Barefoot in Belgium.


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Europe » Belgium » Flemish Brabant » Leuven
September 21st 2011
Published: September 21st 2011
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BREANDING MACHINEBREANDING MACHINEBREANDING MACHINE

'Nuff said.
Medical chart reads: "Female Erasmus student, age 25, has contracted ring worm, athlete's foot, lime disease, and the black plague due to lack of foot protection in public venues. Treatment: a swift slap upside the head."

Why isn't there an alarm in my head that goes off when walking barefoot is inappropriate and unsanitary? What have twenty-some-odd years of beach culture done to my standards for hygiene? I have taken 3 hostel showers without shower shoes and walked through the halls to common, internet-friendly, lounges to Skype my beloved completely barefooted. Clean it up, MacDonald.

On a slightly less rantish note, I found man's most amazing idea near the train station: the bread vending machine. Or, as I now call them, "breanding machines". Pop in a couple Euro, and shazam, a full loaf baked that morning by a tiny Belgian granny in an apron. (At least that's what I'm imagining. Just go with it.)

Along with the breanding machine, today I also found a bicycle to rent for the year. At Velo, the go-to for student bike rentals in Leuven, Laura and I were directed toward a section to chose a bike from. My eyes were immediately drawn
Bell Included.Bell Included.Bell Included.

Here's a shot of La Naranja and I hitting the streets of Leuven. Red brick roads are for bicycles, grey bricks are for pedestrians. (Laura and I found this out after getting hollered at in Dutch by a grumpy lady on a mission.)
to a trio of two-wheeled jalopies in the corner. To the left, a shiny green number with new silver fenders. To the right, a dark blue number with barely a scratch to it's iridescent coat. And then... there she was in the the middle: La Naranja. She's got a cream-orange and tiffany-puke-blue paint job, circa 1973. Duct taped seat and fenders that have endured years of collisions and careless park-jobs. She's perfect.

Dear La Naranja, you're mine for the year. Get ready for a turbulent experience. Us Americans don't have a clue how to legally ride you on these cobblestone streets, so if you meet the pavement (or your doom) under my watch... Allow me to apologize in advance.

Proost,
Whitney


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Waar is Naranja?Waar is Naranja?
Waar is Naranja?

Bikes galore outside the hostel. How did I get so lucky as to have stumbled across a diamond like Naranja?
Ain't she a beaut?Ain't she a beaut?
Ain't she a beaut?

One of a kind graphics. Cha-ching.


21st September 2011

This was spantastic! Love the blog. and super excited for you :)
22nd September 2011

so I\'m glad you came to your senses, little beach girl, and are protecting your tootsies now. you come by it naturally, since I resist close-toed shoes until the temps are below 50 :) love the bicycle! glad you picked a homely one, they are the best; just like the hard-to-adopt kitties :) I hope it serves you well. And the bread vending machines...wow. No way. Sounds heavenly. I imagine the little Belgian grandma would look like my Grandma Lila (Berman), soft and sweet, with arthritic fingers still working the dough into her 80\'s. She was a bit Dutch/German, too :) Thanks for sharing your antics, Wee. Love you <3

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