Sunday, January 25, 2009

Bagels in Belgium, Fire, New Job and New Rug

So I suppose the first thing to report is the existence of a bagel place here in Brussels. One within walking distance. One that makes them fresh. Not only that, but the place itself is comfortable and homey. They play great music, encourage hanging out with a shelf full of books (most of them in French, some in Dutch), and offer a full menu of lovely bagels. In other words... I am very happy.

Miguel and I went last weekend and during a long chat I've decided to add a new segment to this blog. "Weird Brussels." Look out for it.

So last Sunday night we were settling in after going to see Burn After Reading and we heard sirens. Normally, this is no big deal, but they were louder than usual, so we went to the window. Outside 3 fire trucks and an ambulance were stopping just outside our building! We immediately ran downstairs to see what was going on. After being joined by other neighbors we asked a fireman who said there was smoke in the building next to ours (they're connected) and the floor above ours (we're on the 3rd). We stand and watch as the cherry picker (no idea what that would be called here) went up to the window. They had to use force to open the window, and when they did the smoke started coming out. Miguel said "We're not ready for a fire!" I looked at him, trying to suppress a laugh and said "No one is ready for a fire!" After standing around a while longer to make sure things were safe we chatted with neighbors until it was definitely safe. So that was the big news for that night!

The other news of the week (other than having a new president) is this: I started my job! Granted it's very part time (9 hours a week), but it's something, and it's something I enjoy! I am babysitting/working with a 5 yo American boy who has special needs, most likely autism. (Interestingly enough, this is the same American family we got our cats from, so I hang out with our cats' mother while there.) Anyway, I spend 3 hours a day, 3 days a week playing with Faisal and getting him to communicate with me. We play with play dough, read, play tracks (build train tracks), color (I drew an awesome killer whale for him and he scribbled over most of it), and watch the killer whale part of Happy Feet. So far he responds really well to me, imitates what I do and say and seems to have a great time. So I hope that will continue to go well.

Oh, and starting a couple nights ago there was a smell of gasoline in the apartment, coming mostly from downstairs. Awesome. So we called our maintenance guy, who couldn't find any problem, but opened the stairwell windows. So we decide to check that we're not getting an pigeons inside and sure enough, not only was there a big fat pigeon on the stairs, but there was also pigeon poop/pee over 2 stairs! And of course, WE had to clean it up. Stupid bird. As if the noise they make outside the bathroom isn't enough.

In other news, we FINALLY bought a rug! No more hard, cold, wood floor for us. It's as much to keep us warm as it is to make the living room look nice. It's a great rug, and it was VERY much on sale. I really wanted a Persian-style rug, and am quite pleased. The cats are obsessed with it, and therefore it had to be vacuumed today, not even 24 hours after the purchase had been made.

Speaking of the cats, Cleo had a little accident today. She hasn't learned that fire is painful yet, though she has gotten too close to the heater or a candle in the past, because some of her eyebrow-whiskers were curly/singed about a month ago. This time, she got the rest of her eyebrow whiskers, and also her paw. One of the little tea lights was flickering, and Cleo thought to bat at it/teach it a lesson, resulting in a slightly burned paw. She tried to play it cool like she had known what she was doing all along, but some of her fur on that paw was blackened. Poor kitty. Too bad it was also really funny.

And to end on a fun/cute note, here are a few of the cats being, well, cats. Enjoy! Oh, and please note, anyone can comment on this, even if they don't have blogs. So, Mom? Dad? Jake? Anyone?


  1. We should get ready for a fire

  2. Brody! It's good to see a post from you :)

    I really like your rug, and your cats are adorable. I'm also glad that you're liking your new job. Not much is new here... just working and finishing up grad school applications.

    Miss you darling!

  3. Where is this bagel place in Brussels? What is it called?

  4. The bagel place in Brussels is called Au Pays des Merveilles ( and it's at 42 Ave. Jean Volders, Saint Gilles, 1060 Belgium. Enjoy!