And what a day one it was.
This was my first transatlantic flight, and any preconceptions I had about Delta service were thrown out the window. I got a blanket, pillow, breakfast, dinner, warm hand towels, free alcohol… I mean what! This is not the Delta I know from home. I smiled every time the announcements would come on in three different languages, and I played trivia on my seat screen. Mostly I slept as much as I could.
On my BOS to JFK flight, I talked to the guy next to me from Munich. He was saying that his layover was really short, and when we were delayed pulling into our gate, he said “I’ll probably make it but I doubt my luggage will.” URGH. I knew right then that I was going to be in trouble when I landed as well. And I was right. Delta had already emailed me letting me know my bag didn’t make it, and they were sending it on the next JFK>BRU flight available. Fortunately I packed one set of work clothes in my carry on… no PJs though, oops.
After that debaucle, I hopped on the 21 bus to Place Luxembourg, and Jess and Frank were waiting for me on arrival – with a croissant no less. The bus stop was literally steps outside their door, not that I had much to carry anyway. Since I was pretty awake I decided to join them on a train ride to the huge farmer’s market at Garde du Midi, which I had heard about several times when looking up Brussels. They sold everything! I saw tea kettles and kitchen ware, underwear, dresses, comforters, and some super cute shoes for 5€ that will definitely be coming home with me at some point this summer. And then we got to the food! All the vendors were yelling in French, and there were samples to taste of watermelon, honeydew, and pineapple. There was such a rich variety of foods and sights and smells, people pushing against one another and running each other down with their personal shopping carts. The fish market looked particularly delicious, and we got some cod for dinner.
We walked through some of the different neighborhoods on the walk back, pausing to share raspberries at a little park guarded by one little duck (and a conservation commission employee who reprimanded me for stepping on the grass when taking pictures and not paying attention. such care for their parks!).
There was not much time left before having to go to our first apartment showing in Place Flagey. There was so much to do there, they said even if I don’t end up living there I’d definitely be going to hang out. The second one was kind of a hike north, up in Schaerbeek – much more residential, very sweet little neighborhood. All the houses are so squished together, I’m not used to such close living quarters! I’ll decide tomorrow which I’ll take.
I had my first frites as well! We stopped at Maison Antoine, Jess got tartar sauce and I tried Andalouse sauce (I resisted the urge to use ketchup!). So good, and so fresh. It didn’t quite ruin my appetite for dinner though, and after a two hour power nap we had dinner around 9PM. As long as I eat something substantial between 12 and 9 I can definitely get used to eating later. Especially when it’s followed by Skype date with boy. 🙂
Tomorrow is my first day of work! I need to get my luggage, find a phone, and pick an apartment. I call today a success. 🙂