Edit Blog Post
Published: February 1st 2011
Well after our eventful afternoon in Brussels we hopped on the metro and landed in Mike’s home city of Leuven known for its University and the home town favorite brew of Stella Artois. We took a short tour of the city where I familiarized myself with the culture and surroundings and after a successful day I retired to the hostel...
The hostel was everything I thought it was and more. As we entered the complex we were greeted by a Flemish hostess - for the lack of a better term - as the word hostess is too good for what she provided. Think of a person who handed me a sheet and key in a deep Dutch accent. As I arrived to the room it was empty, I threw my belongings into the locker and relaxed while I waited for my roommate to arrive. A few hours go by and no roommate so I decide to take advantage of the half hour of free internet access in the lobby. Unfortunately the key board to the dial up computer is in Dutch so there goes that idea. As I head back to the room lo and behold there is my roommate... standing there eating a rice patti with the low hum of techno music in the background. Wilm was a 24 year old Flemish native who was staying in the Hostel because his house was being renovated. He kind of looked like the rasta DJ from the movie Zoolander, which was ironic because he was a DJ and loved techno.
He was very...err...inquisitive about the US and American culture. He wanted to know all about New York and our day to day lives. Everything from why most Americans speak only one language to why we work so much (a normal Belgian work week is 38 hours.)
As we continued our dialogue the conversation became increasingly political. He started explaining to me the “real truth” behind the 911 attacks and how the war in Afghanistan is not really about terrorism but about the control of opium. Now at 5 am Eastern Time (which is what my body felt like) all I wanted to to do was go to sleep but I felt obligated to both listen and dispel some untruths spread by the international media.
I’m happy we were able to talk because I was able to see some outside perspective on US culture, while learning about other cultures. The way life is out here is drastically different than what we are accustomed to in the US. Simple things like ordering a cup of coffee take a substantially long time by American standards, but that is all part of the adventure.
All in all, I survived the hostel and took away an interesting experience. Wilm suggested some cinema for me to review and then gave me his email as he was curious of my thoughts. The films sounded like they were directed by the German version of Michael Moore but who knows maybe I will take him up on that offer and send him a copy of Decision Points in the process with my email so he can provide me his thoughts.
Tot: 2.632s; Tpl: 0.045s; cc: 10; qc: 51; dbt: 0.0544s; 2; m:saturn w:www (22.214.171.124); sld: 2;
; mem: 1.4mb