Bruges: Maybe-Not-So-Bad-After-All

by | Aug 8, 2014 | Europe | 5 comments

Note: None of this makes any sense unless you’ve ready my previous post. Which can be found here: Bruges: Shithole.


So, Bruges.

I ended up having a nice time, and have learned to shut my dumb mouth before making such bold statements about a place I’ve been in for one day. Sorry, Bruges (and also Janet).

My second and third days there, I avoided (most of) the tourists and just walked around the back streets. I drank coffee and talked to happy old Brugian men, had a splendid little picnic. Proof of these things is down the page a bit (I know you jerks think I just sat in my room all grumpy and hateful. I DIDN’T.)


I want to show you what I learned about Brugians and how they live…

If you live in Bruges, you build stairs down into the canal, and then let those stairs turn into a garden.

In Bruges, you put cowardly lions on your bridges.

(“none… shall… paaaaaammmmokay just go”)

You give alms for the “missies”

You looooooove Jesus

You have THIS for a back yard

You own vicious cats

You go to the market on Wednesdays to buy all yer foodstuffs for the week.

And you build big phallic monuments to make it known how great you are.

But that’s if you live in Bruges. I DON’T live in Bruges, so here’s what I did there:

Tuesday: Slept till maybe 11, took a shower, and went out to scavenge for some breakfast. As it was lunchtime, my options were pretty much mussels or chocolate or mussels, or maybe chocolate. For some people this is awesome. For me, this is grounds for another blog to accompany my Corn-Is-Gross one, working title:

“How Can You Bite Down On An Entire Squishy Animal You Just Boiled Alive And Then Yanked From It’s Little Home? Also Don’t You Know You’re Chewing on Brains? Also, Also Do Not Offer Me Sweet Things In The Morning, You Goddamned Savage.”

Finally happened upon a little pastry shop, which was cute and quiet and felt maybe a little familiar (“Of course, I live in New York, which is soooooo European,” I thought, smugly). Ordered a croissant to go and then looked at my receipt and found out I’d ordered my first Belgian meal from a Pain Quotiedien. To further enrage me, the croissant was maybe the best one I’ve ever had in my life.  Assholes.

To make up for it, I stopped for a coffee at little café WHICH WAS BELGIAN, I’M SURE OF IT. I sat outside on a little patio and the weather was gorgeous, and was served this beautiful thing, and I was sooooooo happy:

I took this picture while I was sitting there, and I think it’s kindof awesome, I’m sure you’ll agree:

After my coffee, I walked around for a long time and sat in churches and crap like that.

Found a little grocery store and compiled a kick-ass picnic, which I enjoyed here:

I sat there for a long time, and got walked past and stared at and talked about in Dutch or French or take-your-pick by nearly everyone who walked by. Not sure if maybe it’s illegal to sit on walls in Bruges, or if they just thought I was awesome.

This was my view. Please make note of the red things in each of the windows of the house on the left THOSE ARE LIPS (LIPS!) I WANT TO HANG OUT WITH THOSE PEOPLE SO BAD.

And I also watched this little duck swim back and forth, over and over, collecting sticks to make a little house or a basket or a tiny duck chair or something. He was all alone and I was sad for him, but then I realized I was alone too, and I wasn’t sad about that at all so I changed my mind and had a little moment.

Walked around some more and found a park where I took a rest from my picnic exertion.

Look at this wicked tree!

Had the whole place to myself, except for the little kids playing badminton (I’m not joking) and these two college girls who kept dry-heaving.

And this terrifying statue thing keeping watch (what the hell is it?!).

Walked back through town and got a for-real Belgian waffle which was preeeeetty nasty, despite the cute little flag. BUT, I had the best conversation with the guy in the truck who made them. He subsequently yelled out “New York!!!” every time I walked by and tried to give me free gelato like six times.

Wednesday morning: The Market! I bought some bread and this jelly thing (Clarification: jelly and fruit are the exceptions for sweet things in the morning, Also syrup, but just a little, and in combination with some salty meat. These are my rules.) The jelly was made out of real Champagne and was therefore 9.5 euros (about $13), AND I PAID THAT because for some reason that sounded like a good idea.

IT TOTALLY WAS. Best jelly ever, aaaaaand I was able to stretch it across two more meals. Plus, now I have an itty bitty jar to keep my treasures in!

ON TO THE BELFRY!!! I climbed this thing, aaaaaall the way up.  If you are not impressed, you can suck it.

There was a big music box thing inside, and a pretty sick view.

Just outside of the penis-tower, I met this lovely fellow who travels around painting things and cutting profiles. He asked many questions about my hair, and told me all about his gypsy lifestyle, and while he was talking cut me (“for free” he said!) and then I paid him €10 because he was soooo nice and interesting. I know makes me a total sucker, but I had just spent $13 on jelly, so I figured I was on a roll. Also Euros look like play money, so I forget what I’m doing sometimes.

Here is the horrifying thing he made me. What the fuck is happening with my nose? And THE FOREHEAD!? Someone better comment and tell me this isn’t what I look like from the side – even if it totally is – or we are NOT friends anymore. Also if you can find this guy and get my €10 back, I’d appreciate it.

I rounded out the night by chatting for a good chunk of time with Lauren from LA who’s 22 years old and was closing out a 3 month excursion around Europe (yowza), and Mike, the owner of my hostel. They were super nice and didn’t draw ugly pictures of me or anything. It was real fun.

So that was Bruges. Officially not the worst place in the world.

A thousand puppies will live forever if you share this post, I totally swear.

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  1. Michael Griego

    I noticed that no one has commented on this post… I sure hope you didn’t disown all of your friends. 🙂

  2. Kelly

    I know, they’re assholes, right? I’m unfriending them on facebook right now. Thanks for the reminder, Michael.

  3. jaybrams

    If you turn the pic upside down it looks like a doberman pincher sitting in a barrel. I have yet to see you upside down so I’m not sure how accurate it is.

  4. Chabs

    your comments are even funny. i love it!! i don’t know what I am going to do once your trip is over

    • Chabs

      oh wait and can you please friend me again?? 😉 ha ha


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