25 January 2009

Bruxelles

Hello,
This weekend Amanda and I met at Bruxelles (I think the French name sounds a lot nicer than Brussels). We didn't do a whole lot there as we only had one full day to roam the city but we did see quite a bit in a short time. We visited the central market which Amanda said looked like Munich. It was really elaborate architecture. We also visited the standard churches; one is where all of the Belgian royal family gets married and another was hosting undocumented migrants. The migrants were from all over the world (but primarily Latin America I think) and were protesting new harsh migrant laws in Belgium. The church supports them in their struggle by providing a place to stay and giving them a voice. Neither Amanda nor I know much about the migration policies in Belgium so we can't really say if we agree with them, but it was quite interesting to see nonetheless. They also had decorated the church with amazing wooden sculptures. Besides simply walking around and enjoying the sites we had a few Flemish fry snacks that were really good and we enjoyed some really nice Belgian beer. We also saw a street sign for a road named 'Goffart' although I'm too mature to find it amusing, Amanda thought it was hilarious. Hopefully she'll post the picture of it on the blog soon. Another interesting thing about Brussels is that it was basically built on the back of the Congo in the late 1800s. King Leopold II was quite a politician and was able to foster an image as a humanitarian in Europe while he exploited slavery in Congo to rob it of it's resources. If you're interested, please read 'King Leopold's Ghost.' 
In other news, Bolivia passed the new constitution overwhelmingly so it will be interesting to watch what happens in regards to that in the coming years. 
Thanks for reading, Andrew

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