I’m a little envious that Belgium has an annual Jubilee for the employees, but excited I was able to attend!
Let me tell you – Belgians know how to throw a party! It started at 7 PM with greeting each other with the customary cheek kisses, snacks and champagne. Once we were seated, white wine was served to go with 3 more rounds of mini-appetizers and the show began! The group had spoofed a Belgian show where they interview various neighbors for a comedy skit. In this case, employees were describing, often in funny ways, the employee who had a big anniversary to celebrate (appeared to be longest, then in 10 year increments). The sound wasn’t the best, so I couldn’t understand much; however, when they got to the short bits for 5 year anniversaries, they had the print up & I understood enough to get the gist of what was being said. Red wine was served with dinner and dessert wrapped up after 11 pm. Then, music started for dancing – keep in mind this is an all-employee gathering with no partners or spouses, so definitely a different culture than the US. While I left at midnight, people weren’t really dancing yet and I guess they often go well past 1 AM.
I have one thing to say about this – we need Jubilees in the US! The location was lovely too:
Outside of Jubilee news, I thought my hotel was awesomely quiet until a large group of Asian people took the two rooms on each side of me and across the hall . . . then left all their doors open while yelling to each other across the hall. As it turns out, if people talk loudly in the actual hall, the place isn’t quiet at all! Other than that, it’s quite nice really.
One thing I will add from the perspective of a solo female traveler is that, despite the news of two raids in the area related to the Paris bombings, I saw nothing and felt entirely safe my whole time here, even riding about on local trains. That wraps up my time in Belgium! Oh, except a picture of Brussels by train!