I arrived in Brussels two days ago and so far have learned a lot about the Belgian experience. Brussels is a very quaint area but is sometimes confusing to understand. There are three official languages so it is difficult to know which language to speak when out on the town. Brussels is a bilingual city so I stick to French because it’s what I know. On the first day, my roommates and I took the Metro to the centre ville to see some of the sites. Sunday was the last day of the flower carpet in the Grand-Place at the center of Brussels. We were able to see the carpet, although it was wilted because of the tremendous heat Brussels is experiencing. We also paid tribute to the national monument of Belgium, the mannekin pis, a statue of a little boy peeing. It is the most interesting monument I have seen. I am staying in a homestay with two other girls from Colorado and California. We live with a Spanish family which makes dinners very interesting. Our homestay parents speak French and Spanish interchangeably and will start sentences in French and end them in Spanish. Luckily my roommate from California understands some Spanish so I go to her for translation. Adjusting to the time difference is still difficult, last night I went to bed at 1 a.m. and woke up at 1:15pm thinking it was morning. Interesting tid bit, here you have to pay to go to the bathroom, about 20 cents. Also when you go out to eat, water is not free. A couple of friends and I went out for lunch and collectively spent 30 Euros on water. Our thinking is Belgians don’t drink water so they don’t have to pay to use the restroom, but who knows.
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