“Welcome to Belgium,  most uninteresting country in the world. I’ll give you a tour of town but that’ll only take about 15 minutes. We’re at one end right now, and you can see the other end from here.”

Such was my introduction to Leuven, a student town in Belgium. I agree with the second part of my friend’s introduction, but not the first. Belgium has a lot of interesting things – like chocolate and waffles and beer.

To spice up our weekend, we made an excursion to the Belgian coast because one of my friends told my visiting friend from New Zealand that he needed to see it. Why would an islander need to see the Belgian coast? I’m still not quite sure.

So, I set off on an adventure to Oostende with two Belgian friends and the New Zealander. About 10 seconds after arriving, we were ready to go. The town was ugly and under construction; the weather was bleak; the coast was bland and unexciting. But we had paid 3 euros for parking, so we couldn’t bring ourselves to leave just yet.

To make the most of the situation, my friends and I each chipped in a euro each and bought a nerf-like (American style) football from a local beach shop. It broke in about four throws. We went back to the store and exchanged it for two paddles and a ball. I was once again impressed with the quality of their products. At least it was easy to turn our two-person game into a four-person game.

I quite like Belgium, and I like the Belgian people even more, but I doubt I’ll be visiting their coast again anytime soon.

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