After putting the cat out in the courtyard Roeland and I took off walking towards breakfast & town. Antwerp is a small jewel, much of everything is at a walking distance. When we got to the Museum of the Beautiful Arts (Is it really called that? I don't know? It's how the locals referred to it.) Roeland pointed at a green apple and an egg atop the building that was large enough to feed poor deceased Goliath, and told me it was there to symbolize a past famine. Also in front of the museum was a pond-like fountain, it's water simulated the ocean's tide as it receded in and out. There was another building that he pointed out that appeared to have a ship protruding out of it. (Antwarp it was a seaport city long ago. )
When the last gulp of coffee was sipped at Revista Cafe we walked through the antiquing district. I stopped in a store and purchased a whittled wooded goldfish, that was made in Indonesia. (I had a difficult time finding items that were made in Belgium besides the chocolate.) Then we went to this small castle near the water front where Roeland told me a story about one of the eldest cathedrals.
The story goes: The cathedral caught on fire late in the night. The only persons near it were prostitutes, their customers, and their keepers, so they rallied on, ran in out of the burning building with paintings in hands to keep them from perishing. Amazing, no?
After this story there was talk about prostitutes and how they still haunted the same places except at present time, it's legal. Roeland asked if I was interested in seeing the prostitutes. Actually, I don't bloody remember how it came about but we left the small castle and headed towards Antwerp's red district.
Note Book talk: "I saw women selling their bodies through windows -- prostitutes attempting to tempt dirty men with odd outfits in daylight -- how lude."
I had wanted to take a photo or two of the whole ordeal but Roeland thought that a bad idea. We walked slowly through as I stared at these women, they tried to bid even me in. They seemed as if they were actresses in films they would never star in. They weren't existing as humans as we know humans to exist. It was surreal. How is this legal?
Book: "Then we got fries at #1 Frites. It was okay. Roeland ate his with Mayo, ew. At this point I became tired and requested to sit still for a while. I don't think he would have stopped otherwise. We talked of 9/11, exchanged points of views and experiences. As we were talking a band nearby started to play music from 'Mama Mia.' I could not contain myself. We made our way over there so I could take pictures and sing the lyrics that I knew. We stayed for three songs, I hollered and hooted them on. I screamed, "Yeah(!)" twice, something the Belgians do not generally do.
We then went on to the KBC (The company Roeland works for.) building, the first sky scrapper in Europe. He was able to finagle our way up to the top. I say finagle because there were important clients getting talked to up there already. Also, I'm told persons are to go up by invitation only. The views were spectacular. We saw all of Antwerp. All I could do was smile. The rude suit could not bother me. (The rude suit was a gentleman who accompanied us on the elevator up. When he realized I was an American from NJ he said, "They don't have anything like this in New Jersey, not even in California.") What a douche bag. Take your pointy noise out of your ass -- Please. Yes, I am completely aware that this makes zero sense. I'm venting.
Anyway, from KBC we went to a photo shop to download the current batch of pictures onto a CD. Instead of waiting the hour there, Roeland took me to the Central Station. Impressive.
After picking up the photos we went to Ben and Jerry's. Each of us ordered brownie sundaes. We took our dessert dishes to the museum steps & slowly ate there as we decided on what to do for dinner. In fin Roeland made 9:30 reservations for the 'Pump House.'
The 'Pump House': I can't say it was any more or less then expected because I went without expectations. What I will say is, when I looked down at the varying silver ware I couldn't help but feel like Julia Roberts in 'Pretty Woman.' I'm not referring to the prostitute part. I mean the part about starring at the silverware for two seconds and thinking, work your way in. My nerves settled quite shortly when the food arrived. So good. So good. So good. When things are mentioned in threes, it's my excited sign of approval.