Have you ever tried Meetup.com? I’ve used it once before back home, and I’d rate the experience 6/10. I had a much better time with the people I came with rather than meeting people who shared common interests. I decided to give it another go in Brussels, as they have an expat group meeting at the Musée d’Ixelles. My expectations were:
– To meet some young expats. American a bonus but not necessary.
– To meet someone to trade “can you BELIEVE they do that here!” stories with.
– To trade said stories in English.
– To enjoy some lovely art in the most cultured corner of the world.
See, the thing about expectations though…
– I was the youngest person there by psh, twenty years.
– I didn’t meet a single American. They were all European expats that I overheard talking. Which, like I said – bonus but not necessary.
– But in fact I didn’t meet anyone at all, as the group dispersed to take in the museum at their own pace. Which meant, if I so chose, I could walk up to someone and say HI my name is, and they’d be all, 0_o ?? becuase they might not be with our group.
– I didn’t hear a single person in the museum speaking English anyway.
– The French labels describing the different paintings were in way more advanced language than I have at my disposal. I found a packet that generally described why the rooms flowed the way they did, and why the Belgian artists were breaking from the traditional French styles, so I read that as I walked along.
– French artists, I’ve got your back. Matisse, Manet, Gaugin… infinitely better in my (however uncultured it may be) opinion.
Literally. Look at this thing. Who? The what? No.
Anyway, I appreciate what Meetup does, and maybe I’ll try it with des amies in the future. And it was cool to see some Toulouse-Lautrec pieces, the original Chat Noir, and posters from Jules Cheret, so thank you for that Ixelles. (You’ll recognize these Moulin-Rougey pictures from… every college poster sale.)
But I think I’ll stick with exploring the parks of Brussels this summer for now!