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ReportsWednesday, 16 May 2001
Tervuren --> Brussels (B) day 1 After breakfast with Johan and Hennie, they dropped me of at a little old tramcar station in Tervuren. Johan gave me 100 Belgian Francs, so I would make it to the centre of the Belgian Capital Brussels. Stayed at Steven's appartment the night, visited Studio Brussel and hung out in the city at night...
"An unpretentious mix of grand edifices and modern skyscrapers, Brussels is a modest, confident capital that many visitors find to be an acquired taste. Since it doubles as the capital of the European Union, it's packed to the rafters with bureaucrats and Eurocrats who have given the place an air of bustling efficiency without exactly festooning it with fun. The city is built along a pentagon of boulevards known as the Petit Ring. At its heart is the Grand Place, arguably Europe's most beautiful central square. Within a twenty-minute walk is much of the city's accommodation, most of it easily accessible by tram, bus or metro." - Lonely Planet about Brussels.
After my arrival in the center of the city I used the left change to use some minutes on the internet at EasyEverything.
Later I took a long walk through the ancient part of the city. It's pretty amazing to walk through little streets along structures and statues that are centuries old! I also visited Manneke Pis (Pissing Jack), one of the most famous tourist attractions in Brussels. Later this day I even found Jeanneke Pis (yep: the female version, hidden from tourists in a dead end dark alley).
Around 6 o'clock I arrived at the house of the 23-years-old techwizzard Steven, who almost lives in the centre of Brussels. Steven works at a small agency called Viking.
Steven is a great talker. "It feels like I already know you, but you don't know me at all," is what he said when we entered his appartment.
He told me all about the business he is in ('Viking' provides customer site management in all fields concerning computers - what equipment to buy, what software to acquire, which network is needed - set up of equipment, installation and customization of software, installation and maintenance of networks, printers, modems, E-mail nets, etcetera.
The office even has a live webcam, pointed out to the streets of Brussels!
In his free time and during holiday, Steven is secretary of the Kompaskamp, that organizes fun campingtrips for youth!
The Gift from the Huisman family was a unique ceramique bottle with olive oil, which a guy as Steven always could use for cooking! But only not today.
Steven walked me around the city and told the stories about the old quarter I didn't know yet. He would be the ultimate tourist guide! When the sun started to go down he took me to this Real Brussels Fish Restaurant, where we ate the unique Mussles from Brussels!
After dinner we caught a cab to visit the radiostudio of Studio Brussels, the most popular radiostation in Belgium, who had invited me in their radioshow Zipt.
The interview I had was very nice and they asked good and original questions. Dutch viewers can listen to the interview online (download mp3or listen in Real Audio).
The leadsinger of the Dutch band the Tröckener Kecks, Rick de Leeuw, was the most important guest in the show. After the show he asked me if I wanted to go on a picture with him. Huh? Yes, unbelievable. It's like living in a world where everything is turned around...
Steven took me back into town, to a little but very comfy café in the old centre. There I met some of his friends, who study at the film academy. So that was a lot of talking about films, movies, teachers, etcetera.
One of the guys had to make a final examination movie about architecture and flavours. To make it super-attractive to a bigger audience he hostaged his own teacher and forced him to smell things in the city, along the city architecture. This film ended at the EasyEverything internet shop where every computer showed the picture of this teacher. A very nice story, but he doesn't know his grade for it yet...