Back To Belgium

I walked down the road sipping a beer, Heidelburg had been great, my hosts had filled me with breakfast and now Brussels was my destination. I got a ride from a woman heading towards Koblenz, then had to walk along the freeway for a kilometer towards the next petrol station.

Some police approached me about walking on the freeway a while later, but I easily brushed them off and was able to keep hitchhiking from my new spot. A guy gave me a ride a ways up until a junction, then a guy going to see his ex wife gave me a ride and a plastic beer bottle to drink on while we talked.
He dropped me off in a small parking area along the freeway. I asked one woman for a ride there, she turned me down. Then I asked a proper woman from the UK who desperately wanted to turn me down, but just couldn’t find a polite way to do it, so gave me a ride a few exits up.

I got a ride quickly from there to a better spot fro a guy passing by, then waited a good while until a Belgian guy gave me a ride further up as the sun started to set. A pretty girl picked me up there talking about her desire to travel, she dropped me off just near Hoegaarden. From there I was picked up by a guy who worked for a major beer distributor as a taster, this was of course an amazing conversation. Lastly, I got a ride from a flower shop owner who took me right into Brussels.

I walked on over to Kasey’s place and we caught up. Soon enough we were biking into the heart of the city, it’s all about beer, we drank up on the good stuff and talked about technology. At one bar we drank Grimbergen, the Chimay got tapped and I watched in horror as they got the new tap going, seemingly ignoring it as they let the tap run and a bucket overflowed with Chimay, long past the foamy stage. I told the bartender I’d drink it, “Oh this?”, he said, as he smiled and poured it down the drain as I’m sure he’d done a hundred times before. What a waste.

I stayed a couple more days, coding by day and discovering new beers and people by night. We made another trip to the Delirium Cafe where I fell in love with a Swedish girl I’d never see again, more tasty beers, more tasty beers, more tasty beers.

On the day I left I met Robin, a guy who mostly lived at the casa I’d stayed at in Amsterdam. We talked for a while, I knew I’d be back at that place in the coming days. I had a reunion with people I’d lived with for a few weeks up in Alaska involving the couchsurfing project. That was happening straight away as it were.

I walked out towards the freeway and hitched a ride with a young guy excited for his upcoming South American trip, then got a ride from a photographer and had a good conversation heading up the road. I walked along a massively wide shoulder and was surprised how long it took to get my next ride, but luckily it was a great one, as the guy was heading generally to the same small town I was going to and was more than willing to punch my friend’s address into his GPS.

Soon enough I’d be arriving, great friends awaited, the reunion, good times ahead.

September 9, 2011 - September 12, 2011