Feb. 23, 2014: Day 8 of the Belgian Adventure
A lazy day in Mons. Interesting breakfast conversation by group about music, education, travel, etc. Keith and Bob decide to find laundromat. Students tell us to head to “Sketchy Street” — this is how new place names are established, existing cultures extinguished. Cultural imperialism at its worst. Leave hotel, immediately find ourselves in large farmers’ market in bus loop. Wonder if Mons Transit knows about this. Wonder where the small farmers go.
Can’t find laundromat. Assuage disappointment with tea and coffee at Grande Place. Delightful sunny morning. Attempt to stroll back through unknown streets. End up in unknown places. Sunday morning is flea market morning. Junk sale in one warehouse rather disturbing: creepy stuffed monkeys, stainless steel trephining tools (!), whispering lady looking at things. Discover old guy with pants around his ankles behind very large painting. Hope he is trying on used clothes. Decide we don’t want to buy what is being sold and leave.
Wander street along another long flea market. No fleas for sale so we head back to hotel for gold medal game. We try to head back. Streets keep going where we don’t want to. Eventually arrive and settle in with group in hotel lobby to watch game. Team Canada players show each other their armpits after each goal — lovely ritual.
After game group strolls to Grand Place for drinks. Actually just want to inspect glassware but waiter keeps adding beer. Decide this is too exhausting and go back to hotel to recover for dinner.
On way to dinner Jason discovers that famous fountain has undrinkable water. But only for people who can read French. Clever!
Restaurant has tasty pizza, great conversation, and general silliness. More inspection of glassware. Wander back to hotel to collapse, ready for rehearsals, etc.