Zupan’s, Where Are You? I Miss You!

I’ll admit that I miss, very much, shopping at Zupan’s. My store was the one on Macadam. Knew where everything was, knew people who worked there and most of them knew me. No one knows me in Brussels. In many cities and towns, globally, have neighborhood markets – those places where you go and meet your neighbors and shop for your groceries. Comfortable and familiar. I miss that. And I am here – and that’s a fact. Zupan’s is still where is has always been. Just in case anyone from Zupan’s is reading this blog, please know you are missed.

National Basilica of the Sacred Heart

I had a nice long walk yesterday to find the church I could see out my window. National Basilica of the Sacred Heart. What I didn’t know is that to see it up close, I’d have to walk for nearly an hour (4.4 km).  It looked so close, but my smart phone’s Google map said it was 57 minutes away. Yes, I read yesterday that it was largest Art Deco building in the world. Seeing is believing! The walk was very pleasant, though a blister on my right foot made the walk a little uncomfortable, and the cobblestones. (More on cobblestones in another post.) I did enjoy going through several neighborhoods and watching the people going about their daily routines of shopping (not at Zupan’s though), going to work, unloading goods, washing postal boxes, garbage collectors, gardeners trimming hedges, officers patrolling the streets, or a man standing in a doorway.

I was a doubter, because I kept checking my phone along the way to see if this really was the shortest way to the Basilica. Again, I reminded myself that I was retired and who cares if I was taking the shortest route. Right?

IMG_20160725_162049   Basilica of the Sacred Heart

It is one of the largest church buildings in the world as well (#15) and bigger than St. Paul’s in London.  This is why it looked so close, even from several kilometers away. Perhaps I was a builder or engineer in a past life where I’m curious about how a building this large can be built. Who decided on the design, where did the building materials come from, how many people did it take to help build . . . and the list goes on. There were very few visitors when I was inside. A very different experience from when I visited St. Paul’s. The inside was cavernous and the alter was very simple, and the chapels were as well. Many stained glass windows. The interior volume was an expression in itself, no more was needed. Thoughtful messages from Pope Francis were placed at regular intervals and read them as I walked the perimeter of the interior. Out of respect and inspiration, I made a donation.

After I returned from my outing, I got to do laundry. Woohoo! This is an opportunity to do something productive and to meet new people. I generally need a little help with getting the washer and dryers in the laundromats to work, yet seem to find someone to help me. Yesterday, I had to opportunity to return the favor and help someone – only because I had been in the laundromat before and knew how everything worked.

Two new subjects:

Am I Well?  Yes, I am. Thought I was coming down with something a couple of weeks ago – was sneezing for about a day, then stopped. Been getting sleep (and naps) and plenty to eat. Only thing is the blister on my foot, but that seems much better today.  No serious walks planned for today.

Am I Safe?  Yes, I am. Though I don’t watch much news, I do see occational updates from what I read online or Facebook. I do what I’ve always done while traveling in unfamiliar places – and just be aware and careful. No need to change this routine. I have no fear, but I appreciate friends and family who care. Thank you.


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