I don’t know about you but I used to be all about old time-y novels set in medieval Europe centring on a young protagonist living in a monastery. Very specific I know. The hero was usually a girl, often disguised as a boy, and certainly struggling to adjust to the regimented life of religious work and servitude.
I don’t think anyone can love sugar like the Europeans. Not even close.
I’m living with a group of people in Belgium right now (more to come on that later…) and I have never seen anything quite like their dietary habits. No matter how healthy it starts, dinner is always finished with a generous dollop of chocolate spread or “choco” that coats every inch of bread in a thick, sticky goo. Parents back home wouldn’t even let their kids eat as much syrupy sucrose as these grown adults chow down on.
Yesterday we had pancakes, the thin crepe type, and the only topping supplied was sugar. One by one the adults lined up to scoop one, two, three dessert spoons of sugar onto one thin pancake, roll it up and dig in. You could hear the crunch from the countless granules like sand ground under a shovel.
Now I like sweets just as much as the next person, but let’s not get carried away. While they’re fighting for the last of the nutella I’ll take an extra helping of bread and cheese thanks!
While I’m on the Luxembourg buzz, I might as well write about my day trip to Vianden. It went something like this:
“Oooh, there’s a famous castle? It only takes an hour to get there? Done!”
Why does no one go to Luxembourg?? This place is amazing! Yes it’s small, but what it lacks in size it definitely makes up for in charm. Back in the Brussels hostel one of the guys at reception was really surprised by my choice of location, I guess Luxembourg doesn’t have the greatest reputation round these parts? Well I for one am all about Luxembourg!
You stumble down the winding path to the youth hostel, your back aching under the weight if your pack and your legs ready to give out. That was a far longer walk than you expected.
Your room is small and cluttered with other peoples’ belongings. You smile at the stranger on the bed next to yours. You chat, briefly: “where are you from? What’s the bus route like around here?”
The next day you eat breakfast together, choking down the free food so it will last you all day. You have more in common than you think.
That night, as the screeching of crows die away, you talk about your families, about your adventures. About anything.
Then it’s time to leave. You wish each other good luck. Smile one last time.
As you walk down the abandoned corridor you realise you know everything about them, everything except their name.