Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Leuven (reporting live from Belgium)

A long weekend in Nantes, France was not meant to be - it would have been too simple. When one J. Siegel was mysteriously robbed in Paris (and thus without a train ticket and hotel information to meet me in Nantes) as well as a malfunctioning (read: broken) mobile phone, I faced the choice of spending some alone time in the Jules Verne capitol of the world, or migrating West by Northwest to Belgium. I chose the latter option.

A land of 9% beers is already a good start, but the fact that English (as well as Dutch, French, and German) is spoken here really warms my heart. That's my biggest issue with France - they really stick to their guns when it comes to not speaking English. But here in the low country, the people are Quadrilingual (I may have made that word up) and are very willing to assist you in any of the four aforementioned languages. You need not even begin with the premise, "Do you speak English?" Anyone younger than the senior citizens from the Second World War generation has a firm, fluent grasp of the English language.

Fortunately, this change in plans was made possible by Ryanair - I will slip out of this land of waffles, chocolate, mussels, and textiles by early tomorrow morning, and ten minutes before I leave (yes, you read that correctly - due to gaining an hour in transit because of the time change back to GMT), I will be landing at Stansted airport, catching a train back to Norwich, and riding my bicycle straight to school where I will hopefully arrive just in time for an intimate meeting with the head of BBC Radio. So long as there are no airline delays, train delays, and presuming that my bicycle is still in one piece (it's been locked up at the Norwich station) these plans should be smooth as a coconut flavored smoothie.

1 comment:

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