Updated: May 27, 2019
As I've said before, Brussels has a distinctly European feel to it. But there's something about the networking events that truly reminds me of Oxford. The people here are often so politically engaged - and smartly dressed. I've been meaning to go to some more networking evenings, but now that I only have two weeks left in Belgium, I feel as if I've somewhat missed the boat on that!
I've been doing more Zumba, and I've been trying out different styles of classes; Tuesdays are Latin, Wednesdays are pop, Thursdays are hiphop, and Sundays are also Latin. It's great fun, and I think I'll definitely be going to Zumba classes when I'm in Bordeaux, and perhaps even when I'm back in Oxford. Though, after going, I realise I'm not as agile and rhythmic as I thought I was. Krav Maga and Kickboxing are definitely more my thing than dance. And they're incredible for fitness! Now that the boyfriend is out of the picture, I am happy to say that I have quite a few more evenings free. The casual Netflix watching, among other things, will be missed, but at least I can get my social life back together.
It's been nice to catch up with friends. This weekend just gone, a friend from home visited me and so I got to do the various touristy things that, as a normal resident, I don't get to do. We also went to Antwerp for the day and visited a museum that looks like giant red brick Tetrus, which was great fun. I'm going to be going back there on my last full day in Brussels to visit some Belgian friends I met two summers ago in Prague. I also visited my friend in Montpellier just over a week ago. He and I have been friends since we were about 8 years old, though the friendship really struck up in secondary school. He's also on his year abroad, though he's at Cambridge (boo!) and studying French and Spanish. It was great to see him again and to meet some of his friends out there, though travelling to Southern France really does make the Brussels weather seem that bit more dreary!
I may have mentioned this in a previous post, but since November last year, I had been planning a debate as part of the Oxford University Society of Belgium. The motion for the debate was "This House Believes Democracy Failed in 2016" - of course, distinctly subversive. After two months of planning, it took place on Tuesday evening last week at a restaurant called Le Cercle des Voyageurs. The restaurant is situated in the centre, just next to the famous Manneken Pis, a bronze statue of a little boy pissing. The MEPs Clare Moody and Catherine Stihler spoke in proposition, while William Dartmouth and Jacqueline Foster spoke in opposition. It was tremendous fun, and I am sad that I will be unable to do another before I leave Brussels.