jump to navigation

Living in Beautiful Brussels Mei 21, 2008

Posted by finallywoken in Being Expat.
Tags: , ,
The article is written by
Rima Fauzi, the blog owner of A Chocoholic’s Piece of Mind

Brussels is the city I used to hate but now have come to really love. When I first got here I hated it because of its tranquility and ‘old fashion-ness’. It wasn’t really fair because I constantly compared it to New York City and Jakarta, two cities where I lived before, cities of which are abundant with night life and modern fun. Plus at the time, I was still in my mid-20s and wanted metropolitan fun all the time. After a few years, having grown more mature and calmed down a bit, I have come to really appreciate this lovely city. I have been to most corners of the city, many times, but I never get tired of it.


Compared to shopping areas in the Netherlands, where most of the shopping districts are all modern, or Germany with its malls, Brussels is something totally different. It has a very cool vibe, and a lot of personality. There are no malls here, only maybe three or four shopping centers (small ones, equivalent to the smaller plazas in Jakarta, not big malls) You can see what it’s like to shop in Brussels from the pictures shown here (click photo to enlarge picture and captions)

Old Buildings and Churches
Belgium, at least the French Speaking parts and Brussels, which I am writing about today, are quite old fashioned. It embraces old architecture and old buildings which is why I fell in love with it in the first place. I love old buildings, and although it doesn’t have as much as Paris, Brussels have a certain charm that has made me fall in love over and over again each time I go sight-seeing in the city.

I haven’t seen much modern architectural designs in Brussels apart from the European Commission building (which scarily resembles an upside down cross – what the Christian conspiracy theorists calls ‘the anti Christ Building’ – the headquarters of all evil, unity of a number of evil Satan worshiping nations, just as – what they claim – the bible had prophesied) – click photo to enlarge picture and captions

Well, I can’t say much for the Satan worshiping nations (because it’s top secret and I’d have to kill you if I tell you), but the building does kinda look like an upside down cross, doesn’t it?

But, au contraire to the beliefs about being the epicenter of evil, Brussels actually has some of the most beautiful churches in Europe. Here are several well known Brussels churches, although there are so many others too (click photo to enlarge picture and captions)

We do have several landmarks in Brussels besides the European Commission “Berlaymont” Building. These are some of the most beautiful old buildings that has also become landmarks in Brussels (click photo to enlarge picture and captions)

Art Nouveau Building
Some of the most beautiful art nouveau buildings are located in Brussels, which is not surprising, considering the Father of Art Nouveau Architecture and Design, Victor Horta was a Brussels native. (click photo to enlarge picture and captions)

Besides old building landmarks, Brussels has other kinds of landmarks, unconventional ones, with interesting histories behind it. The most famous one is the Manneken Pis, a boy who people said peed on a fuse of a bomb an attack on Brussels, thus saving Brussels from the attack. The peeing boy was immortalized into a cute little statue you can see on the third picture below. The second picture is a building called the Atomium, which was initially intended to remain for six months in the World Fair of 1958, but then became a symbol for not only the World Fair, but of modern architecture and Brussels. The monument stayed the same for almost 50 years, undergone a renovation in 2004 (replacement of the metal panels on the atoms, the old panels being auctioned off) and finished last year. (click photo to enlarge picture and captions)

Café and Restaurant Culture
Brussels people, or Bruxelloises, love to sit in cafés and drink coffee or beer. Besides some of the finest and most delicious restaurants in Western Europe, Brussels is also famous for Seafood – especially Mussels. Brussels have many cozy restaurants, cafés and bars that are usually filled with people, especially during summer. (click photo to enlarge picture and captions)

Let’s not forget the cartoons in Brussels. Brussels is truly a cartoon city, with many buildings painted with cartoon murals. I think it’s a very cool thing, certainly gives a unique edge to the city, and very good for tourists who love to take pictures of themselves and the comics. (click photo to enlarge picture and captions)

That is about it for this edition of Beautiful Brussels, there are other interesting stuff about Brussel I will share with you again next time. A bientot! Tot ziens!

*credits: Most of the photos were found on the internet (dansaertstraat and e3000 on flickr, galenfrysinger, tom galvin, brusselsdailyphoto, erasmuspc, trabel, milnerscom’s blog, brussels pictures and many more. Please contact me with your details/website if you see your photo here, so I can mention your name or site in the credits as well)

Rima Fauzi M.A.


Where is Hungary Anyway? Mei 7, 2008

Posted by finallywoken in Around The World.
Tags: ,

This article is written by
Sherwin Tobing, the blog owner of
Goresan Ngawur.

I have been living in Budapest, the capital city of Hungary, for almost a year. Hungary might sound little bit strange for Indonesians. Many Indonesians do not even have a ghost of idea on where Hungary actually is. Hungary is located in the heart of Europa and its people were originated from somewhere in Central Asia. These people, called Magyar in Hungarian, built a settlement there more than 1000 years ago. (lebih…)

Journey To Verne’s Copenhagen April 22, 2008

Posted by finallywoken in Around The World.
Tags: ,
add a comment

The article is writen in 2005
Eva C. Komandjaja, The Jakarta Post, Copenhagen*

Most people associate Denmark with famous author Hans Christian Andersen, or maybe the brilliant scientist Niels Bohr, who discovered the atomic theory, or probably rock band Metallica’s drummer Lars Ulrich, but I found Denmark between the pages of a Jules Verne book titled A Journey to the Center of the Earth.

The book, which I read over and over from the age of 15, told how Professor Lidenbrock and his nephew Axel, the main characters of the story, took their preparations here before moving to isolated Iceland where their journey began. (lebih…)

Living Above The Arctic Circle April 19, 2008

Posted by finallywoken in Around The World.
Tags: ,

This article is written by
Mulia Nurhasan, the blog owner of
My Process of Learning.


See the picture above? Beautiful isn’t it? C’on..you have got to admit. And I didn’t take it from a tourism site or top of a mountain. It’s just from my window, few minutes ago 😀 , 2.22 PM local time.

I live in Tromso, they say it’s the capital of the north. Capital, yea rite, we are only 64,782 people here. Hehe. It’s 300 km above the arctic circle. Do you know what that means? It means during summer, we have no moon and during winter we have no sun. AT ALL!!!


Little Known Facts About Belgium April 19, 2008

Posted by finallywoken in Around The World.
Tags: ,

This article is written by
Rima Fauzi M.A., the blog owner of A Chocoholic’s Piece of Mind.

When people think of Europe, they usually think Paris, London, Amsterdam, Berlin, Rome, Geneva or Vienna. Most Indonesian visiting Europe will most likely visit those cities and pass those, albeit lovely, but less famous or even somewhat obscure.

I live in Brussels, the capital of Belgium, a gem located between the Netherlands, France, Luxembourg and Germany. This is one of the less famous European cities people should visit besides the five above.

Besides being the country’s capital, Brussels is also the capital of the European Union, the heart of Europe. Although Belgium is not famous for a lot of things except maybe for its’ waffles, Brussels sprouts, beers and chocolate, it is the home of many great things and people. Among many are the legendary Jacques Brel, Django Reindhardt, Toots Thielemans and my favorite detective, Hercule Poirot.