Sunday Summer Tourist

It’s been hot in Brussels. Oh I love the sunshine, but a busy city drenched in sweat is not my idea of a laid back summer time. Days start extra early, my room heats up fast and rays poke through the curtains, finding their way into my eyes. Okay I’m up. Coffee in the garden, birds going wild. Sunny days go extra slow. After months of hibernation, I can finally get rid of the fur. Feel that sun on my skin. The smell of sunscreen and sweat in my coffee cup. Time to go.

Where does one go on a sunny busy city day? All the terraces: waiting for a table, than waiting to soothe your burnt skin with cold beer. Parks: like festivals. People taking over every inch of the grass with their blankets. Your neighbours become your closest friends and children are high on ice cream and sunshine. Siesta possibilities: none.

Natural escapes feel far away, but I do like me some flowers so we meet at flower markets where we decide we want to see more of this colourful goodness. Next thing we know, we’re on the metro to see the Royal Greenhouses. Following a trail of tourists, we ooh and aah at every flower and laugh at fake smiles made by fashion bloggers. Also: we sweat a lot. A 29 degree day is maybe not the best time to be dragging yourself through steaming hot greenhouses.

The afternoon asked for a siesta. My hungover head sizzling in a buttered pan and excited people giving me headaches. I'm Belgian, I should be enjoying the sun, but all I want to do is hide from the crowds. So I bought a movie ticket and joined the grannies of Brussels for a 5 o’clock Sunday afternoon film on love and romance. A three hour siesta and images dancing in front of my eyes (dreams or movie?). Exactly what I needed.

It was still bright when I crawled out of the dark cinema. Tourists still taking pictures of buskers, still posing weird poses, terraces still full. Just around the corner I could hide again, seek for more dark and cool. Trixie Whitley brought me back to life with a voice so powerful it made me proud to be Belgian. A total tourist, mostly feeling lost in this strange country, but Belgian nonetheless.

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