native language

Brugge Travel Blog

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Lest you all think I'm only talking to tourists, here are some of the conversations I have had with locals (or current residents):

- Two girls in a cafe asking me about breast implants, if all Californian women have them (thanks, LA), and if it's true they can kill you.  Yes, TLC speaks the truth.

- Iraqi waiter in the same cafe who insisted they CAN kill you.  And who grew up in Armenia and knew just enough English to say, "Did you know you're very smiley?"

- Two Canadian girls I met today who have lived here for the past several years and talked to me for two hours about racism, speaking Flemish, and going to college for 500 euros/year.  And they claim to actually miss that disgusting fries/gravy/cheese thing. 

- A waiter who, upon hearing I was from California, said "WEST SIDE! (with hand signs).  You are like Tupac Shakkur?"  I have never been so sad to disappoint.  And then we talked about east coast v. west coast rap.  Awesome.

- A guy I met on the train today who spoke only Dutch.  He spoke as much English as I do French.  Amazingly, during the hour ride, I was able to discern that he is from Roeselare, is the youngest of 8, has family in Rome, and is 30.  All those cheesy travel guides are true - you really can communicate through hand signs, photos, and smiling and nodding.  Or at least pretend to communicate.  For all I know, he has 8 kids, lives in the Netherlands, and his parents live in Turkey.  But there was some semblance of bonding.  And there was carrying of my bags all over the two stations, so all in all good times.

Oh, and Bruges is a beautiful town.  The rumors don't lie. And, message to Phil Sharp!  The Belgians are your people too!  There is a place in this city called Bar Choc - a CHOCOLATE BAR.  As in, they have a full bar set up, and table service, but instead of alcohol, there are 40 types of chocolate milk!  The only bar in the world where you could drink Rohit under the table. 

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photo by: Chokk