Saturday, August 15, 2009

To Brussels!

This afternoon I set off for Belgium. I made sure to clean my dad’s flat from top to bottom, per his request, before leaving.

I should note that I’ve been traveling with a large pack, a medium pack, and my bike box. Needless to say, it’s quite the schlep when I have to transport them all.

On my way to the tube I made eye contact with a construction worker. I smiled and he said “I thought I had it bad.” I chucked and carried on.

My flight was out of Terminal 5 and I was excited to see the new terminal. Fortunately they had baggage carts.

London has caught up with the times and installed a “Multi-Faith Prayer Room” (Editor’s note: these quiet rooms are great for napping. However, they can also be the source of interfaith tension when found sleeping in said rooms (Praha-Ruzyne – Summer 2006)).

I found my gate and got on the plane. Within minutes I was asleep. I was out really late last night (in da club) and had to wake up early to clean. I woke up in time to have a tomato juice and then we landed. The Brussels airport also had carts so my schlep was relatively painless and thus not a schlep.

I took the elevator down to the train station and bought a ticket to Gent. In the station I met a guy who looked a bit like Tom Boonen. I mentioned this to him and he said Mr. Boonen had been in the airport earlier today.

The ride to Gent had beautiful scenery. The countryside was very inviting.

I arrived at St. Pieter’s station across from St. Pieter’s Church. Jean (“Yawn”), one of the retired guys who helps with the team picked me up. I smelled some sort of alcohol but couldn’t pinpoint it. Apparently it was Jupiler, the Belgian equivalent to PBR. Belgian hospitality.

Jean and I got to talking. I hadn’t bought an international license to race because I was under the impression I wouldn’t be able to hang at all. Jean got in a tizzy about me not having my papers.

“It’s stupid! Andrew told you about the papers!”
“I know, but, I’m, like slow and…”
“Yes, but you race! You see!”

We made it back to the bike house where I’ll be staying for the next month. It’s actually more like student housing but Andrew’s a cyclist and he rides for a team, ergo, bike house. Steve, a British kid from Liverpool was there. I told him I just came from London.

“London’s shit! Well I’ve never been there but it sucks...” I’ll have to check out Liverpool next time I’m in the UK.

Steve heads home and I get settled in. This is going to be a good trip...

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