Misadventures in Brussels

Ingredients for misadventures:

Take –
1. smelly, beer-swirling, alcohol-loving fat man
2. A less fat Korean man with a nasal English accent

Put #1 and #2 together, mix with
3. Lousy Airline Food (poor excuse for Chinese fried rice and watery egg)

Vigorously fold in
4. Incompetent baggage handling

Garnish with
5. Nose bleeds

For dessert: Throw in many loud-mouthed, vocabluary-challenged teenage Americans enjoying their gap-year thronging every corner of the hostel and several thieves who shoplift their way through the city.

As far as I know, all these have happened in the space of the last 12-18 hours.

“Your bag is still in Amsterdam,” some baggage handler said curtly as I stood in an ominous dusty room next to the Brussels’ Airport Arrival hall carrying literally all but the clothes on my body and that backpack. Just outside that room was an LCD screen proudly proclaiming the fastest luggage handling time as part of their ‘performance indicators’.

Excuse me while I choke.

As I type, I am still wearing the same old clothes.

So I’ll be in Brussels waiting for some unknown time tonight when the luggage finally arrives, wearing the same icky clothes, too tired even to use the excuse to go shopping.

But the quick update so far is this:
Horrible, crowded flight, and had hardly any sleep. I had a choice between sitting next to a fat man who stank of stale beer and cigarettes, who wore sunglasses the whole time, and spoke with a dubious Russian accent, and sitting next to a Korean man who resembles someone I actually know.

The transit in Amsterdam was quick and the 30 minutes flight to Brussels was an anti-climax and all hope of checking in early to get a bath and some shut-eye disappeared when the last but equally important piece of luggage decided to stay back a while longer in sin-city. Even then, I walked through the old town for a while, and could not quite enjoy it yet until I know I’m clean with some proper change of clothing and some hours of sleep behind me.

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