Today marks my 5th full day in Brussels, Belgium and I have already noticed some differences between my American culture and the European culture I have been immersed in. It should be said that Brussels is an incredibly international city and thus I would say, being the unknowing traveler I am, that the differences are more European than specific to Belgians. Once I begin my travels outside of Brussels I should be able to clarify that point.

-Nobody tips here. At all. Not at a restaurant or bar. This was incredibly new to be as in America I get an egregious amount of tips for simply making subs. One of my fellow class mates told me he tipped the bartender and he kept bringing him free beers because he was so taken aback by the gesture.

-No one J-Walks here. Everyone follows this law to a tee. I don’t know if this out of respect to the law or fear of insane Brussels driver, but absolutely no one steps off the corner and onto the street until the little green walk man appears. Being the red blooded American I am, the only thing I like more than J-Walking is the ever more exciting J-Running. I can’t even begin to tell you how many times I have been honked at. I try to be respective of this reality, but honestly it is so ingrained in me to cross the street where ever and when ever that I don’t even realize I’m doing something wrong till I see the looks of disdain.

-All drinks here come in individual containers. Fountain drinks and tap water aren’t a thing. I enjoyed a delicious pizza yesterday with some friends. For my drink I asked for a water without gas and was brought a wine glass and the fanciest water glass bottle I have ever seen. Fiji water looks derelict in comparison.

-Unisex bathrooms. I’ll just leave it at that.

Well those are some main ones for now. I’m sure there will be plenty more. As each day goes by I begin noticing more of the nuances of the city and its people. Loving my time so far even though I had to pay 3 Euro for some stupid fancy water without gas.

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