Friday, June 25, 2010

last days of belgium

our hotel is in the brazilian/portugese/spanish district of town. and while, as i understand it, brazil tied their game at 0-0, yet that has not stopped the colonies of brazilians from driving through the neighborhoods, head to toe in green and yellow, waving flags, cranking their stereos, honking their horns, blowing their air horns, singing on the subways, and doing whatever else they can to celebrate. it's kind of fun to see them so happy, even if i don't fully understand why.

we leave for the airport tomorrow morning. i'm kind of tired and it's after 11 already. i should be packing and getting some sleep, but i know that, unlike some warm and fuzzy new york interns, i'm not very good at recollecting in detail the adventures of my amazing life days or weeks or semesters after the fact, and that if i don't do it now, these moments of life will be lost to the ether forever.
i can sleep in utah.

yesterday was the last day of the conference. we were collecting peoples' stories about how ".com" has changed your life. asking this question at a convention where internet domain names are the livelihood of most people often brings stories that are more technical than what we're looking for, but we also got some really interesting ones (a guy who's company owned the second .com address ever...). at the end of each day, we would randomly draw a name from the list of those who had given their stories and they would win an ipad. not too shabby.
on our last day we talked with a guy from pakistan (who, oddly enough, was not a terrorist or even an american-hater. further, his friend from afghanistan was also super cool) who talked about how he had a website called which is all about how the middle east (and other parts of the world) doesn't get apple products for up to a year or more after their release and the lameness that surrounds that. he was one of about three or four people we were hoping would win.
he did (legitimately).

outside the window where we were filming was a small (and rather mucky) waterway with a statue of a naked lady in it. i'm from the u.s. and i've seen plenty of naked lady statues. in an artsy town like brussels, they're about as plentiful as waffles. yet, for reasons none of us can figure, people would continually stop and take a picture of this naked lady statue. it wasn't even that good of a sculpture. just a naked lady statue.

on a similar note, in my swag backpack from the convention was a button that said "yes to .xxx". (the dot there makes all the difference, by the way, as one of the ad guys with us didn't seem to initially notice it) as i understand it, such a "top-level domain name" (heard ALL about those this week) would help keep all the adult sites in one relative area; good for those who are looking for it, and, as i understand it, good for people who want to block it out (if this isn't what it means, well, i wore the button anyway; too late now). this evening i saw a headline on that the resolution passed. go me and my button.

today was pretty much a free day for us. the other two production people with me really wanted to go to see bruges, a city in northern belgium that is cool because a cool movie called "in bruges" was shot there a few years ago. i haven't seen the movie (have to see if it's on clearplay when i get back to the western hemisphere) and was feeling tired at the end of a busy week (we haven't had to work especially hard, but we've played hard), so i wasn't all gung-ho for it but went along all the same.
it turned out to be closer than we thought (just under an hour on the train) and really pretty dang. like most old european cities, it's seriously old, coming in at over a millennium, and kind of looks like it graduated high school during the middle ages and decided that look was good enough for it. we saw a few really old cathedrals (note: there go the brazilians outside of my window again; it's 11:31 p.m. now and i fully expect this to go on all night), which combined with the cathedral in brussels that i saw yesterday (my first even), i think constitutes for a third of all the pictures on my camera. we went to a church that claimed to have a relic containing the blood of Christ, walked everywhere on cobblestones (which gets painful after six hours; asphalt, i miss you!), paid 30 cents euro (is there a way to get a euro sign here? they just look cool and i don't get many opportunities to write them) to use a public restroom, and, of course, bought some chocolate.

i bought more chocolate back in brussels, as i've done almost every day here. the mini fridge in my hotel room is full of chocolate. : )

i also finished my souvenir shopping for my family (i'm looking at you, dad) and we missed our bus stop because of a stupid lady who decided to stand right in front of the door (we're looking at you, stupid lady.) on the train back from bruges, i listened to (german techno band) kraftwerk's "trans europe express." it wasn't as transcendent as i'd anticipated, but now i know. and i was still there.

there's probably a dozen other notably memories from today, but you get the idea.
it's been a seriously dang awesome trip with no regrets (well, i wish i would have put forth a little for effort to pick up a few french phrases), but i'm also looking forward to getting home with my friends (and where people speak a language i know. i'd even be ok with japan.)
i'm also looking forward to being able to search google in english, instead of... is that flemmish?


Brooke said...

Seriously dang. Me? Jealous?? Just a lot!

thescort said...

€ = Alt+0128

The Former 786 said...

Clearplay totally has In Bruges! It's a very well done movie, even though it's a very choppy edit because of the prolific cussing and violence.

kwistin said...

even w+f new york interns forget stuff. i hear some of them have 23+ drafts waiting to be published on their blog denoting all sorts of adventures...

though i wish that 'adult sites' would just disappear altogether, i'm proud of you and your little button.

i'm starting to realize how ".com" has changed my life. but that's another comment (or perhaps another blog post) for another day.

i liked your tangent about the brazilians' late night escapades.

i never thought of how cobblestones would hurt, but by golly, i'd imagine so....

well done, thescort. you can also get the € sign from your 'character palette' on the top right of your screen (hi, mac!) which, incidentally, has lots of other fun symbols. like check boxes.

you can also look up 'euro' from wikipedia and steal theirs (€). :)

i smiled at the dad comment, and smorked at the stupid lady comment.

flemmish sounds like the consequences of a nasty head cold. gross, google. i'm sure it's a cool language, though.

the word verification for this comment: fautchyp. could that be flemmish? let's say it is.