Friday, May 23, 2008

Farewell to Brussels and Mussels

My week of teaching a small class in Brussels is over and I fly home in the morning. I'm tired but it was a good visit. All my students were French so I got to practice speaking and listening quite a bit. I ate moules et frites at the orginal Léon de Bruxelles (um, twice), and that was far from the only good food I had this week. Last night I dined with a friend at a casual Italian restaurant near the Grand-Place. There was good food as well as an after dinner surprise.

A guy with a very nice classical guitar had been playing some jazzy and folky music at a table outside all through dinner, just for the fun of it apparently. As dinner ended I noticed he was packing up so I went out and complimented him on his playing. He asked me if I also played, and when I said yes, he offered me the guitar. We ended up playing and singing for over an hour, attracting a small audience at times (including for a while four of my students passing by after their dinner). I played songs by the Beatles, Cat Stevens, Dylan, and myself; he played a few standards and Brazilian pieces that I sang or scatted along with. That was cool. My voice held out pretty well considering I rarely sing these days.

Tonight I found a tip about the panoramic view of Brussels from the top of the ten-story "Parking 58" structure which is two blocks from my hotel. Great view! Once again I regretted not bringing my camera, but here courtesy of Jelle Gruyts on Flickr is part of what I saw from up there before finding my way to Chez Léon for my farewell mussels.

No comments: