After having cribbed endlessly about the weather , expenses and language problems faced during my stay in Brussels , now all of a sudden there is a change in the outlook since I'm counting down the last few hours to take off.   Seeing everything with 'graduation goggles' has definitely erupted a blast of mixed emotions about this place.

Brussels's love for a clean and green environment and save biodiversity is a thing to remember. There was this bird counting activity on one weekend, initiated by Brussels municipal council. we are supposed to keep munchies for birds outside the window and keep a watch and count the types of birds that visit. The collective statistics on this will be the approximate birds in Brussels. Coming from a country whose population is 17 % of the total world population it was hard to accept the fact that some countries do invest in activities such as bird counting. I cannot imagine doing the count of crows or pigeons in India. Reckon sparrows would be easier due to its depleting count.

Every year beginning of spring, a pair of peregrine falcons visit Brussels and nest on a tower of the Brussels cathedral. There a webcam has been setup so that the locals can get a glimpse of this rare birds raising the chicks. From the time the falcons are first sighted you can watch online live and follow the number  of eggs laid that year, hatching, feeding until the final take off. There are screens put up at the base of the cathedral for visitors to see this event. If a dog is run over on the road, the bloody body will be  left untouched and by the end of the day, the remains would have be bulldozed along the road with no traces.  Sadly this happens in my native country.

Most of the museums here have free entry on the first wednesday of every month. On one winter wednesday afternoon, after a museum visit, I was strolling by the open area near the museum   and was on a photo clicking spree, just like the group of fairer narrrow eyed Asians. An old man with a grocery bag was crossing this area and I watched him as he went near the asian group and stopped over to tell  them something and then started walking towards me. In my head all I could think was " Gosh!!Am I not supposed to click photos here?",        "Will he give a piece of his mind now? ", " does he hate Asians for crowding his walk area ? ". He came over and pointed at the museum building and  said " Today museum is free. it is good. go now".  And just like that I started to like Belgians and Belgium museums.

In the second week after arriving here, I had gone grocery shopping and was totally confused with all the products since everything was in dutch and french.  I wanted to pick up chicken and I knew it was called 'poulet'. But when I looked in the freezer section , it was stacked with different types of poulet. 'Cuisse de poulet' , 'poulet kip' etc. There came an old couple, aged in 80s,  who picked up some sort of poulet from the same section. With no staff in sight, I decided to ask this old couple to help me out. I greeted them in english and asked if the pack I had picked up  was actually of chicken leg pieces. Unfortunately they did not speak english and they stared blank into my face. I realized that and thanked them anyway and started searching for the staff. The old couple wanted to help me anyway and they  came over to me and tried to say that it was chicken. I knew it was chicken but was not sure as to which part of chicken and I could not tell them that anyway . seeing my confusion the old lady  handed over the basket she was carrying to the old man, bent her frail knees , flapped her outstretched arms while making the noise "Caca Cacaawww Cacaaawwww...." made a quick walk hither tither.  And I could not help but admire them. I was so overwhelmed by their gesture I smiled and nodded to show that I understood and thanked them profusely.  A lovely charade it was.

All the weather cribs are long forgotten and I surely have lots of good memories of my stay in Belgium and the travel trips to the nearby countries. 'Loss of pay' comes to an end as I write this and am so eager to get back to my home , work , friends, coconut based gravies, mangoes , jackfruits........  .. ... ..... 
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...