Hello and Happy 4th of July from a country where this is just another day. Obviously I had to pull out an obnoxious USA shirt just to remind all the locals where I’m from if they couldn’t tell already. 

But anyways, so I can stay in shape and eat copious amounts of food along with allowing me to know the city of Brussels on a more intimate level I wake up every morning at 7 so I can go run. Even after only 3 full days here I already feel I can get around the city fairly well and I have this new habit to thank. Today I decided to run down to the Grand Palace. It is one of the most famous and aesthetically pleasing landmarks in the city. From my apartment it is approx. 3 miles away and essentially in the downtown of Brussels. It was a fantastic run from a viewing standpoint, but far the best part of the journey was this. Image

On Monday we had taken a guided tour of Brussels and this was one of the points our guide stopped to explain. On that day along with most days it is simply a gallant, naked boy peeing into a pool of water, but occasionally someone will dress him up in clothes. The guide went on to say that seeing him clothed brings the viewer good luck. Running by the fountain today I noticed he was now touting the Uncle Sam apparel. 

This struck me in a number of ways. First, that there must be a great deal of respect for America if someone would brandish the famous peeing child with American clothes on the 4th of July. I highly doubt that is just a coincidence. Second, it seemed extremely fitting to my classes and their international relations theme. Notice the Belgian flag alongside the US flag. I took it as an obvious symbol of US-Belgian relations and I viewed it as a small metaphor of my time here. Finally, I put my ‘Merica goggles on and took it as the USA peeing all over the rest of the world because, obviously, we are better than the rest of the world….

Have a great 4th of July everyone!

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