A stroll and a browse

Saturday morning. I drop my daughters at their Italian cooking class and find myself with an hour and a half free. I head to a nearby café for a coffee, muffin and free wifi. I’m surrounded by laptoppers and breastfeeders, and I manage to concentrate on my book for about twenty minutes before conceding that I’m not in the mood. Besides, the sun has come out and I feel like wandering the streets for a while, so I turn a couple of corners to see what I can find. First up is a new Italian-New Zealander restaurant. I send the link to an italophile New Zealander friend and we agree to check it out as soon as feasible.

Around another corner, Ping Pong Antiques which, despite being closed, has a window display which provides plenty of entertainment, principally in the shape of this scorpion belt buckle. There’s also a silver horse head (which you can glimpse in the background of the shot below) and a leather-bound rotary telephone.

Moving on, I pass a cheese shop. Another fascinating window, especially the little conical cheeses. This isn’t really my favourite kind of cheese to eat, but it’s definitely the most visually interesting.

Although I can see why some people turn their noses up at something that looks this old and dirty and diseased.

Farther down the road is a large secondhand bookshop. I’d only been in once before, and only spent a few minutes on the ground floor, so I hadn’t realised quite how large it was. Nor had I realised that they had a café and a large English section upstairs.

With great effort I restrain myself and spend only twenty minutes browsing and buy only three novels. I think a return trip is inevitable, and sooner rather than later, if only so I can sit at one of these tables with my coffee and my purchases.

Later that day, while waiting for the Brusselicious tram, I spend a few moments scanning the Brussels skyline for curiosities.

Killing time in Brussels isn’t so difficult, if you know where to look…