Bonjour Brussels

It’s hard to beleive it’s only a little over a week until the end of my semester studying in London. I have no idea where the time has actually gone. Last Friday was the last day of my internship and I was so sad to say goodbye to everyone. Thankfully I still had the Christmas party to look forward to, which was last night, but it was still hard to leave.

After work I headed straight to King’s Cross Station where I caught the train to Brussels where I met my mom. It was amazing seeing her after so much time apart. Video chatting on Skype just isn’t the same as seeing someone in person. We had a lovely time wandering around the old streets, eating waffles, fries, chocolate, and even a little beer. We went to an exhibit on Renee Magritte, the Belgian surrealist painter and did a self guided walking tour of the city’s public artworks which are devoted to the rich history of cartoons originating in Belgium. Who would have known?

Monday my mom and I headed back to London where we had the chance to spend even more time together! We visited the Tate Modern and saw an amazing exhibit on Gerhard Richter.

The next day we visited Spitalfeilds Market, which was not as exciting and lively as it is on the weekends, but we had a good time regardless. That evening we had the chance to see Matilda the Musical, which just debuted on the west end. The show was phenomenal, completely deserving of all the great reviews. The child lead show was an incredibly heartfelt retelling of the Roald Dahl story. After the theater we headed to Jamie Oliver’s restaurant nearby and had a delicious dinner complete with chips covered in truffle oil and parmesan cheese.

For my mom’s last day in London we visited the Victoria and Albert museum and saw an exhibit on Postmodernism: Style and Subversion 1970-1990. It was an incredibly interesting and challenging exhibit that really engaged the way society interacts with art, design, and consumerism. My mom and I particularly enjoyed a portion of the exhibit devoted to a pair the architects Robert Venturi and Denise Scott Brown from Philadelphia, complete with mentions to the “overstuffed sandwiches locally known as ‘hoagies.'”

In just under a month I’ll be returning to Philadelphia myself and hopefully enjoying a hoagie, or a cheesesteak, or some other American delicacy, but for now I’m so glad to be in London. My mom and I had the chance to enjoy some of the diverse culture available in Europe, from Belgian pomme frites to English chips, from surrealism to postmodernism. There is so much going on in Europe and spending my semester abroad has made it incredibly accessible. I’m so lucky to have had the chance to live in London, even if it was just for a brief time.

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