BXL

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I feel rough, I’m only 63% sure that I have clean underwear for tomorrow, and my pasta sauce smells like it’s ready. Feels good to be back.

I recently re-read Murakami’s ‘What I Talk About When I Talk About Running’, and in it he quoted some other writer who said that if you want to write – and I mean, really write – you just have to force yourself to sit down and write at the same time every day for an hour. Even if you don’t manage to actually write anything, you’ve gotta sit there and try. No Reddit. No Facebook. And I think that’s a good plan, really. Writing can be fun and it can be a chore, but you only get better if you consistently practice.

Alors. Voila mon blog.

I’ve been here in Brussels for a week now. It’s gone pretty quickly, which scares me – I’m only doing a month’s internship with a political consultancy firm, and after that I don’t have anything concrete for the future – but I’ve done quite a bit so far. My french friend Martin (who I actually met through a school exchange program six years ago) came over for the weekend so we did the whole walk-through-a-new-city-hungover-whilst-eating-chips thing, and saw some pretty amazing architecture and stuff which I totally didn’t appreciate properly. To be honest I was too busy regretting my decision to have burger sauce on the chips instead of ketchup to pay an adequate amount of attention to what was going on. But it’s cool, I’ve got another 3 weeks to look at famous things in Brussels whilst pretending I’m not a tourist.

The work I’ve been doing hasn’t really kicked off yet because most of the Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) are in their home constituencies at the mo and next week is their holiday week. So lobbying them for change is kind of tough. It’s been great to break into a vibrant office atmosphere once again though.

The family I’m staying with are just the best. The house is enormous, they’re all so friendly – from the parents to the kids – and they’ve treated me more as a member of the family than a tenant. We’ve eaten meals together and watched X factor together. Heck, I even nipped over to Lille with the father, Michael, for an unforgettable wine tasting festival on Friday. That was great fun. I’ll do a proper post about it later.

Last night (Saturday) was genius too. Martin and I finished up with the sightseeing at around 4 and then hit up an Irish pub (there’s so much love for Irish pubs in Europe. Apparently it’s because they make English people feel like they’re at home, which I’m sure everyone Irish just loves to hear) in the evening to see the Arsenal – Liverpool game. The atmosphere was awesome, the beers were cheap, and Arsenal won. C’etait enorme! When Ramsey scored the second goal the whole pub just erupted. I’m talking high fives a-plenty and strangers hugging strangers. I’ll probably end up going there every weekend while I’m here.

We had some food and then met up with one of Martin’s friends in what at first glance looked like the shittiest karaoke bar in Brussels. Man, the decor was horrific. When we got there there were only about 6 people in the entire bar, and two of them were nerdy guys awkwardly putting too much energy into Kiss From a Rose. The toilets were overflowing and there was a weird smoking room at the back – no windows – which absolutely stank of man. But eventually it got busy and became awesome. Felt like somebody’s house party. I spent way too much money and drank too much, but hey, that’s what you’re supposed to do when you’re young – right?

Anyway. A demain

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