In the spring of 2002 I was gallivanting around Europe studying the history of art, eating chocolate and pastries at every opportunity and trying to dream up a scheme that would let me land there for a longer period of time in the future. In particular, I had fallen in love with Brugge, Belgium and all of its charm.
From my journal May 24, 2002
This morning at breakfast we were not greeted by the sweet little lady who usually serves us. Instead a grumpy man who looked very unhappy was manning the tables. We knew we would be on the go all day (leaving Brugge and traveling to Amsterdam), so we each grabbed an extra piece of baguette and left the breakfast room. Unfortunately, I was the last to leave which meant that I got chased out of the breakfast room by the grumpy old man yelling in broken English, "Excuse me, you eat what you want in here. You take, you pay!" He repeated it a few times while he stared down at the floor and I just said, "Oh, well we didn't know." "You take, you PAY," he screamed, "and tell your friends too!" What do you do? Baguette in hand, I climbed the stairs to my third floor room to let my roommates know what was up. He ended up charging us each four euros. At that point I was like, "Brugge, you're done" but then we went ouside to walk to the station and I fell in love with it all again.