Saturday, October 25, 2014

Returning to Antwerpen

I love this city, which is somewhat obvious if you are a committed reader of this blog. Sadly, Antwerp doesn't seem to love me. That doesn't stop me from going back, though. The city is gorgeous; it's clean and safe - at least, I've never felt unsafe at any point while there - and it's the perfect combination of old world and modern world. The people are beautiful looking and few things sound as graceful as someone speaking Flemish, but they are not terribly warm, at least not toward strange girls from America. They are polite, but they are not the Irish. In Dublin I constantly felt at home, surrounded by close friends and cherished family members. Everyone I met was kind and genuine and welcoming. Antwerp kinda reminds me of New York's reputation in the 80s when the people were guarded to the point of standoffish and rude. I guess that's understandable. Actually, it isn't. There's no reason to be mean to someone that's being decent and respectful to both you and your city. That being said, I've decided to go back one last time, for ten days in March of 2015. This time around I'm looking to stay at Michel's flat again and see the few things I was too chicken to do this year, like hang out in Borgerhout and check out Coffee and Vinyl in Het Zuid. I didn't get a chance to see MAS, so that's on my list, and I have to, have to, go see the Magritte Museum in Brussels. I figure ten days gives me time to relax and adjust and then get out there and explore til my feet fall apart. This time, my goal will be to connect with one person, aside from Michel, who is just plain spectacular, and change my perspective on Belgians. I wanna come home and feel that they are the salt of the earth. 

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