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MY TRAVELS IN EUROPE SERIES #15 An Adventure in Brussels, Belgium

A Travel Adventure in Belgium – Getting Lost in the City of Brussels

The first thing I did when we got to the City of Brussels before the start of our scheduled tour of the city, I went and ventured out from our hotel downtown to find the financial district and look for the Bank of America because I needed to add more funds to my expense allowance (down to my last dollar). Unfortunately, I got lost and couldn’t find the financial district where all the big banks are located. I look so lost and decided to hail a taxi to take me to the nearest bank.

Drawings of the Grand-Place of Brussels © GIALWhile waiting for a taxi, here comes a good looking Dutchman and he passed by the sidewalk where I was standing waiting for a cab. For some unknown reason he looked at me and I happened to look at him but I was still feeling and probably looking so lost, he just approached me, smiled and said hi to me, then  ask me how I was (like the usual greeting). I’m not supposed to talk to strangers but for some good reason I broke the rule and replied to him and said hi back.  Then he commented that I looked so lost, if he can be of any help. I probably looked so touristy to him.  This Dutchman was dressed up in a business suit and looks like he was walking on his way to work that day. My first reaction was to say that I was a tourist to their city and I seem to be lost and can’t find my way. I asked him if he can help me find a taxi so that I can go to the nearest bank or the Bank of America. He said that he can do better than call a cab, since he lives in the city he knows where the banks are located. Then he offered to walk me to the Bank of America which he said was just a walking distance. I had to think twice before I reluctantly agreed. And he did walk me to the bank and even helped me cross the busy intersections in the city. We walked a block away and there it was, the Bank of America. He took me right to the entrance and opened the door for me. Wow, what a well-mannered man, I said to myself. And after I said my thank you for his help and goodbye for now, he left and told me that he was on his way to work at the financial district. Well done, young man! Now, I know that Dutchmen can speak English so well even with a Dutch accent and are very friendly like the Frenchman I’ve encountered on my trips. I did get to the Bank of America safely, thanks to the Dutch gentleman.

Grand-Place © Olivier van de Kerchove

And found my way back to the hotel which was not too far away and had plenty of time left to catch up with my tour group members having a late breakfast at the hotel cafe. They asked me where I’ve been so early in the morning and I told them I went to the bank and had a date with a Dutchman jokingly. They were so amused by what I said and that made my day. They really thought I was just kidding, in a way I did but there was a hint of truth in what I just said. Not really a date but a great encounter with a gentleman. I’m sure you have read my Lourdes trip and how I met a great young Frenchman who escorted me back to my hotel in the middle of the night while his parents waited at the gates of the shrine for his return after taking me to my hotel and then they can all go home together. These simple little gestures of kindness and help from complete strangers mean so much to me and I really thanked my lucky stars again for all these blessings!

Images Courtesy of www.brussels.be



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