Friday, November 23, 2012


last weekend, I had a class trip to Brussels, Belgium! I went with my European Union class and the Public Finance kids came too. the purpose of the trip was to see first-hand the legislative bodies of the EU: the Commission and the Parliament.

our first night in Brussels, the night we arrived, we got Asian food! such a nice change from Italian. I had Vietnamese pho, and while it wasn't quite as good as some I've had at home it more than satisfied the lack of Vietnamese food in my life lately.

the second day, we headed to the European Commission in the morning for a talk about the CAP and just some general discussion about the EU and the Commission. we had lunch at the Commission cafeteria, then were free to explore Brussels.

the Commission building

I really loved Brussels. it was chilly and a little windy, but the city itself was so clean and beautiful. I liked that it was a very international city (as the seat of the EU, go figure), and the local foods were right up my alley - sugary waffels, french fries, and beer! I tried a bunch of different beers while I was there, and I wish I'd written them down for later reference - next time. the waffels are delicious, they're baked with sugar crystal chunks in the batter so when you bite in there's a bit of a crunch. yum.

bonjour Bruxelles!

anyway, we did some shopping, some eating, and a lot of drinking, all of which was very fun.

the next day was similar. we headed to the European Parliament for a brief overview of the structure and workings of the Parliament, then we went to the Parliamentarium which is this pretty cool museum that helps you learn about the history of the EU and the Parliament. I played a fun game where you had to see how many Parliament members you could seat before time ran out. then we got lunch and then heard a brief talk from a member of a research team of a DG about what it was like to live and work in Brussels. afterwards, we went back to the hotel room, watched some MTV music videos, then headed out again for dinner and drinking. dinner was seafood at maybe the most random restaurant in the world, where the ladies got sugary sweet champagne and the men got beer. the sexism was not lost on me, but at least the food was good. if you go to brussels, you must eat mussels and chips!

it felt like a short weekend but it was a lot of fun to be with almost our whole program and eat lots of delicious things! I'll be back for you Brussels!

ps. it's so cool that everybody in Brussels speaks English, French, AND Dutch! wish I were that cool.

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