An unforeseen adventure is one of a kind. This trailer about the state of NRW or Nordrhein Westfalen in Germany, and then the stumbled adventure of Brussels, was till date the most daunting adventure of my life, dusted and done with spontaneous decisions and hilarious moments. Well all´s well that ends well, is how I would describe it. We made a quick departure to Essen, Germany a nice German city near Cologne where few of our friends stayed and reached Essen after much adieu. The adventure started at five in the morning, when time management went wrong and we caught the wrong train, ultimately the motto of ignorance is bliss turned out to reality, where we ended up finding ourselves on the wrong spot for our onward journey and missed our bus to Essen. Spontaneity at its best, we booked the next bus which was entitled to take us to Essen, two hours later, and finally we reached after six hours. The moment we came, or arrived I would say, we rushed in for grocery shopping, since daily needs had to be taken care of at the earliest.
In a couple of hours I found myself introduced to a hilarious and funny group of guys who treated me to a barbecue party in the garden. Since it is summer in Europe, the sun goes down at 9.30 and light prevails around this time, therefore even though we reached late afternoon,I thoroughly enjoyed the barbecue made by Bharath, grilled chicken and garlic bread with the right amount of beer and wine. After feeding our hungry stomach, we went on a dancing spree in the parks of Essen and ran all over the place as if we owned the area, and it was our own private property. Well tired after the day´s journey and longing for some rest, we rushed home and into our beds, the next day was the Brussels day. A new country excites me!
Nothing was planned for Brussels, this is one destination that I have visited with a presence of mind, we reached the railway station and found out that there were local strikes in Brussels and no public transport was functioning. I was like what the hell is this, but every difficulty has a way out, what if the local transport and regional trains were not functioning, inter rail travel in Europe was, I took the decision to book ICE train tickets, the most comfortable, fastest, romantic and the luxurious train journey in Europe, we still went to Brussels, and especially went around Brussels, even when there was strike of the public transport in the city. I only regret one thing that I could not meet my friend Gayatri, who stayed a bit faraway from Brussels, due to this unnecessary strike, citing safety reasons I advised her to stay home.
Brussels is the bilingual capital of Brussels. Its streets are signed in French and Dutch and its most iconic landmark is a tiny statue of a boy urinating (the Mannekin Pis), which symbolizes not just its people’s attitude to authority but their enduring deadpan humour, and it simultaneously boasts some of the grandest and at the same time ugliest architecture in Europe. I really had this feeling if Brussels deserved to be the capital of Belgium. It was the most disorganised city I have come across and nobody is bothered. Ignorance is bliss in this city which is why I guess the deadly disaster happened earlier over here in 2016.This is the city that inspired one of the finest architects of the Art Nouveau movement. Dig a little deeper, though, and you’ll find not contradictions but context, a rich history that stretches back long before World War II devastated much of the capital, prompting rampant postwar redevelopment. On this spontaneous journey I met a crazy,sarcastic friend Mahesh Prasad. One of a kind and a guy who knows how to impress a normal girl, with normal girl traits. Sarcasm is his motto and irritation is his forte. Praveen, another friend and me were literally holding our stomachs laughing to his lame jokes and at times really smart sarcastic comments. Brussels became an entertainment spot with three idiots lurking around the place. I liked the Atomium buiding on the outskirts. Nothing special there, but worth the visit, if you have extra time in hand. If you love physics, please make a visit.
In the evening again the trains got cancelled as usual and we took an impromptu bus back to Essen with a sarcastic journey. Company matters on your travel is what I learnt on this trip, and what is truly remembered, is the fun you had with all the idiots around. The next day was Saturday, we had fun cooking at home and sleeping half of the day and strolling here and there in Essen, in the evening we visited the old city of Dusseldorf and the party street which is the highlight. This street lit up like a young princess and the night still young welcomed us with open arms accompanied by music, food and laughter. I tried new cocktails on this trip and had a gala time tapping our feet to international music with my friends Praveen, Mahesh, Maiya , Anika and Bharath. Anika was a chilled lady, and yes the one with class too. I instantly connected with her and then we were exploring Dusseldorf city. We reached home back to Essen late in the night and slept off like logs, till the wee hours of dawn. The next day was preparation time to go home but we stayed. RCB match was on the cards and the mad house that I was staying in, people ran off to play cricket and then see cricket, it was all a boy thing, but I enjoyed it to the fullest, no worries and inhibitions, just doing what you like, cheering for your favourite team and pouring out emotions.
The match did not end there. Sadly the favourites RCB lost to Sunrisers Hyderabad in IPL 2016 and there was an outburst of emotions I never saw. Such passion, such dedication for a team was unheard of. The shenanigans got done and we had one more grilled barbecue outside our house. It was time to go back. Kishor was the perfect host and then there was hilarious Bharath and sarcastic Mahesh. My wonderful Essen stay ended on a hearty goodbye note. Till next time again. I did not visit historical places at Essen and Dusseldorf but experienced the city life. Meant more than just an experience.
Until the next destination.
Rucha Sudhir Khot.