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Bon Journal

Handmade Belgian chocolates

In the Place du Grand Sablon, also known as uptown Brussels, left of the antique market and the ancient church was a famous chocolate store once visited by the Pope. Wittamer's produces only handmade chocolate, many classes above the well-known Godiva and Leonidas - or so I'm told.

With her gloved fingers, the shop assistant picked the chocolates I selected. The second box was for my chocolate loving friends in London. I made sure I selected two of each sort so that the couple wouldn't fight over them.

Thinking back years ago, I had a crush on a post-graduate student who was ever so helpful in the computer labs. I was curious whether he was indeed a muscular swimmer or just a fat grad student. To find out, I invited him over for a home-cooked dinner. Not by me, but by my visiting mother. He brought me a box of Belgian chocolates. After three bowls of rice, he was hooked on my mom's cooking. And I? Well, I fell in love with the chocolates and forgot why I invited him in the first place.

Perhaps this second box of chocolates would do the trick. Sleep-deprived parents of first borns need to be reminded that only a year ago they were in wedded bliss. Like chocolates, life should just melt in your mouth - like the love that started it in the first place.

5 November 2001 Monday

Further left of the Place du Grand Sablon was a four to five storey building - a museum of musical instruments. Musee des Instruments de Musique wasn't listed in the guide I printed off the Internet. So it was a fresh discovery. Alas!

There was only one hour to consume the music and instruments of different periods. You wear an ear phone which plays the sounds from certain instruments that are activated. It was interesting to see how the instruments evolved - so many different types, shapes, and sizes. Eventually, the fittest survived and became the standard.
In the Place du Grand Sablon itself was a restaurant on the first floor of an old chapel. You'll never find it unless you know where to look for it.