Brussels, Belgium: known for its Belgian waffles, Belgian chocolates, Belgian Frites (I tried to steer clear of Brussel Sprouts) and Mannekin Pis Brussels is cute and unconventional, but I am constantly confused by this city… What language do they speak? Why do people like Brussel sprouts? Why is their most famous landmark a 24 inch statue of a boy peeing?
Lets start with the waffles. Oh, the waffles. I lost count of how many waffles I ate during my trip for breakfast, lunch AND dinner. They offer more toppings than I could ever image for a waffle; my inner Leslie Knope was in Heaven. I was able to come to the conclusion that my favorite waffle, although messy, was topped with strawberries, chocolate and pecans.
Next we need to discuss Mannekin Pis. Walking around, map in hand, I almost passed this famous landmark because of its miniature size. Making up for the statue’s petite figure, was the sheer size of the huge crowd surrounding it. So many people are trying to take photos over each other, getting a single glance at the peeing child.
One fact that (somehow) always stuck with me from my time in Brussels, was that the Belgian government dresses up the naked statue for each holiday. They don’t just find outfits for him during Belgian holidays though. They dress him for other countries holidays too, such as 4th of July or French Independence (as he wore French colors when I saw him). I image a special department in the Belgian government focused on brainstorming outfit ideas and creating these small costumes. Thinking more about it, I think that I would really thrive on this committee.
As I learned from true Belgians, they proudly exhibit this statue, and other art projects around the city, as it displays their quirky sense of humor and independent thinking. Looking back, I can’t think of why they wouldn’t always be smiling- they have fancy chocolates and waffles, what more could you ask for?