Barefoot in Belgium.

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September 21st 2011
Published: September 21st 2011
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'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.


Additional photos below
Photos: 4, Displayed: 4


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 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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