October 22nd, 2022
When I was in Amsterdam and received many messages from friends to meet them, I started looking through my contacts and remembered that Vasy, my old colleague, lives in Brussels. I reached out to him and it turned out that he lives in the suburbs of Brussels, in the beautiful village of Lasne. He lives there with his wife, 2 kids, and their cat. When I talked to him, they were planning to leave for Romania for a week on Sunday the 23rd. To visit them, I had to drive there quickly and meet them already the day before they left.
I left Eindhoven before noon and reached there by 2 PM. They had already prepared the grill to barbecue some chicken, vegetables, and Mititei, a Romanian sausage in their beautiful backyard.
After feasting on meat and Belgian beer, we first took the drone out for a spin. The footage the drone provides is breathtaking. The feeling of seeing houses and the horizon from up above cannot be replaced easily. You realize how small you are compared to the grand scheme of things. After enjoying the view and playing around with the drone, we headed out for a walking tour of the village. The village of Lasne is very close to Waterloo, where Napoleon was defeated and taken down from power. The final battle in fact took place over the grounds I was taking steps on. Knowing that such an important event in history took place where I was taking a stroll felt humbling and exciting at the same time. Napoleon in fact stayed in a small castle that is now a museum with a life-size statue of him in the yard.
The surrounding forest has many walking trails that you can choose from with many wild animals, mostly deer, hares, porcupines, and sometimes foxes. On the way, we heard gunshots, most probably from a shotgun, and we thought it was for bird hunting ongoing. We just walked and talked about life, what we have been up to, our dreams, and what we were going to do next. Vasy is very supportive and a great friend. I was very happy to reconnect with him and spend some non-work and professional-related time together.
On the way, we stopped at a local bakery to buy some dessert. The appealing smell inside the bakery was lovely. Once I looked at all the fresh products they had, I could not resist. We agreed to walk pass it on the way back home and buy some sweets to share together.
We walked to the bakery and bought some cakes. When we got back home, we just went to the backyard, opened a bottle of wine, and started drinking some good wine. What is a night spent with Romanian without Palinka? Exactly, that’s what we did. We took a celebratory shot of Palinka and continued our discussions about life and the universe.