From Writhe’s journal:

I left Koblenz this morning at 9:06am after getting on a waiting list at one hostel, eating breakfast, walking down the hill in the rain, waiting for the bus, and seeing on a map where I had to go to get to Bruges. I arrived in Köln again and had about 45 minutes to fuck around and call ahead to confirm my bed at the first hostel and then reserving a bed at a second just in case. Went to the Dom again and saw a man in all white with a painted face standing on a small box. When people put money in his bucket, he smiled and let people take their picture with him. Then he stopped smiling. He was getting tons of business. I have no idea why people will pay money to take a picture with a stranger.

I get into Bruges after an uneventful train ride. I come out of the station and need to find an ATM. I go to the tourist info and find that I need money to buy a map, but I need a map to find the ATM. So I decide to wander into town and it’s really wonderful. Colorful medieval flags decorate the streets, I think they say which shops they fly above. The architecture is great and the advertisements for all the museums show Renaissance paintings – all very appealing. I want to stay for a long time and experience everything. I find a long line at the cash station. I make it back to the train station to buy the map, but my bill is too large to buy it. I go to a small restaurant and buy some fries and a burger that tastes like something ran over it. I buy the map with some of my change from lunch. I study it and find that I am very near the hostel. Took the bus to the hostel. It’s a cool place. Very crazy. My room is up one flight of steps, then down one, then up another. I wander around town and take pictures and find two record stores to shop at. The second one is closed, but I see someone inside. I knocked on the window and talked to the guy. He turns out to be one of the guys that does a goth night in Belgium. It’s 50km away and he asked if I wanted to go with him in 10 minutes. I would have gone, but I wanted to be able to dress up for the night. Well, that and I wouldn’t have a way back here for the night. It’s possible I would have been stranded somewhere. I politely declined, but I really should have gone. I mean, it sounds like one of those adventures one goes on by taking a chance. I’m kicking myself for not going.
I went back to my hostel for the evening and it shortly became a gathering of sorts in my room. Some bitch from Chicago didn’t want to talk to me for some unknown weird reason. Other people asked me to go with them to see a band and fireworks. It is Flanders Independence Day! It rained and everything was cancelled. As we were walking back I saw one girl that looked goth outside of a bar that the record store guy told me about. I separated from the hostel group and went into the bar with these two girls. It was pretty dead so I went back to the hostel and ate pizza while a local talked to me about prejudices.