Saar is one of the most amazing women I have ever met. She is constantly on the go, traveling to a new corner of the world and dazzling me with her dedication towards the pursuit of her dreams. We took a course together at the universitat while we were both studying abroad in Barcelona, and he was kind enough to study with me and let me borrow her notes. We laughed over pure goofiness while sitting in the park, pretending to review the latest book that our professor with the red pleather pants had given us to read. Goodbyes were shared after first term exams as she flew back to her family and studies in Belgium. I was sad to see her leave, but I knew that I would see her again soon.
Before my time in Spain was up, I flew to visit her in Leuven where her home university is located. After exchanging hugs and goofy presents, we were on our way to the beach with Kristy, another one of my fantastically interesting friends. Although, by Spanish standards, it was way too cold to be visiting a windy beach, but Ostend seemed like the perfect way to start a visit. We picked up a picnic and took off our shoes to chase the waves while we pretended that we could see England on the other side of the water.
She took me to see her hometown of St. Niklaas, which I toured while seated on the back of her bicycle (we eventually figured out that I could peddle from the back, while she held on to the handle bars, if I took off my shoes). We made quesadillas for a family dinner and danced with her chickens in the back yard after a particularly delicious bottle of white wine. Also, did you know that SMURFS are originally from Belgium?
In Brussels, we walked around the city and saw a few churches, plazas, and the famous (for what reason again?) Manneken Pis. Belgium waffles are as delicious as is to be expected, particularly when shared. We also spent a good three hours in a contemporary photo exhibit of Latino photographers; another photo contest winners exhibitions; and a rather strange interactive, robotic art piece exhibit by a local artist. At the Couleur Cafe Festival later that evening, we saw the legendary diva Erykah Badu sing her heart out in Brussels as we enjoyed spending time with Saar and her friends.
A late train ride back to Gent was of course followed by more antics before bedtime at Julie’s adorable apartment. Gent was a gorgeous place to walk around and visit, and the brunch we shared together was like something out of a movie. I cannot wait to get back to Belgium and visit my favorite girls, and until then, I’ll just have to miss Saar to bits and pieces