20km. That was the longest distance I did. Last weekend I went to Brussels, as I told you. We decided to walk through the city and try to see as much of Brussels as we could in that weekend. We started on Friday with a guided tour by our Couch-Surf-host Jan and ended the day at his house. All day we carried our full backpacks. We had a Tracker running on a cellphone, it said we walked 20km that day. Wow! Nice going! Next day, Saturday, we planned on seeing the Atomium. We decided to take a long route through the many beautifull parks in Brusels. On the way we found a nice festival (see upcoming blog!), which we visited again on our way back. At the end of the day the Tracker said: 35km. Damn, that’s a lot! Sunday we went on our way with our full backpacks again to see some more of Brussels and ending up at the train station: yet another 15km. So we did 70km in one weekend… That’s really a First for me, I didn’t know I had it in me! Me proud!
Source picture: Me!
Going to concerts is a nice thing to do. I love being in the crowd, cheering for the band or artist and enjoying the music. The atmosphere makes me feel alive and forget everything else, at least for a while. It also gives me great memories to go back to when I want to feel the same again. These concerts I went to were of bands or artists I realy like, Micheal Jackson, Bruce Springsteen, Tears For Fears. I never did go to, or end up, at a small instrumental concert. Until now. This weekend I stayed at my Couch-Surf-host Jan in Brussels. He made us a nice dinner. While preparing it he sat down at his piano and started playing some great jazzy songs. Some were soft and beautifull, some were Boogy-Woogy. It was admiring to see how much passion he put into playing the piano. You could see his face light up when seeing his listeners enjoying his music, even if it was just for a crowd of two. Great experience, and My First private Piano Concerto!
Source picture: http://ridgwick.com/buying-a-piano.php
Most of My Firsts are unplanned, they come to me when I least expect them, they are a complete surprise. This is why I like them so much. Sometimes I have a planned My First. This I like too, because I am trying to enrich my life with new experiences. This is certainly the case with Couch Surfing, allthough when I first heard of this I had different thoughts than the actual concept. I wondered how a couch could be used for surfing. Is a couch water resistant or sea worthy? Does it have enough float capacity for surfing? Is it manoeuvrable enough for hitting the waves? Later I learned the concept behind it. Last weekend I even experienced it and went Couch Surfing with my dear friend Ruth in Brussels! I thought it would be like crashing on someones couch and be gone in the morning. I guess it is used like that, but I experienced something different. My couch-host left us at his house for the weekend with a key and went his own way. He wasn’t there most of the time. I admire such trust in us, after all we are complete strangers to him. He did even guide us through Brussels the first day and made us dinner. What a hospitality!
I love the Belgians.
Source picture: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.couchsurfing.mobile.android