Belgian Beers and Geeking Out

I jumped out of the car now, the last of the many rides I’d gotten that day coming from Dusseldorf in Germany, now my feet were on the streets of Brussels. I walked about fifteen minutes until I reached Kasey's place.

I’d come across Kasey a while back, both of us were into travel oriented websites, primarily dealing with hitchhiking, rideshare, hospitality and this sort of thing. We’d shot some emails back and forth and even had a video chat once, but this would be the first time meeting him in person.

We got acquainted more over tea and Kasey had some food cooked up, talking about travel mostly from an ideas point of view, like how technology was and could continue to expose and create easy ways for people to enjoy a life on the move.

We hopped on bikes afterwards, bound for the heart of the city to enjoy the fine beers of the country. The bike was one of the nicer, smoother one’s I’d been on, I loved the cruise in and soon we arrived to a big square where people were crossing and relaxing. We dipped into an alley and came upon the Delirium Cafe, a place known around the globe wherever people geek out on great beer.

They’ve apparently got just over 2000 beers to choose from, we went for what was on tap, I had to go for the Tremmens straight away. We sipped the miracle elixirs while continuing on our techie travel talks amongst other conversation.

More beers, friends, people with guitars and more beers, another bar and more of beers poured into goblets embracing our enjoyment. On the bike ride back home we got samosas, the deli snack of choice, plus I had to get another bottle to go, taking advantage of the benefit of them opening the bottle and being allowed to drink on the street. This is a freedom only several places in the States allow, like Vegas, New Orleans and Savannah.

I spent nearly a week in town, it didn’t take us long to jump right into coding in what started to be called the Geekend (weekend). In between sharing and formulating ideas and pecking at keyboards, runs were made to the grocery store for great beers that I’d only find in specialty beer shops anywhere else in the world, or wouldn’t be finding at all. I tried the whole range of Trappist beer (six out of seven anyways, one isn’t distributed and can only be gotten at the source, that’s a hitchhiking story that happens some months later), I tried the local “junk” beer and I tried the beers from neighboring countries when I’d tried most of the Belgian brews I could find.

Beer and travel coding, in my element and having a great time. I was learning from Kasey as well and we were making a lot of progress. We biked around one day checking out more of the city and some parks. Behind a big store of some kind we came across a dumpster to explore, Kasey found a sort of office chair that had been thrown away. We pulled it out to examine it and it seemed to be in fine enough shape.

While we were still standing there pondering how to get it back, security guards came up and soon they were arguing with Kasey in Dutch and we were leaving without the chair, Kasey was furious, after all it was pretty senseless that these people were defending their trash, preferring it wound up in a landfill rather than being utilized.

Back home sushi and beer eased any remaining frustration. He had quite a few housemates and therefore always a handful of them and friends around, this was always the type of vibe I liked for any house or apartment, things stay fresh and there’s always someone new kicking around.

Our coding continued, we even managed to launch a new version of the site I’d been working on, Trip Hopping. One of Kasey's friends had also been around for the Geekend, between us futzing with several projects and distracting ourselves with any cool new web toy we found in the process.

The beers had been great, so had the coding and company. My next destination wasn’t all too far away, Amsterdam. I’d been told of a communal house there where people came and went, worked on projects, dumpstered for food and mostly lived transient lifestyles. I was excited to check it out.