May 29th, 2018: Brussels, Belgium

Dear World,

Today I went to René Magritte Museum. Magritte is one of my favorite painters ever so this was a big deal for me. Even if you don’t recognize his name you’ve probably heard of him and seen his work before. You may have seen one of his iconic paintings, The Treachery of Images that says, “This is not a pipe.” As well as Son of Man, which depicts a man in a bowler hat with a green apple covering his face.

I love his work for many reasons but I’ll give you the abridged spiel.

When I look at a Magritte painting, I transcend into his imagination. I’m met with a silence that forces me to wonder what the world is truly made of. Though it’s silent, it’s also alarming. It’s enigmatic yet explicit. It’s provocative and innocent. It’s full of juxtapositions and questions. A curious person like me feels at home.

So yeah, I was not disappointed.

Aside from the Museum, I’ve had a lovely time wandering around this somewhat quaint(not the best word choice but it’ll do) city. I think it’s interesting that Brussels gets a rep of being a stopover city. I could have easily spent another day or five wandering about and have been perfectly content. Of course, there is next time because heaven knows, I’ll be back.

I tried Belgian waffles today and I can attest they are better plain. I went on a walking tour and the guide challenged us all to try them without all the whipped cream and chocolate and whatnot. Since I was skeptical I tried both. I found that the toppings made it a little soggy but they also dialed down the incredible taste of the waffle itself.

I met a group of people at my hostel. We had a gourmet meal of grocery store pasta. Then spent hours sitting around talking about the weirdest things. British politics, accents, memes, you know, the usual.

I am also proud to say that my story of Self-Declaration and self-marriage inspired one of my new friends to marry herself right there on the spot! The informal ceremony consisted of her screaming impromptu vows, a Self-Declaration photoshoot, and a lot of laughter.

I admit it makes me a little sad that I may never see any of them again, however, I think there’s something to be said about sharing a brief, touching time with some strangers.

Every day I’m Brusselin’,

love vail v

PS. Here’s a taste of the surrealist painter himself! Sadly, I hardly took any pictures because I was so present but here are the ones I did take.

Just a crazy painter and his wife, Georgette Berger
Memory, 1948
Par une belle fin d’après-midi, 1964 (On a Beautiful Late Afternoon
Art evokes the mystery without which the world would not exist. – René Magritte

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